Public Relations Prime Minister has shot himself in the foot again, with a plan that mocks the very bedrock of the British justice system.
David Cameron wants to ban suspected extremists from working with children. Suspected? In what way? Because they read a different holy book? Because they follow a different religion? Because their skin is a different colour? Because they ‘don’t look right’ in the eyes of parents who may be prejudiced themselves?
There is a reason British justice holds that a person is innocent of any crime until they are proven to be guilty of it – it’s there to prevent exactly the kind of extremism that this Cameron policy will provoke – extreme paranoia; sectarianism; racism.
Perhaps Cameron thinks he can get away with it because he’s been doing this to the sick and disabled for years. The assessment system for incapacity and disability benefits takes as its fundamental assumption the idea that claimants are making up their illnesses in order to have an easy life – and they are taken to be guilty of this until they are able to prove their innocence.
In fact, barring a very small number of people, the assumption is completely wrong, but the fact that it is made means that claimants not only have a very hard time proving they really are ill; their life continues to be hard as they are pushed to continue proving their illness at regular (or irregular) intervals as long as their claim persists. In far too many cases, the way they are treated makes their condition worse.
Coming back to Cameron’s claims about suspected extremism, is anything more likely to turn a peaceful Muslim, living and working in the UK, into an extremist than persistent inaccurate claims that he or she already is one – from the authorities and the people all around?
This is another ‘Divide and Rule’ tactic by Cameron and his cronies, designed to create conflict between sections of society and divert attention away from the brutalities inflicted on all of us by the Conservative Government.
The prime minister set out his thinking in a post on Facebook, as he announced plans to ban suspected extremists from working with children.
He will also extend powers that allow parents to request the cancellation of passports for their children if they are suspected of wanting to travel to fight for Islamic State (Isis), increasing the age limit from under-16s to under-18s.
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