Following thousands of British people signing a petition calling for Britain First to be ‘banned’ as a ‘Terrorist’ extremist organisation, (in response to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by one of its members), the current unelected Tory Prime Minister – Teresa May – and her Government, has refused to take direct action against Britain First, whilst issuing a broad re-statement of its anti-terror laws (which appear tailored to limit freedom of speech rather than confront legitimate threats). This legislation bizarrely states that there will be no tolerance of ‘extremism’ – either ‘violent’ or ‘non-violent’ – which begs the question of how can extremism be ‘non-violent’, unless, of course, it is a ‘cure all’ phrase that can be used to ‘prevent’ legitimate and democratic ‘dissent’ against the ‘extremism’ associated with Tory (and LibDem) ‘Austerity’. Whatever the case, the Tory government does not want to apply its own legislation against a ‘White’ and ‘Christian’ extremist group like the home-grown Britain First, when previous Tory administrations have been quite happy to ‘ban’ UK Muslim groups for criticising the UK wars in the Middle East. This is the Tory Government’s response to the British nation’s petition to ‘ban’ Britain First:
The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Britain First announce militant action against elected Muslims PROSCRIBE NOW!”.
While we keep the list of proscribed organisations under review, we do not routinely comment on whether an organisation is or is not under consideration for proscription.
Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if she believes it is concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do. For the purposes of the Act, this means that the organisation:
• commits or participates in acts of terrorism;
• prepares for terrorism;
• promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism); or
• is otherwise concerned in terrorism.
“Terrorism” as defined in the Act, means the use or threat which: involves serious violence against a person; involves serious damage to property; endangers a person’s life (other than that of the person committing the act); creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or section of the public; or is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system. The use or threat of such action must be designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public or a section of the public and be undertaken for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
The Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy addresses all forms of terrorism, including that which is inspired by far right extremism. Preventing terrorism involves challenging extremist (and non-violent) ideas which are part of terrorist ideology.
The Government condemns those who seek to spread hate by demonising British Muslims. Those who seek to divide us damage our country by stoking anti-Muslim hatred and who deliberately raise community fears and tensions by bringing disorder and violence to our towns and cities.
The Government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy sets out comprehensive measures to defeat all forms of extremism – violent or non-violent, Islamist or far-right extremism, by countering extremist ideology, building partnerships against extremism, disrupting extremists, and building cohesive communities.