Talk about Newsnight

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Monday, 5 November, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 5 Nov 07, 05:51 PM

Teenage terrorists

"Extremists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in the UK. They are radicalising, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism."
These are the words of the Director General of the Security Service.
His audience? Oh, just a bunch of newspaper editors. A write up on the PA news wires later, and guess what tonight's headline is in the London Evening Standard? "The Teenage Terrorists."
So the timing ahead of the Queen's speech may be a little suspect, and the newspaper reaction may have been calculated, but is the head of MI5 right? How widespread is the "grooming" of young people for terrorism? We speak to the head of a children's charity who says she has had to intervene to stop her young charges from becoming radicalised, and we have a live interview with a former - and senior - member of a radical Muslim organisation.


So the Elections in Pakistan will go ahead after all in January, Musharraf's Government said today, but can we believe them? What has been the pressure behind the scenes from Washington. Were the West right to invest so much in the General all along? We'll speak to politicians in Pakistan and the US.

Queen's speech

Can Gordon Brown seize the initiative in tomorrow's Queen's Speech and set out a vision for his Government? Or will we see a shopping list of policies, most of which we've heard before? Michael Crick has been on the case.

Beer rebranding

Finally, we have a fascinating film from Jackie Long on the attempts of Stella Artois to rebrand its beer, as it tries to shed its nickname as the "wife beater’s drink of choice".

Tonight, with Jeremy at 10.30.

Comments  Post your comment

Who will it be today - Ed Husain, Maajid Nawaz or Shiraz Maher?

Can't wait for more of the same, Richard Watson et al.

Why do I still pay my TV licence with melodramatic stuff like this?

I'm glad the kids will be in bed.

  • 2.
  • At 09:32 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Mark Henri wrote:

Stella Artois should be interesting - has a massive problem but they seem to be trying. Very brave of them to do this so have to give them some credit!

  • 3.
  • At 10:37 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Djcoussens wrote:

Well done Sumayyah! You are not alone in being sick with the Terrorists-are-coming!! nonsense. I would gladly pay an increased license fee (wihtin reason) if the BBC held a "Terror-free" week of news programming. There are of course exceptional things that should be reported involving Terrorism, specifically Iraq and Aphganistan, but London?, Bradford? Why do i not feel scared on the tube or on buses regardless of how many Muslims ride with me. Am I exceptionally brave or are others exceptionally stupid.
Someone really should complain about Ed Hussain. The boy is obviously traumatised about his time in the al-qaeda cult, but I'm afraid that does make any more qualified to offer solutions than you or I. In fact, he is in part the patient not the cure. He'll be laughing in the end however, as the offers from Washington based pro-Israel "think tanks" roll in. Just like Hirsi Ali, another unqualified runaway from conservative eastern society will be treated like a harvard graduate on middle-eastern studies.
How much nonsense are the British people prepared to swallow?

  • 4.
  • At 10:47 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Dave Appleby wrote:

What was the name of the former HT activist speaking tonight? and when he said this is what "we're" trying to do was he reffering to an organisation?

  • 5.
  • At 10:52 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • noz wrote:

drum roll.........

this time its maajid nawaz

from what i can remember, shiraz was on most recently featuring Ed, so it had to be maajid's turn

how comes rashad zaman ali doesn't get a turn?

  • 6.
  • At 11:00 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Peter Dewar-Finch wrote:

The time has now come to tell all Muslims to leave our country. Hindus are happy to integrate into British life, as are Chinese, as are Jews and other minorities. The only ones who describe themselves as “disassociated” are those people who call themselves Muslim. I am not racist. I am happy to welcome people of all nations to our country, as long as they are happy to contribute to our country and its culture, to respect us and share our country. All Muslims want to do is to kill us!

It is time we told every single person who describes himself or herself as Muslim to go. I don’t see any reason why a responsible government should not send them letters demanding that they leave, or risk being arrested and deported. It is a governments first duty after all to care for the people of this country. I don’t view tolerating constant threats of murder on the population as caring for the people.

  • 7.
  • At 11:31 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Pardon Me ? wrote:

Are our hearts now bleeding for a nation of pussies who can't even handle a pint of beer..?
It cannot possibly be the +/- 1% difference in alcohol content that turns lovable young Englishmen into the obnoxious scum so often seen on the streets of Blighty.
As an expat enthusiast living in Belgium, I can swear that this stuff is totally normal, and that wife-beating is absolutely NOT a national consequence. Personally I take Stella with a Jameson chaser, and have never had the kind of brain-fart that your interviewees almost boasted of - and neither have the rest of the poulation; this can't be blamed on beer. Shame on you Newsnight for taking this story seriously... it would have made a great farce.
This reportage reeks of traditional English naievity & exaggeration - remember Mary Whitehouse moaning & bitching about the sad attempts at soft porn once available in WH Smith? while the rest of Europe and the World got on with the normal & everyday adult business of allowing adult genitalia to be displayed to adults in an adult context ?
I do. Come on, grow up guys - this is about the (mis)behaviour of a part of the population and not about the products that they consume.

