I think UKIP has a reputation for standing up for free speech (our leaflets are often headlined “straight talking”, after all). So I was very interested to read a statement from Colin Hart, of The Christian Institute, expressing concern about Conservative Party plans for a “Commission for Countering Extremism”, as revealed in their manifesto this week. I agree with Colin, and make his words my own. He says, among other things:
“The word ‘extremist’ has been robbed of all meaning by activists who use it against anyone who disagrees with them. We’ve already seen a series of witch-hunts against people with traditional views.
“This Commission on extremism might make a bad situation a whole lot worse.
“People labelled extremists in their own day include Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Wilberforce and the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
“Today, people like Germaine Greer and Dame Jenni Murray are vilified for ‘extreme’ views on transsexualism that actually represent the views of the great majority of people.”