Op-Ed: UK Home Secretary Theresa May announced the terrorist threat level to the UK has gone up a notch, to severe, and Monday PM Cameron will announce measures aimed at fighting security threats in and to the United Kingdom.
Sunday political pundits are speculating what these measure will be.
The latest measure Cameron is reportedly considering is a temporary exclusion from the UK for would be foreign fighters. This would mean that British citizens fighting alongside Jihadists in Syria, Iraq or other countries would be banned from entering the UK for a period of time. They would keep their British passport and citizenship but temporarily at least be exiled.
Passports could also be seized from travellers from the UK viewed as potential terrorists or foreign fighters to prevent them leaving the UK. Previous measures were limited to foreign nationals, dual nationals or naturalised citizens but that could also change.
Cameron, Conservative, and his Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat, are thrashing out the bones of the changes this weekend. Historically Cameron has wanted tougher measures to tackle any perceived or potential threat to security in the UK while Clegg has fought to ensure civil liberties are not threatened; change too much to fight possible security threats and in some ways the terrorists have already won.
Labour are expected to support tougher measures but that is not a given. It will depend how far the changes go.
In 2011 one blog in the Guardian called Labour's measures on fighting terrorism "draconian legislation" saying that repealing them would reaffirm Britain's tradition of freedom. Control orders were eventually watered down with some claiming they never worked in the first place.
That however could all be forgotten Monday. Will the Tory Lib Dem coalition simply revert to control orders, with perhaps a new name, or can they actually come up with legislation that works against would-be terrorists without removing freedoms British people enjoy?
Former Liberal Democrat leader, and former member of the British military, Paddy Ashdown has urged the government to stay their hand. He believes a "knee jerk" reaction to the increased level of terrorist threat to the UK will be self-defeating.
He points to the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland saying that country operated with the same security threat level for years without restrictive legislation.
Ashdown says that the threat level in Northern Ireland has also been "severe" for the past four years, as it was in all of Britain for much of the 1980s and 1990s when the IRA posed the greatest danger.He argues that the current threat is "one we have faced before and one we know how to deal with – effectively, without panic and without a whole new range of executive powers which could endanger our liberties.
Getting the balance right will not be easy. All the main political parties will also have one eye on the 2015 General Election. They will want to try to please voters wanting tough measures and those wanting to protect freedoms. They probably will not be able to please everybody; that's life.
Safety is key but with some pundits saying the government is stoking fears which could in turn lead to ethnic tensions in the UK and ultimately more hate politicians are walking a knife-edge.
TEK will update Monday when reforms have been announced.
Op-Ed: UK resident Wadih Chourey, 44, has Down's syndrome. In 1997 Wadih and his family moved to the UK after he was tormented by bullies in Beirut. He had been cruelly physically and mentally abused by gangs in the Lebanon but final he was safe in the UK.
Sadly Wadih's parents have now died and adding to his pain are the British authorities who are trying to deport this man back to the Lebanon.
At time of writing Wadih lives with his two brothers in Twickenham.
He has integrated well into the community and locals are trying hard to prevent his extradition. Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat cabinet minister has joined his voice with those angered by the possible deportation decision.
Cable who is a local MP told media sources ‘This is a man who cannot cook for himself, who cannot operate a washing machine or use a computer.’ However lawyers acting on behalf of the Home Office claim that Mr Chourey will easily reintegrate into Beirut society; a place he left aged around 27, 17 years ago.
21st Century living in the Lebanon will bear little if any relation to life in London. Mr Choruey has a place in the community in Twickenham, will he be so lucky if forced to return to his birth country?
It is not clear either whether or not his brothers will also be deported or just Mr Choruey.
If he is sent to the Lebanon on his own he will probably not survive.
Twitter users have picked up this story and are now pushing to get the decision reversed.
Theresa May's Home Office staff will not comment as they say it would be ‘inappropriate to comment’ as the move is under appeal. They may however try to politicize a stay of extradition.
But the fact that the Home Office are even considering extraditing such a vulnerable man to a place with little stability is a sad and sorry sign of the times, here in the UK.
