Scotland’s Hate Speech Act and Abuse of Process 426

On 1 April Scotland’s notorious Hate Crime Act comes into force. I have explained before why it is so noxious. It has been condemned by every civil liberties body you can think of. Police Scotland have made matters still worse by telling their officers that the measure of whether a Hate Crime has been committed should be whether the person reporting it feels offended or threatened, and that the officer should make no objective judgment as to whether that is reasonable from the facts of the case.

But I want to concentrate on one very specific aspect of this legislation. It will apply to social media, and indeed it is highly probable that a very significant proportion of the “Hate Speech” will be found on social media.

It is a well-established principle in Scots law that anything published on the internet, which can be read in Scotland, is deemed to be published in Scotland. The act of publication is not deemed to be the person actually publishing the item, let us say in Tahiti. The act of publication is deemed to be the reader opening the item on their device in Scotland.

(To emphasise the total illogic of this approach, while it is the person opening it which constitutes the act of publication, it is not the person who opened it who is deemed to have published it but the original creator/publisher. To emphasise the state’s dishonest thinking still more: if however what is being opened is not, say, libel or hate speech but rather illegal pornography, then it is in that case the person who opened it who is deemed to have published it.)

So a person in Tahiti who publishes a tweet which is opened by and offends somebody in Scotland because it offends a protected characteristic, had committed a crime in Scotland, even though they never left their home in Tahiti and may never have been anywhere near Scotland.

I know this sounds completely crazy, but I do assure you it is absolutely true. As kindly confirmed here by the Dean of Faculty.

This means, beyond a doubt, that hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions, of new crimes will be committed in Scotland every year from 1 April. Committed in Scotland by people who were, at the time, all over the world.

If you think that is bad, let me tell you it gets infinitely worse. In addition to holding that Scots courts have jurisdiction over anything published on the internet anywhere in the world, because if it can be read here it is published in Scotland, Scottish judges have also invented the doctrine of “continuing publication”.

As it is the act by the reader of opening the matter online which constitutes publication, every time it is opened by someone in Scotland from the internet that constitutes a new publication. So any “hate speech” that has been online for ten years constitutes a new offence if you read it in Scotland now. “Hate speech” as defined in the Act, anywhere on the Internet, no matter when or where it was published, is going to be a new crime in Scotland if someone opens it or reads it after 1 April.

What I have said is simply true. It is irrefutable. There may sometimes be argument over who committed the crime – for example, it may sometimes be the author or sometimes the publisher who is guilty (though on social media they are in most instances deemed the same person). But that a crime has been committed in Scotland is not in doubt.

So how will Police Scotland and the Crown Office cope?

Through selective prosecution. With literally millions of available criminal offences being committed annually, the authorities have fantastic latitude to choose who and who not to pursue.

In theory of course all crime should be pursued equally. In practice that will be impossible. Scotland will have put itself into this impossible situation by the combination of two terrible bits of law. Scotland’s legal doctrine on internet publication is appalling and Scotland’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Act is appalling. The combination of the two is almost indescribably bad.

Scotland’s internet doctrine that the entire internet is published in Scotland if you read it here, is a claim of universal jurisdiction over the internet. It should be derided into vanishing.

But the internet posed a dilemma for the courts. Either they had to accept a massive increase in freedom of speech, or claim jurisdiction over the entire internet. How do you enforce an injunction if somebody can simply publish the information from their home in Tahiti and you cannot touch them? Needless to say, the stupid and arrogant judges of Scotland went for the universal jurisdiction path and not the freedom path (to be plain, so have the courts in England and Wales).

There is, however, a real problem here. Outside the UK, Scottish judges can only get their hands on our “criminal” from Tahiti if they happen to come here, or by extradition. But extradition depends on the principle of dual criminality – the act has to be a criminal offence in the country being extradited both to and from. As there are few countries in the world willing to jail you for telling a story that starts “An Englishman, Scotsman and Irishman went into a pub”, extradition will be difficult in most cases.

