Beyond Tony Blair, apparently. Fraser Nelson in the 18th November issue of The Spectator has more. It’s subscription only, but these passages in particular are worth noting:
The fiasco of Tony Blair’s terror strategy has been one of the best-kept secrets in Whitehall. As a matter of principle, the Prime Minister never answers questions about MI5 or MI6 — although he enjoys flaunting what he claims is his close relationship with the ‘professionals’. Those affected by his years of indecision have tended to keep their counsel. But fractured pieces of information can be collated to form a wider picture of chaos, disharmony and a sense of betrayal…What Dame Eliza did not say is that the political framework within which MI5 and MI6 must operate is in appalling disarray — and that the delay in setting a sure trajectory has given the terrorists a long and potentially lethal head start. The current strategy, ‘Project Contest’, was designed in 2002 — a time when Mr Blair thought fighting terrorism meant firing Tomahawk missiles into Kabul. What should be a Bond-style blueprint for rooting out terrorists with urgency and ingenuity reads like the woolliest sociological lecture by Sir Ian Blair [the head of London's Metropolitan Police] into the causes of crime. In the document, Islamic terrorism is explained in terms of social exclusion. ‘Most Muslims suffer high levels of disadvantage,’ it says — as if this were somehow a reason to blow yourself up on the London Underground. Amazingly, the Sure Start nursery scheme, [finance minister] Mr Brown’s pet project, is billed as a means of helping to defeat terrorism by promoting ‘cohesion in communities’. Of course, the biographies of the London bombers disproved the deprivation theory…Like the 9/11 bombers, they were not drawn from the underclass. For more than a year, Mr Blair has known that his terrorism strategy is useless. Last autumn the No. 10 Delivery Unit handed him a confidential report based on an investigation into the way in which Project Contest was seen within Whitehall. Its findings were devastating. ‘The strategy is immature,’ the document said. ‘Forward planning is disjointed or has yet to occur. Accountability for delivery is weak. Real world impact is seldom measured.’ This is what intelligence officials — from Special Branch to the Ms and Qs of Whitehall — thought of their marching orders. Yet, staggeringly, Project Contest has survived for want of a better idea.
If you need only one fact to sum up this dangerous and pathetic shambles it is that a nursery school program is included as a weapon in the fight against Islamic extremism.
A nursery school program.
What more can I say?