Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hate speech amendment defeated

The government has defeated a Lib-Dem amendment to tighten the definition of racial and religious hatred. Comedian Rowan Atkinson has been prominent in his opposition to the new bill. Speaking earlier he said:
"The incitement of religious hatred doesn't even have to be intended, it is just if it offends any person.

"It couldn't be more broad."

He also thinks the government only introduced the measure in order to boost support for Labour in the run up to the election. And he is quite right in this. As William Rees-Mogg noted in today's Times the government is increasingly seen as ruthless and squalid. It is willing to stoop very low in order to secure reelection, and this, following on from the O'Brien speech and the anti-Semitic posters, is just one more example of just how low that is.

They are squalid and they are ruthless. I don't think Blair and his colleagues are anti-semitic or naturally anti-liberty. But they are willing to make any sacrifice to secure re-election and that makes them very dangerous indeed.