Overnight Terror Attack in London
6 people were killed and at least 48 people were injured in a terrorist attack in London. Some of the injured are in a critical condition. Three male attackers were shot dead by the police.
The best on-line source of information is, of course, the BBC: “London attack: Six killed in vehicle and stabbing incidents“. The Conservatives, the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party and the Green Party, announced that their national campaigning will be suspended for the day. UKIP did not suspended its campaign. The election date cannot be postponed.
Mrs May chaired a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee and made this statement upon its conclusion. The statement included the following remarks:
“We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change, and they need to change in 4 important ways.
First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.
Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone. It will not be defeated through the maintenance of a permanent, defensive counter-terrorism operation, however skillful its leaders and practitioners. It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence – and make them understand that our values – pluralistic, British values – are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.
Second, we cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet – and the big companies that provide internet-based services – provide. We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.
Third, while we need to deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online, we must not forget about the safe spaces that continue to exist in the real world. Yes, that means taking military action to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But it also means taking action here at home. While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.
So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out – across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations, but the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism – and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities but as one truly United Kingdom.
Fourth, we have a robust counter-terrorism strategy that has proved successful over many years. But as the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, more fragmented, more hidden, especially online, the strategy needs to keep up. So in light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.
And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences, even apparently less serious offences, that is what we will do.
Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”
5th June 2016
The Telegraph has a live page relating to the attack: “London Bridge attack latest: ‘Gunshots heard’ as police launch fresh raids in east London after Islamic State claim responsibility“. One very important part of the reporting relates to what the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said this morning on BBC Radio 4 – which included this:-
“The rhetoric that has been coming from Daesh and other organisations has been to encourage people to take action into their own hands, to use low-tech methods, and undoubtedly when people see something which appears from their perverted point of view to be successful some people will be inspired by that, so that is most certainly a possibility.”
The Independent has this: “Theresa May must resign over ‘security failures’ that led to recent terror attacks, says David Cameron’s former policy guru – Steve Hilton accused the Prime Minister and her spin doctors of ‘blame-shifting’ “.
Mrs May was Home Secretary for many years before she became Prime Minister. She has made excessive cuts to budgets and also embraced strategies which are not working – in particular the so-called “Prevent” strategy -and she bears responsibility for that.
The Independent also has this: “I am a serving firearms officer – the Government is wrong to say police cuts have nothing to do with recent attacks“.
Dr Myriam François, a research associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS University of London writes this in the Guardian: “Theresa May’s talk about British values puts all Muslims under suspicion – Social cohesion is laudable, but to link it to the terror threat is dangerously confused thinking and stigmatises an entire community“.
Robert Fisk writes this in the Independent: “This is what Theresa May refused to tell you in her schoolyard sermon on terror – The Prime Minister is going to have her ’embarrassing conversations’ with Britain’s Muslims, who have no power to switch off the evil ideology which Wahhabism represents. She does have that power – but she won’t use it.”
Of course the Wicked Witch is not alone in all of this. Her good friend Donald Trump (aka Mr Toad) and indeed numbers of his predecessors in office have been quite happy to suck up to the Saudis – after all they have an awful lot of oil – and an awful lot of money. Saudi Arabian funding of mosques and schools outside the kingdom is estimated at US$ 2-3 billion a year. See this by Adam Deen of Quilliam: “Are Saudi-Funded Mosques Really A Problem In The UK?”
“Mr Davis told the BBC: “I’m not sure it can be legally done. In order to do this you’d have to have some change of law I think, and who’s going to do that? “Parliament no longer exists, I’m not a Member of Parliament for the duration, as are none of the other people who were Members of Parliament“.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had a sensible view: “Sadiq Khan says election should go ahead to defy London attackers: ‘Terrorists hate Democracy’“.
Coincidentally, Chris Powell writes in the Guardian: “Lynton Crosby’s futile attacks on Corbyn show he’s lost his touch – Last year he tried and failed to portray Sadiq Khan as an extremist sympathiser. This year, again, the public is making up its own mind about Corbyn“.
“Exaggerated assaults on personalities famously don’t work in elections, because we all get to see the candidates on TV and judge them for ourselves. You would have thought Crosby might have learned from his failed attempt to portray Sadiq Khan as an associate of extremists in last year’s London mayoral election. The mild-mannered Khan doesn’t come across as anything like an extremist, and never did.”
One might add that the refusal of the Wicked Witch of Westminster to go face to face with Jeremy Corbyn on national television is part of Crosby’s nasty campaign tactics. It is far easier to smear an opponent in his absence and some of the mud then sticks.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan writes this in the Evening Standard: “Sadiq Khan: This sickening act has nothing to do with the Islam I know – To murder innocent people, especially during Ramadan, is a rejection of the true values of my religion“.
Of course, Mr Toad had to send out an offensive tweet about Mr Khan – “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. This YouGov article is relevant: “Majority of Londoners trust Sadiq Khan to make the right decisions on terrorism“.
The Independent has this: “Brexit: Business and security risks of leaving EU data sharing scheme ‘not on Tories’ radar’, experts warn, ‘The danger of an ad-hoc fix is that things fall between the cracks and, for security issues, that would be a significant risk’“.
The Guardian’s William Keegan writes this: “Let’s hope a hung parliament can halt the Brexit disaster – If the SNP or Lib Dems end up holding all the cards come Friday morning, the economic catastrophe of leaving the EU could be averted“.
One is forced to think that almost anybody would be better placed to negotiate on Brexit than the three “Killer Clowns” chosen by the Wicked Witch: David Davis, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox who were largely chosen to placate the UKIP wing of the Conservative Party rather than for any expertise.
The Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, KCB, QC , is more impressive than all three of the present Killer Clowns put together. It is also worth pointing out that there would quite a lot of expertise on EU matters available to a Labour Government, not least the Labour Members of the House of Lords who have previously served as European Union Commissioners.
Electoral Calculus and YouGov Election Centre have now updated their forecasts.
Seats in the House of Commons = 650 less Sinn Féin 4 = 646 so 323 +1 = Majority
|Party & Last Parliament Nos||Projection – Electoral Calculus||Projection – You Gov on 5 June 2017|
|Conservative (330)||361 (+ 31)||305 ( – 25)|
|Labour (229)||216 ( – 13)||268 (+ 39)|
|Lib Dem (9)||3 ( – 6)||13 (+ 4)|
|SNP (54)||48 ( – 6)||42 ( – 12)|
|Plaid Cymru (3)||3||2 (- 1)|
|Ulster Unionists (10)||18||18|
If the Electoral Calculus projection is right, then the Wicked Witch is home and dry. But her projected majority has gone down from 74 in the last forecast to 38 in the present issue. Still a majority of 38 would be a lot better than one of 7.
On the latest YouGov projection, there will still be a hung parliament. Mrs May would need a further gain to be able to achieve a majority or to continue with Unionist support.
Labour is now projected by YouGov to achieve 268 seats as opposed to the 257 in the 2nd June prediction. But with 268 seats and the support of all the all the other parties save the Ulster Unionists, Mr Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister.
YouGov’s new Election Centre also seeks to predict the results for each constituency.