Friday, 2 July 2010

Gerald Warner on Nick Clegg’s “Your Freedom” initiative

Gerald Warner's latest blog is worth reading:
They are calling it the new Great Reform Act and that is a bad sign: hype usually masks mediocrity. Nick Clegg’s “Your Freedom” initiative, inviting people to nominate bad laws for abolition, is the latest bogus consultation exercise launched by the coalition to massage the ego of the public into imagining it actually has some say in the running of the country. It is predicted that the outdated law making liable to prosecution anyone who does not report a sighting of a grey squirrel in his garden is likely to be repealed. Well, we shall all sleep more soundly for that.
How about puncturing this inflated rhetoric by challenging Clegg to repeal the PC “hate” laws, with their grossly distorted sentencing system which has created two-tier justice? For example, how about repealing Section 82 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998? That first prescribed massively increased sentences for crimes “aggravated” by a racial motive.
All assaults, for example, are deplorable; but why should the motive affect the sentence? Motive is crucial in detecting criminals; it is important at trial in establishing guilt or innocence; but it should play no part in sentencing. Judging an individual’s motive, like it or not, is Thought Crime. The very term “hate crime” is Orwellian: what crimes are motivated by benevolence towards the victim? The “hate” concept simply makes special cases out of sections of society that enjoy the special esteem of legislators: it is itself statutory prejudice.

Also see this post on the LPUK blog.

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