There is a new law coming into force here in ‘Ol’ Ireland.
The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022
From what I can gather it is aimed at discriminatory comments against various sections of society, including “protected characteristics” like race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. I’m not quite sure what “protected characteristics” are but what the hell..
On the face of it this bill has a nice touchy feely ring to it. It is oozing political correctness and how could any right thinking Christian object to it?
Now apparently the law goes a bit deeper than just arresting leaders of anti-Semitic or anti-Immigrant groups which most will assume to be the case. By all accounts it includes the crime of even thinking discriminatory thoughts, or having in my private possession “offensive” material. If I had a copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” for my own personal amusement this is sufficient proof that I am a closet Nazi just biding my time before doing something heinous. Come to think f it, I just Googled “Mein Kampf” to just confirm the spelling of it so I have probably committed a crime already..
Where the concern really comes to the fore however is that in practice the law reverses the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. I would now have to prove to a court that I was doing a spell check rather than having aspirations for forming a Fourth Reich. The law states [or so I believe] that posession of any material that is discriminatory is a crime even if it isn’t published. It’s considered an intent rather than an action. That completely fucks me up when they find all the old posts here that I didn’t actually publish.
But where does it end? How many things are there in The Manor that could be proof of a thought to commit a crime? What about my block of kitchen knives? Are they proof that I have considered or intend to consider a murder of a Black? Would I have to stand in the dock and prove that I use them for cutting onions and tomatoes and not transsexuals?
The one thing that does cheer me though is that apparently I am now a member of The Far Right who, I hear, are the root cause of all the world’s problems. My membership qualification is that I object to their new law as a serious erosion of freedom of speech.
It’s nice to know my place.