THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Thought-crime in Britain

BBC News - The hidden epidemic of hate crime

WarispeaceWhen I was asked, a year after my return to Britain, what was the biggest change I had noticed, I answered that the police now seem more interested in what you say than what you do. The notion of freedom of speech, thought and conscience has been replaced with an ill-thought-through and damaging idea of 'not causing offence' and not being a 'hater.'

In its worst form, this new doctrine is expressed in the notion of 'hate crime;' the Orwellian concept of 'thought crime' disguised with Orwellian euphemism. Read the BBC piece linked above and - if you are steeped in the new doctrine - you will be wondering if I want the right to attack the property and persons of people who are 'different.' That's the conventional response to any challenge to the new 'thinking', as well as being a prime example of it.

I claim no such right. Nor did I ever have one before the law was changed. Every assault, every item of damage described in the linked piece was always a crime under English Law. Even in less tolerant eras, when goths, gays and others who were 'different' by nature or choice could expect a hard time, it was a crime to kill them, assault them or destroy their property. The police might have needed to consider motivation in order to identify the accused and bring him to court, but the jury did not need to consider it in deciding his guilt nor the judge in determining his sentence.

The root of this doctrine is that certain motives make crimes worse. Yet, if I am being beaten to death, my suffering will be no worse if it's because my assailants are prejudiced against the heavy or tall 'communities'. Consider this thought experiment; you are gay and you are being beaten to death by a homophobe. You take some time to die from your wounds. With your dying breaths you convince him not to hate gays anymore. Are you less dead? The assault was the problem to you, not the thought behind it. 

It may not do so at the moment (ironically because the same 'intellectuals' who have given us the notion of 'hate crime' have found 'social' excuses for less 'misguided' criminals) the law is perfectly capable of dealing with violent crimes. It defines them clearly and could punish them vigorously. But the criminals' motives should always be irrelevant to guilt and sentencing because any other approach is unjust.

For once my argument is rooted in a concept dear to the hearts of the leftist 'intellectuals' behind this nonsense; equality. I believe in equality before the law and the 'hate crime' doctrine is inimical to that. If every man and woman (trans or cis) is equal before the law then this follows logically. If the same wrong is done to any of them, the legal consequence must be the same.

Kill me or kill my gay friend. Assault me or assault my goth friend. Be culpably negligent in the crowd control at a Fulham match or at a Liverpool match and the legal outcome should be the same. The law should be utterly blind to our sexual orientation, the way we present ourselves to the world and whether or not we are Scousers convinced that we hang on a unique cross of Liverpudlian suffering.

Nothing could be more obvious or more just, but this stupid doctrine of hate-crime is engineering the precise opposite. In terms of justice then, it makes no sense. That's because it is designed to achieve something quite different. It is designed to chill free speech. Before you utter a word, serious or in jest, you are now supposed to hesitate fearfully and consider whether you may be guilty of 'hate speech'. Because if you are, you can now expect this.

I know it's hard for many steeped in Fabian propaganda to grasp, but the monster in that Daily Mail story is not Old Holborn. I have had a couple of drinks with him and read his blog regularly. He goes too far sometimes by my standards of good taste and good manners, but I defend without reservation his right to express and publish his views, satirical or not. It is - or should be - shocking that in modern Britain his jokes about, and mockery of, Scousers should expose him to criminal sanctions. The only crimes in the story are those threatened by the totalitarian scum campaigning to silence him.

OH is a bad example because I support his views. I understand his desire to use shock tactics to expose and challenge the use of state force to chill freedom of expression. It's easy to support the free speech of those you mostly agree with. So let's be clear that I also support the rights of far nastier people too. Racists, anti-semites, homophobes, Fabians and self-pitying Liverpudlians* are also entitled to express their views, however odious they may be. Though not, of course, to act upon them in any violent way.

Hate-crime and political correctness (insofar as reflected in law) are two aspects of the same insidious doctrine. Together they make thought-crime, as predicted by George Orwell. For the sake of all of us - of whatever colour, creed or sexual inclination - that must be resisted.

*Me gran was a scouser and I have supported Liverpool FC all me life (though I have a Fulham season ticket now coz even in Chiswick me car's already parked too close to the 'Pool for my liking) so get over it.

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