20 October 2009

Radicalisation and Extremism; the basis for police action?

My problem here arises out of the misuse of language which then legitimises illiberal policing in Britain. In the minds of many I hold radical and extreme views because I dislike all religion and believe that the state should be fully secular. But such views don’t yet make me a criminal in New Labour Britain.

Radicalisation (meaning going to root of one’s belief system) is not something that is necessarily either wrong or illegal. I would describe myself for instance as being of the radical left. In the same way, it is possible to hold extreme views and even act in an extreme way without breaking any law, let alone engaging in terrorist acts.

The police should be concerned only with only one thing: behaviour which is illegal. Making people who hold radical or extreme views per se objects of police surveillance and control is simply wrong.

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