It will, incidentally, certainly be an imprisonable offence in Scotland from 1 April to tell a joke beginning “An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman went into a pub”. The police just need someone to complain.

But this opens a very interesting question with England and Wales. Plainly there is an enormous amount of online social interaction between Scots and people in England and Wales. The Scottish courts do not need to extradite people from England and Wales, the police just truss them up and deliver them. But is England really going to accept that a woman sitting at home in Leicester, who made a bad taste joke online whilst in Leicester that is perfectly legal in England, can be sent to Scotland and imprisoned?

Did anybody actually think that through, in passing this Act through the Scottish Parliament?

The Hate Crime Act makes it a criminal offence to insult somebody. You can go to jail for seven years for insulting somebody. That does not have to be your own insult. It includes by “displaying, publishing, distributing” “giving, sending, showing, playing” or “making the material available”. It includes giving someone an album that contains offensive lyrics, or acting in a performance that contains offensive lines. It really does.


The most basic notion of liberty has been discarded.

To make plain the culture wars motivation, three of the six protected characteristics are sexual orientation, transgender identity and variations in sex characteristics. I genuinely do not know what the last one means. It does not mean being male or female. Strangely enough it will still be perfectly legal to insult women or men.

Rather worryingly, much of the opposition to the bill comes from people who want to make more things illegal, rather than give the state less arbitrary power to bang up huge numbers of people.

The truth is that this appalling legislation was always a part of Nicola Sturgeon’s grand scheme to destroy the Scottish Independence movement from within through culture wars. Everybody sentient in Scotland knows that the entire intention is a massive abuse of process. Of the millions of people who could be prosecuted for online content read in Scotland, the intention is selectively to attack those who are gender critical.

Now I am in fact not gender critical myself. I still find the intolerance puzzling. But I absolutely defend the right of those who are convinced that trans people are a threat to women’s rights to state their position, free from the legal harassment that is about to be unleashed upon them.

What we are seeing is terrible repressive legislation, amplified by a terrible legal doctrine, leading to massive power by the state over individuals. We are going to see monumental abuse of process. The state will take completely arbitrary decisions on selective prosecution according to a state-political agenda, and will refuse to prosecute millions of other “crimes” under the same Act. This is fascism.

In the short term, I have no doubt that the Israeli lobby will be generating thousands of complaints of alleged anti-semitism aimed at those criticising Israel for its genocide. There is an extremely high correlation between Scottish unionism and Zionism which doubtless will be in play.

The situation contradicts, at the very least, articles 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 17 of the European Convention on Human Rights. A nightmare is coming.



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426 thoughts on “Scotland’s Hate Speech Act and Abuse of Process

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  • Willie

    To change tack if I may, the pictures emerging of the Baltimore bridge collapse are incredible – and the economic impacts of the seaway closure (and severing of the interstate highway) are huge.

    With all that is going on in the world, one wonders if this was an attack to send a message.

    The ship that hit the central pier looked as if it had been aimed at the pier, and the ship also went on fire and sank.

    A maritime 9/11?

    • Stevie Boy

      This is almost certainly another case of cost associated, gross incompetence. My first thoughts were: “where were the tugs guiding this large container ship in a busy sea lane ?” But maybe I’m wrong.

    • ET

      Live video from the scene shows the ship above water and not sunk. Nor is it on fire. It is partly stuck under the collapsed bridge. The ship was sailing to Sri Lanka, owned by Synergy Marine, a Singapore based company, under a Singaporean Flag and time chartered by Maersk for the journey.

      • Stevie Boy

        Another theory is a failed rudder, and apparently there were two pilots on board.
        Sadly, a major incident for baltimore that could last years.

    • ET

      “In a judgment on Tuesday, Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Johnson dismissed most of Mr Assange’s legal arguments but said that unless assurances were given by the United States, he would be able to bring an appeal on three grounds.”

      No further details from the article in the Irish Times I’ve read. I’m sure we’ll get a better explanation from Craig Murray when he gets time and/or more detail from other reporting.

      • Melrose

        So it’s basically another delay, meant to provide leeway for both current negotiations about a plea deal, and a potential change of US policies following the November election.

