Gove’s new ‘extremism definition’ prepares way for crackdown on all opposition to Israeli genocide


COMMUNITIES secretary Michael Gove in Parliament yesterday made a short statement introducing the Tories new definition of extremism which now encompasses ‘non-violent extremism’.

Almost all of Gove’s plans have been leaked to the press over the past week so we know already that extremism is defined as ‘the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance’ that aims to ‘negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of others’ or ‘undermine, overturn or replace the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy and democratic rights.’

It also includes those who ‘intentionally create a permissive environment for others to achieve’ either of those aims. Under the new measures, the Tories intend to publish a list of groups it brands as ‘extremist’ in the coming weeks.

The weeks running up to Gove’s announcement have been accompanied by increasingly demented denunciations of the massive support on the streets for Palestine and opposition to Zionist genocide in Gaza, making it clear the main target is the massive support for Palestine by workers and young people.

We had Tory prime minister Rishi Sunak ranting about ‘hate marches’ and telling police leaders that ‘mob rule is replacing democratic rule.’

A government news release that attempted to explain exactly what Gove intends specifically points to the ongoing genocide being committed by Israel in Gaza as having led to concerns about the ‘wide-ranging risks of radicalisation’.

What the Tories are scared of is the massive anger expressed in huge demonstrations in support of Palestine and in opposition to the UK’s complicity in the killing of thousands of Palestine women and children.

While Gove was busy denouncing the dangers faced by politicians and his determination to crack down on extremists who threaten violence, he made it clear in an earlier interview with the BBC and Sky news that this didn’t apply to Tory donors.

Gove insisted that Tory multi-billionaire donor Frank Hester would not suffer any investigation under this new definition.

On Monday, Hester was revealed to have said that seeing MP Diane Abbott on TV meant ‘you just hate all black women’ and that she ‘should be shot’.

Apparently Tory donors get a free pass on hate speech, with Gove excusing Hester on the grounds he had shown ‘full contrition’.

Many commentators are questioning the real purpose of Gove’s latest plans, given that they are not legally binding, in the sense that any organisation named by Gove will not automatically be made illegal but just be denied any state funding or engagement with politicians.

But the whole point is that this new definition of ‘non-violent extremism’ paves the way for the capitalist state to launch legal attacks on all those individuals and organisations deemed to be undermining the ‘rule of law’ by branding everyone who opposes this Tory government as an enemy of the state.

This would include not just protest marches for Palestine, but all those who defy Tory laws and ‘subvert democracy’. It would certainly include trade unions that defy Tory anti-union laws and give the green light to the police to ban and break up any demonstration deemed a threat to the capitalist state.

Responding to this statement, Labour Party deputy leader Angela Rayner praised Gove, pledging that Labour will work with him in ‘good faith’ in implementing his plans.

The working class have shown that they know exactly who the real extremists are – a Tory government and Labour leadership that fully supports the right of the Zionist regime to slaughter tens of thousands of Palestinians, while at home criminalising workers fighting for wage increases.

The rule of law that the Tories are upholding are the laws of a capitalist ruling class waging war on workers at home and supporting genocidal war on the Palestinians. The time has come for the working class to assert its strength by forcing the TUC to call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government, replacing the capitalist state with a workers state and a socialist planned economy.

Only the WRP and Young Socialists fight for this programme – join today to build up the revolutionary leadership required for the victory of the British Socialist Revolution.