Inequality in Scotland: A Proposal to Make Speech a Crime

In a recent proposal to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has outlined new policies to enact “true equality” by regulating negative or critical speech of certain identity groups through legal punishment. This would mean that anyone whose open discourse, digital or otherwise, that happens to be critical of the reasoning for certain groups to even push for this bill would possibly face governmental scrutiny in excess.

The appropriately named Hate Crime Bill states in its overview on the government’s own site that:

“Hate crime is the phrase used to describe behaviour which is both criminal and based on prejudice.There are already laws in place to protect certain groups from hate crime.

This Bill aims to do three things. It updates these existing laws and pulls most of these laws into one Bill. It also adds to the groups currently specifically protected by hate crime laws.
Criminal courts can generally take into account any prejudice when sentencing a person. Also, people are protected from hate crime through specific laws that apply.

People are currently protected by specific laws on the basis of:

  • disability
  • race (and related characteristics)
  • religion
  • sexual orientation
  • transgender identity

This Bill adds age to that list and allows sex to be added at a later date.

The Bill creates a new crime of stirring up hatred against any of the protected groups covered by the Bill.

The Bill also abolishes the offence of blasphemy which has not been prosecuted in Scotland for more than 175 years.”

Of course they neglect to clarify in this scenario that only misogyny could be constituted a violation of the law, and that the opposite seems to not warrant a response. Not even sticking to proper moral equality of the law, this new system would instead give favor to a certain group and by all accounts would only seem to enforce speech controls on certain behavior of certain identity groups. Of course, according to Count Dankula‘s video (shown below) there is some word to the original proposal including all gendered speech, only to fall through as certain interest groups became upset.

The ethics of this are cut-and-dried anti-free speech. The law as it will be expanded is not only selective in who is favored, but requires constant arbitrary enforcement. The current Scottish law, and any possible addition therein to speech controls, are effectively at odds with liberal democracy and the basic concepts of free speech. You can detest negative opinions of people from ill-informed positions, or outright feel disgust for anyone outside your own Overton Window, but still accept that they have just as much a right to the speech they like that you don’t as the other way around rings true.

The only positive aspect of the bill is decriminalization of blasphemy, an unenforced crime of thought just as silly as the others. Ultimately, the bill falls short of any level of freedom or protection of truly equal natural rights, rather instead thinking some kind of societal balancing act will magically fix the complex structure of human social interaction.

As British Journal The Conservative Woman’s Neil Lydon put it, “Certain omissions and oversights in that Bill are immediately obvious. It will not, apparently, be a crime to stir up hatred towards one particular group whose members share a common sexuality – men. Nor are any sanctions promised against those who speak ill of a group that could loosely be said to share racial characteristics – the English. You can see why.”

The idea that verbal speech is an assault or act of aggression that would warrant a police or judicial response is admittedly rather silly considering how much of the western world tends to value Free Speech, especially those who are more rebellious and truly capable of being independent. There is no real freedom here, only tyranny seen as convenient because of arbitrary standards of prejudice, which are shameful given the man orchestrating all of it, Humza Yousef, is supposedly a minister of justice, paradoxically engaging in activities for the detriment of his people.

Image: Giuseppe Milo



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