In a silly, rambling article in today’s Daily Telegraph, Ian Robertson, the author of the book, The Winner Effect: How Power affects Your Brain, writes under the title of “How to counter the allure of Isil for teenagers” that any “positive propaganda” from . . . the authorities to counter more jihadi volunteers proceeding to Syria from Britain must be very “polished and professional” and must be presented on the internet and elsewhere as though proceeding from the younger generation itself. He also thinks that the news channels who give out 24-hour news, including (of course) warfare, should be stopped disseminating what is going on in Iraq and Syria as nothing more than “the pornography of violence”.– as though they are “glamorising nihilism”. This is an odd viewpoint, to say the least
The title of Roberston’s book alerts us to the fact that he regards power as some sort of alien feature — hence why warfare is somehow the same as pornography. He could do with a bit of reading in basic anthropology to discover that the love of personal power is quite normal in human nature and is to be found in any social group as the driving force of rank ordering, and that, on the whole, and for millions of years, both proto-human and human breeds have warfare deep in their genes because they have been — and still are — so frequently at it.
If Mr Robertson cannot do that, then he ought to have paid attention to the figures that Mark Rowley, an assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, obviously speaking on behalf of the secret services, gave out on 16 May. It is quite obvious from those figures — and which I wrote about in my post on 17 May, “Being in gangs is good” — that the vast majority of those British Muslims who volunteered to fight in Syria for the fanatical Sunni terrorists there have already returned.
I ventured the opinion, which any sensible commentator would surely also agree with, that such high rates of return can only mean one thing — that they were quickly disillusioned about the cause of those they went to help. They will be the best possible propagandists among their own Muslim communities in this country, particularly among their own age groups.
Mr Roberston had no need to write such a silly and rambling article and the editor of the Daily Telegraph should have had no reason for paying for it.