Meet Baroness Henig, Stoking Fear Of Terrorism To Benefit Her Private Security Business

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Baroness Henig’s exploitation of the Paris Attacks anniversary to advocate new laws demanding that concert venues invest more in security – while herself employed as chair of a private security firm which just so happens to provide these services – showcases British politics at its most tawdry and corrupt

There are innumerable reasons why the House of Lords in its current state is an utterly intolerable affront to democracy and ethical decision-making, but an example from today really takes the biscuit.

We are coming up on the one year anniversary of the heinous coordinated terrorist attack at the Bataclan concert hall and across Paris, and Baroness Ruth Henig – a Labour peer appointed in 2004 – decided that today would be the perfect day to pop up on the BBC News Channel to declare that private concert venues should do more in terms of anti-terrorism security and training, enforced by law through a potential change to the Licencing Act 2003.

From BBC News:

Licensing laws should be changed to force entertainment venues around the UK to undergo counter-terror training, a private security expert has said.

Baroness Ruth Henig told the Victoria Derbyshire programme that some venues did not take such training “seriously”. The former chair of the Security Industry Authority now plans to table an amendment to the 2003 licensing act, to include counter-terror training. Her comments come nearly a year after 130 people died in attacks in Paris.

[..] Baroness Henig said: “There are clearly a number of venues, often the larger venues, I think, but not always, who have airport-style security, who, for example, do have metal detectors, who do have very well-trained security personnel and they top up this training regularly.

“But I think at the other end there is a tail of venues who aren’t taking it seriously, we know this from the police, who don’t co-operate, who don’t take up the offers that are made to them and where I think there are some concerns.

“And the issue is how do you get to that tail of venues who are perhaps not doing as much as they should be about security.”

So far, so noble, you might think. After all, Baroness Henig only recently completed two terms as chair of the Security Industry Authority (SIA), the government regulator for private security firms run under the auspices of the Home Office. Who better to make a reasoned, fact-based case for more necessary security regulation than somebody who was in charge of holding the industry to account?

Only that is no longer Baroness Henig’s role. Rather than regulating the industry and ensuring that professional standards are upheld, Ruth Henig can now be found on the board of SecuriGroup, a private security consultancy and provider itself regulated by the SIA – and not just as any board member, but as the Chair of that organisation.

Here’s her official company bio:

Baroness Henig joined SecuriGroup after completing two successful terms as Chair of the Home Office Regulator, the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Baroness Henig’s commitment to security and policing is well documented having held the post of Chair of Lancashire Police Authority and the Chair of the Association of Police Authorities in England and Wales which led to the award of a CBE in 2000 for services to policing. The Baroness also served on the National Criminal Justice Board and Street Crime Action Group, chaired by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

She was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire in 2002 and made a life peer in 2004 as Baroness Henig of Lancaster. As a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness Henig takes her place on the European Security Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a member of the Independent Policing Commission.

And most conveniently, some of the services offered by SecuriGroup include counter-terrorism strategy training, security guarding, door supervision and event security. One might say that SecuriGroup are perfectly poised to provide the very services that their CEO is currently insisting are made mandatory from her unelected seat within the UK Parliament.

To move instantly from a position regulating an industry to the chairmanship of one of those companies being regulated is concerning in and of itself. In fact, the free flow of individuals back and forth between regulator and regulated organisations is one of the primary symptoms of “regulatory capture,” a phenomenon whereby a government body established to regulate an industry “instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating”.

In this context, Ruth Henig’s sudden concern that smaller music venues are not stumping up for expensive anti-terrorism security countermeasures starts to look a lot less like high-minded public interest and a lot more like grubby concern for the bottom line. Is Henig worried about “that tail of venues who are perhaps not doing as much as they should be about security” because the safety of concertgoers has been keeping her up at night, or because a valuable revenue stream for SecuriGroup has been going unexploited? Given that she now derives her pay cheque from a private security firm, one has to assume that it is at least partly the latter.

Henig tries to cast herself in a virtuous light by pointing out the fact that the initial police consultations with event venues offered as part of Project Griffin are free. And so they are. But when the risk-averse police advise small venues operating on shoestring budgets that they need to pay for additional private security (by hiring the services of SecuriGroup or its competitors), that certainly will not be free. The sums of money involved would likely shut down or severely restrict the operations of many of Britain’s smaller music venues.