        • Melrose

          According to MSM sources, appeals hearings should happen in May. If true, that’s better than what could be expected…

          • Tom Welsh

            Did they say which year?

            Justice delayed is justice denied, but no one in the British judiciary, executive, or media knows that.


      • Stevie Boy

        “The High Court of Justice in London ruled in favor of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday, allowing him to continue to challenge the decision on his extradition to the United States in UK courts.
        The court, in particular, ruled that:
        Assange will not be extradited immediately;
        The US has three weeks to give “satisfactory assurances”, namely that the WikiLeaks founder will face a fair trial and that his extradition will not amount to a death sentence;
        If assurances are not given, the court will grant leave to appeal without a further hearing;
        If assurances are provided, the court will allow the parties an opportunity to make further submissions before it makes a final decision.”

        • Melrose

          1st Amendment rights is notably amongst “assurances” required from US authorities.
          Mentioning the right to a “fair trial” needless to say sounds like a bad joke…

          • Tom Welsh

            One of the nicest things about US authorities is that there are so many of them, and that they change so often.

            Hence the charming technique whereby a President agrees a treaty with a foreign country, which the foreign country then implements, only for the President to find – to his deep distress, of course – that the Congress refuses to endorse it.

            “I meant well, but those other people prevented me”.

            Or, as it might be, “X gave you those assurances, but he got voted out and I am not bound by anything he said”.

        • AG

          German Assange activist Moritz Müller has a piece on today:

          I thought it’s decent and stressing the problematic issues.
          I don’t know how many reporters in the German media are adequately informed however, since above site is the biggest German alternative media source. Not “legacy” media.
          In the last paragraph he mentions German legal expert, former judge and former senior editor on domestic politics of the major daily SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, Heribert Prantl, who had been saying some stupid things regarding the big geopolitical matters but is respected on legal questions. I will look into the mentioned paywalled article since that would be the “critical German mainstream voice” and might be of interest to some here. I know that people in Germany who regard themselves as “politically informed” take his views seriously.

        • pretzelattack

          meanwhile Assange rots in prison, and the US is not required to assure that the CIA or some intel contractor will not assassinate him in prison, which would be easier than assassinating him in the embassy would have been.

  • Stevie Boy

    Because of Scotland’s new hate speech laws the Rev Stuart Campbell is taking legal advice over whether his popular blog ‘Wings over Scotland’ can continue. I assume this will also be the case for this blog.
    So maybe as of next week there will be no free speech scottish blogs.

    • Pokethebear

      Or Stand Up Comedy…etc etc
      Welcome to the war on self expression , culture, spontaneous remarks as well as considered journalism.
      Tourettes sufferers will be criminalised??
      Oh imagine if the old Duke of Edinburgh was still alive would they handcuff him as he swore away at the Polis?

      Burns will be banned for the line, “A man’s a man …”
      And of course the right to self determination and sanity.
      But abuse and threats of violence towards women still acceptable…

  • Mr Mark Cutts

    Well this in online and therefore it must be true and I think it is in respect of a US Citizen.

    ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

    If the US Courts want to prosecute an Australian as if he is a US Citizen then they had better make him a US Citizen and thereby confer the right to free speech on him. They are saying because he isn’t a US Citizen he has no First Amendment Rights.

    The problem is the whole thing is anti free speech (only out with the US) because he is not an American Citizen. Yet he is to be extradited as a non-American to stand trial under US Law (where a US Citizen has the right to free speech) and yet he has to accept laws that are available only to US Citizens but not non US Citizens in order to be prosecuted.

    I know the US is thought of as ‘Special’ but it’s not that special.

    Ironically if they did give him the right to the First – they would have to drop the whole case. Otherwise they would look like fools – wouldn’t they?

  • Giyane

    I an offended by Richi Sunak saying that anybody who.oppsed the USUKIsraeli genocide of the Palestinians maybe shouldn’t be living here.

    Can I travel to Scotland and be offended please?
    No law is workable unless it’s crystal clear, and this Law will collapse within a few months through its sheer insanity.

