Legislative hunting season has started. Predictably the neocons are disseminating their versions of “truth” whilst the churnalistic media regurgitate what they have to say without much of challenge to the claims being made.
With the onset of the Counter-Extremism Bill, a press release was issued by the government on the 17th of September announcing, as part of the neoconservative “One-Nation” Toryism (a euphemism for war and the creation of a “closed society”), a new duty to stop extremists radicalising students on campuses. This duty came into force on the 21st of September 2015. It will ensure that “extremists” espousing “extremist views” would not go unchallenged and that staff are thoroughly brainwashed and bathed in the neoconservative counter-extremism discourse so that they may be able to protect students from “poisonous and pernicious ideas”. Offering some hot chocolate with an arm of comfort around the shoulders of the circa 280 academics, lawyers and public figures who slammed the counter-extremism strategy (PREVENT) and the assumptions which underpin them, Cameron stated that,
“It is not about oppressing free speech or stifling academic freedom, it is about making sure that radical views and ideas are not given the oxygen they need to flourish.”
This is the “guided” liberalism of Cameron as opposed to the university leaders’ “misguided liberalism” condemned in his Birmingham speech. By reconstituting human rights-violating measures into a “duty to protect”, the central objections to such measures are somehow magically meant to disappear. Even the establishment “independent reviewer” of terrorism laws David Anderson QC said,
“These issues matter because they concern the scope of UK discrimination, hate speech and public order laws, the limit that the state may place on some of our most basic freedoms, the proper limits of surveillance, and the acceptability of imposing suppressive measures without the protections of the criminal law…”
Putting it in slightly less diplomatic terms, Cameron and his neocon cabal are riding rough-shod over the principle of non-discrimination, free speech and freedom of belief on the basis of views that he and his nihilist neocons deem unacceptable.