Sir Gerald Howarth has been a Tory MP on and off since 1983. He is a proud extremist, and his elitist political views have always proven to be off the scale compared to those held by ordinary people.
Shortly after becoming a fully-fledged adult, Gerald managed to exceed himself by campaigning in defence of the Vietnam war, and by helping run an organisation committed to “freedom” that has been described in Parliament as being “almost certainly a British intelligence front organization which is mainly used for disseminating Establishment-type propaganda.”
His activism during the early 1970s also saw Gerald making friends and influencing people in the immigration sub-committee of the notorious Conservative Monday Club. In the course of this activism, he and his chums sought to encourage their right-wing national membership (which included 34 MPs) to branch out and start working more effectively with groups such as the National Front on such issues as opposing “coloured immigration” and promotion of “proper repatriation”.
Such nasty, extremist work, was later bolstered by Gerald’s strong defence of apartheid in South Africa, combined with a vehement hatred of anti-apartheid activists.
Moving to the present day, in addition to being a raging Islamophobe, Gerald is proud of his government’s beefing up of the UK’s counter-extremism strategy (PREVENT) – a program which he admitted (approvingly) is really a counter-Islamic strategy.
The government of course allege that their counter-extremism strategy is only concerned with fighting terrorism. But the same government steadfastly refuse to consider any economic and political factors that might have fuelled the rise of such terrorism in the first place: think Iraq for instance, or their long-standing supporting of right-wing militant Muslims.
On the other hand, the government have shown their gritted determination to dangerously expand the definition of terrorism to expunge any mention of violence or even a threat of violence. Thankfully their latest authoritarian turn in this regard has just been overturned by a UK court of appeal.
However, it bears considering that the Tories hoped to have terrorism redefined as activities that are “designed to influence a government and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause.” Which can mean pretty much anything!
Under this definition, even peaceful anti-apartheid activists would have been considered part of the terrorist threat to “our” national security. By this logic, would we also consider the thousands of people that refused to pay the poll tax in the 1990s terrorists?
This letter was emailed to the Leicester Mercury mailbox on January 30.