Monday, 26 January 2015
“I hate you!” Which parent hasn’t heard their child issue this infant-fatwa before retreating to a sullen, glowering silence intended to maim? The last weapon in an arsenal preceded by wide-eyed begging, crocodile crying, nagging and the faux rending of garments. It’s an expression that more often accompanies frustrated avarice than any form of genuine malice but the threat is there: “I have tried to reason with you, now my only option is to withdraw my love. Let’s see who cracks first.” Hah! But how and why do very young children so readily resort to using the ‘H’ word?
I’m not even sure I really know what hate is. I don’t think I hate anybody, I really don’t. I find the views of some risible and others simply ridiculous. I have a modicum of pity for those so stupid they will unthinkingly vote for systems that keep them trapped in mediocre lives, but on the plus side they are no competition for me… I admit to a combination of fear and revulsion when it comes to the spitting snarling thugs from a variety of backgrounds and motivations and yes, I would happily see them disappeared, but I don’t hate them – they are just a form of inhuman vermin towards which I adopt an entirely pragmatic attitude.
So what, then, is a hate crime? We need to sort this out because lately it feels like there is some secretive policy unit feverishly working on defining ever more finely nuanced examples of this crime genre. To distract from islamophobia this last week has focused on resurgent anti-Semitism and an alarming - but entirely specious - statistic that 95% of all ‘hate crime’ in the UK is of that ilk. As it turns out the reported 358 Jew-bashing episodes represented significantly less than 3% of the 13,000 hate crimes in London last year. Sod the Heebies then – I want to know what the other 97% were for!
Every time the term ‘hate crime’ is attached to anything there are more calls to restrict freedoms; freedoms that, in the Britain I was born into, were taken for granted. “It’s a free country” was a standard playground response to anybody demanding the silence of their peers. It’s entirely because of our own good natured tolerance that we have abased ourselves to entertain clowns like Mo Ansar who claims to represent the ‘goodie’ side of those we don’t understand. While I’m on things we genuinely don’t understand, I wonder if female genital mutilation (FGM) is recorded as a hate crime? I bet it isn’t.
But while we may be reluctant to hate those we disagree with, the same courtesy is not reciprocated. Far from it; we harbour in our midst people who hate us enough to not only curb our freedoms but would eradicate our culture altogether and regularly use our own legal processes to aid them. At a rally in Birmingham yesterday, ostensibly to show how lovely they really are, a significant number of muslims and their stooges called for the introduction of blasphemy laws to do exactly that. And still I don’t ‘hate’ them; I just want them somewhere else.
Don't even joke about it!!
To cap it all, that ‘one-percent’ that we are all supposed to hate? The one-percent responsible for every bad thing that has ever happened to anybody... ever? Well, it turns out to be us. Yes, if you are white, middle class, middle aged and English there is a very good chance that you personally are in the world’s top one percent of earners and collectively we own the vast bulk of the world’s riches. For that we are supposed to apologise? Don't you just hate that?