Mike's Minute: PM faces big test on how to handle 'bumbling Jihadi'

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 10:15AM


Here comes a test for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - and sadly one, if initial comments are correct, she seems to have failed at the first hurdle.

What to do with our very own 'bumbling Jihadi' Mark Taylor? Mark Taylor, the Jihadi who gave away his location via social media. The Jihadi who, like so many of them that ended up in Syria, have ended up in jails now that the caliphate has crumbled.

And like so many of them, all of a sudden he is sorry, he was hot headed, and he wants to come home.

This is potentially the story of the year for the world. How many are there? Where do they come from? And how many get let back?

British Isis bride Shamima Begum seemed to collect the early international headlines with her pleadings. She had the advantage of a baby, but that didn't, quite rightly, stop the British Home Secretary Sajid Javid ripping up her citizenship. Even if he was wobbling on it, the polls gave him all the support he would have needed.

The premise is simple and most of us agree with it - you don't desert your country to go and help another destroy it.

Will the decision be made as easily here? Seems not, sadly. Taylor is already talking of life in prison if he's allowed back.

He's also doing what most of them appear to be doing. He wasn't a fighter per se. Isn't it amazing how many of them wandered off to join the battle, and yet didn't actually do any battling. What did they have? A large camp full of onlookers? A cheer squad?

The only sad part about all this is the naivety and stupidity that so many seem to suffer from. Taylor claims he was a bit hot headed, and he's sorry for causing too much trouble.

One of these fighters missed his mum, pasties, and Doctor Who. It's sort of pathetic.

Was this a caliphate of mummies' boys who thought they were being a bit gung-ho. Was it a pub dare? Some of them seem stupid enough to have been those sort of victims.

So what does Ardern do? You know what she wants to do. Helen Clark has already tweeted about Begum, saying you can't leave a person stateless.

Well actually you can, you just have to want to, and Britain has. Let them rot in Syria, where they so willingly chose to go.

Oh, you'll incur the wrath of the United Nations. But what would you rather have, a wagging finger or a crazed jihadist who's vowed to annihilate you, in the prison down the road, with knowing this country sadly, a not unreasonable chance of parole for good behaviour?

You know that Ardern would let him in, you know she's driven by UN-type doctrines. She'd probably put him on the job-seeker benefit and tell him to take his time looking for work.

Javid has started the international response well, America has done similar things, but is facing the inevitable legal challenges.

If there is a weak socialist link here it is, sadly, us. We won't have the same resolve, we won't, I don't think, even want to have the same resolve.

So Mark Taylor, jihadist and traitor, you want him back? And what are you going to say when Ardern says he's welcome home?

Listen Live Here Listen Live on iHeartRadio