    • Mr Mark Cutts


      As usual with all the expensively educated politicians they have no grasp of history.

      Two examples:

      The Ukraine/Russian Invasion ‘war’ started in February 2022.

      The Israeli Palestinian War (sic) started on October the 7th 2023.

      Nothing else came before – like a Plague of Locusts. It is all a Visitation.

      The MSM believe the same.

      If all this wasn’t so tragic it would be a comical farce.

      I don’t know what the learned Professors teach the Managers of ‘British Interests’ are taught in the expensive schools but it isn’t history/politics and real life in the real world.

      Which means that these guardians of British Interests do not have a clue about what they are defending.

      Utterly useless and non curious.

  • Tatyana

    We are under sanctions here, so not long ago I remapped the buttons on my TV remote. It gave me an idea today and I hope you like it.
    With this law of yours, you can remap some words!
    This way you will maintain your freedom of expression, and at the same time, formally you will not violate the law (another benefit, you will have a lot of fun).

    How it works:
    You assign another word to convey the old meaning. That is, you no longer say “pervert”, but say, for example, “dandelion”.
    You can freely say that:
    – you hate dandelions,
    – you are stunned by the huge number of dandelions in your country,
    – you don’t like how aggressively dandelions take over space,
    – you don’t like that dandelions get too much promotion,
    – you know some particularly fluffy dandelions and they’re just disgusting!

    If someone decides to sue you over this, I’d love to see the trial!

    • ET

      That is exactly what will happen.
      In a previous CM blog you and I debated the merits or otherwise of the UN resolution on glorification of nazism.

      I made a post at the time.

      I still hold the view that no government should have the power to deem any speech “hate speech” because it leads to laws like this one in Scotland. I still think the USA bill of rights has it right:
      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      It’s not that I think the USA is a paragon of virtue (Assange etc) but that part of the constitution got it right.

      • Tatyana

        I agree, but I draw conclusions from all the then and current discussions differently, I connect it differently into an opinion:
        If certain things are recognized as criminal in international law (such as terrorism, or the same UN resolution on Nazism), then governments can and should limit such criminal speech. This is logical, since international law still expresses the interests of a larger number of people on this planet than the legal system of one country. Like democracy: the minority obeys the majority.
        What we are discussing now is the right of one state to criminalize something. Hmm… maybe they could have the power to do that, I’m no expert. But to prosecute what is published by citizens of other countries on the global information network?… This looks impracticable, presumptuous, and also potentially infringing on the rights of those same citizens of those very other states.
        For example, it is grotesque, someone in the US writes something approving about Nazism, and someone in Scotland is offended by this and sue. Well, it’s logical that his claim would be denied, since the right to glorify Nazism is protected by freedom of speech and formally a US citizen would not violate his law, and his law does not oblige him to comply with the laws of Scotland.
        So the law is dumb and pretty pointless.
        Still, I’m sure, they will allocate a lot of money for this activity, such as procedures, institutions, instructions, lawyers, algorithms, etc etc.

        • Tatyana

          By the way, about UN resolutions, they recently issued one on the situation in Gaza, obliging the parties to a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan. The representative emphasized that the resolution is international law and is binding.
          And by the way, the fact that the terrorist attack in Crocus was carried out during Ramadan is for many here proof that ISIS was not involved in it. And one more “by the way”, according to some polls, 72% of people consider Britain responsible for this terrorist attack.

        • Tatyana

          I just watched Scott Ritter and Judge Napolitano, so let me add one more thing. I apologize in advance for O/T and horrific things to bring here.

          There is a video that terrorists made for their employers. In it, one of them makes several awkward movements with a knife on the throat of a lying wounded man (I call it awkward because I’ve seen professional Ukrainian throat cutters, with their trained moves, cutting the throats of Russian soldiers. They parade such videos on Telegram).

          Also in that video, another terrorist raises his index finger and says the Shahada (Islamic formula of faith).
          Scott points out that he raised the finger of his left hand, which is considered ‘dirty hand’ in Islam and it’s absolutely unthinkable to pronounce the Shahada with such a gesture.