Of course there is nothing surprising about a Labour politician downplaying the cost of regulatory compliance – this is their bread and butter. But to do so because one has a direct financial interest in more stringent regulation is morally grey at best.

And this is one of the main problems with the House of Lords. Henig’s case is far from unique. It is just particularly disgusting, because it involves taking advantage of the anniversary of the terrorist murder of more than a hundred people to help drum up more business for SecuriGroup. But regulatory capture is an inherent feature of an appointed House of Lords, not an awkward and unintended quirk.

When governments appoint people to the upper legislative chamber based often on their industry experience (and that’s a best case scenario, assuming they aren’t simply cronies being rewarded for political services rendered), those people will naturally retain extensive links to the industries in which they built their careers and reputations. Sometimes this can be a good thing and lead to better, more considered lawmaking. But if the legislator in question is still working (or intends to return to work) in that field, then their judgment is inherently compromised.

Unfortunately, rather than realising the glaring conflict of interest and recusing herself from debate on the subject, Baroness Ruth Henig decided instead to roll up her sleeves and abuse her position as an unelected peer to further the interests of the company she runs – and all in the run-up to the anniversary of a terrorist attack which killed 130 innocent people.

Britain is crying out for proper constitutional reform to build up the public’s diminished faith in our democratic process. Part of that means proper reform of the House of Lords – making it a fully elected chamber (with term limits, length of terms and the candidate pool open for discussion, so long as we produce a more deliberative body), ending the “elected dictatorship” of the primacy of the Commons, kicking out the theocratic Lords Spiritual and drastically shrinking the membership.

But it also means cracking down on the kind of morally dubious behaviour exhibited by people like Baroness Ruth Henig. We must end the revolving doors which currently exist between Parliament and industry, Parliament and lobbying and between regulator and regulatee. Somebody who just completed two terms regulating the private security industry should not then immediately be allowed to go and work in that same sector. Just because it is commonplace and seen by the establishment as a “deserved reward” for having previously slummed it on the public purse does not make it right.

Using the anniversary of the November 2015 Paris Attacks to promote a bill making it mandatory for even the smallest of music venues to invest heavily in additional security is politics at its most cynical – particularly when you consider that heavily armed and well trained gunmen such as those who committed the Paris Attacks (and the previous attack on Charlie Hebdo) would hardly be deterred by the presence of additional unarmed security guards.

But promoting an ineffective course of action which also happens to result in significant monetary gain for one’s outside business interests is about as low as it is possible to get. By all account, Baroness Henig’s career thus far has been distinguished and honourable. She should reverse course and either give up her chairmanship of SecuriGroup or otherwise immediately recuse herself from any further part in legislating security issues – or risk tarnishing that good reputation forever.

 

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Top Image: BBC

Bottom Images: Pixabay, Twitter / SecuriGroup

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Weekly Terror Attacks Are Europe’s New Normal – For This, You Can Blame Angela Merkel And The Virtue Signallers

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Terror is the new normal, and Europe’s progressive virtue-signallers must shoulder their share of the blame

Douglas Murray has no time for a craven German government which prioritised the burnishing of its humanitarian credentials over the safety of its own citizens:

The Thursday before last it was Nice.  But already the slaughter of 84 people in France is just so, like, a fortnight ago.  Last Monday an ‘Afghan’ ‘teenager’ called Mohammed Riyad screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘Allah is greatest’) on a Bavarian train and started chopping people up with an axe.  I put ‘Afghan’ and ‘teenager’ in quotation marks because Mohammed was probably from Pakistan and is no more likely to be a ‘teenager’ than the thousands of other Peter Pans who Chancellor Merkel welcomed into her country last year.  Still, she gets to feel good about herself.  Shame the same can’t be said for the family from Hong Kong who had the misfortune to be sharing a train carriage with Frau Merkel’s latest conscience-cleaning import. Their relatives are still trying to arrange for the less badly injured family members to return home.

On Tuesday last week it was a 37-year old man called Mohamed Boufarkouch who started shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ near Montpelier and stabbed a French woman and her three daughters (aged 8,12 and 14).  Then yesterday a ‘Syrian asylum seeker’ used a machete to kill a pregnant woman and injure two others in Reutlingen, near Stuttgart. Perhaps it was terrorism. Perhaps it was traditional domestic violence with larger weaponry than has lately been traditional in Germany.

