The draconian Coalition proposals for dealing with 'non-violent extremists' can no longer be described as the Writing on the Wall. This is nascent dictatorship written in Dayglo on a barrage balloon above the Palace of Westminster. The Slog makes a final appeal for concerted and tenacious opposition.
A few days back, the Daily Telegraph obtained a leaked letter written by George Osborne, as a follow-up to the unwise and unacceptable non-violent extremist (NVE) definition put forward by the joint ignorance of David Cameron and Theresa May. This is a brief extract from the quite astonishing letter: (my emphases)
'the ultimate objective would be to eliminate extremism in all its forms....[including] those who spread hate but do not break laws...the new orders will extend to any activities that justify hatred on the grounds of religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability.."
These orders are to be called Extremism Disruption Orders or EDOs. They have already attracted strong criticism from dangerous revolutionaries like Keith Porteous of the National Secular Society and Colin Hart of the Christian Institute.
Proving within hours that he hadn't actually read the draft laws, a spokesman for the Conservative Party rejected the criticism, saying, "We have never sought to restrict peaceful protest or free speech, provided it is within the law." The Osborne letter quite clearly contradicts this. Even before the process has got beyond the drawing board, Camerlot sloppiness and/or dissembling is apparent.
I have two serious, substantive issues with these ideas, and the time has come for people of all beliefs and political views to remove backside from sofa to take a stand about them: