When I asked the Home Secretary today to comment on why we will, according to the PM, be at war against terror for a generation, and why it would end after one generation,??he told me it was likely to last "as long as the Cold War".
He said he did not himself use the pharse "war on terror", but he meant somehting similar by his words. There was no comment on why it will last so long, and no sense of strategy that could help bring it to a swifter and better conclusion.
??I am asked what should the government do?
1. Get proper control of our borders, to deny entry to potential terrorists. That means 24 hour surveillance at all main ports of entry and proper examination of passports and travel documents of people that give grounds for suspicion.Concentrate the security measures against those most likely??to be terrorists. Drop the farcical ID card scheme, aimed at UK residents rather than at visiting terrorists.
2. Use intelligence to build a comprehensive picture of who at home and abroad wishes to take terrorist action against us.
3. Use control of borders to deal with people leaving this country temporarily to train as terrorists abroad.
4. Accept we will not be able to invade and conquer all countries that harbour terrorists, and seek to tackle the problem here in the UK,?? not by invading overseas.
5. Register information about all people with previous convictions anywhere in the world, and have this information at ports of entry to control the movement of criminals. Also keep records of people under suspicion, to monitor their movements, and to allow questioning if their movements??strengthen the suspicious pattern of behaviour.