For at least a decade just about every regeneration and regional aid scheme in the UK has included a 'media learning hub' - a studio suite equipped at public expense with video editing, sound engineering, digital effects, filming and post production and media distribution kit - on the basis that proficiency in these things are skills 'yoof' needs to escape the chains of poverty and low aspiration. I suspect most young people get as far as a dross You Tube video with inane hip-hop sound track as they make funny sideways V signs and pull their trousers half way down their bottoms to show-off their underpants. Some, however, seem to have taken their skills and are using them quite brilliantly for ISIS, who have become masters of online propaganda.
Not only have they taken the name of that part of the Thames above Iffley lock, which has been used for everything from Oxford University student magazines to local suppliers of quality provender (Sorry, Isis Cheese, Isis Innovation and Isis School of English - you're going to have to change your names) it's also the name of an ancient middle eastern Goddess with cultural credibility. A PR agency from Soho's Golden Square charging half a mill a pop couldn't have come up with a better moniker.
Then there's the natty banner and logo, in monochrome so it can be replicated on every photocopier and even the cheapest print equipment. To Sunni youth, it must be as achingly cool as a pirate flag combined with a chequered Palestinian keffiyeh. Their You Tube videos have what meja types call 'high production values'. They achieve effortlessly a 'viral' product spread that any marketing man would kill for. The downside of course is that they do kill for it - in particularly brutal ways. And now they've released a photoshop map of the new 'Caliphate' stretching from Vienna to Pamplona that will have every Mail reader spluttering with rage into their breakfast tea;
So thankyou, Mr Wilkinson and the staff at Luton Media Hub - your alumni have learned well.