UK Politics

Why has liberal Britain deserted Derek?

Here’s a worth-reading piece by Martin Bright on Derek Pasquill: the man who made public the FCO’s disgraceful policy of promoting and treating with Islamists: not overseas, but at home in Britain:

Four years on, Pasquill is taking his old bosses to an employment tribunal to challenge their decision to sack him for blowing the whistle. But where is the campaign in his defence? Where are the petitions and letters to the papers from prominent lefties? Derek Pasquill was defending liberal enlightenment values against totalitarianism and the rise of the Islamic extreme right. Yet liberal Britain appears to have deserted him.

The government ultimately failed to prosecute Pasquill for breaching the Official Secrets Act after it turned out that senior FCO officials shared his concerns about the policy of “engagement for the sake of engagement” with political Islam. Partly as a result of his disclosures, government policy towards Islamist groups in Britain underwent a significant shift. At the newly created Department for Communities and Local Government, Ruth Kelly limited the influence of the MCB and tried to reach out to more moderate organisations and individuals, a policy accelerated by Hazel Blears.

Liberals remain deeply confused about the proper moral response to totalitarianism. But surely the least we can do is stand up for those who, like Derek Pasquill, have put their heads above the parapet in defence of enlightenment thought, human rights and democracy. Old-fashioned solidarity might be too much to hope for, but a little common decency would be a start.

What of Mockbul Ali, who bigged up Qaradawi to the FCO?

Why, he has now been promoted within the FCO to “Head of Prevent, Counter Ideology”.