There is no doubt that the modern United Kingdom has become an Orwellian police state. They have jailed people for saying mean things on the internet, taken children away from parents who have the wrong political opinions and arrested people for quoting Winston Churchill.
You can add to list of totalitarian actions from the UK government their new crack down on online extremist material as part of the latest round of counter terrorism measures. Citizens who view extremist material on the internet regularly could face jail sentences of up to 15 years.
The reason why this is so concerning is because of the definition of extremist material set out by UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd “I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law”.
This begs the question what does Rudd define as far-right propaganda? We know that the modern left and mainstream media would define anyone to the right of Amber Rudd herself (a supposed Conservative) a far-right extremist.
We would be right to be sceptical that this definition of far-right propaganda would only be limited to actual neo-Nazi and white supremacist websites. After all, after the Finsbury mosque revenge terror attack Theresa May declared that Islamophobia was a form of extremism. It would most likely be applied to anyone who was sceptical of mass Muslim immigration, multiculturalism and even gender and LGBT diversity.
We know the state of free speech in the UK is dire, but could a similar crackdown be coming to Australian soon? It just so happens that Australia’s domestic spy agency ASIO has just complied a briefing to the federal parliament on the activities of neo-Nazi groups who they claim are “willing to use violence to further their own interests”.
The purpose of the briefing is of course to demand more funding from the federal government. To be fair at least ASIO is also concerned about the far-left which is the instigator of street violence at public rallies “Members of these groups are diverse and have differing agendas, including extreme right-wing and extreme left-wing ideologies”.
But one gets the impression that ASIO clearly doesn’t want to appear to be focusing on only radical Islam which is why it has stated that “other groups continue to engage in politically motivated violence and the promotion of communal violence”.
The main group mentioned by ASIO in the briefing is the openly neo-Nazi group Antipodean Resistance which displays the swastika in the materials it distributes around our major cities. But it is highly unlikely ASIO will limit itself to only monitoring such groups.
This is because ASIO also stating that the “social discourse around anti-Islam and anti-migration issues had increased, with public protests for and against becoming more frequent and providing more opportunities for convergence between ideological adversaries”.
The fact that ASIO views discussion about the spread of Islam in Australia and continued high rates of immigration as a national security risk for which it is demanding extra funding for should raise alarm bells to those Australians who are concerned about these issues, as well as for the state of free speech and democracy in Australia.
We know that ASIO’s strategy in dealing with Islamic terrorism is to be extra nice to the Islamic community and they rubbished Pauline Hanson’s claim about links between our refugee intake and terrorism. It is completely unacceptable for any government agency to directly interfere with Australian democracy. When it comes from one of our security agency we should be especially worried.
We should also not hold much faith in our politicians to dismiss this briefing from ASIO as they see nothing wrong with our current immigration intake. They ignored a poll which showed 49% of Australians wanted a ban on Muslim immigration and instead passed a motion reaffirming Australia’s current immigration policy.
There is no doubt that ASIO would use this new power and funding to target what they view as far-right propaganda online, which would include blogs, YouTube channels and citizen activist group websites. Very soon we may not just be simply ignored, but actually persecuted and arrested for our opinions.