      • Tom Welsh

        It is very doubtful whether any authority should ever censor any speech. Take the classic case of “Nazi ideas”. If they are invalid or disgusting, people will reject them. But if they never hear them, how can they understand what is wrong about them? Those who claim that odious speech must be censored lest it pervert people’s minds have little respect for the people and their intelligence. One may even suspect that they don’t want the people to hear about Dr Goebbels’ techniques of propaganda, because they themselves are using them to such good effect. (And of course, Dr Goebbels himself freely admitted that he learned all he knew about propaganda from Edward Bernays and Madison Avenue).

        “And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose upon the earth, so truth be in the field we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter…”

        – John Milton, “Areopagitica”

        “The greatest orator, save one, of antiquity, has left it on record that he always studied his adversary’s case with as great, if not with still greater, intensity than even his own. What Cicero practised as the means of forensic success, requires to be imitated by all who study any subject in order to arrive at the truth. He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion”.

        – John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty” (1859).

        • Tatyana

          Tom, re. “Nazi ideas”. If they are invalid or disgusting, people will reject them.

          We both, I guess, have in mind that people reject the nazi ideas if people are supposed to be victims in the nazi system. As soon as they see they are ubermenschen, then they may be quite happy with the nazi ideas

          As to ancient books, (the following is also an answer to your comment further down) – I’m currently listening to the audio version of ‘How to manage your slaves’. I still doubt whether Marcus Sidonius Falx was a real person, or whether this is an ingenious invention of the author.
          In any case, these ancient people knew something. Like, it is worth counting to ten before giving the order to break a slave’s legs. Or, the British are too surly and make unpleasant domestic servants.

          That said, I mean I sometimes wonder how you all guys live in a world like this, and keep your face serious? With hate speech laws like this one in discussion? With all those ridiculous people and things around?

          • Melrose

            By all means, Marcus S. Falx (pronounced “false”) was a real person, a nobleman of the highest rank in Roman society. He actually wanted to become an Oxbridge graduate, but missed his Toner. Hence his grudge against the Brits.
            One point still in dispute is the etymology of “slave”. Could it be related to certain tribes northeast of Italy ?
            Otherwise, you’re quite right. It’s a bit difficult to keep the “face serious” with all the current masquerade.

          • Tom Welsh

            “That said, I mean I sometimes wonder how you all guys live in a world like this, and keep your face serious? With hate speech laws like this one in discussion? With all those ridiculous people and things around?”

            Personally, I do my best to ignore them. I haven’t read newspapers or magazines for years; I no longer listen to broadcast news or current affairs programs (even the BBC’s weather forecasts are notoriously unreliable); I do not possess any kind of mobile phone; and I do not participate in corporate-owned mass “social media”.

            Web sites like Mr Murray’s, and a handful of others, keep me abreast of what matters; otherwise I have my family, several thousand books – supplemented by such sites as Gutenberg – and a good selection of the Western music of the past 600-700 years. These keep me so occupied that I often find it hard to decide what to do next.

            I fully realise that a citizen does not help his state to survive and thrive by withdrawing from public life. But nowadays I find it best to stick to relatively select gatherings such as Mr Murray’s readers. I have occasionally made requests of my local MP, or offered her feedback and suggestions, but nothing ever came of it. After all, she is powerless vis a vis the UK government – even though she is a member of the ruling “Conservative” (hah!) Party. If she made enough fuss at Westminster to be noticed, she would merely be excluded from power and influence, as a naughty child might be sent to bed without supper.

            I was born in Argentina under the rule of Juan Peron; later, I spent some holidays in Dr Salazar’s Portugal and Habib Bourguiba’s Tunisia. I honestly can’t say I feel any freer or more “empowered” living in England today, and in some ways I doubt whether Rishi Sunak’s government is as effective or well-informed as, for example, Dr Salazar’s.

          • Tom Welsh

            “As soon as they see they are ubermenschen, then they may be quite happy with the nazi ideas”.

