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Dr Paul Stott
East Midlands
Academic researching terrorism, in particular British Jihadism.
Interests: Terrorism, Islamism, Jihadism, Conspiracy Theory, Brexit, the political fringe, Boxing, Manchester United, Cricket, Lancashire CCC
Recent Activity
One of the things I am trying to do is develop a series of podcasts with the writer Larry O'Hara, of Notes from the Borderland magazine. The first in the series, which is about the Green Party, can be found on my Soundcloud page here. Issues discussed are the current nature of Green Party politics in the UK, the positions the Greens have taken on the EU, life experience and its impact on politics, the Aimee Challenor scandal, climate change and climate denial, the electoral system, plus the rise (again) of the Green Party in Germany. Comments are welcome! Continue reading
This morning I attended the parade and commemoration in Corby to mark the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War, marching from Oakley Road to the war memorial. There were a large number of veterans, mostly from post WW2 conflicts, as well as representatives from cadet forces. My sons joined cubs from across the town, and well over 500 people, in taking part. Pictures below: Marching in step The band Piping the march The Stott brothers seem thrilled Orange men and women in Corby At the war memorial Cubs and Beavers salute Tom Pursglove MP and Mayor... Continue reading
On Wednesday 7th November I was in Brussels for a European Foundation for South Asian Studies conference on the Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor. I spoke on the issue of Trump's approach to China and Pakistan, making the argument that Pakistan has burnt its bridges with America, which pushes it deeper into the embrace of China. You can get an overview of the full range of speakers on the EFSAS website here. A video recording of my talk can be seen below. My slides on Trump and Pakistan follow, and an audio recording can be heard on Soundcloud. Download Stott presentation... Continue reading
Today's Sunday Times magazine has a fascinating interview with Stanley McChrystal, the former US general who commanded US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, having earlier led America's Joint Special Operations Command. Of all the revelations, perhaps the most remarkable is that the US, fighting insurgency on two fronts, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, had such little knowledge concerning key elements of that struggle. McChrystal observes: "I had zero experience with interrogation. None us of had. So there's nobody who's ever done it before. To be honest, I didn't have a single person in the room who really knew a thing... Continue reading
Last month I was asked to talk to a group of visiting Danish media students about Brexit - given the field of academic campaigners for Leave is rather small, it may get to be a regular gig! The piece below needs a little spit and polish. However, as the Prime Minister continues to kick the can down the road, and sections of elite opinion that refuse to accept we are leaving the European Union mobilise, it seems appropriate to publish it here, and to do so now. Personal Introduction My academic research is primarily into terrorism, security, Islamism and conspiracy... Continue reading
On September 18 I spoke at a side meeting at the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, for the think tank European Foundation for South Asian Studies. The title of the event "Preventing and Combating Growing Terrorism in South Asia" reflects ongoing concerns, but also critiqued thoroughly the 2018 UN OHCHR report on Kashmir by Prince Hussain of Jordan, and the curious language it uses towards jihadist groups. The gist of my argument was that Pakistan has long utilised jihadist actors in Kashmir, and to fail to recognise this, and to categorise this as a proxy... Continue reading
I suspect this American story is one of those that is simply too good to be true, but reproduce it anyway: "One day this week the collector of assessed taxes in Chesterton had occasion to leave a tax-paper with a gentleman who has a small white bulldog; the paper being in fact a notice to tax that animal. No one was at home, but the collector thrust the paper under the door. Glancing at the window, he saw the dog looking steadfastly at him. The dog then deliberately took the paper in his mouth, placed his feet upon the fender,... Continue reading
Critical Studies on Terrorism has published my review of Al-Qaeda 2.0, which is largely a compilation of Ayman al-Zawahiri's writings in the post Bin Laden era. It shows the religosity of al-Zawahiri's world view, and the depth of the historical sweep from which he, and indeed Al-Qaeda, view the world. The first 50 people to do so, can download a free pdf copy here. I think after that, you will need access to an academic library. Continue reading
We actually hear very little in terms of demand for an English parliament - the one party really pushing it, the English Democrats, has never been close to a parliamentary seat. That suggests it may well need the type of scenario sketched above. On the historical points you make, I think 1955 was the last time there were more Tory MPs in Scotland than Labour. The Thatcher years are seen as being particularly disastrous, but it could also be argued it was Blair-Brown which killed them off until the Tory successes in 2017: I did have an SNP activist explain the party's rise to me in terms of the old working class Protestant vote, which had often been suspicious of Labour, switching from Conservative to SNP over the course of a generation. Perhaps, in time, those people may switch back?
