Care needed over radical preachers

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What exactly is the proposed Cabinet task force on the threat posed by radical preachers likely to achieve (your report, 27 May)?

It will only be effective if it can come up with practical proposals to enhance security and protect essential liberties. But it is not clear that the Woolwich atrocity could have been prevented simply by more stringent controls over what is said in mosques, university debating societies or on the internet.

The murder of Lee Rigby can be put down partly to fanaticism by a few individuals and the fallibility of the security services. It is for the British government, and ultimately the British people, to judge how far liberty should be restricted to try to prevent a reoccurrence of both.

Home Affairs select committee chair Keith Vaz is only partly right. The more inclusive the task force (Terfor) is of community, religious and technology groups, the better. But he cannot disguise the fact that this is also an international problem. Pernicious ideas can spread throughout the world, even if search engines did not exist.

People can be “radicalised”, if that is the right word, despite a combination of banning orders and more responsible, temperate language. There may be a case for proscription and deportation where there are proven, extreme attitudes. Home Secretary Theresa May should move cautiously, however, if she wants to prevent more damage to both our freedoms and our safety.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court
Glenrothes, Fife

While I am no supporter of David Cameron or his policies, I find the “attack” on the Prime Minister for going away on holiday to be utterly repugnant.

Labour MP Sarah Champion is reported to have criticised Mr Cameron for taking an “inappropriate” break. In 
my opinion, she is trying to score political points off the back of an appalling tragedy, the murder of soldier 
Lee Rigby.

Mr Cameron, like anyone else, is entitled to a holiday. And, let’s face it – despite the shocking circumstances of the young soldier’s death – the country is not under imminent threat from a foreign power.

Robert T Smith

Braeside Terrace


It’s hard to disagree with the Prime Minister’s supporters that he is perfectly entitled to take a holiday abroad, particularly with the ease of keeping in touch through the medium of modern communications.

However, the world of politics is all about perceptions and timing.

In the wake of the horrendous murder of Lee Rigby and the mounting criticisms of MI5 over what it knew about the suspects, was jetting off to Ibiza such a wise move, particularly since David Cameron’s leadership qualities are being called into question by some members of his own party?

Bob MacDougall