TORY Home Secretary May’s plans to ban democratic rights, that she proposed to the Tory party conference yesterday, was condemned as ‘worthy of a caliphate’ by civil rights group Liberty.
Proposing sweeping new draconian powers, May told the conference in Birmingham: ‘Our policy does not just focus on violent extremism it also deals with non-violent extremism.’
She told delegates: ‘I want to see new banning orders for extremist groups which fall short of the existing laws relating to terrorism.
‘I want to see new civil powers to target extremists who stay just within the law but still spread poisonous hatred.’
‘So both both policies, “banning orders” and “extremism disruption orders” will be in the next conservative manifesto.’
Frank Sweeney, General Secretary of the Workers Revolutionary Party, said: ‘This is the most savage assault on democratic rights since the 18th century combination acts which banned trade unionism.
‘And there is not the slightest doubt that such measures will be used to attack trade unions, attack democratic rights in order to prevent the truth be spoken about the savage Tory cuts and war programmes that are now being initiated.
‘Such an action must be met with a general strike to bring down this government a and go forwards to a workers government.’
Steve Gillan Prison Officers Association (POA) General Secretary told News Line: ‘I am very cautious about the announcement today which could extend to trade unions potentially and other groups who are deemed to be a threat to government.
‘We would need to see more of the legislation in order to fully understand its potential impact.’
May’s proposals have caused outrage even within the Tory Party’s own ranks with David Davis, who stood against Cameron for the leadership of the Tory Party, up in arms.
Davis who was the former Shadow Home Secretary when Labour were in power said: ‘These are incredible new powers that are being proposed and they are changing laws that have been in this country for 200 years.
‘They are based on the Home Secretary having a reasonable belief that an organisation will break certain criteria and one of those criteria is a risk of harassment, alarm or distress!
‘Well one senses that I do that to the Tory party everyday.
‘This is really, really serious stuff and I think it will have real trouble getting through the House of Commons and indeed standing up in front of the courts.’
Under the Tories’ new proposals, groups that defend democratic rights and speak the truth about the situation will be treated as ‘terrorist organisations’, and would be subject to ‘banning orders’ should ministers have ‘reasonable belief’ that they are a ‘threat to democracy’ or as Davis outlined, pose the public with ‘risk of harassment, alarm or distress’.
The granting of a ban, which would be subject to immediate review by the High Court, would make membership or funding of the organisation concerned a criminal offence.
The ‘full spectrum’ of ‘extremist organisations’ and individuals will be targeted, ranging from animal rights groups to socialist organisations.
This is the road to press censorship and to newspapers having to send their copy to censors to be passed before it can be published.
Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, said of May’s proposals: ‘How do you promote liberal democratic values by promising state powers worthy of a caliphate?’
Later in her speech, May announced that she has already used her new powers to strip people of citizenship, making them stateless.
She said: ‘So far I have removed the passports of 25 people in relation to Syria and I will continue to use that power.’