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A certain problem with values here

Under the proposed definition in the documents, extremism would be the promotion of any ideology which aims to “overturn or undermine the UK’s democracy, its institutions and values; or threaten the rights of individuals or create a permissive environment for radicalisation, hate crime and terrorism”.

It adds that the definition should be supported with public guidance that enables “consistent use and application”. The documents state that “stakeholders have thus far agreed this sets a clear threshold for identifying extremism”.

Who defines what those British values are?

Would be asy enough to argue that a British value is a concern for the underdog, for those fleeing violence elsewhere. For example. Therefore it becomes hate crime to oppose the small boats crossing the Channel.

Or that Brits are against poverty therefore it’s criminal to oppose a rise in welfare benefits.

And if you think that’s absurd then you’ve not been paying attention to what people will do once they gain political power.

The only way out of this is to stick with the old definitions. Actions can be prosecuted. Incitement to immediate violence can be. And nothing else. Not because there isn’t some further class that is dangerous, that we’d like to ban. But because the further edge of that would be the imposition of a State ideology. Because that’s just what happens with political power – it all comes down to who gets to define.

13 thoughts on “A certain problem with values here”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    My bet is on “climate denial” or some derivative being the first (ab)use of this legislation.

  2. “the UK’s democracy, its institutions and values”

    Not sure if that includes many “British” values at all. Certainly, not many people I see in London and the burbs have my values, being an ancient, white Sarf Lundener.

    I don’t know any of my mates who think its great to celebrate rape, torture, carving up babies. Not even the dodgy geezers that I knew of growing up. I remember chatting to an extremely dodgy geezer in the pub one lunchtime when his mobile (hardly anyone had one in those days, but he’d been following this lorry and…)

    He politely excused himself saying he had a bit of business to attend to and could I make sure no one touched his pint and fags, cos it wouldn’t take long. He came back half an hour later having asked his brother to take their granny to A&E and recovered granny’s handbag. He didn’t bother taking the thief to A&E…

    He did mention that he thought young blokes who mugged old ladies were scum, so I don’t think he would have thought much of Hamas. I thought the other day when I heard about our diversity contributors disrupting the remembrance at the Cenotaph that if Scarsie were still alive if he’d be there to display his British values. I hope he doesn’t turn up because he’d be nicked 0.0004 seconds after the demonstration started. Actually, given the Old Bill’s recent form he’d be nicked just for showing up…

  3. Of course, “values” are personal and subjective so Nat West for example espousing “values” is hogwash that allows platoons of ancillary cost centres to come up with “guidance”. A NatWest spokesman said: “Customers tell us they want to take action to live more sustainably, and to save money at the same time on things like energy bills, but they don’t always know where to begin”.

    The other side of the coin is “hate” which is your opposition to my (or my organisation’s) “values” which can cause me (/us) untold “harms”, preferably “multiple” “harms.

  4. “Extremism is the promotion or advancement of any ideology which aims to overturn or undermine the UK’s system of parliamentary democracy, its institutions and values.”

    This is the old crime of seditious libel, relabelled as extremism. It would make any discussion of parliamentary reform, even minor things like making the bastards pay full price for their meals, a potential criminal offence.

  5. Spud has a hilarious thread on X about how he fears he would be arrested under extremism laws, cos he opposes the current government, wants to abolish the monarchy, the Lords etc etc. He’s a martyr to the cause, I tells ya.

  6. If you would have suggested thirty years ago that “British Values” included men marrying men or that people are whatever sex they say they are, you wouldn’t have got general agreement, to say the least. But nowadays those viewpoints are imposed by law. If a school departs from that orthodoxy, they stand every chance of being forcefull shut by the state through the demented OFSTED system.

    Who knows, in twenty years time British Values might include people marrying dogs?

  7. “Who knows, in twenty years time British Values might include people marrying dogs?”

    Dogs are well known for their fidelity.

  8. You can tell it’s a really, really Bad Idea when even the Guardian, of all rags, is ..carefully hesitant.. about the whole thing.

    Not that the peeps there wouldn’t love the idea of being able to “enforce” their notions of Right and Wrong, but because they’re at least aware the whole thing could easily be used against them because they have no control over it.

    Yet.

    You do start to wonder if somehow the old CCCP PolitBuro was transplanted into the UK Civil Service.
    This is classic Other Side of the Wall stuff from the not-so-long-ago-really Bad Old Days.

  9. “… to “overturn or undermine the UK’s democracy…”

    We don’t have democracy, we have voting… voting to swap out the current crop of tyrants for a different lot, usually the lot we voted in the time before or the time before that.

    Democracy = the kratos (power) is equally distributed throughout the demos (people) so no one person has more power than any other and therefore cannot impose their will on others.

    Social/Liberal/Representative/Parliamentary/Social-Liberal… pick your preferred weasel-wording… democracy is just a deceit, smoke-screen to pretend the people are in charge.

    Oh yes, I forgot, it’s about the will of the majority. Well there is no collective will, and inasmuch as the majority decides, then it’s a tyranny of the majority.

    Tyranny is tyranny no matter whether of one, a few, or a majority. If we were a true democracy, there could be no Government as a body imposing rules on us against our interests and wishes.

    Let’s stop calling it democracy, please.

    Case in point: we are going to have imposed on us what we may and may not protest or complain about.

  10. My father used to draw a distinction. If you come across a Roman Catholic priest in the street and try courteously to persuade him of the error of his ways, that’s free speech. If you stick your head into an Irish pub at 10:00 p.m. and shout Fuck the Pope that’s incitement. Seems fair enough to me.

    So someone who yells “Kill all the Jews” in a British Jewish neighbourhood: incitement. Someone who chants “From the River to the Sea” somewhere there are no Israelis present, that isn’t.

    Mr Netanyahu and his advice re the Amalekites? He spoke abroad so our laws and customs don’t apply.

  11. My British values include a respect for tradition, and are very traditional, being traceable back to the time of the crusades, your honour.

  12. extremism would be the promotion of any ideology which aims to “overturn or undermine the UK’s democracy, its institutions and values;

    Rather lights a fire under the “World Caliphate” mob.

    Somehow, it’s never the Mormons, is it?

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