I don't expect comment #4 to be around in the morning, but I do applaud the Newsnight team for allowing a bit of free speech for a short while.

  • 9.
  • At 12:01 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Steven @ Belgium wrote:

I find it very wrong to blame Stella Artois for the problems England has with alcohol. In Belgium it is one of the normal beers and with 5,2°% not even that strong. Not that ther are no problems with alcohol, but they are not the drinks fold, only the drinker. drinking is something you have to learn, in a protective surroundings. Learn how far you can go, set boundrys and respect them. Dont blame good beer, blame overprotectionism. I always want to discous this over a beer with taste, cheers.

  • 10.
  • At 12:03 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Maninderpal Sahota wrote:

Suggestion for analysis:

Why has the West put so much faith in Benazir Bhutto...why is felt that the only choice in Pakistan is between a military dictator or a deeply corrupt politican?

  • 11.
  • At 12:10 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Silkstone wrote:

Whether it was meant to be a sympathetic throw-away line or not, the off-hand way in which our Head of State was referred to as 'the poor old queen' came across as being condescending, disrespectful, ill- mannered and ill-timed. The line can be drawn at 'disdainful' - but it came pretty close

Considering that our now elderly, but extremely dignified Monarch has served the people of this Country with a loyalty, dedication, and an unselfish and unstinting commitment that has been second to none for more than fifty years, is worthy of far greater mention than what was said tonight.

  • 12.
  • At 12:12 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • State of emergency wrote:

We should be told what could happen were a free election to be held in Pakistan. To begin with, what parties exist and what do they stand for? Which has the largest support? Do opinion polls ever get held in Pakistan?

Reports are saying that the USA has attempted to impose Benazir Bhutto unto the President Musharraf with the aim of forming an alliance. This is an idea disliked by the President - which is one reason why he initiated the current situation.

Although B.Bhutto and/or her entourage appear quite regularly on the TV the pertinent questions don't seem to get asked/answered ie. what precisely is her relationship with the American regime?

It is also being reported that the current emergency law has been implemented to enable the President greater powers to crack down on the fundamentalists in the tribal areas and elsewhere.

The crackdown on the Lawyers and Judges may be linked with this but it's not clear exactly how.

Some cynics say that the President has to keep the fundamentalism going, in order to get money from the US for fighting against it.

Viewers living outside Pakistan, and those who live within it may like myself find it difficult to decipher precisely what is going on. So explanations getting to the root of the situation from programmes such as Newsnight could be helpful.

  • 13.
  • At 12:13 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Mike - Northumberland wrote:

Why do I cringe when I hear anyone describe Islam as a Religion of Peace?
It's because I hate being lied too and taken for a Dhimmi!

I would like an interviewer just for once following the declaration, ask the question 'WHEN'?

  • 14.
  • At 12:19 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

Instead of Premium Lagers, why not invest in the future. Get some Premium Bonds. There's a million cash prizes. Tax free. They don't knock you out. They don't leave you with hidden bad surprises. You can always get your money back. You can't get your innocence back. That's why my fee for this ad is going to A&E Ormond Street. No regrets with premium. If there's not a better way of improving society, then my name's Alan Sugar.

  • 15.
  • At 01:13 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • the cookie ducker wrote:

responding to some comments..

It would appear some kids are not in bed, some are educating themselves in the art of wiring up explosives and studying the philosophy of supernatural religious overt violent intent on its host. And since the 7th July bombing by men of a particular persuasion, we have no difficulty in 'swallowing' the reality that is the Islamic hatred of the west by Muslims.. yep, i will swallow most reporting from Newsnight and other media outlets regarding the terrorist threats from a culture(cult) so incompatible with the rest of us. I am only annoyed it took the BBC to drop its political correct stance an age in reporting Islam and its religious fevered hatred of the west. Thankfully now the BBC has woken up, albeit late in the day, and does not tip-toe around the subject or pretend its not there anymore. Its here, and its real, and any denial expressed, with the usual utterances from the usual suspects; shall always be treated from the rest of us with the contempt it deserves.

p.s: like all religions or some advertising agencies, they hook them in whilst they are young, their brains have not yet fully developed and are always very susceptable to suggestion and fairytales.
think of it- a young adolesent muslim and a promise of a multitude of virgins if you just connect the duracell to some wires, its an explosive combination... bad pun, sorry.

