How can equality laws create inequality, protective laws put people in peril and high-minded motives spawn deep cynicism? Easy, once you factor in the law of unintended consequences. Thoughtful people will have been reminded of this a few days ago when the otherwise excellent Sajid Javid proudly released £375,000 to organisations aimed at reporting hate crime and promised more backing for National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

The idea of hate crime as some sort of numinous, separate entity is about twenty years old. Apart from crude incitement to racial hatred, rightly forbidden by statute since 1965 (and probably illegal at common law), it started – you guessed – with Tony Blair. 1998 saw separate offences of racially-motivated assault and vandalism created, with bigger penalties than other assault and vandalism. This was later extended to religious motivation and to other offences; and since 2000 any offence had automatically carried a higher sentence if racially or religiously aggravated. All this has the support of police, government, and the great and the good. You can even learn all about it at law school.

What’s not to like about this? Quite a lot.

For one thing, it discriminates between victims. If the rule of law demands that everyone equally be allowed to go about his lawful business without interference, the new hate crime system shamelessly crosses out the word “equally”. Suppose you are attacked or your home is vandalised. If this is because the hoodlums responsible did it for a laugh, or because you deserve to be tormented because you once reported some local yobs for vandalism, you now officially deserve less protection from the State than if you can claim to be victimised because you were black, Polish or Catholic. Tell that to the young man in hospital with stab wounds after a random attack, or the pensioner whose terraced home is now smashed up and uninsurable, and see what they think of this system of priorities.

For another, it matters in practice. A boy at secondary school is beaten up and regularly has his dinner money extorted from him because he is a swot and wears glasses: his mother complains, naming the bullies. Don’t hold your breath to see charges brought. The same bullies repeatedly name-call another boy, very likely equally studious, as a “Chink”. Ah, now you’re talking: murmur the magic words racially-aggravated, and the Crown Prosecution Service official guidelines say that prosecution is virtually always in the public interest. Even if police and prosecutors have to prioritise scarce resources, this way of doing it stinks.

Thirdly, hate crime obsession can puff up trivial cases to a laughable disproportion. Four months ago, ex-footballer-turned-entertainer Paul Gascoigne came up with an unusually oafish gag. He jokingly asked a black bodyguard in the shadows to smile to be seen. Shock horror, or a storm in a tea-cup unworthy of the attention of hard-pressed police and prosecutors? Clearly the former: a clear case for a hefty fine of £1,000 for hate crime. And the sheer self-importance and pomposity of the district judge who imposed it sums up the mindset of the new establishment better than a hundred articles in TCW. Referring to “the sort of insidious racism that needs to be challenged”, he said: “I applaud the Crown Prosecution Service for bringing this matter to court. It’s important that we, as a multicultural, multiracial society, challenge racist behaviour in all its forms.”

The tragedy is that these problems don’t affect the chattering classes who think up these rules. They don’t get assaulted; their large suburban houses don’t get vandalised; their children’s genteel schools, and their air-conditioned offices, are places where no-one would dream of saying anything out of turn. Pity about the working-class people who have to put up with the effects of the policies they, who know so much better than the rest of us, dream up over their dinner-tables: but that’s life.

The other tragedy is that it doesn’t have to be like this. There is another way of doing things. Nearly sixty years ago, after the 1958 Notting Hill race disturbances, Mr Justice Salmon – himself Jewish – hit the nail on the head. A number of white thugs had enthusiastically laid into West Indian immigrants: if ever there was a hate crime, this was it. Sentencing them to long terms in prison, with no nonsense about motivation or hate crime, he said this: “Everyone, irrespective of the colour of their skin, is entitled to walk through our streets in peace, with their heads erect and free from fear. That is a right which these courts will always unfailingly uphold.” This is the kind of equality we need; these 36 words are worth any number of forests cut down to provide yet more hate crime initiatives.

(Image: Michael D Beckwith)


  1. There is a myth that the British Army put hundreds of men before firing squads, during the First World War, for cowardice. Although some men were shot for “cowardice” in 1914, the army realised, very early on, that “cowardice” is a state of mind, which no court-martial is competent to prove. Subsequent military executions in the Great War, of which there were, indeed, many, largely punished desertion. Desertion is a provable military crime, not a state of mind.

    It was the same Labour “government”, which bestowed a posthumous pardon on all those executed, even the cold-blooded murderers, which also introduced “thought crime” on to the statute book, nearly a century after the so-called “donkeys” in the British Army grasped that that concept was fatuous.

    • If a soldier deserts his post, there could be inquiries about his motives. He might be charged with desertion or cowardice or both.

