The Govt says the Hate Crime Bill is about tackling prejudice. Isn’t this a good thing?
Hatred and prejudice are wrong and should be tackled. The law has a role to play. But strong laws already exist to punish crimes aggravated by prejudice. The planned ‘stirring up hatred’ offences are too broad and risk criminalising speech that is merely felt to be offensive to certain people. In the current political climate, debate around contentious issues could be drastically curbed. The police and courts would have to waste time adjudicating on political disputes. This wouldn’t help the real victims of crime.