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No place outwith the State

“MSPs back criminalising hate speech at the dinner table”, reports the (Glasgow) Herald

HATE speech in the home is set to be criminalised after a Tory attempt to stop it failed at Holyrood.

Critics fear it could lead to over-heated dinner table conversations being investigated by the police under the Scottish Government’s new Hate Crimes Bill.

However MSPs on the justice committee agreed with Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf that there should be no exemption for hateful speech and conduct just because it was in a private dwelling.

He said the law often dealt with events in the home, and an exemption could mean, for example, that someone who urged people in their house to attack a synagogue, but then did not take part, could not be punished for inciting the crime.

Humza Yousaf’s choice of example is disingenuous. There has never been a “dwelling exemption” when it came to inciting a crime, and no one has suggested there should be one. The amendment allowing a dwelling exemption that was unsuccessfully tabled by the Tory MSP Liam Kerr related only to the “stirring up of hatred”.

It is disturbing enough that such an amorphous charge should ever be made a matter of law at all, but whatever he might think of the Hate Crime Bill as a whole, Kerr’s proposed amendment in this instance was limited to suggesting that the rule whereby it becomes a crime to stir up hatred would be suspended if “words or behaviour are used by a person inside a private dwelling and are not heard or seen except by other persons in that or another dwelling”. In other words Kerr did not think it should be a crime to stir up a particular emotion in another person if done in private. By seven votes to two, the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament disagreed. Assuming the Bill passes, it will thus be a crime in Scotland to say words deemed to be hateful, even if done in your own home.

This new crime having been created, will failure to report this crime itself be a crime? According to the website “Ask the Police”, “Whilst there is no legal requirement to report a crime, there is a moral duty on everyone of us to report to the police any crime or anything we suspect may be a crime.” Since asking the same question in “Ask the Scottish Police” redirected me to the same answer, I assume this answer also applies to the separate Scottish legal system. That is only slightly reassuring. Once reported, a potential crime must be investigated. The suspect must be questioned. Witnesses must be called. By the nature of this new crime the suspects and witnesses are likely to be the family members of the accuser. To many that will be a feature not a bug.

I call it a “new” crime, but that is a misnomer. The Scottish Government – soon to be the Scottish State if the ruling party of the current Scottish Government has its way – is set to return to methods of maintaining order that are very old.

17 comments to No place outwith the State

  • bobby b

    Let me define what is “hateful” and I’ll be fine with it all.

  • pete

    Well, if we create pretend, noddy parliaments and hire lots more politicians and their associated bureaucracies, we shouldn’t be surprised if they occupy their time by making laws like this to justify their existence.

    Parkinson’s Law in action.

    Scrap the parliament, get fewer laws.

  • HATE speech in the home is set to be criminalised after a Tory attempt to stop it failed at Holyrood.

    Will it be criminalised even when you’re not SHOUTING?

  • Gene

    This abomination will create interesting new family dynamics, no doubt. I would like to see the degree to which school personnel, sports coaches, and other non-family individuals who have influence on children will encourage those children to rat out their parents, uncles/aunts, in-laws or siblings. Will the people who RUN schools, libraries, social work agencies, etc., take it upon themselves–or will they be forced by the state–to make POLICY mandating the encouragement of snitching?

    Here in the USA, I have recently come to the sobering realization that the generation of Americans that will gut the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution (and probably the 10th as well) has probably already been born. Along with that chilling thought came the even more deeply unpleasant but obvious thought that some of my young relatives (not so much my neices and nephews, who are in their 30s and 40s, but their children) might take it upon themselves to snitch on me should they decide one of my utterances is not to be tolerated. Should I now be afraid to speak at family cookouts and Christmas parties?

    Many young people are naive, impulsive, and ignorant of how things work in the adult world. How many such children, thinking they are helping to save the world by reporting their relatives, will instead damage their families and relationships? I’m not even going to address the obvious danger from people who are not naive but rather bitter, mentally ill, or sociopathic.

