Don’t tell me about hate

It wasn’t my hashtag. But I wish it had been. I wish I had the ovaries not just to think it, but say it.

I accept that it upset and horrified many and gave too easy a target for those numerous anonymous accounts who like to mutter and jeer from the sidelines. So it was right to reflect and apologise.

But we do need to talk about hate — what it means and what we do about it.

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On Hatred

On Friday a tweet from Fair Cop provoked a heated reaction on Twitter with many accusing us of “embracing hatred”.  This blog is Rob Jessel’s personal view on the matter. 

Hatred is the worst of all human emotions. It destroys relationships, causes chaos and destruction to others; saddest of all, it hurts the hater just as much as the object of their animosity.

Gandhi had a good line about anger, hatred’s close cousin, which applies just as well: holding onto these emotions is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. 

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The British Twitter Stasi

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 it took with it the East German State security force known as the ‘Stasi’. At the time of its demise, the Stasi employed 91,015 people and relied on 173,081 informants. This works out as one secret police officer for every 166 East Germans, making the Gestapo look like lazy amateurs with their trifling one per 2,000. The Stasi were dangerous because of their embrace of ‘Zersetzung’  (‘decomposition’ or ‘biodegradation’). The aim of ‘Zersetzung’ was to destroy the psychological integrity of an individual, by gathering information to damage their reputation and their personal relationships.

Read article: The British Twitter Stasi

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Stirring up divisions in private homes ‘could become hate crime’

Hate speech in private homes could become a crime, according to reports. The Law Commission, an independent body that reviews England Wales’ law and recommends reforms, has argued that the ‘private dwelling’ defence, which stops people being convicted of stirring up division because their actions were in private places, should be removed from the Public Order Act.

Harry Miller, former police officer and co-founder of anti-hate-crime laws organisation and pro-freedom of speech advocates Fair Cop, said the Law Commission’s recommendation ‘is a direct threat to the sanctity of the family home.’

Read article: Stirring up divisions in private homes ‘could become hate crime’


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UK lawyers uneasy about plan to prosecute hate speech at home

Proposals to prosecute individuals for hate crimes based on what they discuss in their own homes need to be more widely debated, free speech organisations have said.

The suggestion to remove the “dwelling” privacy exemption from criminal legislation is buried in a few paragraphs of the Law Commission’s 544-page consultation on hate crime published in September.

The proposal was spotted by the organisation Fair Cop, which campaigns against what it says is misuse of legislation to curb free speech. Sarah Phillimore, a barrister and member of the organisation, said it would encourage “state surveillance or people to inform on their friends. How else would they get the evidence? It will be like the East German Stasi security service.”

Read article: UK lawyers uneasy about plan to prosecute hate speech at home

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DINNER CRIME Talking about race, religion or sex over dinner table at home could become a HATE CRIME

TALKING about race, religion or sex over the dinner table at home could soon become a HATE crime, says a report.

The Law Commission claims the offence of “stirring up” division should be extended into private homes.

According to the Daily Mail, the Commission has drawn up a 500-page consultation report which will be presented to ministers next year.

Harry Miller, a businessman, former policeman and founder of Fair Cop, which opposes hate crime rules, told the Mail: “If the private home law is adopted by Government, a comment over the dinner table about a huge range of people could lead to a prison sentence.”


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