            Trouble is, it seems to me that almost all human beings (well, men mostly) tend to like and accept the idea that they are superior in some ways and to some degree. Believing that they are actually better than any other human beings just takes that tendency to the limit.

            When I was a student (long ago) I made a provisional list of nations and peoples who (as far as I knew) had never considered themselves any kind of “master race” or “chosen by God”. It turned out to be a very short list.

            Looking at those who have – for however short a time – deemed themselves, let’s say, “very special”, we can start with religious Jews and devout Muslims. Both think themselves chosen by God, and therefore in varying degrees infinitely superior to goyim or infidels. Some rabbis openly teach that only Jews have real souls, and all goyim are no better than animals. The Koran clearly lays down that all able-bodied Muslims must make every effort to subdue infidels and either convert them to Islam or kill them. (People of the Book – Jews and Christians – can be tolerated but only as very definitely second-class citizens).

            Devout Christians, too, believe that only they have a shot at Heaven – although depending on their sect, they may believe in predestined salvation or damnation regardless of faith or good works.

            Then we have the US Americans, who have a modified version of the Christian Protestant doctrine of the Elect. Simply by being Americans, they think that they are vastly superior to all others. Before them were the British, the Germans, the French, the Spanish, the Japanese, the Poles, the Arabs, the Persians, the Romans, the Greeks…

            Crushing defeat in war or economic competition can sometimes help to dissipate such arrogance – but unfortunately the effect doesn’t last. Just look at today’s Germans and Japanese, for example. Or the British, who seem to inhabit a strange illusory world in which they are still lords and masters.

            I hesitate to suggest that Russians are the only exceptions. Surely there are many of them who feel, as the old saying goes, that they are the equal of anyone and better than most?

          • Tatyana

            I have a different view.
            I believe that self-identification as an Ubermensch comes from trauma. A type of psychological defense mechanism.
            Because of the basic instincts that are built into us, a genetic line which has survived the threat of extermination, invents something like this. That is, it literally creates a special worldview for raising its offspring. The primary task of such worldviews is to remove the taboo on violence, on murder, and justify the expenditure of a huge amount of effort to acquire certain vital resources, such as food, water, territories for settlements, etc.
            I.e. nazi-like ideas are a type of teaching, aimed to program the offspring so that they see dominance as their priority goal, and do not waste valuable effort on the ordinary joys of life.
            I think this is plausible, since the genetic line that survived the threat of extinction most likely has few weak offspring and limited resources at its disposal.

            As to the Russians, it’s a federation. We are many and we are different. One person cannot speak on behalf of all 140 million, hope you keep it in mind while l express how it feels.
            The concept of “a Russian” here internally means “one who lives in the Russian cultural code,” where the cultural code means something like “corporate rules”. Being “a Russian” does not at all relate to ethnicity, citizenship, genetics or the like. Being Russian is more of an idea. Being Russian feels more like ‘being a hippie’ or ‘ being a Christian’. Like a life style.
            So, in some ways we feel equal, in some ways better, in others worse. It doesn’t really touch any emotional chords in most people. Rather, this is an occasion to think about what good things we can learn, what bad things we can fix.
            Well, a nice bonus is that there is no coercion, and if someone doesn’t like these local ‘corporate rules’, they can always choose ‘another employer’ to their liking, the borders are open.

            For example, if you are a Buddhist who wants to live in nature, you can choose a place near Buryatia. If you are an atheist and an urbanist, then perhaps you will like one of the large cities. If you are passionate about history, ethnography, or simply want to test who you really are, then you may like it in Siberia. And so on. Russia has something to offer almost everyone. Just live and let others live.

            Though, with the current conflict, some tolerance for people who want to destroy this “corporation” has undoubtedly disappeared. This includes those who agitate for the economic or military destruction of the place, and there has also been a remarkable change in the previously liberal attitude towards violent activists, exposing children to non-traditional gender roles before kids have had a chance to try out traditional gender roles.
            So, if you belong to the normal majority, then you will definitely like it in Russia. Plus, it’s never boring here.
            Actually, this is all we think about ourselves and the place where we live.

