Ian Acheson, CapX

Ian Acheson

CapX

United Kingdom

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  • CapX

Recent articles by Ian:

Rishi Sunak should be careful what he wishes to ban

What is extreme hatred of Britain? Yesterday, enduring a five-hour rail journey to London – a first class customer on third-world infrastructure – I might have strayed over the line myself. Today, leadership candidate Rishi Sunak has suggested that this is the nebulous benchmark for referral to our counter terrorism Prevent programme. This had predictable […] → Read More

The vile sectarianism we saw this July 12 does nothing to help the Unionist cause

Last weekend we held our village fete, that most culturally English of occasions. Yes, I know it’s a French word. Whatever. I manned the hoopla stall with a degree of recklessness to the rules which was I think appreciated by small children. There were two bands, cream teas correctly assembled (Devon-style) and a tug-of-war. The […] → Read More

The Met must rediscover its moral and physical courage

A few months ago, I was ‘encouraged’ to apply for a role in overseeing a new code of ethics for policing. As the College of Policing was running this process, and I’m not a great fan of woke ideologues getting in the way of thief takers, I didn’t put a lot of effort into the […] → Read More

A mob threatening women is not a 'protest' – and police in Bristol should have known that

Back in the noughties, before Police and Crime Commissioners existed, I was the senior Home Office official in South West England holding Chief Constables to account on behalf of the Home Secretary. My patch included Avon and Somerset, where I had many entertaining conversations with the then Chief Constable Colin Port about the vagaries of […] → Read More

The Tory heartlands face drastic poverty – Downing St must sit up and take notice

How was your Jubilee? Here on Dartmoor, our tiny village managed to get a beacon going that scored on altitude if not output and we’ve also celebrated the 45th year of our Twinning event with some jolly French visitors. The church bells rang. Merriment and community spirit rhymed. In other words the Full English of […] → Read More

Don't pretend a vote for Sinn Fein is a vote for reconciliation

Sinn Fein would have NI voters believe they have changed. With unctuous faux-sincerity, their leader Mary Lou McDonald even calls Unionists ‘brothers and sisters’ these days. Yet poke under the bonnet a bit, and this remains a party that venerates the most cold-blooded of sectarian murderers. The Troubles-era murders of three brothers in South Fermanagh […] → Read More

Tackling the stain of rough sleeping requires muscular humanity, not performative compassion

Recent Government proposals to decriminalise vagrancy – that Victorian sobriquet for rough sleepers who beg – are an attempt to end an entrenched problem in Britain’s town centres. Shoppers in our towns and cities would be forgiven for thinking that any idea of enforcement, fair or not, against the people they step over and around […] → Read More

Terrorists like Sir David Amess' killer are gaming the system

When two unarmed officers arrested the murderer of Sir David Amess MP, they did society an enormous favour. The assailant, Ali Harbi Ali, now a convicted Islamist terrorist due to be sentenced today, wanted to be martyred. Denying him that narcissistic prize, and putting him on trial, has helped us know more about what needs […] → Read More

The Union won't be brought down by a Sinn Fein First Minister

Sinn Fein have an unusual relationship with Belfast’s Europa Hotel, where last night they held a packed meeting to launch their Stormont election campaign. They remain political cheerleaders for the IRA who turned the place into the most bombed hotel in Europe during the Troubles. That’s all Semtex under the bridge now though. When challenged […] → Read More

To build back better, build a police station

Events in the US following the murder of George Floyd are an object lesson in what happens when policing is ripped out of communities. From Minnesota to Seattle via San Francisco, the progressive fetish of slashing police numbers in reprisal for bad law enforcement – both real and politically expedient – has been disastrous for […] → Read More

Kemi Badenoch has struck another blow against the excesses of the equality industry

There were a few blinks of lucidity in last week’s governmental fever dream. The minister for Equality and Levelling Up, Kemi Badenoch provided some shelter from the maelstrom with a robust and well timed letter to colleagues on, of all things, The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). I realise this won’t set the Westminster Village […] → Read More

Even monstrous cases such as Arthur's must be met with professionalism, not vengeance

You may not remember the name Kaylee-Jade Priest, but don’t feel bad. Her murder at the hands of her mother in August last year has been somewhat overwritten by the national outrage over little Arthur Labinjo-Hughes. During the trial of yet another pair of wretched and sadistic narcissists – a parent and partner who used […] → Read More

Hiding in plain sight? How terrorists are gaming the system to get away with murder

How do we stop terrorist offenders from deceiving well-meaning but naïve professionals responsible for managing their risk? That’s something I have been puzzling over recently along with an international panel of experts on violent extremism ranging from reformed jihadists to forensic psychiatrists. Today, my organisation, the Counter Extremism Project launches a discussion paper, ‘Hiding in […] → Read More

Stopping terrorists starts with Prevent – but an overhaul is badly needed

Publication of the review of the Government’s ‘Prevent’ counter-terrorism strategy can’t come soon enough. After the grotesque murder of Sir David Amess last weekend, details have emerged that the suspect had been referred to Prevent for screening after reported suspicions he was becoming radicalised. His alleged killer, Ali Harbi Ali, 25, has been detained under […] → Read More

As things stand, the Northern Ireland legacy plans are indefensible – but they can be changed for the better

This is a good month to bury bad policy. On Sunday, as Kabul folded in the face of violent extremism, people in Omagh recalled the work of other zealots who on that day in 1998 murdered 29 men, women and children in a terrorist outrage that could have come straight from the Taliban playbook. While […] → Read More

The disturbing rise of neo-Nazi terrorism in Britain

Neo-Nazis are the fastest growing cadre of violent extremists in our prisons, and now yet another offender motivated by far right ideology has entered our creaking jail system. Last week, Andrew Dymock was jailed for seven years for terrorist offences. Earlier this year Dymock, 24, was found guilty of multiple charges of encouraging and fundraising […] → Read More

'Truth and reconciliation' cannot replace justice in Northern Ireland

You’ll probably need a strong stomach to wade through the Troubles oral history archive, one of the proposed innovations announced by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland yesterday afternoon to replace the basic notion of justice and accountability. ‘My skull fractured like an eggshell. The eye sockets in my skull disintegrated into my head, […] → Read More

The report into racism in the Conservative Party is no whitewash

Professor Swaran Singh, who yesterday published his independent review into discrimination in the Conservative party, is no stranger to racism. I remember lunch with him a few years ago when he described the racist abuse he received as a bewildered and lost young Doctor trying to find his way to his digs when he first […] → Read More

There should be no amnesty, but Ulster's forgotten veterans deserve proper recognition

The story of the dog catcher and the Provos tells us something important and largely missing from the tale of the honourable discharge of veterans minister Johnny Mercer from Government service last week. Mercer resigned and/or was sacked, take your pick, stating that he could no longer reconcile the Government’s pledge to protect former servicemen […] → Read More

Online radicalisation won't be stopped with the click of a button

Big Tech is under pressure as never before to stop augmenting violent extremism through online platforms that fail to restrict access to materials and people who groom potential terrorists. After the Capitol Hill insurrection, animated by social media, the pressure is on for a fix before legislators step in with little regard for tech giants’ […] → Read More