Then yesterday evening another ‘Syrian asylum seeker’ killed himself and injured 12 others in a bomb attack in the German town of Ansbach. At the time of writing there hasn’t been an attack in France or Germany for several hours so I am sure life will be returning to normal.

This constant, low-level Age of Anxiety does indeed seem to be the new normal in Europe. And it is about time that some of the virtue-signalling, Holier And More Compassionate Than Thou brigade began taking their (overwhelmingly large) share of responsibility for facilitating the wave of violence and murder which is now befalling France, Germany and Belgium.

While quick and dirty, fast online radicalisations are becoming an increasingly common remote method for Islamists to strike in Western countries (see Orlando, where many people are furiously talking down the ideological motive even now), there is still nothing as effective as letting vast swathes of unvetted people into Europe to generate an immediate uptick in acts of violence, be it the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults (also in Germany, also denied until they could be denied no longer) or lone wolf terror attacks, or worse.

And that small percentage of refugees and migrants (for many are the latter, not the former) who do intend to do us harm have been greatly aided in their efforts by the German Chancellor and all those who stood with her, using the #RefugeesWelcome hashtag to signal their own virtue while accusing anybody who voiced the slightest reservation of harbouring selfish, xenophobic motivations.

But after what appears to be a suicide bomb attack in Ansbach, following on from a massacre by truck in Nice on Bastille Day, following on from attacks in Brussels and Paris and elsewhere, it is high time for the virtue signallers to accept some responsibility for the entirely self-inflicted lapses in national security for which they so lustily campaigned.

Of course genuine refugees should always be welcome in Europe. But those who encouraged and cheered for the open door now have more than a speck of blood on their hands, just as those who passionately inveighed against turning back migrant boats heading for Europe are somewhat responsible for the lost lives of the hundreds who have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after being encouraged to make the treacherous crossing.

But more to blame than almost anyone else (save the despots, theocrats, thugs and murderers currently making life impossible in Syria) is Angela Merkel, and what Douglas Murray termed her “conscience-cleaning” attempt to atone for Germany’s past sins, supposedly wiping them out with one single bold statement of humanitarian generosity. For in so doing, Merkel made a decision on behalf of Germans which was not hers alone to make.

There was no way of foreseeing the present dire circumstances when Germans went to the polls at the last federal election in 2013 – transforming Germany into a haven for over a million recent arrivals was not in any party manifesto at that time. And though many Germans have shown incredible generosity of spirit in opening their homes and communities to these migrants and refugees, Merkel deserves to face a fierce political backlash for not having put such a major decision to the people before acting.

All too often, the response of our politicians (and their cheerleaders, particularly on the Left) has been to do the thing which feels good in the moment, or which addresses the immediate crisis, even if it goes on to create far greater problems further down the line. The impulse to let in all of the world’s tired, huddled masses – even those not in immediate physical danger – satisfies the urge to be seen to be doing something. But worse, it encourages a tendency in the political class to make ostentatious displays of generosity when it is largely other people writing the cheques. Angela Merkel, with her protection detail, is thankfully never going to be sexually assaulted on the streets of Cologne. Nor is a suicide bomber likely to penetrate her security bubble, or a machete-wielding attacker corner her on a train. Ordinary Germans cannot say the same.

Likewise, those who painted their child-like “refugees welcome” signs and vaunted themselves as saints on social media got to look kind and virtuous in front of their peers while often remaining insulated from the negative consequences. But those consequences are real. They are manifested in the expectation that European lives will now be lost to terrorist attacks on a weekly basis – probably not in a grandiose 9/11 style attack, but through the constant attrition of mini massacres in second-tier provincial cities.

This is now the new normal – a reality where before much longer on our present trajectory, every day will bring the anniversary of a deadly Islamist terror attack somewhere in Europe, where the news reports blend into one another and the cycle of atrocity followed by vigil followed by hashtag followed by complacency followed by atrocity becomes unremarkable.

Europe’s progressive virtue-signallers took the credit for being enlightened, wonderful humanitarians. Now let them shoulder their fair share of the blame for each life lost to the terrorism which their open door inevitably beckoned.

