Putting the thoughtpolice on trial

A legal challenge against the police’s Orwellian attacks on free speech is long overdue.

Andrew Doyle

Andrew Doyle
columnist

In January this year, Harry Miller, a 53-year-old docker and former police officer, was investigated by Humberside Police for retweeting a supposedly transphobic poem. Speaking to a police officer on the phone, Miller asked whether he had committed a crime, to which came the ominous response: ‘We need to check your thinking.’

His retweet had been reported as a ‘non-crime hate incident’ – essentially offensive speech or behaviour which police often investigate and record in cases where no crime has been committed.

Previously unaware that Kafka and Orwell had written training manuals for police officers, Miller decided to bring a court case against the College of Policing, whose Hate Crime Operational Guidance (HCOG), issued in 2014, forms the basis of current practice. As Miller has argued at the High Court this week, ‘the idea that a law-abiding citizen can have their name recorded against a hate incident on a crime report when there was neither hate nor crime undermines principles of justice, free expression, democracy and common sense’.

This action is long overdue. The HCOG instructs officers to record hateful incidents ‘irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element’. The government’s website on hate crime also includes an overview of ‘hate incidents’, which are described as ‘behaviour which isn’t a crime but which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the five protected characteristics’ (race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability). Note the use of the word ‘victim’ rather than ‘complainant’ – the presumption of innocence so casually dismissed through rhetorical sleight-of-hand.

This is, in part, the legacy of Keir Starmer’s tenure as Director of Public Prosecutions (from 2008 to 2013) and the subsequent politicisation of the Crown Prosecution Service. The presumption of guilt and the pressure to convict people for political reasons has been particularly corrosive in rape cases. Police and prosecutors have withheld evidence that would exonerate innocent suspects. The presumption of guilt was also the reasoning behind the disastrous Operation Midland, which wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money pursuing fabricated stories of child murder and sexual abuse at the heart of Westminster. Investigators judged the fantasies of the accuser, Carl Beech, to be ‘credible and true’ without a shred of evidence.

While the recording of so-called non-crime hate incidents in cases like Miller’s does not lead to criminal prosecution, it nevertheless reflects this broader trend towards the politicisation of our criminal-justice system.

When the police fail to act in a politically neutral manner, they inevitably veer into authoritarianism. We saw this last March with the conviction of Markus Meechan (the YouTuber known as ‘Count Dankula’) for his ‘Nazi pug’ joke. In fact, over 3,000 people are arrested each year in the UK for offensive comments posted online. Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 criminalises online speech that can be deemed ‘grossly offensive’ by the courts (without any requirement for a prosecutor to prove that there was any intention to cause offence). It is a grotesque infringement on civil liberties.

It sometimes seems as if police departments are engaged in a competition to see who can behave in the most menacing manner on social media. ‘Think before you post or you may receive a visit from us this weekend’, tweeted Greater Glasgow Police in 2016. Not to be outdone, South Yorkshire Police called on the public last year to ‘report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments’.

Such a sinister approach to police work suggests that the divisive and illiberal ideology of ‘social justice’ has infected our law-enforcement agencies. The investigating officer in the Harry Miller case, for instance, made a startling statement when he spoke to Miller on the phone in January. ‘I’ve been on a course’, he explained, ‘and what you need to understand is that you can have a fetus with a female brain that grows male body parts and that’s what a transgender person is’. Since when is it the role of the police to uphold such pseudo-scientific belief systems?

This is one of the more incoherent aspects of the extreme wings of gender ideology. On the one hand, we are told not to question the biologically essentialist view that trans people are born with a brain that is gendered in a way counter to their anatomy. And on the other, we are told that gender is entirely socially constructed. This week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated that: ‘Men who get their periods are men. Men who get pregnant and give birth are men.’ The dogmatic tone suggests a reluctance to engage in any kind of debate on this most contentious of issues. The vast majority of people understand that gender is, in reality, a complicated relationship between biological and social factors. In making such bold assertions, the ACLU is mistaking its own arguments for proof.

