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Dr Paul Stott
East Midlands
Academic researching British Jihadism. A libertarian and family man.
Interests: Terrorism, Islamism, Jihadism, Conspiracy Theory, the political fringe, Boxing, Manchester United, Cricket, Lancashire CCC
Recent Activity
How best do we respond to jihadist terrorism? In the same way we that we should be responding to every other stripe of Islamism. That is what the murderers of St-Etienne-du-Rouvray are, Islamists, with the jihadis best described as the violent protruding end of a much bigger stick. A stick that seeks to gradually clear and then control space, at all levels in our society. Respond without fear, and with the utmost confidence in your own life and values. After the Brussels airport bombing in March, Charlie Hebo published an editorial which emphasised the inherent danger of living in a... Continue reading
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I don't think there was a jihadist attack anywhere in Europe yesterday. I may be mistaken. There will probably be one today or the day after. These are the times we are living in. The most recent attack, in Ansbach in Germany, saw a Syrian Islamic State supporter attempt to bomb a music concert, before detonating his suicide rucksack at a bar. Once, we were told that such actions were solely related to our foreign policy. But Germany has avoided militarism since 1945. Countries with at times aggressive foreign policies such as France, appear to face the same risk and... Continue reading
Those of us hoping the British government will eventually take a tough line on Turkish state terrorism and Ankara's sponsorship of terrorism, will allow ourselves a brief surge of expectation at the appointment of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary. It is only two months since Boris won The Spectator’s President Erdogan Offensive Poetry competition for this little ditty: There was a young fellow from Ankara Who was a terrific wankerer Till he sowed his wild oats With the help of a goat But he didn’t even stop to thankera. Lets take down the section of the UK embassy in Turkey's... Continue reading
I was intrigued this morning to read a former academic colleague argue it was impossible to imagine the Leave campaign without Boris Johnson. This is part of a wider narrative by angry Remainers which paints leading Leave activists as having somehow destroyed the country for their own political gain, then deciding, in the words of The Jam's 'Eton Rifles' to "run off home for your tea." This is a view that can only be obtained by ignoring Leave voters, and writing them out of your analysis. In Kettering we set a target to get 60% of the town to vote... Continue reading
The beauty of popular music is that just when you get bored of waiting for something new to come along, it does. I could not be more excited by Lets Eat Grandma - this is Eat Shiitake Mushrooms. Continue reading
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There will be much more to come on the religious and political affiliations of French jihadist Larossi Abballa, killed by the French police in Magnanville on Monday. Abballa had seemingly murdered two French police officers and held their three year... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2016 at 9/11 CultWatch
It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at the 'Find the Facts' intervention by Hope Not Hate, a charity which seems to spend most of its time involved in political campaigning. With an air of neutrality and a supposed desire for facts, HnH has today launched a new service entitled 'Find the Facts', following up on its highly selective voter registration drive for the EU elections. HnH have some work to do if they are to convince anyone they are capable of providing a rounded introduction to the referendum debate. Indeed a series of key HnH leaders... Continue reading
Today marks the anniversary of the death in 1809 of Thetford's finest son, Thomas Paine, who went on to become one of America's founding fathers. When we have the EU referendum, do consider the quote below, and merely replace the word 'King' with the letters EU: Is the power who is jealous of our prosperity, a proper power to govern us? Whoever says No to this question is an independent, for independancy means no more, than, whether we shall make our own laws, or whether the king, the greatest enemy this continent hath, or can have, shall tell us "there... Continue reading
One of the universities I work for has put an inordinate amount of work into ensuring students register to vote in time for the June 7th deadline to take part in the EU referendum. There have been emails, public meetings, articles on websites and pro-EU statements both online and on campus by the Vice-Chancellor and a local MP. Last week I received an email from the European Movement (harvested from the university website, where my email address is displayed) inviting me to a local rally. According to the TMS diary in the Times, at Oxford, Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson has messaged... Continue reading
The quote below is from a BBC report last week into an NHS doctor from Sheffield who has joined Islamic State in Syria, although it could just as easily be from a score of similar reports in recent years. "Dr Abuanza is a Palestinian doctor with British citizenship who spent seven years working for the NHS. He is the first practising NHS doctor known to have joined the Islamic State group. Security minister John Hayes said IS "target vulnerable people". In what way is a professional man in his mid-late thirties, married with two children and a job for life... Continue reading
I am always fascinated when politics appears in places it does not normally intrude. Earlier this week The Times had an interview with the former Southampton and England footballer James Beattie, last seen as a somewhat unsuccessful manager at Accrington Stanley. He talks about the sacrifices his father, a lorry driver, made for the Beattie family before he was stricken with cancer: "All he could think of was to try to get to 65 for the pension. But he passed away two days before his 65th birthday. Mum never got the pension. Scandalous. He's been paying contributions all his life... Continue reading
On this day in 1948, Witold Pilecki was executed by the Communist government in Poland. Pilecki is probably the only man to have entered Auschwitz voluntarily, in order to afford the Secret Polish Army with information on just what was happening inside the concentration camp. "In this great mortuary of the half-living - where nearby someone was wheezing his final breath; someone else was dying; another was struggling out of bed only to fall over onto the floor; another was throwing off his blankets; or talking in a fever to his dear mother and shouting or cursing someone out; {while... Continue reading