 

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The Daily Toast: Weaken The Nation State, Breed More Extremism

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When there is no healthy sense of national identity or commonly valued institutions, people inevitably start looking for different groups or subcultures to belong to. We should not be surprised that some turn to radical Islam

Why is one neighbourhood in Brussels rapidly becoming Europe’s chief exporter of homegrown terrorists, the Silicon Valley of Islamist extremism?

Daniel Hannan gives the most convincing answer by admitting something that many others have been furiously ignoring – that Belgium is essentially a “failed state”. It may be an advanced economy and home to the EU bureaucracy, but there is no real sense of national unity for first or second generation immigrants to embrace. And this lack of shared identity provides the fertile ground where extremism inevitably grows.

Hannan writes:

When Americans are afflicted by terrorism, they fly their flag. When Paris was violated, it turned red, white and blue. But in Belgium, you rarely see the national tricolor except on a state building.

Perhaps there is a connection between this lack of national feeling and the readiness with which several second-generation Belgians turn against their adopted country. Many Western European states have disaffected immigrant populations, but none has sent such a high proportion of its nationals to Syria. Molenbeek, the dreary quartier where most of the Paris murderers were raised, is Europe’s jihadi capital.

All human beings crave a sense of belonging. When they get no such sense from their nation, they cast around for more assertive identities. And what could be more assertive, more self-confident, than the monstrous cult of Islamic State?

And goes on to explain why this is a particular problem in Belgium:

The problem is especially severe in Belgium because Belgium is, so to speak, a mini-EU, a multi-national state whose political system is held together largely by public spending. There is no Belgian language, no Belgian culture, no Belgian history. The country is divided between a Dutch-speaking north, containing some 60 per cent of the population, and a French-speaking south. The two communities read separate newspapers, watch separate TV, vote for separate parties. To adapt René Magritte, one of those elusive famous Belgians, ceci n’est pas un pays.

[..] Unsurprisingly, the two communities have turned in on themselves. But where does this leave, say, a Moroccan-origin boy in Molenbeek? What is there for him to be part of? Neither Flemish nor Walloon, his every interaction with the Belgian state will have taught him to despise it. If he got any history at all in school, it will have been presented to him as a hateful chronicle of racism and exploitation. Is it any wonder that he is in the market for something stronger, more assertive?

The frightening thing here is that as goes Belgium, so will go the rest of Europe – at least if the master planners of European unity have their way. They have long regarded the nation state and patriotism as something gauche and vaguely embarrassing, and longed for the time when national identities and borders ceased to matter. Belgium’s unique circumstances mean that they are slightly further along the road to oblivion than the rest of us, having not had a very solid or cohesive identity even before the European Union project landed in their laps. But the same forces are at work in France and Germany and Sweden and Britain, too.

If there is no sense of common identity and purpose in a country, soon it will begin to fracture into an angry group of competing special interests and subcultures, each jostling for favour and becoming increasingly hostile to one another. Only last year, we saw how decades of failing to inculcate a sense of Britishness nearly led to Scotland voting to leave the union. And those kind of consequences are the best case scenario.

The worst case scenario – if we do not get serious about promoting and celebrating our values – is that we see more and more Paris style attacks, committed by people who went to school with us and who carry the same passports as us, but feel absolutely no connection or affinity with us.

We fail to promote and defend British, Western and enlightenment ideas at our peril.

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In Defence Of Andrew Neil’s Anti-ISIS Rant – Political Journalism At Its Best

No, Andrew Neil’s magnificent anti-Islamist rant was not a violation of the BBC’s commitment to impartiality

It’s a strange world where I find myself writing in support of Andrew Neil twice in the same week, but then these are very strange political times.

Nick Cohen sings Andrew Neil’s praises in The Spectator this week, before going on to condemn Neil’s rousing anti-ISIS monologue at the start of his This Week programme – a speech which this blog strongly supported – on the puzzling grounds that it broke the rules on journalistic impartiality.

Cohen writes well as always, but there are so many mistaken premises and inaccurate comparisons in this piece that a proper rebuttal is needed.

His criticism of Neil begins:

Everywhere you look you can see broadcasters following Neil and Snow and pushing against the fuddy-duddy rule that they must show ‘due impartiality’. The Church of England is joining in, and pushing against equally antiquated restrictions on political and religious advertising.

