I posted this as a Twitter thread this morning:
The Government has apparently drawn up plans to broaden the definition of extremism to include anyone who “undermines” the country's institutions and its values.
I do that.
Should I be worried? A thread....
Like any sane person in a country where so much of the state does not function as it should, of course I want to undermine the institutions that are failing us and the values that have driven them towards failure.
The UK is failing so badly that there is, in fact, almost no institution of government within it that I am convinced should survive as it is now.
Let's start with the constitution, and the fact that we have not got one. I am incredibly keen on that changing.
I would more than happily see the monarchy depart. I'm not a eugenicist, so of course I cannot believe in a hereditary head of state.
For the same reason, I want the hereditary peers gone.
I am not too keen on just one church having a formal role in parliament. Or, in fact, any church or faith having that role. So, the bishops should be gone from the Lords as well.
And then the other peers should go too. I'm so subversive that I would like to live in a democracy.
For that same reason, I'd like every vote cast in the UK to count. So I'm in favour of proportional representation. That's so radical that everyone in Europe, bar Belarus and us, has it.
I'd also end 'the crown prerogative' that gives the UK's prime minister unaccountable power. That should simply not happen in a democracy.
Then, I am quite keen on a Bill of Rights so that Home Secretaries cannot brand me an extremist for disagreeing with them.
I am also quite keen on barring discrimination when our government seems intent on promoting it.
And just for the record, I'd like to honour international law on things like human rights, the rule of law, refugees and asylum seeking and also on the laws regulating war. I think the world might be a better place if we did all those things.
I'm pretty keen on having governments that are required to have a bias to the poor as well. What we now have is a system biased to wealth that vilifies the poorest in our society when the whole purpose of government should be to provide protection to the vulnerable.
For the same reason, I'm keen on extending the duty to perform that our government is now so keen on imposing on state employees to the functions of the state itself. I'd like a statutory right to health care, education, social care and justice when, right now, all are failing.
I mean, is it too much to ask that ministers have a duty to do their jobs and if they can't or won't, that they be required to go?
I'd love an economy that works. But that means abolishing the role of the Bank of England within it, whose sole function is to keep inflation low whatever the cost to ordinary people, and all in the interests of protecting the value of debts owed to banks and the wealthy.
I'd also like a government that understood we can afford to do anything of which we are capable - and not one that thinks that its sole job is the mundane task of balancing its books, for which there is no known need.
And since we're only capable of delivering all of which we are capable if everyone is at work in well-paid employment, that should be the goal of economic policy, laid down in law. The idea that beating inflation is our national priority has to go.
That said, let's make sure we also respect the environment and really go for the climate transition we need. Life depends on it, but you'd never know that right now based on the actions of our politicians.
What else is there? Well, let's recognise the fact that we're a supposedly United Kingdom by recognising the right of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to leave it if they wish rather than have England impose their will on them. There's nothing united about that.
And given where we are internationally, can we stop pretending we are a global superpower with aircraft carriers in the Pacific and instead reflect on the only role of which we are now capable - which is of being an international peacemaker?
That, though, might require some serious contrition for past errors of the colonial era, for which proper apologies would have to be given. A real commitment to development might be some indication of that. Savings in aircraft carriers might help that.
And then let's come to the functioning of so much of the state these days - where the pretence is that unless such activities look as if they are akin to a private sector company then they cannot work. That notion is totally wrong.
Education, healthcare, social care and so much else should not be run by outsourced agencies competing for resources, each pretending that it is meeting the needs of its customers - as HM Revenue & Customs calls taxpayers - in the sector in which they work.
To be unambiguous, the structures that are mimicked by too many public sector institutions these days are based on organisations set up for profit where the possibility of failure is openly recognised. That is not what we need for state-based services.
The state is a not-for-profit institution that cannot fail without major harm resulting. Let's not pretend otherwise, which is what is happening now. If you set up organisations on a false premise - which most of our state sector is - then of course they will fail.
So, we need to build a new idea of institutions, and government itself, run in the public interest - which is their whole reason for being. Only then can they work.
And what else would I change? The libel laws, which are designed to prevent free speech in this country.
And I would require that British paper and media companies were British owned - and not under the control of a single person or group of people.
And I'd want a decent press regulator. We very clearly have not got one.
I would also really prefer that natural monopolies - water, energy supply, rail, post, local transport and more - be run by the state because then those services might work, when they do not right now.
I could go on, I am sure. But my point is this. Is wanting such reform extremist, because there is not much left untouched by this agenda - which I think most people might agree with it in reasonable part (OK, the monarchy aside)? And if so, why?
For the record, if it is extremist, Braverman can come and get me.
But I doubt she will.
Why's that? Because, in reality, her agenda is deeply racist, as ever.
Being white will save me from her like, for now.
But will it forever?
I wish I was that confident.
And why should that be the case, anyway?
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