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The Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill – or for once we can say evil politicians

Today Mr Blair and his cronies will bring their banning Incitement to Religious Hatred (i.e. death to another part of what is left of free speech) idea before the House of Commons.

Normally one must be careful not to use the word “evil” in politics. One must not claim a monopoly of virtue for one’s own side in any political debate as one may always be wrong and, even if one is correct, the people on the other side may simply be honestly mistaken. They may be voting for a bad statute, but they are not themselves bad people.

However, the vile scheme that is the banning Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill has been exposed so many times (and in so many places) that no member of the House of Commons can honestly say that they did not know what they were voting for.

There is no question of (say) “the balance of argument” or “people of good will taking different sides”. The people who vote for this bill (in the hopes of their party getting some Muslim votes – and, of course, not from tolerant Muslims) are voting for something they know to be evil, and that makes these members of the House of Commons bad people, unfit to serve in the ‘Mother of Parliaments’.

I hope that a full list of the Members of the House of Commons, and their constituencies, who vote for this measure is published and widely distributed so that people will know who not to vote for in the next General Election.

I also hope that people who live in the constituencies of the MPs who vote for this bill write to them to, politely, express their horror and disgust with what they have done.

31 comments to The Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill – or for once we can say evil politicians

  • It is utterly disgusting. They must be stopped. If not, we’re probably next.

  • Britons shall be slaves.

    Why hesitate to use the word ‘evil’. Statist and collectivists are either evil or stupid.

  • Adrian

    The usual defence of this terrible legislation is something along the lines of ‘it won’t stop normal civilised discussion, gentle comedy etc’ as if this legislation will not affect anything but the most rabid of statements.

    The experience in Victoria, Australia shows this excuse to be rubbis. I’m sure most of you know the story: 2 Christian ministers tried to have a normal civilised discussion on the Koran (and were put through the ringer in a disgraceful episode that still isn’t over).

    In Victoria, the local equivalent of the CRE had a guiding hand in the prosecution, urging Muslim agitators to turn up at the church talks for no reason but to make the complaint. The question is: does anybody have any reason to think why the CRE here wouldn’t pull such a stunt?

  • Adrian “does anybody have any reason to think why the CRE here wouldn’t pull such a stunt?”

    No indeed. Like the Bourbons, the CRE must fulfill its allotted role in the unfolding tragedy.

    Ye Gods. We must as a nation have lurched to the Left if even such I can understand things only in terms of Marxist determinism.

  • Stephen Hodgson

    I’d watch what you say, Paul – the Incitement to Political Hatred Bill can’t be far off.

  • Karl.Rove

    So “many MPs are unfit to serve in the Mother of Parliaments.”

    Welcime to the real world. However briefly.

  • permanent expat

    Karl.Rove: Well, They were put there by unfit voters; also part of the real world. However eternally.

  • Johnathan

    A bad day, and far from easing potential social tensions, will have the opposite effect. Nice work Tone, give yourself a big cigar.

  • Waiting

    What time will the vote take place?

  • Paul Marks

    The only good thing I have heard so far is that some Muslims (and religious Muslims at that) are outside Parliament along with Christians and athiests protesting against the bill.

    It is good to hear from decent and tolerant Muslims – they put Mr Blair and his cronies to shame (if only they were capable to shame).

    Almost needless to say the word from Mr Cameron’s “not the Conservative party” as Mr Booker calls them (or the “New Improved Tories” “NITS” as Peter Hitchins call them) is that they are not going all out to defeat the bill.

    Doubtless there will be some face saving “compromise” and another bit of liberty will be lost.

    It will be interesting to see how many decent people there are in the Labour party. There was a time when Labour members of Parliament would have torn this squalid measure to shreds.

    It really is a classic test. Those members of Parliament who do not stand up and oppose this proposed Statute have no business being in Parliament.

  • Verity

    Tony Blair ought to be arrested for this obscenity.

  • Paul Marks

    I do not know what time the vote will take place – although the debate has been on for some hours already.

    There will be a series of votes (due to the various amendments to be dealt with).

    But one thing is clear, when this Bill (in whatever form) clears both the House of Commons and the House of Lords (and even if the Lords resist the Parliament Act can be used to force it through) and becomes a Statute we will have less liberty that we had before.

    Many people predicted that when the principle of freedom of speech was broken concerning matters of race, more restrictions would later come. Once the principle is given up everything else is just the “political process”.

    For all its many problems the United States still has advantages over Britain. The United States Constitution may be used for toilet paper, but people still accept that it exists.

    In Britain few people talk about the “unwritten British Constitution” any more.

  • Verity

    Even the commenters on the Beeb’s Have Your Say hate this bill. Everyone seems to be absolutely furious.

    Yet Blair’s going ahead with it anyway, because furious Brits don’t kidnap politicians and cut their heads off.

  • michael farris

    Many years ago when Blair was gaining popularity but not yet PM a British acquaintance revealed his unease about the smiley one saying in effect that if Blair were elected, almost Soviet style incursions against the citizens were likely.
    Since this person had been spectactularly wrong on more than one occasion I dismissed his concerns, now I think he was (for once) really on to something (but, he thought of the EU as a safeguard against the totalitarian leanings of Blair, so ….)
    There’s maybe an excuse for not ridding the books of an old unenforced law like this, there’s _no_ excuse for enacting a law like this.

  • Verity

    It seems the Bill’s been defeated. Is this right? It’s on the Beeb.

