5th July 2015
Proposed ‘extremism’ legislation http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/may/13/counter-terrorism-bill-extremism-disruption-orders-david-cameron should terrify us all. David Cameron said in May:”
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.” We should all worry how the thought police are going to define extremism.
“Asserting our system of values” (as Cameron stated on Radio 4) is, of course, fascism. Being “intolerant of intolerance”, while being a quirky paradoxical sound bite, stinks of Orwellian Newspeak and redefining words. If obeying the law is not enough, the “intolerance” can be applied in a partisan way.
Our unjust wars are legitimised and violence by the other is labelled terrorism. The US government set up research groups to come up with a definition of terrorism that could exclude their own violent expansionism. Easy – states cannot be terrorists because they have a legitimacy. That is why there is concern about the term Islamic State – oh dear, if it is a state it can’t be terrorism. Back to using ISIS or ISIL or something now that the idea it is Islamic is firmly rooted in people’s minds.
So what are these British values?
Democracy? – the will of the majority? Well, 24% of the electorate voted Tory, yet we have an unjust extremist government thrust upon us. I’m against that. I’d prefer a proportional system where every vote counted. A bit extremist of me. What if the majority of the population don’t want democracy?
Rule of law? Well, I’m critical of a legal system that fails to prosecute: bankers who destroyed our economy; ‘law enforcers’ who kill prisoners in custody, abusers of power and the rich and powerful, while sending a young ‘rioter’ who stole a packet of crisps to jail for 4 years. Cuts to legal aid mean justice for the poor under the law is compromised further. I’m not convinced – the rule of law seems to be one rule for the rich and another for the poor. I’m against that too.
Individual liberty? Yes, I am in favour of that in a way that this proposed legislation seems to attack. Freedom of thought? Freedom of expression? Surely they are an intrinsic part of individual liberty that is attacked by this. Again our language is being redefined. We have freedom of speech so long as you, or your child in school, does not say anything against the government or contrary to “British values”. How is that any different from the dictatorships we justify invading?
Mutual respect? I want to stand alongside my Muslim friends and neighbours and proclaim that I am an extremist. It is safer, at the moment, for me – a white Westerner of no specific religion, than it would be for them, That is how fair and just our society has become. Of course Muslim people are fleeing the persecution they can see coming here.
Schools will be the thought police in this scenario – your children utter innocent statements and the stasi turn up to interview you and put your children on the at risk of radicalisation list. Your daughter wears a headscarf? Oh dear they will have to unradicalise her with exposure to page 3. Your son goes to the mosque? – maybe he is being radicalised there so they will close the mosque and re-educate your son.
Here are some questions asked of primary children in Waltham Forest http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/11635089/Muslim-children-profiled-with-counter-extremism-questionnaire.html :
“The survey asks children as young as nine living in Waltham Forest, east London, detailed questions about their beliefs and poses several leading statements for them to assess, concerning the strength of their feelings and how far they might go to defend their religion.
They include: “Religious books are to be understood word for word”, “I believe my religion is the only correct one”, “God has a purpose for me” and “I would do what a grown up told me to do even if it seemed odd to me”.”
Doing as an adult tells you is extreme in school? Such as filling out a stupid questionnaire when asked to?
First they came for the Muslims and I did not speak out because I was not a Muslim. Then we were all called extremist for protesting.
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