Am I an extremist? 

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I posted this YouTube video this morning. In it I argue that the government is cracking down on those they call extremists, who seem to me and, I suspect, most people, to be those holding exceedingly normal opinions. Woe beside nature lovers, democrats and those concerned about poverty, let alone anyone not a neoliberal. So, is Rishi Sunak the extremist in reality, because I certainly don't feel that I am?


The transcript is:

Rishi Sunak is trying to redefine extremism in the UK, and that's extremely dangerous.

It's particularly dangerous in the context of a new report that has been produced by someone called Lord Walney, who used to be the Labour MP John Woodcock, but frankly he was one of those who pioneered the move of Labour towards the right wing, and he's now well and truly on the right of the Conservative Party as far as I can work out.

And what it seems that Rishi Sunak plus Lord Walney are trying to do together is to redefine those who are considered enemies of the state. They are the people who, according to Lord Walney, might lose the right to protest because they're trying to undermine democracy.

But let's just look at the list that Rishi Sunak used of those who he thinks are extremists.

They're leftists. In other words, anyone who doesn't agree with him.

Environmentalists. That's vast numbers of people in the UK, who are members of things like the National Trust.

Pacifists. I'm a Quaker, so unsurprisingly, I fall into that category.


Peaceful protesters. Peaceful protesters, I stress.


People who believe in the rule of law. That's very threatening.

The supporters of human rights, even though, of course, we, the UK, were one of the founding signatories to the UN Declaration of Human Rights and created the European Court of Human Rights.

And, let's be clear about this - nationalists, whether they be Scottish, Welsh, or Irish,

All are extremists.

So, look, this is pretty significant for some people. I notice that I happen to tick all those boxes to some degree or other. But am I an extremist? Well, of course I'm not. Not in any shape or form.

I believe all people are born equal.

Discrimination is abhorrent in all its forms.

We all have equal rights to partake in society and ask as a result that society should have a bias towards the poor, the disadvantaged and the oppressed. I

believe we should all have a say in the societies of which we are a part. That, after all, is what being a democrat means.

And I think that no state has the right to demand the subjugation of another to its will, which is why I support many nationalist causes.

So, am I an extremist for subscribing to all those beliefs, or am I simply someone who holding beliefs that are pretty close to the teaching of, well, the Christian church and pretty much every other faith, as well as all the major western and other wisdom traditions, let alone virtually all moral philosophy?

So, the question is, is Sunak right? Or is he peddling a corrupt form of politics designed to

  • favour the rich,
  • deny opportunity to those who are disadvantaged,
  • encourage inequality,
  • promote intolerance and discrimination,
  • undermine democracy, and
  • oppress Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, let alone any other country in the world that he cares to take offence about.

My answer is he's promoting toxicity to deny people like me our freedom to express our opinions as we wish.

Now, that's an action that, to me, that is quite clearly contrary to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

And in an era of growing political tension, he must know that this could lead to abuse. And I mean, both obvious online and verbal abuse, but even physical abuse as tensions rise.

So, what is he up to? Is this fascism? Because that's what it feels like by denying the right of everyone who opposes him to believe anything and be labelled as anything but an extremist.

\And there's another question that follows on from that, which is why isn't Labour roundly condemning this?

I genuinely don't know the answers to these questions, but what I do know is that they need to be asked, and I do know that human rights have to be stood up for, because they've been hard won. And they could be easily lost. And the cost to us all as a consequence of that will be enormous.

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