“I want to see new banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of the existing laws relating to terrorism. I want to see new civil powers to target extremists who stay within the law but still spread poisonous hatred. So both policies ‚ banning orders and extremism disruption orders‚ will be in the next Conservative manifesto,”
Assuming that the Conservatives are the winners of the next election, the challenge for the Home Office and presumably the Police too will be to define what constitutes poisonous hatred, even though this will remain within the laws of the day! Will intemperate neighbours who cannot get on fall into this category? What about people whose attitude towards people unlike them such as Gypsies and Travellers, or Lesbian and Gay women and men, or Transgender people could be described as being poisonous and hate filled. What about the men and women who participate in events such as the March For England? Surely Ms May is not proposing to lock up Religious Preachers who say things that are hard to hear? Would that have included Ian Paisley in the time prior to the Good Friday settlement?
It would be nice for Politicians hoping to be a future Home Secretary to speak about policies that are reasonably clear in scope and costed in terms of the resources to ensure that the Police can fulfil these expectations long after the election. On the other hand perhaps this speech is telling us that Ms May does not expect to be Home Secretary in June 2015?