Monday, June 13, 2005

Melanie, Polly And The Thought Police

One way of knowing when the government is making another one of its monumental blunders is when a Guardian columnist makes the same arguments as a Daily mail columnist. You sure don't see Polly Toynbee and Melanie Philips making virtually identical arguments in their respective columns very often. The government's incitement to religious hatred bill is of course a cynical ploy to by back Muslim votes, as I said before. There are already plenty of laws stopping people inciting violence against others on the statute book, we don't need a new law. Why is a crime worse if it is racist or sectarian? If I was to say "go and stab that rag head Muslim" as opposed to "go and stab that person" and assuming that my oratory was sufficiently good in either case as to have caused someone to be assaulted. I would have committed a more serious crime because it was "religiously aggravated". The person would still be stabbed in either case, the difference is apparently the added insult. Even though Parliament has already rejected this nonsense by the government twice they are now threatening to use the battering ram of the Parliament act to force the issue through. Can't the government see that the only people who want this law are in fact the real bigots? People whose beliefs are so cherished that only the strong arm of the law is sufficient to protect said beliefs.

They say the law will only result in a few convictions a year as any use will require the Attorney-General's consent. Never mind the question of separation of powers, why waste all this parliamentary time when people can already be convicted of inciting violence? It is worth noting that very similar laws already exist here in N. Ireland, to my knowledge they have hardly ever been used. It's is not hard to see why. These laws will probably be counter productive in terms of religious harmony with groups of fundamentalists vetting every word said by other groups as happened in Australia. The government however blunders on regardless.


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