Excellent Jeremy tonight (34/10) - particularly with Daniel Markey & Wajid Hasan on the current crisis in Pakistan. I wasn't at all surprised by Jonathon Evans, MI5 Chief's so called shocked report that teenagers were being indoctrinated. When I was 18 (way back in 1994) at a London university, there was active recruitment going on and all of them used to attend Abu Hamza's Finsbury Park Mosque. These 18 year olds were indoctrinated and their influence spread to their younger siblings and their friends. The interview by Jeremy with Maajid Nawaz and Keith Vaz was extremely well discussed, highlighting what should be done to tackle it. The Stella report (or is it Artois report now?) by Jackie Long was brilliant! :-)

  • 17.
  • At 06:14 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • wappaho wrote:

Djcoussins hits the nail on the head - just how much nonsense are we prepared to put up with? I could have sworn that not two years ago I was assailed by interview after interview in which we were told that a) radicalisation was in our corrupt western imagination and b) even it wasn't it would be the government's responsibility not that of those adhering to the ideology from whence the radicalisation came. now, did I see before me last night not one but two inteviewees assuring me that 'oh yeah, I've known all about this radicalisation for the last five years' ?? well, thanks for sharing, not!!

thanks to mike - northumberland for the web reference. the majority of English muslims are peaceful and many are (very) intellectual. I anticipate a future England in which muslim English men and women (albeit bescarved which for me is a bit of a shame because it is a bit silly to try and cling on to the notion that the scarf represents women's empowerment and anyway I like to see hair and seeing the scarf makes my head feel itchy) represented in public office as generously as are intellectual and business jewish English people today.

those who will be left behind in economic development will be the stella crowd - sadly, whether we choose to talk about it or not, it's a gene thing, not quite so easy to re-brand

  • 18.
  • At 09:38 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Sir, Isn't it just too much of a coincidence that the night before the Queens speech the top guy from MI5 says the kids are gonna get us and by the way we need a few more quid. Even the cynical Newsnight viewer will say we have been here before. Wasn't this the same outfit that gave us 45 minute warnings, WMD's and all the other garbage that we were asked to swallow. Hans Blix said before the Iraq conflict 'we don't have enough guys on the ground' he was right. Old Etonians with plummy accents tend to stand out in Basra especially when asking in the marketplace above the vegetables 'have you seen any weapons of mass destruction lying about?'The days when we could infiltrate potential enemies with ill intent are long gone and besides we used to rely on our establishment figures like Philby and McClean to do it for us only they went a bit too far the other way, but we had Blunt and nobody would suspect him, would they? It will be interesting to hear if Gordon Brown listens to the call of the security services for more funds. If he resists it will be further retreat from Blairism but don't hold your breath.

  • 19.
  • At 11:43 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

Home Office crime statistics tend to suggest that Muslims are statistically under-represented in offending behaviour. It's the UK's Black population which is over-represented. One is, statistically speaking, more likely to be killed by a non-Muslim black person than a Muslim Asian. Proportional to their base-rate in the population, the latter are more law-abiding than indigenous White Britons.

Given the conflict in the Middle East and the threat which Islamic law (nb. not terrorism) presents to the core 'principles' of free-market capitalism (proscription of usury etc, not too long ago, something central to Christian values too), I suggest one should look to the pro-Israeli, pro-financial services sector lobby as that has the most to gain from the vilification of Islam, as Islam is the fastest growing, and most organised political group next to the Stalinist/Maoists with whom the Islamists have much in common (think Central Asian republics).

It's probably unwise to play down the low frequency, and low credibility of the Islamic 'terrorist' threat though, as this might provoke some security service(s) to create events to justify their seemingly constant warnings.

I suggest the threat to economic and political hegemony is real though. Look at the banks and special 'mortgages' for Muslims. Look at the group targeted most for sub-prime mortgages in the USA, it is predatory. The myth of 'equality', peddled by the same villains, is, I suggest, just an egregious subterfuge which makes their poorly regulated practices more difficult for some people to see just how predatory they are (see 'hyperbolic discounting' - it's pretty much like taking candy from babies as here, about 4 mins in).

The problem is, our economy seems to be dependent on these 'services' these days. Looking about us today (and listening to the above), can one really blame the Muslims for depicting some in the West as 'Son's of Satan'?

  • 20.
  • At 01:34 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

Sorry, how sexist of me - that should have been 'Sons And Daughters Of Satan', or (aptly perhaps) SADOS for short ;-)

  • 21.
  • At 02:02 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

Anyone would have thought Stella Artois was Absinthe after watching last night's Newsnight. Far more significant is the thousands of halucinating weed smokers now wandering the annals of Britain randomly attacking innocent citizens.

  • 22.
  • At 02:40 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Mwaha wrote:

Sexist? You politically correct types, honestly.

  • 23.
  • At 05:50 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • a j moores wrote:

What these drinking idiots dont seem to realize is that they are not drinking stella artois but some inferior lager brewed by Whitbreads (under licence) which they call stella artois. The real thing brewed in Belguim is far superior and tastes infinatly better.

  • 24.
  • At 06:07 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Mike - Northumberland wrote:

3. At 10:37 PM on 05 Nov 2007, Djcoussens:

Has anyone told you, you are not brave but very Silly?

Maybe given a chance these might tell you something:-

But they will never have that chance - will they?

  • 25.
  • At 07:36 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Sam wrote:

How can people say Stella Artois is a bad thing? I'm not saying its harmless, but its not the worst thing in the world. They're looking at the minority, me and everyone i know have been drinking Stella for years and its never done us any harm, whether it be physical or mental. If anything i've known more people to get angry off drinks like fosters or carling. Above all else it tastes better than other beers!

ps weed is not a hallucinogenic and it doesnt make you attack people, if anything it makes you more friendly, its cocaine we need to worry about

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