Internet can help spread terrorism
Much concern is being expressed in the media about the radicalisation of British youths, male and female, leading in some cases to the radicalised going to join terrorist groups like the monstrous Isis. Questions are continually being asked how can this possibly be happening? In fact, a mountain of evidence is available to answer this.
Firstly, the internet is being used to recruit and radicalise. In particular, Twitter and Facebook are in constant use. By these means, terrorists are distributing propaganda to entice people to join in discussion groups promoting the positive aspects of their activities. It is a cost-effective means of recruitment, obtaining intelligence, providing training, selecting targets and mobilising like-minded members.
Secondly, it is the most vulnerable who are targeted. These are mainly second-generation Muslims. Vulnerability can lead to indoctrination. Then, for some, to violence.
The chief cause of vulnerability is isolation, marginalisation and alienation. This can be real or perceived. A major cause is the conflict of being torn between ones religious heritage and that of what is seen as the non-spiritual West.
People with these feelings then form groups. This gives them what they crave, a sense of belonging and purpose. A sense of adventure and excitement is also enticing. However, peer pressure is more important. Human contact is crucial in addition to the internet.
Thirdly, poverty is not a major cause. The vast majority of radicalised youth come from middle class homes, and are often well-educated.
There is no single explanation for the cause of radicalisation. However, studies show that socialisation with others who hold extreme views, plus propaganda, is of the utmost importance.
Finally, deradicalisation is extremely difficult; the brainwashing of prisoners in the Korean War and Vietnam War proved that this, even if successful, can take years.
Dr Barry Clayton
I was knocked out by the ‘Bat Boys’
On June 2, I attended Blackpool and The Fylde College’s production of ‘Bat Boy’ the musical, performed by the college’s third year BA (Hons)Musical Theatre students, and directed by Alison Burns, who I was honoured to have a nice chat with about the show.
I would just like to congratulate the college and its musical theatre students on what was a terrific and most professional performance, with Adam Tipping and Matthew Roberts performing their first ever lead roles.
Well done to you all, and good luck in the future.
There is no business like showbusiness, and you all showed us why with your outstanding performances.
Thank you guys, and thanks for signing my book. I will treasure it.
Help us remember our foreign fliers
A Polish airman named Grzegorz Piotr Gramiak was killed when his Vickers Wellington bomber crashed in the Irish Sea. His body was recovered and records indicate he was buried in Carleton Cemetery, Blackpool, in grave No.437, section BB in August 1942.
There is no trace of him in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission list of servicemen buried there. This could simply mean that he has been omitted from the records, but it could also mean that he has no commemorative headstone and that his grave is not tended. A sorry way to thank a foreign airman for giving his life in defence of this country.
If this is the case, I would like to ask the CWGC to place a headstone there, and to see that his grave is tended. Could any of your readers who live near the cemetery please let me know if he does have a headstone, and send me a photograph, so that I can inform the person in Poland who is trying to locate the grave.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01207 570429
Shale gas promises huge disruption
From June 23 to the 26, Lancashire County Council’s Development Control committee will be considering applications from the shale gas industry to begin fracking in earnest on the Fylde. The meetings will take place at County Hall in Preston.
I was rather surprised to receive an email from the democratic services department warning County Councillors of the following: “It is understood that some of the protesters may aim to disrupt the business of the County Council during this time, and may seek to bring some disruption to the local area and transport links.”
May I take this opportunity to warn residents that there is indeed a huge risk of disruption coming to Lancashire, however the disruption comes not from protestors, but from the shale gas industry, who, if granted their applications, will disrupt the quiet lanes of rural Lancashire, threaten our clean water, risk polluting our air and ride rough-shod over our communities; all for a quick buck that will not solve our need for sustainable energy.
County Councillor Gina Dowding (Green Party)