Scottish Hate Speech Law

Today the Scottish government’s controversial hate speech law, crime and public order act has come into effect and it’s ruffled plenty of feathers. Scotland’s first Minister Humza Yousef has insisted the law will empower victims of hatred whilst maintaining public freedom of expression.

Yeah, so is this a new law, a threat to free speech and most importantly will it actually work? Joe, from what I can work out this law could basically criminalize the likes of Ricky Gervais and JK Rowling for basically telling jokes and standing up for what women are and women are not protected under this new law. It is very concerning isn’t it? Well, I mean this is joking aside or you know factious aside this is a sledgehammer to crack a nut that actually doesn’t exist.

You know we talk about the police a lot on this program, we talk about being under resourced or being sent in the wrong direction. How are you going to police something when somebody can anonymously phone up and report that Ben Habib, I overheard him on the phone saying something that I don’t like and I’m really upset. No, I’m not giving you my name because that’s how it stands at the moment.

You can report it as a third party, utterly ludicrous. Sorry to interrupt but this is what I meant earlier when I said the left is on the march. This is the left wing shutting down of debate. That’s what the Scottish Parliament is effectively, but the whole thing is utterly ridiculous and you know, we’ve got laws in place across the United Kingdom that protect people from discrimination, against disability, gender, homophobia all of those things.

Womens Equality is only 100 Years Old

This thing, I mean, I think it goes back to what Ben and I hopefully try to do which is to disagree agreeably yes and to have civil conversations where we are completely opposite absolutely on so much of course. You go off on one and I challenge you.

I mean Scone, come on wait for its people wait for it there’s going to be clotted cream and jam all over television screens around just have your jacket dry clean come on, it’s all right it’s pink, but I think you know the whole point about this is who and what do you want the police who are under resourced to do.

I’m with JK Rowling on this stuff, about misgendering and she’s put out tweets or whatever they call X these days, saying yeah, come on arrest me. Well, I mean basically her tweet today basically saying that women don’t have penises is now potentially an arrestable offence in Scotland, absolutely absurd because of this hate speech law.

We spent 100 odd years or we spent the last 100 years emancipating women, giving them rights, protecting women, making it possible for them to come and protest it only because we fought and protested. Very generous of men to allow us to have that, but what this is now doing is setting that entire movement back in ostensibly in the promotion of transgender ideology.

We had this ridiculous thing last week I don’t know if you saw it with the employees, female employees in the Office for National Statistics being threatened with legal action if they complained about transgender, I call them transgender men because they’re still men. I know some people call them transgender women but men who want to be women going into their loo’s and they were threatened with legal action.

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Hate Speech Law Introduced

I mean it’s absolutely absurd, but the other thing in this bill, this act that worries me is the protection of religion as a debating point. Now, we ditched blasphemy laws 100 years ago in theory for very good reason because blasphemy laws again can be used to shut down debate and to cower parts of the country, to prevent people from being able to talk openly.

Do you want to a chat with that bloke, the RE teacher in Batley, Yorkshire about blasphemy laws. He is still in hiding. Well, exactly and you know if you give sucker to people like Hamza Yousef with this kind of thing, if you allow them this kind of indulgence, they’ll be shutting down debate right across the board. I think what is so alarming about this and it’s been knocking around since 2021, been going a long time, going around, so there’s been plenty of time for it to be debated and discussed and picked over the entrails and all the rest of it.

In every interview that I’ve read and heard of ministers in Scotland trying to defend it, they’ve had to sort of row back to the point well then that would be up to the police, well no of course you couldn’t be prosecuted for this or that. And the other thing well what is the point to it then?

Let’s play devil’s advocate very slightly on this, obviously you know that you know the whole transgender debate, which is the most toxic debate you can possibly have at the moment. Now there are people out there that use very hateful language about transgender people and lots of other people and lots of other people but as you pointed out Joe, lots of other people are already protected I mean race, age, sexuality etc. but I mean there isn’t anything specific until this in Scotland to protect transgender people from being insulted in this way but it’s also they cannot make a law against insulting someone. It’s almost they’re calling it; they’re stirring up hatred by passing a law like this.

Shutting Down Free Speech

No, the law has got this clause in it which now extends from the laws that we’ve got in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which is stirring up hatred. Yeah, well that is very subjective, impossible, but the other thing is that it seems to me that you know we’re either infantilizing ourselves as a country or as a society that we have to go to the police and expect them to intervene when we are not able to say hang on Ben I find that really offensive or Dawn that was really out of order.

We should be able to do that you know and we should be able to call out the blokes who say it’s just banter. The importance of this act this is no doubt is infantilizing us but what it is fundamentally doing is shutting down free speech.

A hate speech law is the thing of dictatorships it should we should be allowed to offend each other. How do you have diversity of thought and progression in thought if you’re not allowed to really challenge robustly someone else’s ideology and beliefs?

You’ve got to be able to go head-to-head and you will be offended and I’ll be offended and we may throw our toys out of the pram but that shouldn’t result in an arrest. Do you think we should have picked up on this happening first with the universities where it was the thought police?

You can only think one way we’ve had university lecturers hounded out of their jobs mainly for the trans issue. I mean sort of George Orwell’s 1984 was a work of fiction, I mean it is now literally real life but it is and I’m sorry to go back to it, but the heart of all of this is in diversity, equality and inclusion.

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Two Tier Policing

The promotion of transgender rights is just one of the promotions that is now advocated for and promoted by the regulatory framework in which our educational establishments work so it is absolutely encouraged that they should promote transgender.

The regulatory framework says please promote transgender rights, please promote ethnic minorities, please promote minority religions and if necessary, set Christianity aside, set the rights of the white majority aside and set aside the rights of women, that’s what we’re seeing.

I think you know and to go back really to the point you were saying earlier well, both of you actually about the sort of two-tier policing, I should think there are quite a lot of police officers and quite a lot of members of the public who would like the police to be investigating other things and I think you know it is absolutely fundamental that people shouldn’t be offensive or cause alarm or fear but we shouldn’t always be running to the police to sort it out via a hate speech law.

Let us know if you live in Scotland in particularly how you feel about this GB views at GB news.

I mean we know our prisons are overflowing, if you report a burglary, it’s not getting investigated, rape, crime and sexual assault in London is more or less legalized because it’s not investigated, not prosecuted etc. but what do you think especially if you’re in Scotland really Keen to hear from you because you know comedy act you won’t be to go and see them because you know Ricky Gervais is getting nicked basically.

What was once satire is coming to pass.