          • Tom Welsh

            Tatyana, please forgive me if I am tempted to stereotype you as a caring, kind person because you are a woman. But it’s really more from reading your comments.

            Surely you cannot explain, let alone excuse, all the people who have aspired to be Uebermenschen on the grounds that they were traumatised! As the author Theodore Dalrymple remarks, people who misbehave are often said to do so because they lack self-esteem. Dalrymple replies that in fact most of the criminals he has met – he used to be a prison doctor – actually have far too much self-esteem. It’s self-respect that they lack.

          • Tatyana

            Tom, I can’t say that I welcome stereotypes in discussions; in general, the introduction of stereotypes usually trivializes the argument, makes it emotional and reduces it to a fight.
            But specifically here, I rather feel flattered, because you do not expect such an instinctive reaction from me. I don’t mind, I feel something like this: if the interlocutor is tempted to apply a stereotype, it means
            – my point is not new to him,
            – he has already met this and from more than one source,
            – he has already given this thought,
            – he has already formed his opinion on this issue.

            I am still inclined to believe that a traumatic experience gnaws out pieces both from self-esteem (Like: ‘I was weak and could not protect myself then’) and from self-respect (Like: ‘I haven’t restored the justice yet’). But I firmly promise to think about it some more, and perhaps change my mind.

            Thank you for finding a very cute stereotype! Much more pleasant than a Russian Troll or a KGB agent 🙂 I’ll treat you with a russian joke, as a Thank You, if you don’t mind 😊

            Brezhnev and Reagan decided to exchange assistants as a sign of friendship.
            After some time, Reagan’s former secretary writes to her former boss:
            — Dear Ronald, everything is fine with me, I work normally, but my current boss is forcing me to wear longer and longer skirts. Soon my beautiful legs will no longer be visible.
            A former Brezhnev secretary writes a letter to her former boss:
            — Dear Leonid, I work wonderfully, I like everything, except for one detail: my current boss forces me to wear shorter and shorter skirts. Soon my balls and gun holster will be visible.

    • Tom Welsh

      I like your thinking, Tatyana! You may not be aware that the American author Gore Vidal had a similar idea some 50 years ago. See the section entitled “Glossary” in the Wikipedia page on his novel “Myron”. Upset by the illogical decision of the US Supreme Court in Miller v. California, which seemed to leave open the concept that certain words were intrinsically “bad”, he systematically substituted for the “bad words” in “Myron” what he called “some extremely good words” – the names of the Supreme Court justices. ‘(e.g., “He thrust his enormous Rehnquist deep within her Whizzer White”, etc.)’

  • Melrose

    This law it totally “unreasonable”, and for that reason, severe backlash can be expected.
    You may remember these few lines in St Exupéry’s “Little Prince”:

    “You may only demand from someone what someone can give, the king continued. Authority relies mainly upon reason. If you order your people to go and rush into the sea, they will start a revolution. I have the right to demand obedience because my orders are reasonable.”

  • Kimpatsu

    “Police Scotland have made matters still worse by telling their officers that the measure of whether a Hate Crime has been committed should be whether the person reporting it feels offended or threatened…”
    I’m both offended and threatened by this law. Police Scotland, please arrest the Scottish government.

    • Melrose

      As it happens, they have tried that already.
      Think Alex Salmond.
      They will try again. Alba is not a very effective cover…

  • Jim McSporran

    Utter madness. And your final remarks about the relish with which Zionists will use this law is going to be insane to behold.

  • AG

    nake capitalism has a long piece on this issue from the POV of Canada and the US.
    It´s worth a read.

    “Combating “Hate”: The Trojan Horse for Precrime”

    Of course “Minority Report” offers a springboard to get into the matter:

    Philip K. Dick’s 1956 novella The Minority Report created “precrime,” the clairvoyant foreknowledge of criminal activity as forecast by mutant “precogs.” The book was a dystopian nightmare, but a 2015 Fox television series transforms the story into one in which a precog works with a cop and shows that data is actually effective at predicting future crime.

