Back off, Johnny come lately
I don't remember any of John Reid's predecessors having the audacity to patronisingly lecture Irish parents on keeping an eye on their offspring lest they be radicalised, although the IRA did have a political wing capable of, and actively involved in, recruiting for their cause. And, of course, the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland and terrorist attacks on the British mainland did not end because parents started talking politics with their children, but because the government eventually started to realise that the sledge hammer method of knocking people with a grievance into compliance does not work. British Muslims are nothing as organised as the Irish Republican movement was back then, but they will not accept responsibility and blame for the disastrous failings of British policy.
Direct rule did not work in Ireland, and thinly disguised direct rule will not work in Iraq or Afghanistan. Colonialism failed, and neo-conservative neo-colonialism espoused by New Labour will also fail. People's aspirations cannot be silenced with brute force. Threats and creating fear will not destroy dissent. Ex-communist Reid might admire Stalinist methods, but even Stalinism was ultimately defeated.
Reid's argument is that Muslim youth are being radicalised into becoming suicide bombers. He considers suggestions by parliamentarians from his own party that British foreign policy plays a part in disenfranchising Muslim youth as misguided. It must be the upbringing, and here only the home environment, not their experiences at British state schools and in British universities. Maybe the next step would be to serve anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) on Muslim parents who do not sufficiently instil the love for our government in their children. The bizarre nanny state New Labour has created wants to be appreciated whilst deceiving us.
The Hungarian people took to the streets this week because they were lied to by their government. Here in Britain, our government, our security services and our police lie to us all the time. They lied to us about weapons of mass destruction, they lied to us about trying to have a moderating influence on US policy in the Middle East, they lied to us about princess Diana, they lied to us about Dr David Kelly, they lied to us about Charles de Menezes, they lied to us about Ricin factories, they lied to us about chemical weapon depots in Forest Gate, they lied to us about liquid explosives, they lied to us a plot to blow up aircraft departing from Heathrow. Today's youth are internet-savvy and they ask why no proper evidence has ever been produced concerning the official story of events on 7/7. They ask why the multitude of surveillance cameras in London did not produce a single picture of the alleged bombers, they ask why the government wants to censor the nuclear ambitions of Iran, a country that has never threatened its neighbours, yet nod with approval when Israel, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons wreaks havoc in neighbouring Lebanon. Muslim parents stand a better chance making their children believe in Santa Clause than convincing them that our government has their best interest at heart.
Maybe John Reid, this Johnny come lately of New Labour's crusade to convert Muslims to "our values", should listen to Muslim youth instead of preaching to Muslim parents. Instead of removing hecklers and protesters with brute force, just as they did with an 83-year-old anti-war protester at the last Labour conference, the government should afford them some freedom of speech and start listening to what really bothers them. It won't be comfortable listening and it is highly unlikely that Reid and company have the stomach for it, but it remains a necessary step to halt the growing disillusionment of today's youth (and not just Muslims) with politics and politicians. Instead, almost as a self-fulfilling prophecy, our guardians of society want to antagonise and radicalise their own people in order to cement their power.