  • Robert Alderson

    This is a brief extract from the BBC’s report:

    The government has suffered two shock defeats over attempts to overturn Lords changes to the controversial Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. In a blow to Tony Blair’s authority MPs voted by 288 votes to 278 to back a key Lords amendment to the bill. Analysis of the division list showed the prime minister voted in the first division but not in the second, which was lost by one vote.

    Did Tony Blair change his mind?

    The thrust of the Lord’s ammendment was to totally emasculate the bill in that proselytising, discussion, criticism, insult, abuse and ridicule of religion, belief or religious practice would not be an offence.

    This leaves the law so toothless as to have no effect. Although, it would be much better to simply have no law.

  • Della

    They have used the classic technique of asking for twice as much as they wanted and splitting the difference to get what they want.

  • Verity

    God Tony Blair is a vile piece of work.

  • Julian Taylor

    AHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    They lost the by ONE single vote.

    They lost because Tony Blair was so confident that he would win that he left the House without voting.

  • RAB

    Well quite Julian, Bliar lost that one all on his own for a change.
    My considered opinion, has always been to repeal the Blasphemy Bill.
    Level playing field instantly.
    Freedom of speech, about religions, guaranteed.

  • My considered opinion, has always been to repeal the Blasphemy Bill.

    Good idea.
    I think Blair left the chamber because he didn’t really want the bill; it was a sop to a vocal minority.

  • hm

    Julian,
    that is absolutely hilarious.

    Luckily, there are still more reasonable people in the HoC than I thought.

  • Pete_London

    PJ Nasser

    I heard that Blair left the House because Hilary Armstrong, the Chief Whip, told him it was in the bag and he wasn’t needed. There is a large number of Labour MPs in Dumfermline for a by-election and it appears they simply understimated the opposition to the bill in the House. Let’s be honest though, a whipped Parliamentary Labour Party would have seen this through.

    The end result is that we have another useless law, useless in this case because existing laws proscribing incitement to violence are still in effect. This new law goes no further thanks to the intervention of the Lords and Hilary Armstrong. That may not be the point though – for the government it’s enough that muslims know they tried to protect Islam from criticism and cartoons and that Abdul and friends vote accordingly next time.

  • Karl.Rove

    Verity 1292. Hysterical as usual.

    What do you care about freedom? You admire semi-fascist Singapore.

  • Ron

    See Ruth Gledhill’s blog on this subject.

    Also the link to these Islamic verses.

  • Paul Marks

    The government have got some of what they demanded – but not all of it.

    It is better than when people were overjoyed that the govenment’s plan to hold people for ninety days without charge (not without trial – without even charge) was defeated – and most people just ignored the fact that the government had gained the power to hold people for 28 days without charge.

    The House of Lords amendment may well greatly weaken the Statute, but there are still questions.

    For example, what if someone says “The forces of Islam are seeking to take over this country, we should resist them” – would saying this be a crime?

    If so writers like Mark Stein had better be careful not to visit Britian.

    By the way, does anyone know why “Karl Rove” has this hatred of Verity? Did the lady kill his family or something, or is he just looking for someone (anyone) to snear at?

  • mike

    So with the amendment being passed during the 2nd division by only one vote, we have the question as to whether the government simply made a balls-up or whether, as Della has said, they had made a calculated bet.

    “By the way, does anyone know why “Karl Rove” has this hatred of Verity? Did the lady kill his family or something, or is he just looking for someone (anyone) to snear at?”

    No idea, but he’d better watch out; the lady’s a killer!

  • karl Rove

    If anyone reads this -
    interesting a couple of people have noticed I snear (!) at Verity. It’s because she admires semi-fascist Singapore, because she thinks Magna Carta is wonderful but doesn’t even know the date – in short because she’s so hopelessly muddled. It just amuses me.

  • Paul Marks

    “Semi-fascist” seems a bit strong (although I have my doubts about that compulsory pension scheme that they have – it is certianly taxation, one goes to prison if one does not pay, and nobody seems to know where the government invests the money).

    The government in Singapore does do some authoritian things – but it is not like Fascist Italy in the 1930′s (where the government owned a bigger share of the economy than anywhere outside Soviet Russia – although the Nazi practice of token private ownership whilst government told everyone what to do with “their property” must be remebered).

    Media bias (distorting the outcome of elections) and censorship – yes they have that (and other nasty things). So have most nations in the history of the world (unfortunatly).

    Singapore is certainly not worse than most of the nearby nations (in fact it is better than most of them in most ways).

    It is not like the rule of Mussolini.

    Magna Carta – 1215 (but I doubt more than 1% of the population of Britain or the United States would get that one correct).

  • Verity

    Paul Marks – thank you for your gallantry!

    Singapore is not even mildly facist. It’s one of the most successful free enterprise countries of the world. (Well, of course, any country that isn’t free enterprise wouldn’t be successful.) It has a buzz about it similar to Manhattan. Have you ever been there, sweet thang?

    Dimwits like the little pseudo Karl Rove have no sense of what it took to get it where it is today. No concept whatsover. Fighting communists in the jungles while trying to make a new country out of – then – 2m people on a tiny island.

    I don’t mind little Karl’s offensive posts against me, but to try to diminish Singapore just infuriates me. He knows nothing. He should live somewhere that free and safe and respected.

    A tiny nation of less than 5m people leads ASEAN.
    Reference point: Indonesia has 199m people.

  • Karl Rove

    Mr Marks – thanks for at least seeing somw of what I’m saying.

    Non-Verity – wrong again.

    Indonesia has 240 million+. You’re well out of date.
    The Malay Emergency was not in Singapore, which has no jungles.
    YOU know nothing. You’re proud that you know nothing about mainland China.
    So where do you live that’s so free?