      • Only the fact of desertion is provable. On the Western Front in particular, you had to be pretty resourceful to desert on purpose and the Army was well aware that, in the appalling conditions of that shell-hell moonscape, anyone could get hopelessly lost, without any intention of deserting. Somebody who made it through all the layers of trenches, light railways and cavalry patrols and was found in civvies, hiding in a barn, probably was no coward, but was definitely going to be considered a deserter.

        • If a man left his post on active service, he would be court martialed. I don’t see how a defence could be mounted without reference to his motives.

          Even in peacetime, leaving your post on guard duty or being found asleep there, is regarded as a serious matter and the punishment is (or used to be) quite hefty.

  2. “Motor Cycles (Wearing of Helmets) Regulations 1973 (S.I., 1973, No. 180), dated 7th February 1973.”

    The day that law was enacted was the day that “inequality before the law” was enshrined in British society. I have nothing against Sikhs, and I don’t particularly care whether someone dies because their religious belief prevents them from wearing safety equipment. however, I do care when their religious belief puts them in a priviged position. The slippery slope began that day.

    • I agree 100%.
      I realised at that moment that the law was no longer equal for us all.
      After all. No Sikh was compelled to ride a motor bike.
      They could drive or get on a bus.
      I have no problem with Sikhs, they’re usually good citizens, & not all
      men wear turbans.
      The minute the law of the land is not applied to persons burdened with superstitious
      or inimical cultural beliefs, the law becomes selective anarchy.
      The end result now, (worse to come) of that wretched decision is that the UK
      taxpayer is paying mohammedan men Married Quintet’s Marriage Allowance,
      for up to four wives. Each a “dependent” with the right to housing benefit &
      child benefits.
      Meanwhile, the old UK Married Couple’s Allowance has long gone.
      Seems our civil servants are preparing for a mohammedan Britain.
      Plenty of demographers agree with them.

    • It was the original obligation to wear a motor cycle helmet that was profoundly objectionable. This was an early step in the regulation of the conduct of the subject so as to mitigate cost to the NHS; nationalised health leading to nationalised patients.

          • I agree totally. If I, as an adult, supposedly free to decide my own future and face the consequences of my decisions and actions, am not permitted by law to make up my own mind whether or not to wear a helmet or not, then the state is robbing me of a little of my freedom. Inform, educate and train me, but do not take my freedom to decide my own future away.

          • I agree and made the same argument here. Trouble is, the other side has much practical right, when they say, if you get hurt, we have to pay for your care, so we can mandate safety practices. You can easily see where this leads.

    • My old man fought alongside Sikh regiments in N.Africa during WW2. These guys put their religion before their mortality and gave Rommel a vicious kick up the ar*e. If they want to ride a bike without a helmet let them.

  3. The ‘otherwise excellent’ Sajid David? I wish I could share that sentiment, but here is a man who appeared to be a Brexit supporter who flipped as soon as the pressure was on. Now he’s ardently pursuing the ludicrous Guardianista hate crime agenda. the main aim of which seems to be to designate those who are opposed to mass immigration as racists.

    • As someone who hates & fears islam, I admire Sajid Javid.
      He came from a background symptomatic of muslim colonists.
      One of 8 siblings living in a two bedroom flat.
      A truly unpleasant & anti social background.
      He is married to a Christian lady, has, I think, 2 children
      He does not brandish his religious beliefs.
      If he has abandoned them, he cannot broadcast the fact, or he’d be
      The worst hate crime in recent years was committed by mohammedans against
      a shopkeeper from the Ahmadi sect, who muslims hate as much as they hate Jews.
      Not only was this friendly man brutally murdered, but the killer’s family & supporters
      were permitted to call for more deaths & celebrate the cowardly murderer after
      the court gave its judgement.
      No prosecutions for “hate crime” .
      Just thrown an imaginary brick at BBC TV news.
      Bleating mohammedan woman complaining about how people, allegedly, react to
      her unpleasant appearance.
      Funny these types never want to settle in lands where their religious & social
      practices are normal.
      If a Western woman in mainstream Western dress walked the streets of most mohammedan lands she’d be lucky to get off with a mere jail sentence.
      She’d most likely be raped first.

    • Sajid did say, admittedly to a Jewish audience that if he didn’t live in the UK the only country he would be happy to live in is Israel. Takes courage from a Muslim guy to say that.

  4. This law only seems to work one way. The majority population of this country can be accused of hate crimes but apparently can’t be the subject of a hate crime. When was anyone last accused, let alone found guilty of a hate crime against a white anglo-saxon inhabitant of this country?