Vince Cable also said ‘His welfare is completely dependent on his brothers, who clearly provide a loving and caring home for him yet Home Office lawyers suggest there is nothing compelling or exceptional about the case and assume that Mr Chourey could seamlessly reintegrate into Lebanese life as if he never left.’
Opinion - Those lawyers then are either overpaid fools or heartless. You decide.
Please sign the petition to Save Wadih Chourey from deportation
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Commentary - English football players view the chance to play for their country at international level as something of a poisoned chalice. As for the role of England's captain that is definitely a mixed bag.
To the victor the spoils and in good times, with a win under their belts, the England squad and its captain would hold privileged positons. The problem is that on the international stage England's football squad have had difficulty brining home any trophies.
Liverpool player Steven Gerrard was the England captain during Brazil 2014; this was perhaps one of England's worst world cup performances but it is difficult to choose with so many being dismal.
Following England's early exit for the 2014 World Cup Gerrard said he did a lot of soul searching before finally deciding to throw in the captaincy of the national squad. That left an opening and Thursday England manager Roy Hodgson named his replacement as Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, 28.
Rooney is younger than Gerrard but old enough to have the necessary experience.
The problem though seems to be that English footballers are highly paid prim Donnas with inflated egos and little sense of national pride.
This was illustrated during world cup 2014 if you compared Germany to England; in truth there was no comparison.
Germany had style, flair, skill and a sense of national pride. England also put in an appearance.
So good luck to Wayne Rooney; you are probably going to need it.
Are English fans demanding or they just fed up of defeats?
It seems fair to say that England fans expect but are forever disappointed. Can Rooney change turn that scenario around? We hope so.
Another child abuse scandal in the UK must make foreigners wonder what the hell is going on in Britain; in fact it raises similar concerns at home.
The latest scandal centres around Rotherham in the North of England and it is being used by some for political opportunism; make no mistake though allegations of historical sex and child abuse in the UK are cross party. Rotherham however is a Labour stronghold with a very mixed ethnic population.
For those unclear about the Rotherham child abuse scandal check out BBC News timeline here for a full background to the story,
At the heart of the row is one man, Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, who was in a very different role for five of the sixteen years when abuse was rife in the town. He was responsible for children's services at the town council during a time when an estimated 1,400 children were abused.
Wednesday Wright posted his resignation from the Labour Party on his website but insisted he will stay in the police commissioner post.
Calls for him to resign as Police and Crime Commissioner have been ignored. Wright has spoken to the media but insisted he will remain in post. As the calls for him to resign increase the pressure is mounting him to do the 'decent thing'.
Holding an elected role makes it difficult for any person or persons to fire him; instead interested parties are pushing for him to resign. Wednesday Home Secretary Theresa May called for him to resign and Thursday Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg followed suit.
Wright has gone on record saying he is 'completely astonished' at the extent of child abuse in Rotherham but an inquiry into what is rotten in Rotherham was not convinced, The head of the inquiry "cast doubt on claims people had been unaware of the problem, which had been set out "unambiguously" in seminars and reports" according to Sky News.
Thursday Labour MP John Mann announced he is writing to Theresa May asking that an independent inquiry is launched; an inquiry which could lead to criminal charges against Wright and others. He wants an inquiry independent of South Yorkshire police hinting that otherwise it may not be free and fair.
Opinion; Many people should be held to account. Wright as the boss of children's services should resign. He may be in a different role these days but his links to the rot continue.
High-profile staff at children's services and police officers failed to investigate fully the allegations of young vulnerable children; they refused to hear their cries for help.
Operation Yewtree set up to investigate historical allegations of sex and child abuse by the late Jimmy Savile has unearthed many allegations which police failed to investigate. We have become used to hearing that another celebrity, such as Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall, have been accused but abuse has been more widespread.
There are allegations that Rotherham authorities failed to act as a paedophile ring was made up of Asian men; the insinuation is that the abuse was ignored for fear of allegations of racism. That has to be nonsense; if not Shaun Wright should be leading a long line of resignations or firing in Rotherham.
Note: Rotherham abuse - 1,400 children were abused, between 1997-2013. 30% of victims were already known to social services. 157 reports concerning child sexual exploitation made to police in 2013. 9 prosecutions were made. Source: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham
Shaun Wright 'Should Face Criminal Probe'
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