Dr Holland on foreign policy and whether it has impacted on terrorism

In an interview for BBC Radio Surrey, Dr Jack Holland suggested that one of the unspoken truths in British politics is that foreign policy is linked to terrorism in the UK.

The conjecture is supported by “hundreds of academic studies, but it’s so unpalatable that it’s not being said.” Jack suggested when it comes to counter radicalisation conversations in the UK political grievance shouldn’t be ignored “because it is a factor and is one of the only things that unites terrorists.”

We shouldn’t be lied to by politicians who take us into these wars claiming that these interventions will make us safer. It’s just not true and needs to be acknowledged that there is a risk of increased British insecurity on the back of interventions abroad and that’s not been a feature of the debates.

Dr Jack Holland

The conversation moved on to discuss what can be done to make us safer. Jack pointed out to listeners that we can’t have total security, nor is that something we should desire as this would change the societies in which we live. He finds ideas around changing human rights to be problematic as it would mean the pendulum in the civil liberties vs terrorism debate would swing back towards security.

Jack reminded us that, “if we think about this in a rational public policy way the threat from terrorism is so small it’s statistically none existent but in light of recent events it’s in everyone’s minds.”

He concluded that it is important to consider these as horrific criminal acts and for them to be treated that way: “The focus on things like the role of the internet is probably misplaced, the focus on extremism generally is probably misplaced; this isn’t an issue to do with political correctness or cosmopolitanism, but as a criminal act, and the laws that are in place to investigate these things should be used to make sure these things can’t happen in the future.”

Listen to the full interview online (available on iPlayer Radio until 7th July)