Readers’ Letters: ‘Hate bill an attack on free speech and could affect football and comedy’ – Evening Telegraph

Posted: May 11, 2020 at 11:25 am

I read Ewan Gurrs column about the SNPs Hate Crime Bill which appears to me to stand up for every minority while punishing anyone who in their opinion says anything that slights them.

Late comedians such as Dick Emery, Benny Hill and Dave Allen would all be arrested, while Frankie Boyle will maybe be put down.

As for myself and thousands of other football fans, are we to be charged for chanting Stand up if you hate Dundee/Hibs/Hearts or any other club?

What has happened to free speech?

The mind boggles.

Yours,

Concerned Reader.

Throughout my life, I have disagreed with many and disliked some but do not think I can say I have ever hated anyone.

The SNP can now resolve that question with their authoritarian new Hate Crime Bill which carries a maximum seven year jail term for anyone who stirs up hatred or insults anyone on the basis of age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or variations in sex characteristics.

The intent of the legislation proposed by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, is not in question because hate is not pleasant for anyone who has ever been on the receiving end.

However, the Bill extends to those who possess inflammatory material or employers who fail to report those who promote it.

Could we eventually see a church minister prosecuted for failing to officiate a same sex wedding, a history student penalised for purchasing a copy of Mein Kampf for an essay on the Second World War or Frankie Boyle being hauled before a judge for hurting the feelings of a paedophile?

Currently, Scotlands two biggest SNP-led councils are being taken to court over the alleged suppression of freedom of speech and dialogue concerning the postponed Gender Recognition Act is expected to become more intense.

The Scottish Government could not have selected a worse time to present this Bill if they tried.

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Readers' Letters: 'Hate bill an attack on free speech and could affect football and comedy' - Evening Telegraph

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