James Forsyth James Forsyth

The need for a strong man to strong-arm the new counter-terror policy

If the counter-terrorism strategy the government is announcing today is to succeed, it will have to overcome bureaucratic opposition and institutional inertia. As Dean Godson writes in The Times today (£), senior civil servants in the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism are highly reluctant to accept the government’s new, more muscular approach to this issue and will go back to the old, failed way of doing things if given the chance.

If the Prime Minister’s writ is going to run across government on this issue, he is going to need someone working from the centre with Cameron’s explicit backing whose sole role is to supervise the implementation of the policy — the Home Secretary has too much on her plate to expect her to do this task alone. Paul Goodman nominates Lord Carlile for this job over at Conservative Home

Cameron’s decision to move the government away from its strategy of dealing with – and even, in some cases, funding — extremist Islamist groups on the grounds that they were OK because they were not violent is an important step in the reassertion of fundamental British values. He needs to make sure that this policy is not undermined by any part of the government machine. 

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