The Demon Headmaster Jack Straw has backed down on trying to remove the defence of freedom of speech from a new law making inciting homophobic hatred a criminal offence.
The Lords prevented the Ministry of Injustice from removing the right to freedom of speech four times before Jack Straw finally gave up.
This new law – along with the laws against inciting racial hatred – are wrong and unnecessary. The divide the population into two – those who are automatically victims and must have special protection and the rest of the population who are automatically pigeon-holed as racists/homophobes/miscellaneous -ists/-phobes and have to prove their innocence if they are accused of offending one of the afore-mentioned “victims” because of their race/colour/sexuality.
Crimes such as murder and assault are instinctively wrong, it’s something built in as a species. But crimes such as homophobia or racism are crimes of conscience, the imposition of a set of morals on the whole population with serious penalties for those that don’t live their lives according to the morals of others.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with homophobia or racism or other types of discrimination but I don’t think that we as a society have a right to impose that moral view on the whole population and punish people for not having the same morals. If someone commits a crime, it doesn’t matter whether they were motivated by their victim’s colour or religion or sexuality – they have committed a crime and the crime isn’t worse because the victim was black or a muslim or gay. If someone abused me in the street, I’m no less of a victim because I’m straight than I would be if I was gay.
This is a bad law, made marginally less bad by the intervention of the House of Lords. We really have to put a stop to this ridiculous situation where more and more groups of people are identified as automatic victims who require specific legal protection. It’s just wrong.