The chilling of public discussion on these matters is counterproductive for all concerned, not least for the majority of trans people who have little in common with the more pugnacious activists who claim to speak on their behalf. Matters can hardly be expected to improve with the police involving themselves in such a high-handed and partisan way. In October last year, comedy writer Graham Linehan was given a verbal warning by police for failing to use a trans activist’s preferred pronouns on Twitter. In February, Kate Scottow was arrested and locked in a cell for the crime of ‘deadnaming’ (referring to a trans person by the name he or she used before transitioning). In this kind of climate, how is anyone ever likely to be persuaded one way or the other?

This is why Harry Miller’s case against the College of Policing is so important. It should go without saying that the police have absolutely no business investigating citizens for ‘non-crimes’, yet there seems to be little appetite among our politicians to do anything about it. In a sense this is understandable. To stand up for the principle of free speech takes real bravery. It means defending the rights of bad people to express their bad ideas. As Mr Justice Knowles, the judge in the Miller case, has pointed out: ‘Freedom-of-expression laws are not there to protect statements such as “kittens are cute” – but they are there to protect unpleasant things.’

We need to repeal all legislation that criminalises speech, whether it is public-order laws, communications laws or hate speech-laws. And we need to throw out the police’s ludicrous guidance on hate incidents. In a liberal society, citizens should be free to express themselves however they see fit. The consequences of offensive or abusive speech should be criticism, protest, counter-argument and ridicule. To investigate, arrest and prosecute people simply for speaking their minds is the behaviour of a police state.

Andrew Doyle is a stand-up comedian and spiked columnist. His book Woke: A Guide to Social Justice (written by his alter-ego Titania McGrath) is available on Amazon.

You can support Harry Miller’s appeal here.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

zack smith

7th December 2019 at 11:01 am

The police have simply lost the plot. My local police service are regarded with contempt by most people. An organisation whose response to crime is to hand out a crime number. Yet they have the resources to deal with non-sense non crime like people tweeting.

There is a similar trend when it comes to relations between the sexes. PUA artists have been convicted for approaching women in the street. They haven’t broken any laws, there has been no question of physical assault or anything anyone would consider criminal.

There are only crime is to attempt to chat up women who are no interested. It is truly a chilling police state age we live in.

John Reic

4th December 2019 at 7:36 pm

Although inciting racist violence or seeing a crime as racially or homohobic based on a dislike of gay people is a irrational. Fear and police must see if there is a racial element, even if the additional complaint of racism can’t be seen to be a reason for a crime, is legitamate ,the idea of The non Cmime hate incident, isn’#t even aicident if it’s only in one perosn mind, Hate speech as a crime is ridiculous the idea that someone disagreeing only does it as they’re malicious and their communication was intentionally malicious is stupid, it really needs to show there was a racial, sexist, homophobic ,Anti Islam prejudice element, Disliking someone because of their country is different, yet it’s is not criminal to hate someone if conduct is correct it polite or they have different views on sexuality
Reverse the hate incident laws based on the Complainant(who scandalously is called the victim without the accused being found to be a perpetrator, which throws out innocent till proven guilty

Fred Mutton

1st December 2019 at 5:40 pm

Is not calling someone a ‘white supremacist’ a hate crime?

Jimmy Riddle

30th November 2019 at 3:12 am

Our Police force are completely off their trolley. Increasingly people are seeing their social justice posturing as just plain ridiculous. Oh for a Trumpian character to sweep away all the nonsense.

Gee Jaybee

27th November 2019 at 3:38 pm

I have literally just passed a police car in Cardiff, painted in rainbow colours with notices written large that the police will find you and take action for any “hate crimes” along with exhortations to the public to ring 101 to report online “hate”.

Hugh Gibney

25th November 2019 at 9:52 pm

Excellent article, and one which will soon be of relevance in Ireland where I live.

