UK Police launch program to report ‘extremist’ friends, relatives for re-education
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December 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — U.K. police have launched an Orwellian re-education program that encourages people to report concerns that loved ones are “developing extremist views” — which it fails to define — and “being filled with hate.”
“It can be hard to know what to do if you’re worried someone close is expressing extreme views or hatred, which could lead to them harming themselves or others. Working with other organisations, the police protect vulnerable people from being exploited by extremists through a Home Office programme called Prevent,” states the program’s ACT Early website, which was launched in Nov. 2020.
“Act early and tell us your concerns in confidence. You won’t be wasting our time and you won’t ruin lives, but you might save them,” the description continues.
It is no exaggeration to describe them as the U.K.’s “thought police.”
The website gives a few real-life examples of people who have been “helped” by the Prevent program, which read like a page out of Orwell’s 1984. Three of the stories describe “intervention” for people with vaguely defined “extreme right-wing” views, and three stories describe “extremist” Muslim views. Conspicuously absent from the list are examples of people with “extremist left-wing” views.
The first story listed is about a student named “John” who “started sharing extreme right wing posts on social media and attending rallies. After inviting a teacher along to an extremist rally he was referred to the Prevent programme by his college.”
The story continues, “He was appointed a specialist mentor (also known as an Intervention Provider) who helped increase John’s self-confidence and he realised he wanted to make some changes in his life. With this help and support he was able to move away from extremism.”
What exactly the term “extremist” means appears to be left to the judgement of the person concerned, as “extremism” is never defined on the site. Ultimately, by leaving the term “extremism” undefined, they have placed its definition, by default, in the hands of the state.
The site also gives the vaguest possible criteria for referring someone to this program: “More important than any one sign is the feeling that something is not right.”
The “signs and vulnerabilities” that it does list as making a person “more at risk for being exploited” don’t make their criteria much clearer. They are so broadly or ill defined that they can easily be interpreted as applying to a majority of sane and stable human beings.
For example, one of the indicators it lists is “being influenced or controlled by a group.” It presents the following leading questions:
Is the person you’re worried about talking as if from someone else’s script? Do you think they are expressing their own views and beliefs? Are you worried they are becoming intolerant to anyone who is not sharing their views?
Are we to believe somehow that our views are to be totally uninfluenced by other groups or other people’s ideas? That our views will at no time resemble those of another entity?
Also concerning is that it is quite common for people to confuse the rejection of an idea — which is a given for a thinking person — with rejection of or “intolerance” for a person.
And even if these were concerning behaviors, do they come anything close to signs that a person is a potential danger to society?
It also lists as potential indicators of “radicalisation” “An obsessive or angry desire for change or ‘something to be done’”; “Spending an increasing amount of time online and sharing extreme views on social media”; “The need for identity, meaning and belonging; personal crisis”; “Looking to blame others;” “Mental health issues;” and “The desire for status/need to dominate.”
Under the first trait of that list, it elaborates: “Some people react strongly to acts of extremism and terrorism, or to perceived injustices, whether in the UK or in other countries. Sometimes, this can lead to a powerful desire for change or ‘something to be done’ to address these concerns.”
The irony and incoherence of the request by the UK Metropolitan Police that people report concerns of “extremist views” was not lost on Twitter.
Howard John Fisher responded, “Yes I would like to report the Met Police, and the UK government and especially their Behavioural Insights Team, for having Extremist totalitarian and authoritarian technocratic views which will prove to be very injurious to the life and liberties of British Citizens.”
Paul Kemp tweeted, “BLM have extremist views. Why do your officers kneel for them?”
While the site admits that the presence of the traits it lists doesn’t “necessarily mean someone is being radicalised,” the authors have already sought to create a mental association between extremely common — and even perfectly healthy — characteristics and the “thoughtcrime” of extremism.
What makes the program even more disconcerting is its admonition to “act early” in response to signs of “radicalisation,” which is at the core of the program’s branding. “You can spot worrying behaviour at an early stage,” states the website, www.actearly.uk.
What do the “early stages” of “radicalization” look like? To call for its reporting easily broadens the scope of potential “thoughtcrimes.” Would the U.K. Met Police expect the early stages to entail anger at acts of terrorism (see above)? Would it involve “dogmatic” espousal of Christianity or other religions?
The website stresses, “Receiving support is voluntary. We need the person’s permission to help them. Our approach begins by understanding people are victims of radicalisation; we don’t view them as suspects or criminals.”
What are we to make of this claim, considering that the Prevent initiative is an extension of Counter Terrorism Policing? Are we to imagine that they keep no records on the people reported to their program?
Even while they say that currently, re-education — what they call “support” — is voluntary, it doesn’t take a genius to see that the program paves the way for forced re-education, in the name of “public safety.”
Gerard Batten incisively observed, “Yes, I am deeply concerned that your officers are being indoctrinated with hate against ordinary decent people who demonstrate & defend their freedoms & liberties. Your reputation is going the same way as the Gestapo, KGB & Stasi.”