    • If that were to happen several Parliament’s worth of MPs would have to be banged up for “historic” crimes against the white anglo-saxon population of England.

  5. I am very glad to see this article. The “hate crime” laws are a cheat. First the laws are not enforced so ordinary cannot get vandals etc brought to justice. Then new laws are passed that mean that certain groups only can get savage sentences passed. Vile, unconstitutional and wicked.

      • Unjust & racist.
        The egregious LBC chat show host O’Brien stated recently.
        ‘Non white people cannot be racist as there is no racism without power.’
        Wait ’till his wife walks through Tower Hamlets etc —
        The mohammedans & the race relations industry have all the power.

  6. Then stop effing voting for the parties that continue to pass this kind of legislation then.

    Its quite simple really. Its the only way they’ll ever learn. Hit them in their seat count.

  7. Fully agree with this article. The particularly insidious part of these laws is that the “hate” doesn’t have to be proven. Simply if someone thinks that something is offensive then it is so, they are allowed to “project” their interpretation of motivation onto the defendant and have it accepted as true. But of course they could be wrong. Even more dangerous is that in a number of cases I’m aware of the chief witness is the police officers (public order cases) . Who declare that they were “offended”. So we have the police who inevitably have to have a “thick skin” claiming to have been upset and offended by what someone said and thereby get a harsher sentence. It would be funny if it wasn’t that ordinary people fall foul of such “stitch ups”.

      • “Non-crime hate incident” is a special example of false accounting to serve a partisan political agenda. You won’t find “Non-crime theft incident” being reported to dog-whistle about increasing dishonesty.

    • How things have changed. Back when I was a WPC if I took offense at being verbally abused, especially on a Friday or Saturday night after chucking out time, half the town would have been crammed into the cells.

      But then, at that time, no one had ever heard of political correctness.

  8. The idiots who passed these political laws in Parliament have bandied about – in Parliament – the racist, sexist and ageist insult “pale, male and stale” with no apparent awareness that it completely and utterly undermines the credibility of the sanctimony they so often deploy in finger waggingly telling us what we should be allowed to say.

    One of the greatest legacies bequeathed to England was that everyone was equal under the law and that prosecution for most crimes had to prove the element of mens rea, the guilty intent – “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”. Now the law is selectively wielded to serve a political agenda and “a hate crime is hate crime if I say it is” or in many cases if a third party with a political axe to grind says it is.

  9. I am always reminded of an excellent quote from Life on Mars.

    DI Sam Tyler: I think we should treat this murder as a hate crime, guv.
    DCI Gene Hunt: What? As opposed to an “I really like you” murder?

  10. Also men can get much worse sentences , an example of this is footballer Adam Johnson got six years inside for putting his hand down a 15 yr olds knickers,, whereas a woman city worker in London got only 1 yr for glassing another woman in an unprovoked attack, she put the glass three times into the other woman’s face. Where’s the balance in these sentences?

    • Johnson wasn’t allowed to resort to the pu55y pass. What Johnson did was reprehensible and certainly irresponsible. Glassing someone not once but three times should have resulted in a Section 18 charge (GBH). If found guilty the criminal can (or at leased used to) receive anything up to a life sentence. A sentence of 1 year for this violent offence is offensive and spits in the face of justice.

  11. Hate crimes were introduced to punish people who might object to mass immigration and the demographic changes that that brings.

  12. Hear, hear! Hate crime will overturn the very premise of our society: that we are equal before the law. You could have gone further and discussed quite why there is no burden of proof for hate speech, but perhaps we’ll delve into that another time.

    These idiots know not what they do.

  13. Yes we know all this but what is to be done about it? At the time Blair introduced it, I foresaw all sorts of problems that are now being played out. I’m frankly amazed there hasn’t been any kind of push back in the last 20 years – everyone has just laid back and allowed this totalitarian Orwellian system to negate the rule of law. And the liberals think that NOW Is the time to buy 1984 – i.e. because of Trump!? They’re 20 years too late!

  14. What was Blair’s slogan? “Things can only get better” – well they didn’t. In every area he meddled they got substantially worse. Hate crimes and hate speech come straight out of Orwell and as the Amber Rudd debacle shows are so broad they can be used against anyone who’s opinions you disagree with. One law and free speech for everyone is the only sensible way ahead.

    • Blair certainly has a lot to answer for. Without doubt the worst PM we been saddled with in my lifetime. As a lawyer he was responsible for some pretty bad lawmaking, as lawyers usually are. His ‘legacy’ will be causing problems for years to come. Not least the current ill feeling between various parts of the UK.