Una-Jane Winfield

25th November 2019 at 5:09 pm

“The vast majority of people understand that gender is, in reality, a complicated relationship between biological and social factors.” No: gender is really, actually just a social construct. It has no fundamental provable existence in contrast to biological sex, which is certainly real. The new meaning of “gender” was coined in the 1950s by John Money, Harry Benjamin and Alfred Kinsey to provide a fig leaf (!) to the transsexual men who wanted to take estrogen and change physically. Money, Benjam and Kinsey invented an utterly spurious “gender identity” theory – or ideology, which does not bear closer examination. “Gender identity ideology” is tosh.

Fred Forsythe

25th November 2019 at 11:06 am

It is all about control and self policing. The more aware the public become the more draconian these suffocating restrictions will become. It needs political change of a Trump magnitude and the resulting turmoil will be the same as it is in the USA. Because! the same ideology/greed is behind it.

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Gerard Barry

24th November 2019 at 2:19 pm

My God, I thought Germany (where I live) was bad when it came to respecting freedom of speech and opinion. Let’s hope in the name of all that is good and fair that Harry Miller wins his case so that this nonsense will stop.

Joseph Skinner

25th November 2019 at 5:22 pm

So it worse in Germany or is it worse here, in dear old Inglaterra?

Gerard Barry

25th November 2019 at 8:03 pm

Well, as far as I know, the police in Germany don’t contact people over things they tweet. Having said that, Germany does have restrictions on free speech (e.g. holocaust denial) that, in my opinion, shouldn’t exist in any liberal democracy. The public discourse on political and social issues also displays precious little diversity of opinion here, with conservative views receiving precious little airtime.

Brian Jordan

23rd November 2019 at 10:44 am

It’s not “just” a matter of intrusive police behaviour – which no law-abiding citizen should have to suffer. I gather that these non-crimes are nontheless entered into people’s records and will turn up when checks are made for employment, youth work and such. This can mean the loss of a prospective job, or the opportunity of volunteering. So the person being investigated can become the real victim.

Jerry Owen

23rd November 2019 at 10:19 am

Wouldn’t everything be so much easier if we just accepted the reality that there are just two sexes .. male and female !

Jenny Clarke

24th November 2019 at 12:12 pm

More than likekly.

Hugh Oxford

22nd November 2019 at 10:14 pm

This is genuinely frightening. But then that’s perhaps the point. To humiliate.

Quentin Vole

22nd November 2019 at 9:28 pm

“Investigators judged the fantasies of the accuser, Carl Beech, to be ‘credible and true’ without a shred of evidence.”

More than that, there was clear and unambiguous evidence that they could not possibly be true, as a few hours of proper police work would have demonstrated.

steve moxon

22nd November 2019 at 7:13 pm

This whole obscenity needs to be challenged en mass, and with multiple judicial reviews.
And with humour: it’s supremely ripe for ripping the pee out of it.
Even so, ‘trans’ is not a great topic on which to do this, because in-embryo so-called ‘male brain patterning’ in a ‘somatically’ female body is a real phenomenon, not “biological essentialism” as Andrew Doyle here foolishly mis-labels it, and helps to expose the nonsense that is feminism and the entirely false notion of ‘social construction’ of [the s-word] — you have to post it as this to get rough moderation on here!
Far better to take the pee out of this last.
As Andrew Doyle accurately perceives, the extreme-ideological-gone-mainsteam line is the complete contradiction between [the s word] (‘gender’) being considered ‘social construction’ yet essential difference between the [s-word, plural] such that females are considered inherently ‘better’ than males and that supposedly males ‘oppress’ females.
It’s not only that the law is obscene and stupid in even being anywhere near these questions, but that it is firmly on the wrong side of the argument in being profoundly non-, indeed anti-scientific.
And, of course, it’s couched within an all-encompasing, in-depth totalitarianism of ‘identity politics’ and it’s ‘PC’ enforcement.
The upshot is that this unbelievable nonsense from the police is part of a trajectory we’re on towards a profound showdown with a most extreme of extreme political religion, which looks set to entail and, indeed, even require violent opposition, and eventual civil war.

