It is difficult for me to understand the relentless news coverage of the case of three young women who left their school i Bethnal Green to join the Islamic State in Syria. Of course I can understand the initial media excitement in the story, as a human interest story, but we have now had many days in which the United Kingdom newspapers, radio stations and television programmes have led on various aspects of this story.
People are always interested in the misfortune of others, but the over concnetration on this story seems to me to be counter productive. If the point is to discourage youg people from joining ISIS, then I think the media concentration will have the opposite effect. Some young people may regard the three girls as heroines and may be inspired by their adventure, as they see it.
The young can be misguided, foolish and innocent. They often fail to realise just how life changing a decision can be and that every change is not a change for the better; they can fail to see, in their enthusiasm for doing what they think is right, the unintended consequences of decisions.
They are not alone in this. The crisis and strength of ISIS has been fed by the policies and actions of much older people who ought to know better and for whom the folly and inexperience of youth is no excuse. On the whole the older generations have committed far greater follies than those committed by the idealism of youth.