08/02/2020
8 Feb 2020

Terror cells

8 Feb 2020

Terror cells

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Features
Ian Acheson
Terror cells: how Britain’s prisons became finishing schools for extremists

Sometimes it appears as if, over the past ten years, the government has been actively trying to destroy the whole criminal justice system. It’s like an evil experiment: impose a 20 per cent cut in the prisons budget, meaning a 26 per cent reduction in the number of operational front line staff — then sit back and see what happens. What happened was predictable, with disastrous consequences for both inmates and the public.

Terror cells: how Britain’s prisons became finishing schools for extremists
Rory Stewart
As prisons minister, I saw how bad things really are on the inside

What happened on Streatham High Road last weekend was exactly what I had feared during my time as prisons minister: a recently released convict mounting a terror attack. It was the second incident of this nature in Britain in three months, but the truth is we are lucky that there have not been more like it. When I was appointed prisons minister in January 2018, I was introduced to the full scale of the problem.

As prisons minister, I saw how bad things really are on the inside
Freddy Gray
After Iowa, Donald Trump looks invincible

Any future history of the decline and fall of the American Republic ought to include a page or two on the Iowa caucuses of 3 February 2020. It’s a meltdown story for the ages. The Democratic party, desperate to undo the victory of Donald Trump in 2016, somehow managed utterly to cock up its first meaningful vote in 2020. The calamity is so great that it may turn the whole Democratic primary — and therefore this presidential election year — into a farce.

After Iowa, Donald Trump looks invincible
The Scottish literary giants who stoked the fires of Anglophobia

Though Scots are doubtful about secession from the UK, Scots literary figures and intellectuals are likely to be strongly, even aggressively, for it. Conspicuous in this is Anglophobia, which is a default position for many. At an extreme, it amounts to a rejection of the English and Scots unionists which conjures up the rhetoric of racial hatred. The influence of two large 20th-century figures has soaked into the Scots literary ground.

The Scottish literary giants who stoked the fires of Anglophobia
The Reverend Michael Coren
God’s honest truth? Homosexuality is hardly mentioned in the Bible

One has to feel for the good old Church of England. If there’s not a public relations crisis, best to create one. Sex outside of marriage, gay or straight, ‘falls short of God’s purpose for human beings’, the Church declared. A few days later, after a colossally negative reaction inside and outside of the Church, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York felt obliged to offer an ersatz apology: ‘We are very sorry and recognise the division and hurt this has caused.

God’s honest truth? Homosexuality is hardly mentioned in the Bible
Sinclair McKay
Did Britain commit a war crime in Dresden? A conversation

  In February 1945, the Allies, led by Sir Arthur Harris and Bomber Command, destroyed the historic city of Dresden, killing 25,000, most of them civilians. For the 75th anniversary, Sinclair McKay, author of a recent book on the bombing raid, and A.N. Wilson discuss whether it should be regarded as a ‘war crime’.   SINCLAIR MCKAY It was an atrocity. But I hesitate about war crime because war crime is a legal term and not a moral one.

Did Britain commit a war crime in Dresden? A conversation
Julie Burchill
Dining, swimming, therapy: why is everyone obsessed with going ‘wild’?

‘Wild’ used to be one of my favourite words. It was in all the songs I loved best — ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, ‘Wild Thing’, ‘Born to Be Wild’. How times have changed. Wild — once meaning brave, bold, reckless — is now yet another sanctimonious nag. Everyone seems to want to get in touch with their wild side. Dark green is the new black. Even vulgar Channel 5 has given us Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild, in which he ‘travels to remote corners of the globe to experience extreme lifestyles with those who have left modern-day amenities behind’.

Dining, swimming, therapy: why is everyone obsessed with going ‘wild’?
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