Image based on Anonymous by Vincent Diamante
David Cameron’s English lessons, Labour’s disastrous general election and the death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko are the three subjects the Right Dishonourable delve into in this week’s podcast.
Grandstanding at the Tory conference on Wednesday, David Cameron took the opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn for his description of the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden as a “tragedy”.
As the Right Dishonourable has now pointed out twice, the video in which the Labour leader is quoted from makes it clear that for Corbo the escalation of violence and the snuffing out of the rule of law is the real “tragedy”:
“On this there was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him [bin Laden], to put him on trial, to go through that process. This was an assassination attempt and is yet another tragedy upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center attack was a tragedy, the war in Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”
In return for this Cameron lambasted Corbyn for his “security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology”.
For a conservative it is strange to attack support for the rule of law as part of a “Britain-hating ideology”, especially since, as all good Tories know, it is partly Britain’s reputation for strong law that makes us such an attractive place to invest.
But stranger still is the implicit attack by Cameron on London mayor and Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson, even if his preferred successor is chancellor Gideon “George” Osborne.
Way back in December 2001, as the fumes from the destruction of the Twin Towers were still strong in the nostrils of New Yorkers, Johnson took to his column in the Torygraph to reject the notion that British squaddies should perform a summary execution if they came across bin Laden:
“Bin Laden should be put on trial; not in Britain, but in the place where he organised the biggest and most terrible of his massacres, New York.
“He should be put on trial, because a trial would be the profoundest and most eloquent statement of the difference between our values and his. He wanted to kill as many innocent people as he could. We want justice. It was a trial that concluded the tragic cycle of the Oresteia, and asserted the triumph of reason over madness and revenge.”
At the end of his piece Johnson does skirt over Britain’s commitment not to hand over crooks to the Yanks if there is a danger of them being executed (as was true in New York at the time), which does rather spoil things.
But even so, once this article is brought to Call Me Dave’s attention he will no doubt waste no time in denouncing Johnson for his “security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology”.
We await the prime minister’s response.
Image Credit – Boris Johnson, November 2011 by BackBoris2012 Campaign
The third sector got a stern warning from the Charity Commission on Wednesday after banned terrorist outfits laid hands on goods and funds belonging to British charities.
A statement from the commission reminded charities and those working in the third sector that they are obliged to report suspected terrorist funding offences during the course of their work, following a “small number of recent cases” in which charity assets were lost to terrorists.
“The commission is alert to the risks charities and their staff face when working in unstable and dangerous countries and locations and recognises the potential risk of loss to terrorist groups,” the statement read.
“It is for this reason that all charities working in areas where there is a risk of terrorism need to assess and manage the risks whilst always acting reasonably and in the best interests of their charity.”
According to the commission, an investigation by Counter Terrorism Command into the recent cases found “there was no indication that the charities involved had knowingly allowed their assets to be used for terrorism.
“However, whilst the charities had their own policies and procedures for reporting such incidents and losses internally, these did not include reporting such instances to a ‘constable’ in accordance with section 19 of TACT [the Terrorism Act 2000].”
In one instance an apparent offence was identified by Counter Terrorism Command because of a delay in reporting the incident to the police, but the unit took the view that it was not in the “public interest” to prosecute, an assessment the Crown Prosecution Service agreed with.
Charity staff and volunteers are obliged to report such incidents as soon as possible to police and the Charity Commission, and charities should train staff and put in place policies to facilitate such reporting.
News broke today that Islamic State (IS) terrorists have apparently beheaded the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
Should the video be verified, which seems likely at this point, it will be only the latest in a series of such killings committed to video tape. Around August last year the American journalist James Foley was murdered in the same manner, prompting the US to start a military campaign against IS.