They must be stopped. However admirable Neil and Snow’s sentiments are, and however inoffensive the Anglican’s celebration of the Lord’s Prayer was, we have to shut them up. The BBC and Channel 4 should never have broadcast their interviewers’ opinion. The cinema chains were right to tell the Church of England it was not welcome on their screens.

Britain is a country with rules to prevent wealthy politicians buying votes and wealthy televangelists buying converts. We are also a country that has fought to maintain the principle that broadcasters must be politically neutral – not always successfully, I grant you.

Three points here. First, the requirement for broadcasters to show ‘due impartiality’ applies to news programmes, and not to commentary – least of all when we are nowhere near a general or local election, the time when the rules governing broadcaster impartiality are at their strictest. The BBC’s This Week is a political magazine show, not a straight-laced news bulletin. Of course one would not expect Evan Davis, Kirsty Wark or Huw Edwards to pepper their delivery of the news with caustic criticisms or sarcastic asides – that would be highly improper. But a political magazine show is by definition an opinion-based show, relying for its content on a parade of partisan guests from different political parties and the media.

Cohen attempts to lump Andrew Neil’s tirade against ISIS along with Jon Snow’s coverage of the Israeli siege of Gaza, but this is comparing apples and oranges – one is a daily news bulletin required to be impartial, and one is a weekly talk show where opinions and partisan debate are essential ingredients.

Second, this is Andrew Neil we are talking about – a seasoned veteran journalist and businessman with a vast political Rolodex and a personal “brand” all of his own. Neil was also editor of the right-leaning Sunday Times for over a decade, is chairman of the company which owns the reliably Tory-friendly Spectator, and in previous life was a researcher for the Conservative Party. Neil was never supposed to be an anonymous newsreader, nor is he marketed as one – people watch This Week because Andrew Neil presents the show, and they know exactly what they are getting when they do so. The BBC are fine with that, and there is nothing to suggest that either the letter or the spirit of the rules are not being followed.

And thirdly, while Cohen’s assertion that Britain is “a country with rules to prevent … wealthy televangelists buying converts” might plausibly be true, we are also a nation with an established state Church – one whose grasping tentacles reach into nearly aspect of our politics and our national life. The ongoing row about the Church of England’s cinema advert is a separate issue, but we should not pretend that our United Kingdom is a nation where we even pay proper lip service to the concept of separation of powers.

When meddlesome bishops speak out in parliamentary debates without a shred of a democratic mandate, and when there are still scenarios whereby the Queen might conceivably end up picking the next government, we should not act as though there is some ancient and grave constitutional requirement for television stations to broadcast opinionless, equivocating platitudes 24/7.

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Cohen continues:

Broadcasters themselves know a dirty secret newspaper editors understand too well: extreme opinions sell. They confirm the partisan in their beliefs and draw in outraged opponents.

[..] Broadcasters want a piece of that action. Opinion is cheap. News is expensive. The public watched Andrew Neil and Jon Snow’s polemics in their millions. What possible justification is there for insisting on balance, accuracy and impartiality?

It may be the case that news is expensive while opinion is cheap, but without the forceful expression of political opinions there could be no This Week in the first place – indeed, there could be no Question Time or Newsnight interviews either, let alone the crucible that is Radio Four’s Today Programme. And if Cohen is saying that the host should always be impartial even on political magazine shows then he sets a standard which can simply never be met, since every raised eyebrow, incredulous glance, rude interruption or “gotcha moment” will be seized on as evidence of deepest bias. Far better that we have good presenters with transparent histories like Neil, and then allow the public to adjust their perceptions accordingly.

Besides, this is not a question of political neutrality, at least as we traditionally understand the matter. Britain is not at war with a sovereign nation, however much ISIS may try to strut and pose as such. We are in conflict with a nihilistic, totalitarian death cult which seeks to spill the blood of everyone who does not adhere to their harsh, warped interpretation of Islam. They stand for nothing save creating hell on Earth to please their petty, jealous and vindictive god. Why shouldn’t the presenter of a serious political talk show be able to say that which we all know to be true?

