When I read the Home Office report this morning, I almost fainted with horror. The number of hate crimes has more than doubled in the past five years… wait a second, let me swallow the tears…
And in the past year alone hate crime has grown by 17 per cent to 94,098 cases! Something snapped in our life, and the British have begun to hate one another with unprecedented fervour.
Images of murdered or mutilated persons of non-English ethnicity flashed – nay blazed – through my mind.
They were then kaleidoscopically replaced by other equally appalling pictures: synagogues and mosques burning, Muslims and Orthodox Jews tortured and forced to eat bacon, women pushed on underground tracks, homosexuals tarred and feathered…
Sorry, I can’t write about this without shaking all over. What times we live in! But why, I asked myself, why is so much hatred splashing out so fast and so recently?
In search of an explanation I read on, and the Home Office obliged. The culprits are terrorism and Brexit: “[We record] spikes in hate crime following certain events such as the EU referendum and the terrorist attacks in 2017”.
That stands to reason. Islamic terrorism, and I hope describing it as such isn’t yet punishable by law, can probably be classified as hate crime, though it’s not as criminal as the public reaction to it.
Why, just the other day I heard a mature gentleman use the term Muzzie-Wuzzie when discussing suicide bombings, which is a hate crime if I’ve ever seen one.
And we all know that people who voted to leave the EU did so only because they hate and fear Johnny Foreigner, whatever his ethnic guise. Now they got their way, they take it as a licence to attack anyone who looks and talks funny.
If you seek an analogy, this is a marginally less murderous replay of the 1282 Sicilian Vespers, when the locals got tired of their French colonisers. So they celebrated Easter by killing 3,000 of them, identifying the victims by their foreign accents.
Let’s not discount the religious motive either. It’s common knowledge that, since the British are intensely devout Anglicans, their zealous piety naturally breeds intolerance of other religions. So off they go and kick an alien for Jesus and Archbishop Welby.
One doesn’t see offhand how terrorism and Brexit affect violence against women and homosexuals, but I’m sure a link exists. However, it’s hard to reconcile these types of hate crime with those committed against Muslims.
If I wanted to offer violence to women and homosexuals, I wouldn’t want at the same time to scare off Muslims, for whom this sort of thing is a nice day out. If I saw women and homosexuals as enemies, I’d see Muslims as friends.
You may detect a touch of sarcasm here, and I congratulate you on your perspicacity. For I don’t really think that either Brexit or terrorism explains the steep climb in the incidence of hate crime – not exhaustively at any rate.
But the HO report does contain an exhaustive explanation, even though its authors may not recognise it as such. The increase, says the report, was largely driven by improvements in the way police record hate crime.
Allow me to translate. The Home Office and the police have expanded the meaning of hate crime to include into that rubric things that weren’t there before.
Thus, say, touching a woman without permission is now classified as a hate crime, though, if one wanted to be pedantic about it, it’s closer to a love crime.
Calling an elderly gentleman an ‘old bastard’ is now a hate crime, even though such rudeness doesn’t necessarily betoken hatred – and even if it did, hatred by itself isn’t a crime. For example, I don’t think I’m breaking any particular law by disliking Tony Blair or Dave Cameron.
Hitting a woman is usually a crime, but it may be caused by an explosive temper, not hatred of women collectively. And telling unfunny jokes about Jews and blacks, or even referring to them by their pejorative names, may be tasteless without being either hateful or criminal.
Why is our government doing this, even though this new offensive breeds contempt for the law in general? After all, few of us have never done something that falls under the new definition of hate crime.
(Yes, I know you’re an exception: you’ve never tried to kiss a woman against her will, never uttered an ethnic or racial slur, never demeaned the whole womankind by questioning some woman’s intelligence, never said anything nasty about homosexuals, old people, redheads or fatsos, never commented on the physical attributes of a female colleague.)
Widening the meaning of crime in this fashion effectively criminalises the entire male population (you apart) and much of the female. And in a society where crime can mean anything, it soon ends up meaning nothing. If every citizen is criminalised, the state itself is the criminal.
So why are they doing that? For the same reason I suggested yesterday, when talking about the state imposing taxes that have a ruinous financial, social and moral effect.
With modern states, it’s not the text but the subtext that matters. And the subtext is always the same whenever we gasp with incredulity at any government action: the state’s congenital imperative to bend the people to its will.
Exactly a year ago, and doesn’t time fly, I wrote a piece about this hate crime madness, and I really have nothing to add to it: http://www.alexanderboot.com/gbh-burglary-car-theft-and-other-love-crimes/
The disease has since progressed, which all progress junkies should welcome. Since I’m not one, I grieve.