Policies previously considered extremist have been normalised — the UK is now in a very precarious position
Back in 2014, the far-right party UKIP tried to have me arrested for tweeting. My crime was simply that I had taken someone else’s claims of the more extreme policies of UKIP and verified most of them citing official UKIP party websites. As it turned out, the police were unable to arrest me or charge me with any crime, as I was protected under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The Home Secretary at the time, the Rt Hon Teresa May, made a statement to the Commons, criticising the local police authority’s actions.
In a surprising contrast, during the incumbency of the current Home Secretary, Priti Patel, social media commentators, human rights NGOs and some of the independent press have warned about the increasing threat to civil liberties, warning of a descent into fascism. Indeed, the very law that protected my free speech is under threat of being repealed.
As the Tory leadership campaign scrapes the bottom of the barrel, each candidate trying to out-do the other with the most outrageous of right-wing knee-jerk policies, should the domestic and international media be legitimately describing the Conservative Party as far right, in the same terms as those reserved for Le Pen’s FN in France, Orban of Hungary or the worst of the nationalist parties in northern Europe?
Inspired by the tweet that got me into trouble last time, I have assembled a list of policies and pledges below. Some are current Tory government policy, some from the Tory leadership candidates, and some from the fascist British National Party general election manifesto of 2010.
The simple question is — which is which? Can you tell?
1. Deport all foreigners convicted of crimes in Britain, regardless of immigration status.
2. Repeal the Race relations Act and all laws aimed at restricting freedom of speech.
3. Repeal the Human Rights Act, withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, and create a British bill of rights.
4. Institute a workfare-not-welfare policy for those who refuse to get back to work.