    Canada just tried to enact a precrime law along the lines of the 2015 show, but it was panned about as much as the television series.

    Regardless btw that none of this in fact works.
    So in the future data about policing via Pre-Crime Software will be guarded as closely as data about Anti-Missile-Defense: Giant costs, Zero “benefit”.

    Basically we are back in the Middle Ages when the Church defined what truth is.

    While these predictive policing spatial models prove biased, what if to counter those criticisms you begin to roll out programs to “protect” minorities by preventing hate crimes? Could an approach that treats each individual as a collection of data points (including any “hate incidents”) be predictive of a future hate crime?

    Efforts to do just that date back to at least the early 1970s. When UCLA tried to set up a center for the study of violence.The Center for the Long-Term Study of Life-Threatening Behavior was intended to re-think human functioning itself in terms of data and was going to compile behavioral data to understand crimes that were “in formation.”

    The center never officially opened its doors, however, as it got caught in the backlash against psychosurgery when groups like the Black Panthers and Nader’s Raiders protested against it.

    But the rethink of humans as a collection of data points that can predict crimes in formation never really went away, and is now inching closer to becoming a reality. What was Canada’s proposed law other than a method to use data to measure “dangerousness” and preemptively punish suspects?
    If we look at Canada’s effort to establish official pre-hate-crime law enforcement, it’s one that would mark the official end of free speech and lead to a dystopian society revolving around the fear of being targeted – either by an individual or AI.

    The worst thing about it might be the demise of progressive NGO´s who are being instrumentalized by law-makers to provide this proto-fascist thinking the veil of progress by incorporating them into the PR-process and divert attention from the scope and real threats.

  • Jonathan Dyment

    Everything is just fine – remarkably good and informative in fact- until you start on Israel. I appreciate reading your work on the Julian Assange case especially.

    But Israel is the business of the God of Israel and you do not appear to understand this.

    • glenn_nl

      Yeah, but rational, sane people care a lot more about human rights than they do about somebody else’s imaginary sky-spook. Less still about what that imaginary sky-spook might be supposedly demanding, in that deluded people’s opinion.

      Rational people stopped believing in invisible gods and bullshit like that after we figured out why it got dark at night, and when we got old enough to doubt the existence of Father Christmas.

      Are you saying you haven’t managed to
      progress that far yourself…?

      • Jonathan Dyment

        The continued existence and security of Israel is God’s two fingers to you and all your sort. Father Christmas is not.

        • glenn_nl

          That’s God’s two fingers to me – personally? A genocide against innocent Palestinians is God acting against “my sort” (which is what exactly?) – despite the fact that I have never even set foot in Gaza or Israel? Unbelievable.

          Who were the two fingers being stuck up to by the same God, when millions of Jews were murdered in the holocaust in your, ehem, rather unusual view and by exactly the same logic?

          I hope you do realise, Jonathan Dymented, that you are completely insane. You do know that, right?

  • Madeleine Love

    Is one still allowed to criticise the chemical and surgical sterilization and mutilation of children if one is not online?

  • the pair

    “Now I am in fact not gender critical myself. I still find the intolerance puzzling.”

    things we don’t feel like “tolerating”:

      •  fully intact males in women’s prisons. especially rapists and those who suddenly “realized” they were “always a woman” once they got to the male version.

      •  mangling teens who bought HARD into a trend that targets them.

      •  loss of jobs and schooling due to “dead naming”.

      •  loss of privacy and safety in various locker rooms where the woman complains about the guy who “feels” like a woman watching her undress.

    these are all leftist and/or pro-women arguments. the last one especially seems obvious from a free speech perspective. not sure where the “puzzle” is.

    i will say there is a large crossover with pro-trans folks and pro-palestine ones so that’s to their credit. just as being rabid pro-“israel” trash makes it harder to feel any “solidarity” with the “intellectual derp web” bigots like bari weiss and jordan peterson who object to trans privileges disguised as “rights”.

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