David Cameron has been criticised by some on the right of the Party for being the least ideological of Conservative Prime Ministers. He has also been criticised for operating according to short term imperatives. Yet he is the first leader to understand the greatest ideological threat of our times – namely Islamism -- and to come up with a long-term strategy for combating it.
That new approach has just been unveiled by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, when she commended the Government’s Review of the Prevent strand of the Counter-Terrorism strategy to the House of Commons. Although tackling Islamist extremism has never been particularly high on her agenda – she regards police reform and cleaning up the immigration system as her legacy issues – she has nonetheless performed the role allotted to her like a trouper.
She of course first vaulted to prominence as Party Chairman in 2002, when she described the Tories in her conference speech as having been seen as the “nasty party.” Certainly, the alleged nastiness of the old Tory set-up was as nothing compared to the relentless sectarianism and grievance mongering which characterises the world of contemporary British Islamism. It’s no wonder that the original kitten heeled moderniser would take umbrage at that.