Ann Merkel

24th November 2019 at 9:40 am

Claire D

26th November 2019 at 10:54 am

I think it’s extremely unlikely that one feminist scientist is correct and all other biologists and neuroscientists worldwide are wrong.

steve moxon

3rd December 2019 at 2:23 pm

False.
Gina Rippon is an ideologue and distorts science.

Jenny Clarke

24th November 2019 at 12:30 pm

Can one not write the word ‘sex’? What if I want to talk about the sex of puppies? e.g. both sexes available, 2 boys and 3 girls (I suspect the correct name for girl dogs might not be acceptable here so I won’t use it, and the term for males is a bit confusing). Tables have a gender (neuter), things with souls have a sex (unless they are angels, apparently). If you want to go into the grammar thing there are three genders: male, female and neuter (in English, French etc), which last is supposed to refer to inanimate objects (except ships and bells) and animals, though most people prefer to their pets etc as male or female in practice, rather than ‘it’.. Following from this is the fact that there are two sexes, male and female.

Jim Lawrie

22nd November 2019 at 4:33 pm

Markus Meechan was denied the right to appeal.
The same court, and indeed, the same judge that extended its powers to telling Parliament what to do, decided 8 months earlier it had no power to act and overrule the refusal to appeal of a lower court in this case;

‘Sheriff Derek O’Carroll fined Mr Meechan £800.
His lawyers then raised a petition seeking appeal to the Supreme Court.

Counsel for Mr Meechan, Dorothy Bain QC, said if it was deemed appropriate that there should be a hearing before judges in the High Court on an appeal against refusal at the sift she would seek to amend the petition.

But the Lord Justice General, Lord Carloway, sitting with the Lord Justice Clerk, Lady Dorrian, and Lord Menzies rejected the petition.
Lord Carloway said: “This court has no power to grant leave to appeal from a sift decision from the Sheriff Appeal Court to itself. To do so would be in defiance of the statutory scheme.”
Nor did it have the power to grant leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in such circumstances.

Lord Carloway added that there was no lacuna in the law as far as the appeal structure was concerned – as had been argued.’

Ms Bain argued the petition was competent and necessary.
She said: “The consequences of his conviction for this breach of the Communications Act have been immense for him both professionally and personally.” ‘

Jim Lawrie

22nd November 2019 at 5:40 pm

To clarify.
He was convicted by a Sheriff sitting alone
He was refused leave to appeal by a Sheriff sitting alone.
He was again refused leave to appeal by three Sheriffs sitting together.
He was further refused leave to appeal to the Supreme Court by three High Court judges.

So the High Court judges decided they had not the right to overrule The Sheriff Appeal Court below them but had the right to rule that The Supreme Court above them should not hear the case.

steve moxon

22nd November 2019 at 7:28 pm

Neatly summarised.
And nobody is surprised: that which is inherent lunacy can be sustained only by further inherent lunacy at every turn.

Jim Lawrie

22nd November 2019 at 8:42 pm

Thanks Steve.
I do not see it as lunacy, but as an outright political judgement, and the silencing of any challenge.

The QC who defended and represented Mr Meechan has been in the same Chambers as Aidan O’Neill QC for many years. She is also formerly Scotland’s most senior prosecutor. I wonder what kind of discussions they might now have.

It is now impossible for them to pretend that the Law is separate and non political, and for him to assume airs and graces as to the status of his profession. They know exactly the meaning of these judgements.
He fools no-one when he harks back to the failings of The Law in Germany in the early thirties as a prop for trashing it now. He believes in a place for everyone and everyone in their place.

steve moxon

22nd November 2019 at 11:43 pm

Well, the politics is even greater lunacy than the twisting of law to back it up.

H McLean

24th November 2019 at 12:19 am

Sorry Jim, I’m a bit late to this conversation, but it should also be noted that Mr Meechan was also denied the right of refusing to pay his fine on a point of principle when they literally just took the money straight from his bank account!

