Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Radicalisation or empowerment?

France, and now Britain
There have been three recent terrorist attacks: Westminster, Manchester, and London Bridge with Borough Market. As far as we know all perpetrators were home grown, so the government is encouraging leaders to take part in online Prevent training. I've completed mine, as shown in this certificate.

The training pitches at the level you choose, includes graphics, multiple choices, and video clips. It encourages us to notice any unusual behaviour, check respectfully with others, and put in place groups and conversations that encourage reflection. It does not seek to introduce another layer of 'monitoring', but trusts existing relationships.

Why not look at the material yourself? It's on

An exciting election
I've never known an election campaign significantly change poll forecasts like the one last month. The movement in the final weeks was dramatic, and by all accounts due to the large numbers of young people becoming 'radicalised' enough to vote. Social media and personal contacts made a huge difference, and few saw the swing coming.

A good turnout should be measured by quality as well as quantity. The overall number was up, and represented a more balanced cross-section of the electorate. That was good for democracy.

It just goes to show that we can empower others to take positive action. This must balance an understandable focus on those who callously kill or maim. Funnily enough, if we're really radical it means taking our roots seriously. Terrorism can't be justified by the Koran, and nor could the Crusades be justified by the Bible.

Making a difference
Why do you want this job? And the answer made sense: I want to make a difference in the local community. You and I can influence and encourage all that is good, and prevent evil. It takes honest respectful debate, humour, and care with the truth. And it makes things change.

Donald Trump's response to the London Bridge atrocities was to attack the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. What crass cowardice. I for one am delighted that Trump has postponed his trip to London because he is worried about protest. I signed the petition to Parliament which called for the invitation to be withdrawn. Khan has been working hard on security, and consulted Jewish authorities among others. We can make a difference for good!

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