UK government plans to define as "extremist" anyone who "undermines the country's institutions and its values"

The UK government plans to brand as extremism anything that sets out to "undermine" the country's "institutions and values." If you want an idea of the future, Winston, imagine … shabby pound-shop totalitarianism?

The new definition, prepared by civil servants working for cabinet minister Michael Gove, is fiercely opposed by a cohort of officials who fear legitimate groups and individuals will be branded extremists.

The proposals have provoked a furious response from civil rights groups with some warning it risks "criminalising dissent", and would significantly suppress freedom of expression.

One Whitehall official said: "The concern is that this is a crackdown on freedom of speech. The definition is too broad and will capture legitimate organisations and individuals."

The bottom line is the Tories want to shut up the people marching in the streets right now, but have to figure out a way to do it that gets all of them without identifying any of them. Sir Keir sure has his shortcomings, but another Tory government is the event horizon separating ruinous from ruined.