And since when did expressing an opinion prevent something from being “real journalism”? Is Cohen himself not a journalist because his Spectator piece failed to strike an impartial position between Andrew Neil and himself? Whenever a broadcast news presenter reports on a “horrifying murder” or a “tragic death” they are making a value judgement and presuming to speak on behalf of the 99.5 percent of people who will agree with them. There is no moral or statutory requirement for the newsreader to treat criminal and victim alike in their tone and description, nor should there be. Similarly, ISIS are torturers, rapists and murderers. They break the law every moment of every day in their campaign to spread hatred and ignorance around the world. What’s wrong with saying so?

If ISIS were a legitimate, functioning state or political party and Andrew Neil went on a two minute tirade about their fiscal policy or industrial strategy then there might be grounds to accuse him of political bias. But that is absolutely not the case. Andrew Neil saw ISIS (or Islamist Scum, as he now calls them) take their patented formula of death and suffering, and smear it across the bright lights of Paris one unsuspecting Friday night, and he called it what it was – an act of savage murder that history suggests is doomed to fail in its stated goals.

If ISIS supporters were greatly offended by Neil’s words and lack of objectivity then by all means they can submit a complaint via OFCOM or the BBC Trust. I rather hope that they try.

But they do not need Nick Cohen – or anyone else – to help them out.

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The Daily Toast: After Paris, Andrew Neil’s Bravura Anti-Islamist Speech

Three cheers to Andrew Neil for his bravura speech praising Western enlightenment values in comparison with murderous “Islamist scumbags” – and their sleazy apologists on the British Left

It’s fair to say that this blog has not always been the biggest fan of Andrew Neil, or what he has done with the BBC’s flagship political television output.

But I have only admiration for his opening monologue on today’s Daily Politics, responding to last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris. It’s worth transcribing Neil’s speech in its entirety:

Welcome to This Week. A week in which a bunch of loser jihadists slaughtered a hundred and fifty-two innocents in Paris to prove the future belongs to them rather than the civilisation like France.

Well, I can’t say that I fancy their chances. France: the country of Descartes, Boulez, Monet, Satre, Rousseau, Camou, Renoir, Berlioz, Cézanne, Gauguin, Hugo, Voltaire, Matisse, Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Satie, Pasteur, Molière, Franck, Zola, Balzac, Blanc, cutting edge science, world class medicine, fearsome security forces, nuclear power, Coco Chanel, Château Lafite, coq  au vin, Daft Punk, Zizou Zidane, Juliette Binoche, liberté, égalité, fraternité and creme brûlée.

Versus what? Beheadings, crucifixions, amputations, slavery, mass murder, medieval squalor, a death cult barbarity that would shame the Middle Ages. Well, IS, or Da’esh, or ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever name you’re going by, I’m sticking with IS – as in Islamist Scumbags.

I think the outcome is pretty clear to everybody but you: whatever atrocities you are currently capable of committing, you will lose. In a thousand years’ time, Paris – that glorious city of lights – will still be shining bright, as will every other city like it, while you will be as dust, along with a ragbag of fascists, Nazis and Stalinists who have previously dared to challenge democracy. And failed.

What a marvellous, stirring speech in defence of Western civilisation. Between Andrew Neil and John Oliver, here we have all the response we need to those who preach an ideology of hatred, ignorance and death.

If only more of our political and civic leaders had the self-confidence and moral fibre to speak like Neil (Oliver would probably be going too far) – and not just in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on a European capital – perhaps we would not be facing such a crisis of confidence in Western and British values.

And that crisis of confidence is unfortunately summed up in some of the responses to Neil’s speech on Twitter:

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Through an insatiable desire to signal their virtue, flaunt their multiculturalist credentials and deliberately misinterpret those who dare to criticise the Islamists – but never Muslims in general – there are some on the Left who will only ever see bad in the West, and a plucky underdog in the murderous fanatics who bring death to innocent people in Paris, Madrid, New York and London.

These people are despicable. If our civilisation does ever collapse, it will be entirely thanks to their self-flagellating, virtue-signalling, moralising vacuity – not the Islamists, whose brief time strutting around the world stage will perish just like all of the failed ideologies that came before it.

A big toast to Andrew Neil for a full throated and very welcome defence of Western enlightenment and civilisation in the face of primitive Islamist barbarism.

And shame on each and every one of the virtue-signalling, West-hating, terror-appeasing, amoral leftists who chose to attack the speech on social media to flaunt their warped “tolerance” credentials.

They and the murderous Islamists fully deserve one another.

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