Thanks for your reply to my opening post of yesterday. Because I agreed with just about everything you wrote and in the light of today’s aborted bomb attack I thought we should shift our exchange to how the Tories should respond to Brown on homeland security and – furthermore – how the Tories can show some leadership on this issue.
My own belief is that it won’t be too long before one or more of these attacks are successful. Security issues will then rocket up the agenda and we know that this could help Brown. I don’t think voters will blame our new PM for attacks in the same way many voters mistakenly blamed Blair and his Iraq policy for 7/7. Even when Brown was in the opinion poll doldrums a few months back he led on security issues.
The Tories are probably right to say that this incompetent Labour government won’t get ID cards to work and that the expenditure would be better spent on "community policing, more prison places, drug rehab services and a proper border police force" (as David Cameron wrote in yesterday’s Sun). The message that always seems to come over most loudly, however, is our opposition to security measures that Labour propose rather than our own ideas.
I think we need a big hitter who is in charge of our security message and that person should certainly sit in the shadow cabinet. David Cameron has waited too long to replace Patrick Mercer and when he reshuffles next week I wonder if he could persuade Baron Trimble or Lord Stevens* to be the Tory spokesman on this issue? Both could help the Tories get back in the game on this topic. What do you think?
That person could then take the lead in exposing Labour’s appeasement of extremist Muslim groups, the need for much greater investment in intelligence, the improvement of infrastructural resilience and the case for allowing intercept evidence. Protecting the public should be any government’s top priority. Team Cameron need to demonstrate they understand that.
* 4.25PM: "Commenting after Lord Stevens was appointed adviser on security to the Prime Minister, Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, said: "We welcome this appointment. We hope it will lead to a more measured response to the security threats we face."" Lord Stevens continues as head of the Conservative Party UK Border Police Taskforce.