  • DP

    Dear Miss Solent

    Junior Spies R Us™


  • Pete Lloyd

    There is this document which gives advice about if you are arrested by the police and how to behave in detention:


    Download it, print it out, read it and memorise its key points. I think that everyone in the UK will need to keep in mind its advice and it won’t be in the distant future either.

  • Mr Ed

    I think that I have found the Bill on the Scottish Parliament website, and its explanatory notes

    The Bill takes a broad approach, and in places abolishes the requirement for corroboration (inevitably) one of the great pillars of Scots criminal law. Of particular note to me is paragraph 33 of the notes, where intent isn’t even needed to be shown.

    33. Section 3(2)(a) and (b) creates an offence of stirring up hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to certain characteristics. The characteristics to which this offence applies are contained in section 3(3) (discussed below). It provides that it is an offence for a person to behave in a threatening or abusive manner, or communicate threatening or abusive material to another person, with either the intention to stir up hatred against a group of persons based on the group being defined by reference to one of the listed characteristics, or where it is a likely consequence that hatred will be stirred up against such a group.

    To be frank, this is just formalising in law what appears to already be police practice in England, where people have been arrested and prosecuted for comments on Twitter. The problem is that there is effectively no resistance to this at all, not amongst the people and certainly not from the judiciary. There is no check on the State in any part of the UK, unless it is that the State is not doing or spending enough on a particular victim group.

  • David Bolton

    Pete Lloyd. Can you make it available to be read without having to sign up to Scribd please.

  • Ed Turnbull

    Does this mean I can look forward to purveyors / distributors of the Qu’ran being arrested in Scotland? After all, that tome certainly ‘stirs up hatred’ against those who aren’t members of the Ummah. Just asking for a friend.

  • To steal a line from Mary McCarthy, every word Humza Yousaf says is hate speech, including “and” and “the”.

  • JohnK

    If I have ever hesitated about calling these people national socialists, then all doubt is now gone.

    Is this hate speech? Is it all right to “hate” nazis?

  • George Atkisson

    It has already happened in the US. One family’s liberal son reported his parents to the FBI for being a part of the demonstration at the Capital building in DC. No doubt to the thunderous approval of his peers Have not heard further, although I expect that his parents are less than amused. The Red Guards are among us here in the US and they are EAGER to prove their loyalty to The Narrative.

  • Biff

    “Hey, Siri…”

  • Jon

    Pete, your document was produced by Nick Griffin – former leader of the BNP. I’m not saying it’s automatically a load of old cobblers because of his involvement, but let’s say it doesn’t bode well. He’s hardly the sharpest tool in the box, is he?

  • Paul Marks

    The Scottish government is just taking to their logical conclusion the doctrines that dominate the education system and media in the Western World.

    This is the future.

    Disney Corporation (and the rest of the Davos crowd) love it.

    Yes “Wokeness” comes from Frankfurt School Marxism – but the end result is Fascism, the Corporate State, Technocracy.

    After all Mussolini was updating Marxism for the modern world – although really being part of a tradition of totalitarianism that goes back to Saint-Simon and even Francis Bacon “New Atlantis”.

  • Horace Dunn

    Scottish independence can’t come soon enough for me. Let the Germans and French subsidise the ridiculous Sturgeon’s authoritarian project. And anyone who thinks that a newly independent Scotland won’t be welcomed into the EU, think again. So what if Spain objects because of Catalunya? Since when does Spain have a say about what happens in Brussels? The EU will see a chance to have a dig at the UK and their spiteful natures won’t allow them to resist. And Sturgeon will have the funds to prop up her failing economy and pay her police force to keep the lower classes in order, even at their breakfast tables.

  • Katy Hibbert

    So centuries of enlightenment, often pioneered by the Scots, are destroyed by some asinine Muslim with the IQ of a gnat and a chip on his shoulder the size of a mosque.

    Scotland can have its stupid referendum. Build a big wall and they can rot.