Hate Crime Bill: SNP seeks to regulate dinner table conversation in the home

Oct 30, 2020 by

by Archbishop Cranmer:

There is something nasty in the SNP’s woodshed; very nasty indeed. It isn’t clear if it’s a creepy person or a sinister political impulse, but it’s nasty. Very nasty. Not content with proposals to curb freedom of religion and the freedoms of speech and expression in the public space – including theatres, festivals and comedy clubs – the architect of Scotland’s Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, Humza Yousaf MSP, has now decreed that conversations over the dinner table must be regulated, and any utterances which might be deemed to incite hatred must be prosecuted.

An Englishman’s home is his castle; a place where they may say what they want. A Scottish person’s home is about to become their dungeon; a place where speech is policed on pain of imprisonment.

It is one thing (though undoubtedly a profoundly illiberal and censorious thing) to insist that theatre directors should face the courts if they decide to stage Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Tamburlaine the Great’ and, faithful to the text, burn a copy of the Qur’an onstage, which might be deemed to stoke up prejudice and hate. But it is quite another thing to insist that saying “The Qur’an ought to be burned” over a plate of haggis, neeps and tatties should be a subject to legal proceedings.

How can a bill which professes to be based on the Public Order Act 1986 extend to what is said in private? That Act specifically incorporated a “dwelling defence”, such that words which might be deemed threatening, abusive or insulting in public may be uttered in the privacy of one’s home. But Hamza Yousaf is adamant that this ‘loophole’ of hate must be closed: “Are we comfortable giving a defence to somebody whose behaviour is threatening or abusive which is intentionally stirring up hatred against, for example, Muslims?” He asked the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament. But perhaps, sensing a disclosed self-interest, he expanded: “Are we saying that that is justified because that is in the home?… If your intention was to stir up hatred against Jews… then I think that deserves criminal sanction.”

Read here

Read also: Sending the Thought Polis into Scottish homes by Mick Hume, spiked

Scotland is leading the way to totalitarianism by Rod Dreher, UnHerd

Mind your language – even in your own home by Graham Stewart, The Critic

Please right-click links to open in a new window.


Related Posts


Share This