Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson may not be the sharpest tool in the box. But, having been the Tories’ chief whip, he does possess an abundance of low cunning. Put together with an appreciation of the kinds of stories sure to get our free and fearless press salivating, he has set a hare running which ticks all the right boxes: Law and Order, Human Rights, and of course Scary Muslims (tm).
The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail were keen to tell readers what Gav had in mind: “Gavin Williamson told the Daily Mail Britons who have fought for terror group should never be allowed to come back to this country … And he said those who were intent on bringing 'destruction, death and bloodshed' onto the streets of the UK were being 'hunted down' and that threat ‘eliminated’”.
So what if I do get chauffeured around in a f***ing bullet-proof limo, c***?!?
Dan Jarvis, who used to be a Proper Soldier, was unimpressed: “Williamson’s comments are at best naive – the hubris of someone insufficiently experienced for their position. But at worst they are morally, legally and practically wrong. They imply a desire for extrajudicial killing to form part of Britain’s security policy”. And there was more.
“Courageous restraint requires extraordinary moral resilience … But how we utilise force is what differentiates us from our opponents. Soldiers know they lose their legitimacy when they sink to the level of the terrorists they face, and that such legitimacy is maintained through the rule of law. If soldiers understand that, secretaries of state should too”.
I'm dead hard, me. Honest
That was like the proverbial red rag to a bull: today’s Mail goes completely gaga at the idea that we should adhere to the rule of law, howling “I will NOT back down: Defence Secretary stands his ground after facing outrage from Labour and the legal establishment over his vow to 'eliminate' jihadis”. Williamson justifies going beyond Dirty Harry by simpering “The British people want to make sure that our streets are safe”.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
Also instructed to go over the top in no style at all is the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), sniffing “Our new Defence Secretary cuts a slim and boyish figure, leading some colleagues to give him the sneering nickname ‘Private Pike’”. Quent knows all about sneering. But do go on. “In yesterday’s Mail he made bracingly plain his politically incorrect thoughts about British citizens who go abroad to fight for Islamic State … He would prefer them to be killed than readmitted to our country, comments at odds with years of hand-wringing from Establishment human-rights types”. So guess who’s next?
Yuman Rights for brahn people, Guv? Nah, iss not on, innit?!?
Yes, tedious and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn brought up the rear of this particular pantomime horse with his customary pub bore tedium: “This column has long maintained that those who travelled abroad to join Izal should be stripped of both their passports and their citizenship and denied re-entry to this country … Ideally, they should be put up against a wall and shot through the head in whichever disgusting desert hell-hole they have chosen to make their home”. The manager says You’ve Had Enough, Dicky Boy.
Dan Jarvis was right. We sink to that level, we can forget claiming the moral high ground. And good to see that Dacre, Quent and Dick once again validate what Stanley Baldwin said in 1931: “What the proprietorship of these papers is aiming at is power, and power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot through the ages”. He was meaning the Rothermeres then. That affliction still persists with the same family today.