The Law Commission feels that hate crimes are, well, hateful. Hence they have no place in the socially engineered machine that’s stubbornly clinging to its old name, Britain.
The problem, according to the Commission, is that the current laws don’t provide a broad enough coverage. Fair enough, a delinquent who as much as jokes about a victim’s race, religion, disability or sexual/transsexual proclivity is covered by existing legislation, with not so much as a toe sticking out.
Thus Bernard Manning, to name just one late comedian, would be looking at serious prison time for one of his stock jokes. I have to overcome my own revulsion over Bernie’s blatant, criminal racism to repeat it here: “A black chap with a parrot sitting on his shoulder walks into a pub. ‘Where the hell did you get this?’ asks the landlord. ‘In Africa,’ replies the parrot. ‘There’s fucking loads of them’.”
Since race is classified as a ‘protected characteristic’, the wages of Bernie’s sin would today be a custodial sentence and a hefty fine, though I happen to think it would be an excellent idea to reintroduce the death penalty for just such transgressions. Well, give them time.
Meanwhile, the Commission is debating how to stretch the hate crime laws – and God knows they do have enviable elasticity built in – to cover misogyny, age, sex workers (aka prostitutes), homelessness, alternative subcultures and philosophical beliefs.
So make sure you refrain from cracking silly jokes about old, homeless whores deeply immersed in punk deconstructionism. None of the wisecracks starting with: “This old bitch is turning tricks by day and reading Derrida by night on a park bench to the accompaniment of Cybergoth music…”
I am specifically talking about jokes here because assault and physical threats are already criminalised under existing, ancient laws. But what’s even a grievous physical injury compared to the lifelong psychological trauma suffered by, say, an LGBTQ+ person when clobbered with a joke? Just imagine: “Q: How do you know you’re in a gay bar? A. The stools are upside down.”
If you were an LGBTQ+ person, you’d dial 999 faster than you could say hate crime. I know I would.
I’m proud of Britain. Nowhere else are people so protected from life-destroying insults and silly jokes whose sole purpose is to traumatise.
You may ask how Britain can devote so much time and attention to hate crimes. After all, isn’t our legal system already creaking at the seams under the load of other, more traditional crimes, such as burglary?
Funny you should say that. You seem to be unaware that burglary, to name one such crime, puts no pressure on our law enforcement because we’ve made it legal.
Well, perhaps not exactly legal in the de jure sense, but certainly unprosecuted and even uninvestigated de facto. That way our cops are free to hunt down criminals spouting inappropriate statements and wags telling injurious jokes (such as the ones I reproduced above over my own inner objections).
Quite right too. After all, burglary is only a crime against property, the sort of thing old, reactionary laws were devised to protect. But hate crimes, while doubtless traumatising their victims, also assail the whole progressive ethos, the mainstay of liberal ideology.
And every progressive country in history, such as the Soviet Union or Cuba, has always punished crimes against the ideology more severely than those against property. Property, after all, is theft, according to such progressive thinkers as Marx and Proudhon.
Hence a burglar merely robs the robbers, assisting the state in its noble mission of redistributing wealth. An offensive joker, on the other hand, hurts the state by kicking dents in its ideological body.
So is it any wonder that the Law Commission has nothing better to do than pondering hate crimes? Social engineering is a serious matter, and no effort dedicated to it is ever wasted. I just hope that new laws will also protect white, heterosexual, Thomist freeholders.
P.S. Another lesson in the English course taught by football commentators. They all adore the word ‘amount’ and loathe the word ‘number’, although that doesn’t qualify as a hate crime. And when they do utter the despicable word, they have to augment it with their preferred one.
Thus, a commentator praised a team the other day for “throwing a great amount of numbers in the box”. I would have just said “great numbers”, but then I wasn’t born to the language.