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Andrew Tettenborn: No hate, no crime, just a waste of police time

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It’s not often TCW articles are vindicated within a few days of writing. But our piece on the fetishisation of so-called hate crime by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service at the expense of other, more important, wrongdoing was amply borne out on Bank Holiday Monday by an episode at the seaside in West Wales. A carnival float in the resort of Aberaeron was themed after Cool Runnings, a 1993 comedy film about the dogged determination of the Jamaican bobsleigh team at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada. The problem arose because the men on the float had blackened their faces to look like Jamaicans. A complaint was made; the police were called in; in turn they merrily launched a probe into a ‘perceived hate crime’. To defuse the episode took a grovelling apology and a douceur to a somewhat bemused (current) Jamaican bobsleigh team.

On one level, an obvious Leftie lunacy, not so much a storm in a teacup as a typhoon in an egg-cup. But there is more to it than that.

For one thing, it shows very neatly how the idea of ‘hate crime’ has morphed into a malevolent monster dedicated to the elevation of fiction over fact, emotion over truth and interference over tolerance. Viewed other than from the point of view of an equality zealot, what happened in West Wales had nothing whatever to do with hate, nor yet much to do with crime. The reason the police became involved was different: this was a ‘perceived hate crime’, or in other words something that someone, somewhere, regarded as a hate crime, even if they were clearly wrong. How so? The answer is a tendentious definition of hate incidents unilaterally propounded by the Crown Prosecution Service and parroted by police forces throughout the kingdom, to the effect that all that is required is ‘any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someones prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender’. As the CPS knows perfectly well, it does not represent the actual law, serving rather to act as a virtue-signalling exercise and incidentally to pander to the all-too-common case of a complainant combining a baseless case with a bee in his bonnet. Indeed, the divorce between this definition and fact was emphasised still further when one worthy Aberaeron resident earnestly said that what happened was offensive and anyone who thought it innocuous was in need of ‘education’. If you think about it, she actually meant indoctrination, which is something quite different, although this is a distinction that doesn’t particularly worry the new establishment.



Secondly, remember that we have race hate legislation which has been carefully drafted precisely to draw the line between what should and should not attract the attention of the authorities: in other words, to draw the line between freedom and state repression. In these circumstances it is simply unacceptable to make this distinction largely irrelevant by causing a person acting with the best of benevolent intentions to be subject to police investigation for no better reason than that someone, somewhere, claimed that his activities had left them feeling offended, fell to be regarded as being, in some abstract way, ‘racist’, or sent a message they disapproved of about the acceptability of particular conduct. It is worth reminding the CPS and other well-meaning busybodies that freedom to act provided one never offends anyone else is no freedom at all.

Third, one might be forgiven for asking just what the persons concerned here were, in the rarefied world inhabited by these complainants, expected to do. The Jamaican population of Aberaeron is, one imagines, not large. And an entirely white-faced cast supposedly representing Jamaicans would be ludicrous. Were the participants really required to abandon their whole exercise because of this? Or have we now reached a situation where white people cannot play black people without laying themselves open potentially to having their collar felt?

Fourth, it’s worth thinking for a moment who these complainants were. It seems that they were local white people, crying foul essentially because they thought – rather patronisingly, one might add – that some black people might be offended if they had seen it, even though none had said that they were and none seems to have raised the matter. One complainant, predictably, was also Dinah Mulholland, Corbynite war-horse and defeated Labour candidate at the last election. But none of these was, in any normal sense of the word, a victim at all. Indeed, the temptation is strong to regard this as a victimless crime blown out of all proportion by complainants with motives ranging from the patronising belief that black people needed their aid to right supposed wrongs, to a simple desire for some free publicity. If the hard-pressed Dyfed Powys police are to be forced to spend time on this kind of nonsense, Heaven help the householder in West Wales who is the real victim of a genuine crime such as burglary or vandalism.

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Andrew Tettenborn
Andrew Tettenbornhttps://www.conservativewoman.co.uk
Andrew Tettenborn is a professor of commercial law at a well-known UK university, who also teaches in Europe and elsewhere. In the 2001 General Election he stood as Ukip’s candidate in Bath.

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