Julian Bray writes: The unfolding catalogue of horrors being widely reported in France, with fresh hostage takers and innocent bystanders being gunned down, seems to be entering a new phase as the various incidents are now being formally linked as part of a far wider campaign. The wave of Paris attacks bearing some of the hallmarks of jihadists, indoctrinated and possibly funded by the cash-rich al-Qaeda movement.
The problem for the French authorities and our own home grown administration is simply this generational breed of career terrorist does not work to conventional methods or ideals, they welcome the opportunity of being martyrs. The authorities - even if contact is established =- have to convince them that although they will be arrested, charged and will appear in Court, they will be legally represented but then have an opportunity to publicly put their views to a wider world audience during the trial.
If the suspects choose a 'suicide by cop' option this opportunity will be denied them. Not much of an option but at least it opens up a form of dialogue. Closer to home it adds a new dimension to the coming UK General Election, no more cuts to our already stretched armed forces and cuts in regional police numbers but significant NEW investment in the military, security and what the Americans call Homeland Security.
This should now rewrite the whole thrust of the election campaign, for all parties. It also puts a question mark over our own current political masters. The 'long term economic plan' and other electioneering mantras looks a bit thin and just like going through a domestic divorce, wrecks any form of planned finance. Simply it has just been literally shot to ribbons.
The party that puts 'defence of the realm' at the forefront of its election manifesto, now has to be the way ahead, or even consider cancelling the General Election and put us effectively gearing up for a 'war' footing. This has great economic implications, any type of war is expensive.
Time for pet projects to be unringfenced and that has to include all forms of international aid or support, and for example an immediate ban on overseas trips for MPs.
The British public no longer wish to hear or read about social security cuts, the NHS, or the wholly misplaced High Speed Railway.
|Sharing a joke in Stockport, whilst terrorists in Paris are shooting people. |
The Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor defer a COBRA meeting by a day,
so they can complete their visit to Stockport
Or the nonsense of a Northern Powerhouse, Our Prime Minister seemingly deferring a COBRA meeting to the following morning as he was electioneering up North. What a dire image this projects abroad, and the day after the USAAF closed down several long established air bases in the UK and moving the assets to Germany. Draw your own conclusions. We need to hear our politicians addressing the elephant in the room, worldwide terrorism. Nothing else now seems to be of interest. We also need to closely examine our diplomatic arrangements, sporting and cultural ties, with those who fund or in anyway support such acts.
Few if any of our current politicians were in power (or even born) during the IRA bombing campaign in London, I reported on it for major news organisations including the BBC,CBC,ABC and IRN/LBC and one bomb in Kensington SW10, was exploded just four doors down from my own house, leaving a 20 inch crater some 10 inches deep, and the sports car parked over it liberally distributed along the street. All our front facing windows (as was the entire street) were blown in but glass shards thankfully caught by heavy curtains.
The IRA, said the authorities at the time, were trying to reach the Hollywood Arms pub (then a typical busy Chelsea back street pub; before being made over and currently featured in the Made in Chelsea TV soap) which was next to the restaurant Brinkleys, where chef Anthony Worrol-Thompson first started his London career. Antonio Carluccio then a near neighbour, and frequented my own Wine Bar BRAYS in the Fulham Road and yet to embark on his restaurant career ).
But at the time the politicians we had, many came from a military background or had sound commercial and or business experience. These days few if any of our frontline politicians understand the needs of the military or business as most served their early careers as bag carriers for MP's or 'policy wonks' .
Really would you expect ANY of our front line politicians to fully understand Combat or Wartime action? Where are the Churchillian figures to lead and protect this country? Frankly we don't have any. When the French incident first started the attitude was ...we'll hold a COBRA meeting tomorrow morning ... Why on earth did our coalition government not say the meeting is in two hours, drop everything and be there? Hopefully current dire activities, effectively two sieges in France, will act as a long overdue wake up call, both sides of the Channel...
Update: Just before 5pm European Central Time (4pm UK) We've just seen the end game played out, the death toll now standing at 20, with 4 hostages being killed at the Kosher Deli in Central Eastern Paris. Two attacks, and the gunmen holed up in the second location printworks also killed.
Some casualties within the French police and the question remains why were the two attacks at different locations not launched within seconds of each other? The second attack was delayed by some 10 minutes. The thinking being that SMS messages could have been exchanged between the hostage takers. Still for now this is over, but what will tomorrow bring? Clearly this has been a game changer and hopefully a HUGE wake up call. The kid gloves are now off.
JULIAN BRAY 01733 345581, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN 01733 345020 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe > Updates are on the Website