Mass migration a post-Cold War threat: ex-British minister

November 17th, 2008 - 4:49 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 17 (IANS) A former British cabinet minister says mass migration is among the biggest post-Cold War “threats” facing Britain - along with terrorism and crime.”Forty years ago, the Cold War meant that the borders were inviolate, extremist religious groups and ethnic tensions were suppressed, there was no internet and travel was difficult,” former Labour home minister John Reid said.

“Now you have a completely mobile world. So the great questions of mass migration, international crime and international terrorism were much higher than they were previously,” he told the pro-Conservative Daily Telegraph in an interview.

The result was “far more sources of insecurity than ever before”, made worse by the advent of the internet which increased the interdependence of the world.

“We have to recognise that on the net you can practically get the full DNA of the First World War flu that killed 24 million people,” Reid said.

“Crises are looked upon as very exceptional circumstances. Actually they occur a lot more than people think, a lot more often than people know and they are getting more regular,” added Reid, who has also been incharge of other key government ministries, including defence, health and Northern Ireland.

Reid, who is to retire as MP at the next general election, told the paper he plans to set up a think tank called the Institute of Security and Resilience Studies, which will assess long-term threats against Britain and other countries.

It is to be based at the prestigious University College, London.

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