The current issue of the New Humanist has a short article "Opium of the Masses" where I reply to moral philosopher Peter Singer, and his desire to work with religious groups to achieve social justice. You can read 'Opium of the Masses' online here, or download it as a pdf below: Download Stott New Humanist Summer 2016 Vol 131 No 2 pp 14-15. Continue reading
Simple electoral mathematics demand it. Labour can only have an inquiry into anti-Semitism if it scratches the surface. Its relations with the British Muslim community will not survive a thorough examination of anti-Semitism in towns like Luton or Bradford. The methodology being used by the Jewish Chronicle in its story about Naz Shah MP, and Guido Fawkes in a series of recent cases to break stories of extremism and racism involving prominent British Muslims, is not revolutionary. It is that Conservative Campaign Headquarters and Hope Not Hate used against UKIP candidates in the 2014 European elections and 2015 UK elections.... Continue reading
Turkey is to have its application to join the European Union fast-tracked, despite its pitiful human rights record. Worse, Turkish pressure is having a negative effect on political freedoms in Europe, where, under pressure from Ankara, the German comedian Jan Böhmermann is being prosecuted for reciting a rude poem about President Erdogan. The best way to respond to such nonsense is of course to join in. I am delighted to read that the Spectator has launched the 'President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition' with a prize of £1000 to the winner. Here is my entry: There is a leader with a... Continue reading
It is hard to imagine how the Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq could be any further delayed. But it seems it might be, in order to assist those arguing to keep Britain in the European Union. Ben Barry, of the Institute for Strategic Studies comments: “If Chilcot is doing his job, I suspect many key New Labour figures will be criticised. Whilst many of them are not as active in politics as they once were, they are still figures who could make a positive contribution to Cameron’s campaign to remain in Europe. So delaying a report that might damage or even... Continue reading
My Blogging for Leave contribution today concerns the consistent ability of the EU to make us less safe. The EU is far more than a mere trading bloc, but a political player with a completely unnecessary security role. Whilst the definitive history of the EU's engagement with Syria's 'rebels' is still to be written, this snippet on their relationship is indicative, with the declaration Brussels should arm those in the field: "The call by the Syrian National Coalition followed EU's decision earlier this week to let the Syrian arms embargo expire, paving way for individual countries in the 27-member union... Continue reading
Today's quote in my Blogging for Leave series comes courtesy of Douglas Carswell, the UKIP MP for Clacton. Having encouraged sustained borrowing in Greece, the EU abrogated all responsibility: "In response to the inevitable crash, though, only Greece was expected to pay the price. Instead of making the lenders who made bad investments in Greece bear the full cost of their bad decisions, the EU Troika has forced Greece into a vicious circle of economic contraction and debt expansion that creates a constant crisis." Brussels may or may not succeed in postponing the next Greek crisis until after the UK's... Continue reading
The annual risk analysis by the European Union's border force, Frontex, makes for sober reading. The European Union often does not know who it is letting in, nor who it allows to cross its territory: "the identification issue concerns the potential threat to internal security. With large numbers of arrivals remaining essentially unclassified for a variety of reasons, there is clearly a risk that persons representing a security threat may be entering the EU." (p.61) The danger this poses was evidenced last year: "The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists... Continue reading
You need to check your paperwork, and speak to your bank. Back in 2008, one of the ways I sought to finance my PhD was by taking out a career development loan. It was probably not a good decision - I had no face to face advice, and reliant only on what I could find online rather rushed the application. I applied for too small a sum, and did not really take in the fact you had to pay it back after three years - regardless of whether you were still studying or not. Paying it off was grim -... Continue reading
Hi Ray - Thanks for alerting me to this. The argument in the book (or variants of it) has been knocking around for a little while. I remember seeing Richard English of St Andrews University make the point that N Ireland terrorism was rooted in working class communities, yet other variants seem much more middle class. Islamist terrorism has looked that way - lots of graduates and postgraduates, and lots of wealthy Saudis. I suspect Engineers of Jihad takes up the high number of students from technical backgrounds in jihadist groups - a point Jason Burke made in his book on Al-Qaeda. The picture with Islamists does look a little more complicated since the rise of IS - a lot of those involved from continental Europe seem to come from much poorer backgrounds, even from what our Marxist friends used to refer to as the lumpen proletariat. I am not convinced that's the case in the UK, but I don't have the data either way. When I asked UK Universities how many British students have left their courses to fight in Syria they ignored me, and when I asked the Federation of Student Islamic Societes, people took umbrage and started implying I was racist. Obviously I should have asked the dungeons and dragons society instead! I look forward to getting the book, and yes, I need to start doing some reviews on here. Paul
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You might not have seen it debated, and American taxpayers might never have voted for it, but it seems that over the past 13 years, the US government has repeated the Marshall Plan, but in Afghanistan. It was the Marshall plan which helped to rebuild and reconstruct a battered Europe after WW2. It now emerges that US spending in Afghanistan this century exceeds that spent in Europe from the late 1940s onwards: "Some $113bn (£79bn) has already been spent by the US government on reconstruction in Afghanistan in 13 years. That's more than the $103bn (in today's money) it spent... Continue reading
I am going to try and post a regular series of quotes, comments and snippets here, over the next few months, in order to try and encourage a leave vote in the EU referendum on Thursday 23 June. I am quite possibly the only academic in the country campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union, so if I am going to commit career suicide, I may as well do it thoroughly. Here's the first of many such examples: "On the night of the 2005 French referendum on the proposed EU constitution, Jean-Claude Junckner (then Prime Minister of Luxembourg... Continue reading