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Yesterday the death was announced of US Nazi Harold Covington, best known in recent years for his attempts to establish a 'white homeland' in the pacific north west of the United States. Here in the UK, Covington had a degree of public recognition for a brief period in the early 1990s, where he lived here in Britain, and helped to establish the Combat 18 group. To see some initial reaction to his death, his Northwest Front group's initial comment can be seen here, and the Southern Poverty Law Center's obituary here. One issue with Covington was the belief in sections... Continue reading
Jesse Norman is talked by some as a future leader of the Conservative Party. Bryan Appleyard's Sunday Times piece of 01/07/18 certainly tried to portray him as the leading Conservative intellectual, offering a puff piece for Norman's new book on Adam Smith. There is not much point in being an intellectual if you can't translate complicated ideas into simple formats, or struggle with basic concepts. Lets listen to the great sage on Brexit: "As I thought about the Brexit situation I found myself thinking that there are just so many questions embedded in this.... that the idea that there is... Continue reading
Last year I had an article on Englishness and Brexit published in the British Politics Review, where I argued that Englishness was less important in our vote to leave the EU, than many people like to think. You can read it for free on my academia page here, but you will need to register. The World Cup has got people thinking about Englishness again, and Tim Stanley's "To be English is to be guilty of the Original Sin" was a useful it not particularly revelatory contribution to this debate. Stanley beautifully picks up Orwell's view of the disdain the English... Continue reading
Tucked away in the 'In Brief' section of the Daily Telegraph's sports pages, you could easily miss one of the saddest items of the day: "The threat of terrorist attacks in France means no World Cup matches will be broadcast on big screens in public spaces, the government said yesterday." When the barbarians are inside the gates, we lose the freedom to even socialise together. A desperately sad decision to see. Continue reading
The 22nd May was a year to the day since the Manchester Arena bombing in which 22, mostly young people and children, were killed. To coincide with events held in Manchester, the Survivors Against Terror group (SAT) issued an open letter in the Observer of 20th May (scroll down here), calling for five distinct positions to be adopted against terrorism. This received considerable media coverage, see for example that from the BBC. The main figure in SAT is Brendan Cox. Whilst he resigned from positions in two charities linked to continuing his wife’s work in February, his work on countering... Continue reading
One of the things the Labour right and Corbynistas agree on, is a sort of non-aggression pact concerning Islamic anti-Semitism. Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters can hardly turn round and say "actually left anti-Semitism exists, but it is probably less directly threatening to Jews across Europe than Islamist violence, which has killed 11 Jews in France in 12 years." Those on the right of the Labour party, just as likely to be dependent on Islamic votes for office, are equally unlikely to spend too much time correcting debates. Consider little Jim McMahon in Oldham West and Royton, pictured fourth from... Continue reading
From todays Sunday Times 'Best Places to Live, 2018' "There is no room for Northamptonshire on the list. It has attractive countryside, handsome houses and a plausible commute to the capital - but please tell us where we should make ourselves at home." Continue reading
Watching the most recent episode (series 7, episode 4) I can't have been alone in cheering Brett O'Keefe and hoping he and the militia were to survive the FBI siege. And yet O'Keefe is clearly based on Alex Jones, and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at 9/11 CultWatch
Mark E Smith completists have some job to do securing every single Fall album - there are reportedly 38. One thing you can get though is the current Fortean Times, which has a small pic of the great man in the top left hand corner of its cover, and the heading "Legends of The Fall: The Weird World of Mark E Smith". The subsequent article perhaps does not quite live up to its billing - it is a mere one page piece by a New Zealand academic, Dean Ballinger, entitled perhaps predictably "There's a Ghost in My House". Ballinger is... Continue reading
To get an indication of how great a footballer Cyrille Regis was, and what players of his era overcame, watch these six minutes of highlights from West Brom's 5-3 win at Old Trafford in 1979. Make sure you watch to the end for the description manager Ron Atkinson gives of Regis 'one of the coloured front people'. He went on to be much more than that. Continue reading
One journalistic tool that is now used frequently is to 'fact-check' particular claims or statements by politicians and campaign groups. What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, quite a bit actually. This is Mollie Ziegler's take: "The 'fact-checking trend' meant that journalists would gain more power. They wouldn't just get to determine which stories saw the light of day and which were killed or downplayed; they would pick the angle and framing for the stories and determine who was quoted and how. And through fact-checking, they would tell people what to think about claims made in these stories." Mollie... Continue reading
On the Left Foot Forward website, the Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, has written an article saying that, after, the events of recent years, she fears for our democracy. It seems a few people shooting boo at High Court judges or Tory Remainers represents an existential crisis. Below is my reply. I have no idea if Left Foot Forward welcomes, or censures, critical comment, so I have posted it here just in case. It seems strange to be lectured on democracy, by an MEP who cannot accept the largest mass vote in our people's history. Every vote counts for Molly,... Continue reading
On 9th November, ITV showed a documentary, Undercover: Inside Britain's New Far-Right. It no longer seems to be on ITV's website, but is available at various points online, for example here. Documentaries of this type were the staple of an earlier era - remember World In Action in the 1990s? The attempts to convince a sceptical public that a far-right terrorist machine was being established in Britain, via the group Combat 18? The security services, under pressure from cuts in an era that was post Soviet but pre 9/11, were needed to save us from this terrible menace. Similar programmes... Continue reading
From 2008 - 2015 I did a lot of security work in order to finance my PhD. Some of the best times were working as a doorman at Epsom Downs racecourse at the Christmas parties, where an enormous effort went into preparing the Queens and Duchess stands for dinner dances. There are two great pluses to door work. Attractive women speak to you, and you meet some real characters, good and bad. After one party, a man who must have been well into his late 60s, but still had a military bearing, talked at length about his security work in... Continue reading
Yesterday I had a short article published about the developments surrounding Hafiz Saeed, a prominent Pakistani jihadist, currently trying to enter politics in the Islamic Republic. You can view the piece, on the European Foundation for South Asian studies website, here. Continue reading
Conspiracy theories attract those who are trying to make sense of the world. For Muslims observing events like 9/11 or 7/7, and more recently the rise of Islamic State, it is often easier to find comfort in such explanations than... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2017 at 9/11 CultWatch