Since we have vaguely promised not to publish very lengthy blog postings, here is the first part of our commentary on Gordon Brown's speech today.
Feel free to add your own comments below:
There should be no safe haven anywhere in the world for terrorists.
Not even for "freedom fighters" who are called "terrorists" by brutal police states ?
Why is neither the Taleban nor any Chechen group on the UK official list of Proscribed Terrorist Groups, which would make it a criminal offence under the Terrorism Act 2000 to give them any support or finance etc. ?
Equally there should be no hiding place anywhere for those who finance terrorism.
And today I want to announce the framework of a new regime we are developing nationally and internationally for rooting out terrorist finance.
And I want to set out the framework too that Tony Blair and I have agreed for how our Comprehensive Spending Review will give priority to discharging what is the first task of government - the security and safety of the British people
Let me explain the context of our new measures.
If the allegations turn out to be proved, which of course is a matter for the courts to decide, on August 10th our security and intelligence services and police thwarted an alleged conspiracy more audacious and potentially more murderous than anything Britain has seen before.
Another NuLabour politican who simply cannot resist commenting in public, for political purposes, on a sub-judice trial, thereby risking a mistrial.
But August 10th was not the first threat since the events of July 7th 2005, when 24 men and 28 women were so tragically murdered on the trains and buses of London.
And it is only through the painstaking efforts of our security and intelligence services and police, with what has been reported publicly as many as five separate suspected conspiracies thwarted since July 7th, that more atrocities have been averted.
We offer a small prize to anyone who can actually name these "5 separate conspiracies" and give brief details about them.
They are still secret !
And sadly the threatened attacks have much in common - with the majority linked to Al Qaeda, each one of them not a gesture, but designed to ensure maximum damage; the majority appearing to involve home grown suicide bombers, who would kill themselves to maim or kill fellow citizens. And each one raises the hard questions a vigilant government and a vigilant country have to answer: what more can we do nationally and internationally to protect our national security; what more we can do to isolate terrorist extremists from the moderate mainstream; what more we can do to defeat terrorist violence in all its manifestations.
In 1997 the terrorist threat to Britain focused on the IRA.
Only because the Labour government chose to ignore Al Queda etc. - who first blew up the World Trade Center in New York in 1993
Now we face, in Al Qaeda, the first terrorist organisation with truly global ambitions.
Note the NuLabour re-writing of history, - in what way was, for example, the Comintern
not a terrorist organisation with global ambitions ?
In recent years Al Qaeda and the groups that they have inspired have attacked over 25 countries, killed thousands of people --- many of them Muslims -- and when we talk of networks across all continents we are describing a reality that that money is invariably raised in one country, used for training in the second, for procurement in a third and terrorist acts in a fourth - and the results broadcast in propaganda across the world.
In the last century, the main province of foreign policy was that nations had to guard against threats form other nations. And these threats still remain - demonstrated clearly yesterday by North Korea's irresponsible action, which our Government and the whole world condemn completely.
Remind us how well the Labour government's foreign policy has dealt with the threat of that Communist dictatorship ? The words "utter failure" spring to mind.
But now also we see how small groups of terrorists can cause carnage: enemies who do not need great armies nor, in practise, large amounts of money, weapons, or technology to put lives at risk; enemies without even a recognised formal chain of command, but enemies who can inspire imitators in the heart of our communities.
And so in addressing these new threats for whom there is no real precedent we are forced to consider every means, every necessary resource - all methods of diplomacy, all means of intelligence, all tools of law, policing and our security and military forces -- in order to discharge our first duty: to protect our citizens.
And in the face of this new threat it is right that at each stage we scrutinise the policies we have, the structures we have in place and the resources we have available and ask to what extent for the future challenges we have to meet they are fit for purpose --- not just to contain this new threat but overcome it.
Of course all the great challenges of today's new global society - from global economic competition to climate change - are important, but upon meeting and overcoming this challenge of global terrorism all else we value depends. So John Reid, the Home Secretary, and I have agreed that examining in detail the delivery and impact of our counter-terrorism resources will be a priority for the Comprehensive Spending Review over the next year. This will include considering again the case for a single security budget, an annual updated statement setting out the country's national security strategy.
In what way is this anything new ?
Surely the annual budgets are already reviewed, errr... annually ?
And today as we set in place our Comprehensive Spending Review I want to chart what we will do immediately to address terrorist finance; explain how, as a nation, we are improving the security of our own country in a comprehensive and cohesive way across military, security, intelligence, finance but also across culture and what underpins our comprehensive review; and also set out how we must address the roots of the problem - the grievances that terrorists exploit, and, crucially, the underlying despicable ideology that glorifies terrorism as an ideology.
First, terrorist financing.
In July, the government published its Counter-Terrorism Strategy setting out the steps we are taking.
This is called CONTEST
This document is almost completely devoid of any sensible "hearts and minds" strategy or even a credible "media and information" strategy.
Two weeks ago the report into the response to the London bombings was also published.
These reports show that not just the Home Office, but every department from transport to the environment is now focused on security, and they set out what has been done and still must be done immediately to learn the lessons and meet the scale of the challenge we face.
Some of you may be wondering what the Department of the Enivironment and Rural Affairs has got to do with terrorism ?
This is, presumbaly, why Margaret Beckett manged to wangle the trappings of power, like armed police guards, even before her current post as Foreign Secretary.
The Treasury's role is to take the lead in targeting terrorist finance and abuse of the global capital system.
Not very effectively, as we have commented before, after Brown's speech in February to the Royal United Services Institute, also on "security".
On August 11th we froze the assets of 19 of those suspects arrested in the alleged terror plot within 24 hours - in place before the banks opened the morning after the arrests.
Remind us how people under arrest are in any position to withdraw or transfer money ? They are not.
This process identified the names and dates of birth and approximate home addresses of the 19 suspects, who had not yet even been charged with any crime, and led to lots of press and media speculation, fueled by obvious Government leaks and briefings.
What has happened to the assets of the several suspects out of this 19, who have been released without charge ?
Their assets are still frozen.
This was the most expeditious and most comprehensive asset freeze the Treasury has undertaken.
It is a little different from some of their previous efforts, e.g. Omar Khan Sharif and Asif Mohammed Hanif, the two British suicide bombers who attacked a bar in Tel Aviv in 2003, whose assets were frozen only after they were dead, and who still remain on the Bank of England's list of individuals under Financial Sanctions, even today.
If Gordon Brown's anti-terrorist finance policies are so efficient, why have none of the July 7th 2005 London suicide bomb attackers ever been on this list ?