Dan Wootton: There are incredibly important issues that must be tackled to avoid bedroom jihadi's attacking again
Here is Dan's view of the world today
Reform Prevent to Stop Terror
While the bulk of the political and media establishment steadfastly continue to look away from the very real threat of Islamist extremism, despite police publicly declaring that it’s the likely motivation behind the brutal killing of Sir David Amess, there are incredibly important issues that must be tackled to avoid bedroom jihadi's attacking again.
Crucially, the role of Prevent, the programme meant to stop prospective radicals BEFORE they attack. Too many times Prevent, which is currently a voluntary scheme, has failed.
It is believed Ali Harbi Ali – who has been arrested over the stabbing and continues to be questioned by cops – had been previously referred to this programme at 17 by a teacher but not considered to be at the highest risk of radicalisation.
The Times newspaper reveals today the programme should be overhauled because it is currently “too soft on intervention”, with MI5 and counterterrorism police given a greater say.
The length of the programme should also be tripled to three years, a report by historian and writer William Shawcross will recommend.
I back such a move wholeheartedly, but there is no time to wait.
Of the 6,287 referrals to Prevent in the year to March 2020, 24 per cent were linked to Islamist extremism, 22 per cent to extreme-right radicalisation and the rest unclear.
Security officials have warned lockdown may have resulted in more and more lone wolf Islamist terrorists plotting from their bedroom having been inspired by sick videos from hate preachers like Anjem Choudary, unbelievably still available online.
One Rule for Them, One Rule for Us Mugs
We know by now that, when it comes to coronavirus restrictions, it’s one rule for us mugs and another for the folk who insisted on us following draconian mandates.
First, Dominic Cummings. Then, Matt Hancock. And now Boris and Carrie Johnson, who were able to spend Christmas last year with Carrie’s close friend – the campaigner Nimco Ali – after forming a so-called childcare bubble, according to Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
The dystopian guidance issued by the government at the time said…
“You can only use a childcare bubble for childcare. You cannot use a childcare bubble to mix with another...“You can only use a childcare bubble for childcare. You cannot use a childcare bubble to mix with another household for other reasons.”
Ms Ali isn’t a nanny or babysitter, she’s their pal and a Home Office adviser now.
I woke up alone on Christmas Day 2020 – I didn’t see my family or my partner – because I was scheduled to be in the office editing The Sun, where I used to work. I know so many of you made the same sorts of sacrifices – not seeing new-born grandchildren for their first Christmas or dying relatives for their last.
While Downing Street say no rules have been broken, this farce makes my blood boil.
You know these rules were a travesty, given the people implementing them didn’t even believe in their spirit.
We must never forget that.
God Save Our Youthful Queen
As much of the royal world began to panic when the Queen arrived at an event last week with a walking stick in hand, Her Majesty clearly shares my long-held vision that she will be able to reign for decades to come.
The 95-year-old, it was revealed today, turned down an Oldie of the Year Award, because it simply wouldn’t reflect how she feels.
The monarch's assistant private secretary Tom Laing-Baker wrote to The Oldie saying…
"Thank you for your letter of 30th July, addressed to Sir Edward Young, asking if The Queen would accept The Oldie of the Year award. Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such The Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept, and hopes you will find a more worthy recipient. This message comes to you with Her Majesty's warmest best wishes.”
Amen, sister. In a genius move, the magazine’s editor found a brilliant way to use the rejection to design a powerful cover for Oldie Magazine all the same.
"You're as old as you feel"
Her Majesty The Queen salutes our Oldies of the Year.
God Save the Queen.