David Cameron has given police and intelligence agencies further powers to crack down on those he decides are “terrorists” in a raft of new measures announced this week.
In a statement given to parliament on Tuesday, Cameron claimed that 500 British nationals had travelled abroad to fight in Syria and Iraq.
The announcement follows on from a hate campaign in the press about “British jihadis”.
Cameron said “a tough security response” was needed. This includes the possibility of “military measures” in the region as well as domestic legislation.
Police will be given powers to extend stop and searches at the borders to seize passports of people suspected of having fought abroad.
And powers will be given to remove British citizenship from people with dual nationality. Police and intelligence agencies are to be given stronger powers to restrict terror suspects’ freedom of movement.
Cameron claims that the new measures are in the interest of ordinary people.
He said, “We should be clear about the root cause of this threat—a poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism.”
But the root cause of the conflict and the growth of the Islamic State group is the history of Western intervention in the region.
The possibility of further bombing will only make the situation worse.
Cameron’s latest announcements reflect a deep crisis in the Tory party. He hopes to resolve it by shifting even further to the right.
Just eight months before the general election, the terror threat has been raised to “severe”.
Tory London mayor Boris Johnson said last week that terror suspects should be treated as guilty until proven innocent.
Shamefully, Labour has shown approval of the harsher measures.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would be happy to engage in cross-party talks on excluding citizens from Britain.
He said, “I welcome your commitment to make it easier for police and border authorities to seize the passports of those participating in the conflict”.
The main people to gain from the right wing consensus will be Ukip.
The crisis this has created in the Tory party broke to the surface last week when Douglas Carswell MP defected to Ukip.
We could now face an intensely racist campaign up to the by-election on 9 October in his constituency of Clacton, Essex.
Carswell has rocked the Tories. But it is folly for the left to luxuriate in their woes.
Ukip advances may sap the Tory vote, but they also drive politics rightwards and offer false solutions for the real problems people face. Ukip also grabs Labour votes.
The Stand Up to Ukip demonstration outside its conference in Doncaster on 27 September will be an opportunity to reject the scaremongering.