      • As a lawyer he signed up to the ECRH and feathered his wife’s nest, allowing her to set up Matrix Chambers and specialise in discrimination law. Puts a new spin on the reason for his enforced multi-culti garbage.

        • Another spin is the name of the Matrix Chambers itself, (along with what I’ve alluded to previously and whether in identity/sexuality terms were ‘in the Matrix’ or in -‘1987’. Consider that this is all permeating from one household linked to a lot of Labour think tanks…. excerpt follows: link below

          “The Social Construction of Race and Gender: What does it mean to be a man or a woman? What does it mean to be black or white or Asian or Latino, etc.?
          We all know that race and sex has different meanings in various cultures. For instance, to be black in America two hundred years ago meant (according to the dominant white culture) that you were “property” rather than a person, that you were “unfit” for education, etc. Similarly, to be a woman meant that you were unfit for political life – or to even vote, that you must be dainty and refined, etc.
          These cultural meanings that a society builds around the biological differences between people (race and sex) are called social constructions And without a doubt, some cultural constructions have been quite damaging.
          So when you watch the Matrix films, you might consider how race and gender are constructed within the films. As you do this, keep in mind that there are two cultures at work in the films – the culture of the Matrix (think of Neo’s job at Metacortex, the Federal building, the Merovingian’s restaurant, etc.) and the culture of Zion, which we see through the actions of the rebels in all three films, and in scenes depicting Zion itself in the later two films.
          If you compare and contrast these two realms >>>>you should see a marked difference in how race and gender are depicted.<<<<<>>>>>Why are the Architect, the Agents, the police officers, the guards at the Federal building all…… white men?
          >>>>>>Why are those programs who help the rebels all people of color and/or women, e.g., Persephone, Oracle, Sati, Seraph, Ramakandra? Surely these are not mere coincidences.
          The Wachowski’s have a distinct message concerning race and gender in these films, and you must dig beyond the surface to understand it.

          It’s The Questions That Brought You Here
          And what are the answers to all these philosophical questions that drive us? By now you probably gather that I’m not going to answer them for you. But after all, how could I? Just as Morpheus explained to Neo that no one can tell him what the matrix is – “he must see it for himself” – similarly, no one can supply the philosophical answers for you. You’ve got to explore them for yourself. To quote the master: “I can only show you the door. You must walk through it.

          • Haven’t been to the flicks for years. From around the time Hollyweird started pushing their whiney, on-message climate alarmist crap while continuing to jet around the world demonstrating their ridiculous hypocritcal piety.

            Their current, anti-democratic outings only serve to reinforce my opinion that they are serial bandwagon mounting, empty-headed posers. They don’t need my money to encourage their infantile, name-calling hubris against conservatives.

            Occasionally I will watch a film on TV but that really depends who the star is. My 5h17 list seems to be expanding at the speed of light these days.

            Over-opinionated yet unencumbered by critical thinking Hollyweirdos do not sit well with me.

  15. Its been said, lucid as clear as a bell, I defy anyone to gainsay it:

    For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a
    decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found
    themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives
    unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to
    obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond
    recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work
    they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the
    standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born
    worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which
    told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now
    learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of
    Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to
    protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the
    stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions

    Mr. Enoch Powell.

    It it doesn’t apply justice to everyone, it ain’t the law.

    Saul Alinksky, knew it, to sunder a nation, to smash society and sow hate, first traduce the laws of the land.

    • Ravenscar wrote:

      Its been said, lucid and across 50 years rings loud and clear as a bell, I defy anyone to gainsay it:

      For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country … On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to
      protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions

      Mr. Enoch Powell.

      Have you noticed that the assertion ‘Powell was wrong’ is never heard now? I used to make a point of pointing out to those who made that glib and patently absurd statement that he had not been proved right then.

      That aside, we English can never have justice in our homeland while we allow foreigners to govern and judge us.

  16. What keeps Muslims from attacking Hindus in India? It is -fear of the Hindu mob which is usually much larger than the Muslim mob..
    Mr Justice Salmon did an immense amount of harm,by suppressing the feelings of the English working class and convincing them quite rightly that their views did not concern the authorities.How many West Indians were ever given long sentences of this type for what were riotous fighting?
    From this flowed many evils.
    If the judges do not recognize what is really happening and take refuge behind nonsensical pieties of liberalism the English masses will take things into their own hands.

    • anthony Scholefield wrote:

      Mr Justice Salmon did an immense amount of harm,by suppressing the
      feelings of the English working class and convincing them quite rightly
      that their views did not concern the authorities.