Ven Oods

22nd November 2019 at 1:59 pm

What’s really worrying about this is that the police are allegedly under-resourced, yet have more than their fair share of utter plonkers. To worsen things further, the plonkers seem to be favoured with making the public pronouncements.
Perhaps they’ve all been on too many courses? (NVQ Level 1 in Wokery – which is just Wonkery minus the ‘n’.)

K Tojo

22nd November 2019 at 11:51 am

Unfortunately, I cannot see this as the start of a fightback against the enemies of freedom of speech and thought. It is more like a last skirmish in a lost cause.

A whole generation are emerging from higher education so thoroughly steeped in the “correct” moral stance on race, gender, homosexuality, religion, climate change etc etc that they cannot see the point of tolerating opposing views. The world view they have been immersed in is, to them, so self-evidently true that only a bunch of alt-right bigots and sad nostalgic old fogeys could possibly object – so why bother going through the motions of open minded tolerance.

Jim Lawrie

23rd November 2019 at 12:06 am

The actions of The Police and Judiciary complement the schoolwork by ensuring that their thinking is not checked or challenged.
I am not as pessimistic as you because many of these youngsters know they are being dishonest, but career on regardless because leftist thought tells them that the ends justify the means.

Willie Penwright

22nd November 2019 at 10:51 am

“… the crime of ‘deadnaming’ (referring to a trans person by the name he or she used before transitioning).”
That this is a crime is staggering. If Tommy Robinson had only called himself Theresa Robinson, all those publications and media outlets that insist on putting in (“whose real name is …etc”) after his name could be charged with a crime.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 10:59 am

He has so many names it’s impossible to keep up.

Only ardent fans of Tommy manage to bring his name up in everything that has f all to do with him.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 10:49 am

All this has resulted in is someone who clearly posts stuff to Twitter to gain attention and cause a fuss being allowed to bleat and play the victim.

What actually happened was the police contacted him and told him off for something he posted on Twitter. He was not dragged kicking and screaming in handcuffs and thrown into a prison van, charged with a hate crime and locked in a jail cell.

But in bothering to investigate this man for what he posted to Twitter the police have allowed him to launch a court case as if he was terribly persecuted , as if he HAD been dragged in cuffs into a prison van and gain more attention than he or his tweet actually deserved.

And it allows others to play the victim on his behalf.

The best response to such activities is to ignore because such people clearly tweet just to provoke a response.

Nick Catt

22nd November 2019 at 11:34 am

So basically what you’re saying Danny is it’s ok for the Police to contact you and tell you off for something you said even if you have broken no laws.

Perhaps they should contact you and tell you off for constantly posting nonsense on this website. You wouldn’t mind would you?

The best response to Danny Rees is to ignore him because such people clearly post just to provoke a response.

D’oh.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 3:42 pm

No I never said that duh!

I said the best thing to do with people like this is ignore them.

Jerry Owen

23rd November 2019 at 10:10 am

Danny Rees
‘The best thing to to do is to ignore these people’ the irony of your post! Hilarious.
You’re getting there sunshine !

K Tojo

22nd November 2019 at 12:06 pm

Phew! He wasn’t dragged kicking and screaming in handcuffs and locked in a cell so that’s all right then. Nothing to see here – just a storm in teacup – mountain out of a molehill – the man’s just a toublemaker – bring on the trolls and let’s stop the discussion right now.

By the way, what is your view on the following quote taken from the government’s website and cited in the article above:
A hate incident is defined as “behaviour which isn’t a crime but which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the five protected characteristics”.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 3:50 pm

“By the way, what is your view on the following quote taken from the government’s website and cited in the article above:
A hate incident is defined as “behaviour which isn’t a crime but which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on the five protected characteristics”.

I think if someone has committed an actual act of violent assault on someone based on prejudice and hostility than that can and should be regarded as a hate incident.

