It has been a while since I have posted an editorial to this website and that is because I have been thinking about this piece for quite some time.
In recent years we have seen the rise of the concept of “Hate Speech”, speech so egregious that it should be punishable by law up to and including Custodial sentences. The Comedian Mark Meechan also known by his online moniker of Count Dankula was arrested, tried and sentenced without a Jury involvement under these Hate Speech laws for making what to any rational human being was a Joke mocking Nazi Germany by use of his rather cute Pug Dog Buddha. After being accused of causing “Gross Offence” under these new age Hate Speech Laws, Mark was then convicted and given an £800 fine in a Scottish Sheriff’s court after the Sheriff decided that Mark wasn’t mocking Nazi’s as he clearly was but was in fact one himself and had caused some kind of real world harm with his piece of satire.
Under the UK Government, The definition of Hate Speech and indeed Gross offence is so vague that it could never be truly fit for purpose. The so called offence hinges solely on the perception of something you say by another and not the content of your words or indeed your own intent behind them so you could be making a clear joke as a comedian on stage or saying something entirely innocent and if a complainant comes forward and claims that the words you are saying have caused them distress or alarm and that they deem your intent to be that of some kind of prejudice then you are potentially on the hook for an offence.
In today’s world, reality is quickly being erased and in its place we are seeing a new age morality police take control of our institutions. I believe this has been going on for many decades but those that espouse such rhetoric now have almost complete control of the Major institutions such as Education, Media and to a major extent, Government and as such a new kind of Authoritarianism is being imposed upon us. At first this Authoritarianism started as online hate mobs who would trawl Social Media platforms looking to have removed anything they deemed to be “impure” but more and more we are seeing these same people weaponize the British Police to further suppress, punish and humiliate anyone they deem to be dissident.
As an extreme example, under the definition of these laws, if I were to simply say that someone using my name had caused me to be alarmed, harassed or distressed then I could contact my local Police force and file a complaint and that is why i contest that this is something that can not truly exist. We can literally report anyone for anything and that extreme example I just suggested has indeed been reported before by activists who now go by different names feeling that someone using their previous “Dead name” is an offence. This should TERRIFY you.
Western Government’s claim to believe in Free Speech but evidently this is untrue, Free speech means you should in theory be able to say what you want, well short of the direct incitement or encouragement to violence and yes that also means things people find to be upsetting or hateful.
As an aside, I am a very liberal person and things like Racism, Sexism, Homophobia are not only things that I abhor and condemn but things that make absolutely no sense to me, what does the colour of someone’s skin or who they sleep with have to do with you? If consenting adults want to do things amongst themselves in a bedroom setting that is down to nobody but those consenting adults but to outright BAN and criminalise people speaking out against these things is not going to make such attitudes go away.
Wouldn’t you want to KNOW if people had these views? I certainly would not wish to be friends with out and out Racists and banning their speech will do nothing to let me know if somebody is OR indeed stop people having those feelings, all it will do is push those people in to the shadows, will make them resentful, will make them become more militant and extreme and perhaps create violence which could well have been avoided by letting them speak and dismantling their ideas and views in the realm of debate.
Labelling facts as Hate Speech is increasingly happening and is ALSO extremely dangerous, not just for the sake of reality but for the sake of freedom, increasingly we are seeing people investigated by Police for stating that a biological male is indeed a biological male and this erasure of reality should indeed concern you, should someone be respected for choosing to live how they wish? as long as that existence causes no harm to anybody else I am not opposed to it one bit.
What I am opposed to is the compulsion, BY LAW to say somebody is something that they are not. Choose to do so if you wish but to label reality as hateful and a potential crime? this is 1984 level dystopian stuff.
Can Hate Speech really exist? you can indeed hate somebody’s speech, you can push back against it, you can call it wrong, bad or evil but legally? Be careful what you wish for.
I leave you with this parting thought.
Those that Champion the state mandated compulsion of speech are often times useful idiots and do not understand that one day somebody they do not like may well be in control of those laws and may well weaponize them against them and on that day they will understand they made a HUGE mistake.