      What would Mr Justice Salmon care for the concerns of the English working class, being neither working class nor English?

      • My concern is not with the racial background of the judge but with the blog’s author’s uncritical enthusiasm for exemplary sentences,that is to say that those are being sentenced not for the crime but for advance publicity,a hateful idea and am amazed it is put forward on this website.
        Also the words of the judge quoted in the article are sanctimonious and hypocritical-about unfailingly uphold walking free from fear.
        The first time I was attacked by West Indians in Notting Hill was in about 1970,no point relying on dear old Judge Salmon,you had to look after yourself.

  17. About fifteen years ago, I suffered an unpleasant incident where a burly teenager tried to force his way into our house as he had mistaken the address for that of our neighbours with whom he had a quarrel. They are East African Hindus, and the youth swore to ‘find that f***ing P*ki’. A few minutes later he came back, openly carrying a knife, and put his steel-toe-capped boot through our door.

    When the Police arrived, they weren’t much interested in trying to stop a violent drugged-up criminal from roaming the streets with a weapon, but were very concerned that he might have used a naughty word.

  18. The cynically named “Equality Laws” introduced a pernicious class system into British Law with some given more rights than others. This is exactly what Cultural Marxism always intended to do, to reduce trust in the law, and discriminate against the white majority. It’s operation is, as intended highly discriminatory. It must be abolished.

  19. Surely labour using this country,particularly England,as a political tool by importing 3,000,000 immigrants to rub their political opponents noses in ‘it’ and both labour and tories constantly ignoring the majority of the voters concerns over mass-immigration and changing and ghettoising Englands towns and cities beyond recognition,is a ‘hate-crime’ against the English people?

    • All these words have become meaningless. I mentioned them by name in another blog but am being moderated!!!!! And that is my point. We are so politically correct and yet these words now have lost their strength. Unfortunately because of this and the silly laws brought in we will have more division and people will learn how to use the law to destroy people they do not agree with.

      Many years ago Mary Whitehouse fought a long hard campaign to uphold standards on BBC. She felt if we did not keep our respect for each other and stop the gratuitous swearing,Nudity, or violence on our screens society would disintegrate. Enoch Powell said similar things. However, the BBC and the media completely t r ashed her and her family. If we had known then what we would come to, I think we would have given her more support.

  20. Great piece.

    Of course, to a degree at least hate crime can be equated to political crime. For example, announcing a review of the legislation in the Scottish Parliament recently, the minister said:

    “We are determined to ensure that those who peddle extreme and intolerant ideologies, those who admire the *hatred of the far right* and want to undermine civil liberties and human rights, and those who simply wish to make scapegoats of anyone different to themselves do not find any foothold. There is no place for such behaviours in modern Scotland.” (My emphasis)
    I don’t have a particular problem with that, but the implication is obviously that hate considered to come from those on the left of politics (or even centre) isn’t worthy of criminalisation. Of course, there’s plenty of hate across society and from those of all political persuasions, and indeed that emanating from the left should be self-evident.

    • It’s not self-evident to leftists. They have no meaningful self-awareness. The likes of Sturgeon seem to think that anyone standing an inch to the right of Marx is an extreme right winger.

  21. I am a straight, white, late middle aged, married male with no disabilities. As such, I appear to have no protection from this hate crime initiative. I find this very discriminatory.

  22. It was wrong that Gazza was fined for hate crime when they might have considered a rebuke for nicking that joke from Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage several years back

  23. Apparently I commit a hate crime if I say something that another person thinks is racist, or if another person who didn’t hear what I said says they would have thought it racist if only they had heard it.
    Whether I commit a criminal offence depends not on an objective view on what happened but on the subjective opinion of somebody else.

    Absolutely bonkers.

  24. The rot started here

    “The tendentious reasoning and illiberal recommendations of [the Macpherson Report] have been brilliantly anatomised by the ethical socialists Norman Dennis and George Erdos and the Kurdish academic Ahmed Al-Shahi.” The Times. “Sir William Macpherson’s report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence is shot to pieces by an academic analysis from the Institute for the Study of Civil Society.” Daily Mail. “A new book that likens the Macpherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence to a ‘Stalinist show trial’ and claims that it failed to show any evidence of racism within the Metropolitan Police sparked a furious fight last night.” The Independent. “The Macpherson Report has been examined in detail by Norman Dennis and colleagues …By the time they have finished, not much of Macpherson is left standing.” Melanie Phillips, The Sunday Times.

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