I actually quite like David Davis, the beaten contender for leader of the Tory party and now the shadow Home Secretary. He's always struck me as being fundamentally straightforward and, although rather bland and unshowy, I personally prefer that in a politician than the polished presentational political style of Cameron or Blair.
But much as I like the man, I can't say I think much of his ideas for beating terrorism as outlined in a three point plan in today's Telegraph.
I started worrying as soon as I read the headline "The only way we can beat the terrorists" and my fears were well grounded. Before getting on to Mr Davis three points for eradicating the biggest threat to western civilisation since the 1930's, it's worth noting that Mr Davis mentions the main protagonists - Muslims - only once. And only then to tell us not to do anything that might upset them.
[R]epressive measures risk driving young Muslim males into the arms of extremists and cutting off vital community intelligence.
Repressive measures? Like forcing women to marry people they've never met and killing them if they refuse? No, Mr Davis means "repressive" like detaining terrorists for long time without charge. I'm also opposed to the idea of holding people for long periods without charge - not because it might piss Muslims off, though, I just think it goes against the principles of British justice, the rule of law and our constitution. Not that our politicians give a damn about any of those things these days - they just care about not upsetting the Muslims.
Anyway, let's get back to Mr Davis' three point plan to save the world.
First, solid, comprehensive and joined-up intelligence to prevent attacks. Recent trials show that too many mid-range suspects are slipping through the net.
OK. Sounds fair enough, doesn't it - but like a lot of Tory statements of late there is no substance to tell us how this is to be achieved. How are you going to get "solid, comprehensive and joined-up intelligence"? Where is it going to come from? Who is going to coordinate it and make it "joined-up"?
Recent polls have shown us that a large percentage of the millions of Muslims who reside in this country are unlikely to provide that intelligence - let alone the hundreds of millions outside of Britain! Personally, I would take the responsibility away from the police. There job is to catch the day to day criminals - not counter subversion. That job belongs to the secret service. MI5 is currently not up to the job being, as it is, infested with the soft left liberalism which permeates every pore of our institutions to the highest level, but it is still the organ for the job and must be made fit for purpose. That would be far easier and quicker than creating a whole new organisation from scratch to take on the role.
Second, we need to take a zero-tolerance approach to anyone engaged in terrorism; that is the only way to scale back the growing threat.
Now that's more like it, David. Or so it seems until you read the next line.
It means banning extremist groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, stopping demonstrations that call for violence and a range of practical measures to strengthen law enforcement.
Is that it? Is that what amounts to "zero tolerance"? That just sounds like the rather quaint old-fashioned notion that we used to call "law enforcement". Extremist groups and demonstrations that promote violence are illegal and the police have all the powers they need to enforce those laws - it's just that soppy left liberals won't let them.
The idea of "zero tolerance" to anyone engaged in terrorism is a ridiculous statement anyway. No one actually believes we should be "tolerant" of terrorists - well, one or two, maybe, but not that many. What we have to demonstrate is that we will not give in to terrorism but that any act of terrorism will be met by punitive measures on the ideology that promotes that terrorism - and that ideology is Islam.
My idea of "zero tolerance" to Islamic terrorism is a bit less tolerant - it's not tolerant at all. For example, ban the building or conversion of existing buildings into new mosques. When there is a Christian cathedral in the heart of Mecca - then they can have a new mosque in London. Outlaw the practice of Halal butchery - as they do in Switzerland. There are very good grounds for doing this anyway as it is a barbaric and inhuman practice.
Prohibit the wearing of religious dress (including head scarves, face masks, and long robes) in state schools - they wear the school uniform as laid down in the school rule book or they go elsewhere. Again, I'd personally take that further and make it compulsory for girls to wear skirts no lower than knee length (no higher, either). If they don't like it, tough. Go private.
There are a number of things we can do to demonstrate "zero tolerance" to Islamic imperialism, but giving more and more concessions isn't one of them. On to Mr Davis' third and final nail in the coffin of Islamic terrorism.
Third, we must strengthen our resilience to attack, starting with a dedicated border police and extending to vital infrastructure protection. Why, two years on from 7/7, does the communications system on the London Underground still not join up with the emergency services?
Sorry, but that is just mitigating the outcome of an attack - it will do nothing to prevent one occurring. And with anything and everything a potential target how exactly can we protect it all? This isn't a regular war we are fighting - they aren't trying to knock out our air defence capability or communication lines. They are trying to kill British people. They could do that just as effectively in, for example, a shopping mall, a bowling alley or a doctor's surgery. What are we going to do - have armed police in every public place?
And, although a dedicated border police (we used to have one called HM Customs and Excise - whatever happened to them?) might help stem the flow of immigrants - although I seriously doubt that it will have the slightest effect - it will do nothing to prevent attacks from home-grown terrorists (7/7), those who came here claiming asylum (21/7) or those who came here legally to fill the "skills gap" (London/Glasgow).
The final statement from Davis is perhaps the most glaring misconception.
The struggle we face can be won, not just contained. We do not need to accept the rising tide of home-grown terrorism. But the Government must end its fixation with repressive new laws and start focusing on early, decisive and robust action to stem the escalating threat we now face.
The struggle we face will NEVER be won through purely defensive measures and it will certainly end in defeat if we continue to offer concessions to those who threaten us and our way of life. The only way to defeat Islamic imperialism is by playing it at it's own game. It starts by implementing measures that tell Muslims -wherever they are - that we are not a soft touch. It starts at home by telling all Muslims that they either conform to our way of life or they leave (by choice or by force). It starts by telling Muslim states that they either make concessions to western lifestyles in their countries or Muslims in this country will face more and more restrictions on their lifestyles. And it starts by telling the states that sponsor and promote terrorism that we will hold them responsible and to account. Whoever they are.