But not for posting a stupid meaningless limerick on social media.

There is nothing to see here. He was spoken to by the police and that is been turned into him being terribly persecuted. The police should have left him alone for that reason alone.

Mike Ellwood

22nd November 2019 at 8:04 pm

WTF are the five protected characteristics? These weren’t being taught when I was at school.

Fred Forsythe

25th November 2019 at 11:19 am

The fact that the white English male is excluded from all such ‘protections’, gives lie to the point and exposes the bigotry.

Ed Turnbull

22nd November 2019 at 12:21 pm

Once again Danny you miss the point (wilfully I wonder?). The police called Miller and said “we need to check your thinking”. Let that sink in for a moment. Do you really think the police have any locus for checking what people think? On any subject?

In this country criminality was determined by actions, not by thoughts. The key word in that sentence is ‘was’, guess the times they are a-changing, eh? Does our society already have its feet on the slippery slope to precrime? That anyone would think that’s ok speaks volumes as to their character.

Michael Lynch

22nd November 2019 at 12:49 pm

Ignore him, Ed. Danny’s a moronic troll.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 3:46 pm

You are clearly unable to read and absorb what a person has said.

I don’t think the police have any business checking what people think, unless they are advocating actually violence against people of course.

I gave my reasons for opposing the police doing which I repeat here..

“But in bothering to investigate this man for what he posted to Twitter the police have allowed him to launch a court case as if he was terribly persecuted , as if he HAD been dragged in cuffs into a prison van and gain more attention than he or his tweet actually deserved.
And it allows others to play the victim on his behalf.
The best response to such activities is to ignore because such people clearly tweet just to provoke a response.”

Andy Bolstridge

22nd November 2019 at 2:22 pm

You didn’t read the article then:

“In February, Kate Scottow was arrested and locked in a cell for the crime of ‘deadnaming’ ”

turns out someone was dragged kicking and screaming in handcuffs and thrown into a prison van, charged with a hate crime and locked in a jail cell.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 7:42 pm

That is another person.

Not Harry Miller.

She should not have been arrested for dead naming.

She should have been criticised or disagreed with. Or better still ignored.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 3:52 pm

Mr Lynch I believe the moronic trolls are the people here accusing me of supporting the police contacting people and reprimanding them for something they posted on Twitter when I never voiced support for anything of the sort.

Jim Lawrie

22nd November 2019 at 4:41 pm

“Just ignore” a threatening phone call from The Police – you mean shut up and toe the line?

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 7:42 pm

No ignore stupid limericks and the people who post them.

Jim Lawrie

23rd November 2019 at 9:49 am

Danny the topic of discussion is not who said what. It is whether it is legitimate to use Police power to control what is said. You are deflecting and ducking that question because in this instance you agree with The Police.

Danny Rees

24th November 2019 at 10:32 am

“You are deflecting a ducking that question because in this instance you agree with the police”

Oh dear oh dear…

“Danny Rees
22nd November 2019 at 7:44 pm
James you are talking to me as if I agree with the police contacting Mr Miller or anyone and telling them off for what they post on social media.
I do NOT.
I have given my reasons why above.
Re-read.”

Danny Rees

24th November 2019 at 10:35 am

So which line have I written and what have I said here which shows I agree with the police in this instance?

Even though I have written several times that I do not think he should have been contacted by the police.

James Knight

22nd November 2019 at 7:03 pm

“police contacted him and told him off ”

The police are there to investigate crime. There are supposedly 20,000 shortfall in police officers. But instead of investigating serious crimes like murder, rape, robbery, knife crime they pretend play they are the school mistress in the playground investigating “he said, she said” on twitter and collecting data on non-crimes or defaming innocent people.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 7:44 pm

James you are talking to me as if I agree with the police contacting Mr Miller or anyone and telling them off for what they post on social media.

I do NOT.

I have given my reasons why above.

Re-read.

