Over eighteen years after 9/11, western judiciaries are struggling to keep dangerous jihadists behind bars. In some cases, as the recent London Bridge attack showed, automatic parole systems can release dangerous terrorists after only a few years of detention. Johnson is right that these laws, made for ‘common’ criminals need to be changed to reflect the reality of thousands of islamists that only got more radicalised in prison. If you couple this with the well known phenomenon of the Syrian returnees, western nations will have to deal with a very dangerous group of people that in many cases have European passports and that have had a lot of time to coordinate with like minded terrorists both in their cells and on the net.
It is therefore no wonder then, that Guantanamo still has detainees dating from 9/11. Western democracies are facing a conflict of values: will they change the rules to keep their streets safe or will they stick to their liberal views and pay the prices with convicted jihadists being able to continue to terrorise their citizens?
If you believe the polls, Boris Johnson has a reasonable chance of securing a parliamentary majority that should allow him to govern without a coalition. This is good news for the Conservatives as it is difficult to think of any party that would join a coalition with them, this time round. Donald (Teflon) Trump (the Economist’s nickname…) also has a realistic shot at re-election, despite an unmitigated series of faux-pas, the Mueller investigation, impeachment, etc.
The Blues in Britain and the Reds in America had better treasure this new lease of life, if they indeed get it, since the long term demographics are very tricky on both sides of the pond. We will examine the UK first given that elections are around the corner….In Britain, were it not for the peculiar characteristics of Corbyn, which in normal circumstances shouldn’t even be allowed to run for local counsellor in east London, Labour has a much better set of demographic trends going for it. It has a strong base of many ethnic groups that will vote Labour no matter who runs (apparently close to 80% of Muslims, a fast growing segment of the population, vote Labour) plus a very strong backing from new and young voters who are looking forward to free higher education, though it is not clear paid by whom.
The message from the demographics is clear…getting a blue candidate to win future elections will keep on getting more difficult.