By Andrew Brons
As long as a policy is justified by association with the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy it must be all right. Would you not agree? I am afraid that many would agree without thinking vary carefully at all.
There is indeed a serious* threat from Islamist terrorism in the United Kingdom. That threat is the product of the immigration policies of successive governments and ill-judged foreign wars intended to fulfil the foreign policy objectives of just one country in the Middle East. However, those facts do not diminish the threat or make it any less real. Furthermore, terrorism must be countered from whoever or wherever it comes. There can be no doubt about that.
Whilst terrorism has a precise meaning in United Kingdom law, other less well defined terms (and even undefined terms) are sometimes used as substitutes for it. The word extremist is just such a word. It is used by government and media to refer to terrorists and to people who use lesser degrees of violence and damage. However, it also used to refer to people who act completely within the law but whose political objectives are disapproved of by the political class.
I am not accusing the government or the media of a lazy and ill-considered use of language. Lack of precise definition and the conflation of entirely different concepts is a carefully chosen policy objective. It enables legitimate protesters or rivals for office to be treated as though they were terrorists.
The words extremism and extremist are bridging words that enable the logician’s fallacy of the undistributed middle-term to be used, with impunity. All As are B; therefore all Bs are A. All terrorists are extremists; therefore, all extremists are terrorists.
Just in case individual police officers fail to understand this, police structures use the words domestic extremism to ensure that officers in the street do not make that important distinction. The National Domestic Extremism Unit serves exactly that purpose.
Only this week, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, announced that new Extremist Control Orders will enable banning orders to be used to enable the Government to criminalise an organisation that, “spreads or promotes hatred”. “Nothing wrong with that”, I hear you say; perhaps not, if the orders could only be used against those who are indisputably justifying or inciting violent acts.
The BBC revealed that these orders would be used also against those accused of being ‘Neo-Nazis’ and not just Islamist groups. “So what,” I hear you say.
It should remembered that David Cameron was the only Conservative MP to ‘sponsor’ the violent anti-Nationalist hate group, Unite Against Fascism (the UAF). The UAF describes all British Nationalists as ‘Neo-Nazis’ and has even taken to demonstrating against the phony-nationalist outfit, UKIP.
We know that the threshold for the prosecution of British Nationalists is much lower than it is for the prosecution of Africans and Asians. Whilst the latter would have to advocate violence, quite unambiguously, before they were prosecuted, British Nationalists can be prosecuted for a careless choice of words.
Left wingers, like Eric Hobsbawm, expressly justified mass murder, if it led to a socialist utopia. Nobody suggested that he should be prosecuted and he was lauded with compliments in his obituaries.
David Cameron is clearly trying to criminalise and eradicate British Nationalism in the guise of tackling Islamist terrorism.
*It is now said that the threat has been assessed upwards from serious to substantial and from substantial to severe.