Ed Turnbull

25th November 2019 at 10:42 am

Danny, I read, and understood, very clearly what you *actually wrote*. If your original comment contained condemnation of the police for *their motivation* it was so equivocal as to be bloody invisible!

My reading of your original comment is that you think the rozzers were wrong simply because of the optics of the situation. Rather than because you have any objection to the rationale behind their actions.

I’ve seen you do this on many occasions Danny: when your statements are challenged you then bleat that everyone has misunderstood your comment. It won’t wash Danny, it won’t wash. I suggest you learn to express what you *actually mean*, rather than assuming the rest of us will automatically discern your hidden, ‘real’ meaning. Or are you, as others have asserted, naught but a troll?

Jim Lawrie

22nd November 2019 at 10:20 am

This non-crime workload allows the Police to say they are doing something. No-one believes them. Many of them are shirkers – point scoring, tickbox careerists with no interest in justice or law enforcement. It is logical that they should foralise this field of activity, that allows them to pick up their wages for doing nothing, into police training.

The wider problem is the teaching of conformity that starts at nursery school, with ostentatious virtue signalling, and the discovery and hunting down of the thought criminals the holy grail and blue riband of this dogma.

The Police are in this situation because politicians connived at it, starting with leftist demands to dictate police training. Not that they ever put their hand up to their past. They now have what they wanted. A police service that serves their political bent, and hunts down racists, Islamophobes, anti-Semites, homophobes, sexists, Brexiteers – the lot.

antoni orgill

22nd November 2019 at 11:04 pm

” … foralise …”?

Mike Stallard

22nd November 2019 at 9:01 am

Dead right! Climate Change, Homophobia, Islam are the same: accept or be cast out.
I have a real problem myself with Islam. I find it fascinating and I am a paid-up Catholic! I have to be really careful because even mentioning the important people by name in the religion is offensive to some Muslims.
This stupid interference inhibits research. It stops people thinking. It leads into really dangerous situations (gas boilers save a lot of old people from hypothermia, for instance: about half our electricity comes from fossil fuels (gas mainly) ).

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 10:50 am

You are an example of everything wrong with religion.

Obsessing over the religion of other people. If all followers of all religions abandoned their ridiculous mystical sky fairies and fairy tale stories and beliefs this petty “your religion is shit” squabbling would end tomorrow.

Michael Lynch

22nd November 2019 at 12:47 pm

Oh yeah, Danny? We’d soon replace that squabbling over religion with squabbling over ideology. My left wing thinking is better than your center left thinking etc etc etc.

Danny Rees

22nd November 2019 at 3:53 pm

Arguing over political ideology is more worthy than arguing over religion.

It at least is not based on what some mystical imagined “god” believes and says.

Michael Lynch

23rd November 2019 at 4:22 am

Nonsense. Political ideology can be as dangerous as any religion. Take Communism and National Socialism for example – the pursuit of both cost millions of lives.

Kathryn Barbara

22nd November 2019 at 8:58 am

The police should not be asked to work on non crimes. It’s a total waste of their time and our money. They have enough to do. Worse this eroding the policing by consent nature of this country. Resentments are building and many more people are likely to video their encounters with the police in order to forestall any interpretation the police may give.
Legislation must allow all people to speak without fear or favour. Kier Starmer and Common Purpose have skewed the justice system to act against certain elements.

Michael Lynch

22nd November 2019 at 8:58 am

It’s no wonder they are calling for extra officers if they are currently tied up with this nonsense. Orwell always warned against the politicization of the Law. The idea that we are all equal under the Law is the glue that holds our society together. This guiding principle has been blown to smithereens in the last decade.

Matt Ryan

22nd November 2019 at 8:28 am

If Plod can’t/won’t investigate actual crime that people care about (burglary, fraud etc) but will engage in this crap then what is the point of them?

H McLean

22nd November 2019 at 7:47 am

We’ve come to expect such ideological lunacy from Labour or the SNP but when you consider that this state of affairs has continued unabated under nine years of government from the so-called Conservatives then you have to wonder wtf is going on.

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