Much commentary has been written on the Counter-Extremism Bill. The journalist Dilly Hussain has done a comprehensive article addressing the key points of the Bill. CAGE has published a blog which neatly highlights the excessive, hypocritical, dangerous and completely unnecessary nature of the proposals. The organisation has further published a point by point breakdown of whatever ambiguous information has been thus far provided.
There are few articles which delve into the noxious nature of the Extremism measures on this blog too:
A Critical Overview of the Counter Extremism Strategy
Counter Extremism Strategy “Really is Counter-Islamic Strategy”
On Extremism Disruption Orders
Will the UK Government’s Counter-Extremism Programme Criminalise Dissent? (Arun Kundnani)
In this blog, I would like to elucidate some additional noteworthy points and arguments on the measures. I will also focus on other proposals, which seem at first to be disconnected to the Extremism Bill, yet also foster the neoconservative closed society.
Over the last year and half, I have explicated in detail the views and propensities propagated by neoconservatism and its proponents (see here, here, this series, this series, here, here, and here). What has happened in the US and what has been articulated by the neoconservative thinkers has been keenly followed and articulated through narratives here in the UK. From the blueprints of the policies we are experiencing today, such as Michael Gove’s Celsius 7/7 and Douglas Murray’s Neoconservatism: Why We Need it, to the actual laws and policies which have been instituted, neoconservatism is pulsating through the underlying philosophy and assumptions which are shaping the policies affecting every person in Britain, and sadly, in the Middle East.
Neoconservatives believe that a society faced by an impending threat is the ideal society because it allows for a people to willingly hand over rights, become collectivist in their dispositions, and sets the scene for the emergence of a new “governing philosophy”. This is shaped by fascist principles and a neo-Platonic view which designates the majority of the people as “vulgar masses”, whom are required to be subjected to (philosophically Machiavellian) social engineering and a set of fixed principles which do not bind the “guiding elite”. This elite “guide” the masses, and this “guidance” is often coerced through lies and deception in the name of ideas they seldom believe in (such as liberalism, human rights, and democratic principles). Neocons and their intellectual influences know best, in other words, whilst the masses are simply incapable of comprehending the true decisions which are being made for them.
The Human Rights Act (HRA) is an eyesore for David Cameron and his neocon clique. It is a thorn in the side of their desires to strip civil liberties under the apparent pretext of terrorism, “foreign criminals” who presumably are not “human”, and other excuses such as “Parliamentary sovereignty”. Article 8 – the right to private family life is often invoked as a troublesome Article by the neocons. When a government looks to reduce civil liberties of any people, it should be a cause for concern for all of us.
While the plans to repeal the HRA have been temporarily been shelved, other pieces of legislation which are designed to violate the rights of the people are steamrolling ahead. These pieces of legislation cannot be seen mutually exclusively. A holistic analysis presents a grim reality. I have previously argued that the doing away with Human Rights Act allows for an even more opaque government. It also paves the way for other draconian legislation to be brought in without the need to comply with the HRA. As I stated in a previous blog,
“The point to note is that any subsequent legislation must be compatible with HRA. With the Tory proposals regarding the HRA itself, the requirement of compatibility and giving due regard to the European Court’s judicial interpretation will be removed, which naturally means the courts would take into account the intention of Parliament. The intention of Parliament, if the proposals go through, would be to limit the application of human rights to the “most serious cases”, with inalienable rights being subject to “tests”.”
The neocons in government are hell-bent on creating a closed, securitised, on-edge society which values their aims over and above individual rights. To this end, varying aspects of our lives are slowly being restricted and exposed to the government.