Sadiq Khan saves growing row over police resources from becoming a farce

The row over Theresa May’s police cuts is going Gothic since Trump entered the fray to criticise London Mayor Sadiq Khan and then typically to repeat  his attack even though May tactfully corrected him. The London Evening Standard (editor George Osborne, the former chancellor sacked by May) details the developing story. It turns out Corbyn was prompted to call for May’s resignation by an ITV correspondent’s question. He in turn  had taken up  the resignation call from Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s tee- shirted sporting former Downing St guru now no longer a mate of Cameron’s and a Fox News presenter.

This is what Khan, a Moslem, wrote about the terror attacks  He has also weighed in with facts about  police cuts and police needs in London, as reported by the FT (£) .

Sadiq Khan.. claimed Mrs May was planning total cuts of £1.7bn to the Metropolitan Police budget over a decade, saying: “We are not receiving the sort of funding we need as a capital city

Mr Khan has in the past attempted to distance himself from Mr Corbyn and his criticism is likely to carry more weight, particularly given his role managing London.

… the criticism from Mr Khan could be damaging. Mr Khan said £600m had been cut from the London police budget over the past seven years and there were £400m more cuts to come over the next four years. He said that a planned change in the police funding formula could cost the capital a further £700m, amounting to a total cut of £1.7bn. Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, also made a muted call for additional funding to fight a terrorist threat. “All of us need to look at the overall strategy, the tactics, the resourcing and indeed what we are doing with in and with our communities,” she said. “So there is whole load of things to review.”

An Evening Standard leader puts flesh on the bones of May’s generalities but draws well back from calling for  her head. That would have damaged her further but would also have opened a fatal breach that would surely have killed off Osborne’s ambitions for resuming a political career and saving the nation from the disaster of Brexit .

Let’s stop complaining about the internet companies’ failure to act, and instead act ourselves to pass laws that force them to intercept all communication when faced with a warrant and remove Islamist material from their sites. It’s good to hear the PM tell us she is planning new legislation.

We need a definition of Islamist extremism. We have to be clear that there is a strand of Islam that foments violence. We need to identify its roots, and the Salafist/Wahhabist organisations and mosques that promote it. We should ban their foreign funding. We should identify the unacceptable aspects of their language, teaching and behaviour to help schools and colleges follow suit. How have our prisons become terrorist madrassas

But it is well past the time for what Mrs May calls the “difficult” conversation with that community. Why do so many Muslim families encourage their children to marry partners from the Indian subcontinent rather than those born here, making integration more difficult? Why do we accept attitudes and practices towards women that should be wholly unacceptable in the 21st century? We should judge Islamist extremism not just against the standards of the great religion of Islam but against the great values of Britain. Excusing intolerance has meant, in the Prime Minister’s words to us, “we have been too tolerant of extremism”.

Mrs May speaks for us all when she says “enough is enough”. She was in charge of counter-terrorism efforts for seven years as Home Secretary. That is a source of comfort, not concern; but after three attacks in less than three months, let’s not pretend everything is perfect. There seem to have been multiple opportunities to identify these killers and they were missed. Mrs May has our backing, not just when she highlights our successes but when she is candid about how much more we need to do. London mourns. London is defiant. But London also demands action.

 

 

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  • Wasn’t the editor of the Spectator the Chancellor when Mrs May was Home Secretary?

  • Brian Walker

    No Fraser Nelson the present editor became editor in 2009.

  • Neonlights

    Is it really the job of the Met to stop terrorist attacks? I thought that was the job of MI5, but maybe I watched too many films.

  • William Kinmont

    Do we not have religious groups/churches/families here which encourAge or inforce marriage within their own groups here?

  • ted hagan

    Extraordinary to see Corbyn basking in the ‘tough line on policing’ role, with the Conservatives on the back foot on a subject that is usually their strongest suit.
    I actually thought May would have challenged Corbyn on the ‘shoot to kill’ tactics used by the police on Saturday night in London, but that might have been viewed as a tad too opportunistic.

  • james

    I don’t think it is opportunistic, really – if he genuinely aspires to lead us as a nation through what may, sadly, be more of these sort of attacks then it is simply a question he cannot avoid.

    Given his sneaking, naive admiration for the IRA we are surely entitled to ask whether he toes the Sinn Fein line that IRA terrorists were ‘victims’. Does he also see the London attackers as ‘victims’. Did he feel it wrong that IRA men were shot in the act of committing terrorist offences? Does he think the police were wrong to shoot the Islamic terrorists in London?

  • ted hagan

    Corbyn recognised it was better to talk to the IRA, and open channels to the IRA, rather than to continue the increasingly senseless war against them. It was common sense, not ‘naive admiration’. Many other politicians, belatedly, had the wit to follow suit.
    Islamic terror is a different beast altogether without any recognisable command structure but rest assured, in time, if the West can find a way to open diplomatic back channels with the extremists, it will.

  • james

    On the few occasions the SAS were deployed, they routinely mopped the floor with the IRA.

    Personally, I always fely that what was missing was the political resoluteness to use the SAS a dozen or so times more in rapid succession to quickly break the spine of the IRA, and then (yes) offer negotiations with the cowed remnants. One suspects the Troubles could have been wound up about a decade earlier than they were.

  • ted hagan

    Yes, you obviously come from the Roy Mason school of terrorist recruitment.

  • Skibo

    The use of the SAS was actually resulted in an increase in volunteers to the IRA. All violence does is increase a spiral of violence. An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.

  • Skibo

    The use of the SAS was actually resulted in an increase in volunteers to the IRA. All violence does is increase a spiral of violence. An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.

  • james

    My suggestion was for a dozen or so operations in fairly rapid sequence – perhaps over the course of a year – to take out most of the hardened, most sectarian senior tier. Then offer negotiations.

  • John Collins

    The Tans tried all that in the South and more, including spraying a crowded Croke Park with bullets killing fifteen, shoting innocent men going about their busness, burning Cork City and ordinary households of suspected Ira men and creameries, shooting the Mayors of both Cork and Limerick, plus a former holder of that office, in front of their families and it all achieved absolutely nothing.
    By the way how is it the SAS never got the guy they called one shot Paddy.

  • Skibo

    Don’t you remember the shoot to kill operations? interestingly, we now see more and more information where Army plain clothes units were executing people on the streets in the early days.

  • TheHorse

    Yes of course we do, the Orange Order.

  • james

    Who did the army ‘execute on the streets’?

  • William Kinmont

    and some others

  • Skibo