MEND Statement: Are you an extremist? Well if you question anything the Government doesn’t like you soon might be
Categories: Latest News
Sunday November 05 2023
The Observer has reported that the Government is proposing new legislation that defines extremism as “the promotion or advancement of any ideology which aims to overturn or undermine the UK’s system of Parliamentary democracy, its institutions and its values”. This is a blatant attack on freedom of expression, one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and is a thinly disguised attempt to stifle any form of dissent in true Orwellian style.
Such a definition would criminalise a wide range of beliefs, including criticising or opposing any Government policy, calling for abolition of the House of Lords, opposing the monarchy etc. However there is little doubt that the prime motivation for this desperate act by a dying Government, is to target human rights and faith-based organisations which have been calling it to account for its racist, unjust and divisive policies. This includes the hundreds of thousands of people and organisations who have been marching in cities across the UK calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Polling suggests 76% of people in the UK support a ceasefire, yet the Government’s pathetic response has been to call these “hate marches”. Under this legislation, one presumes such marches would be banned.
We will not sit by and idly watch our cherished democracy destroyed like this. MEND calls on parliamentarians and civil society organisations to work together to resist this draconian legislation.