Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Don't you just hate that?

Alison Saunders says she won’t be renewing her contract. This is a contract that is now widely known wasn’t going to be renewed anyway. Why do unpopular people make slow-moving targets of themselves so regularly? This isn’t so much jumping before pushed as indicating when you’re already on the slip road. But what is Alison’s greatest legacy during her time as Director of Public Prosecutions, heading up the Crown Prosecution Service? Assessed like most other service industries, on the expansion of their ‘customer base’ you’d have to say she’s done a bang-up job. But turning us all into criminals is hard to describe as any form of success.

Imagine you are on a bus in any large city in the UK and a very fat woman in a burka gets on. She addresses the driver in a language you cannot fathom, then lumbers her way towards you, the only person occupying a double seat. Knowing there are free seats upstairs and with several stops to go, you vacate your seat and allow her to sit as you head upstairs. A low murmur comes from nearby, but you think nothing of it. When, a few stops later, you descend the stairs you are greeted by and escorted from the bus by the police. What was your crime?

You are not being charged with maliciously affording a seat to a lady – that would be sexist. Nor are you aiding and abetting the recognition of disability – that would be ableist. And fat-shaming. Thinking that beneath the burka was a woman is also assuming her gender, which is transphobic and not addressing the new passenger in her native language, or engaging the services of an interpreter could be construed as xenophobic since Mrs Saunders’ tenure in post. (Actually, referring to Alison Saunders as ‘Mrs’, even though that is her title, could, in itself be construed as a crime.) Nobody dare mention the burka.

No, you need not be charged with anything so specific and practically anybody on the bus could have denounced you to the Thought Crime Unit, because you are guilty without any form of trial of hate. Yep, you nasty, nasty, hatey bastard. It’s too late to try and defend yourself by claiming you were merely offering a seat to a lady; you could have budged up a bit but no, by leaving the seat altogether you have caused offence on a level capable of inciting actual violence among the more ‘misunderstood’ communities. Consider yourself lucky you weren’t lynched.

Lest you are unaware, the CPS definition of a hate crime is: 

"Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person's disability or perceived disability; race or perceived race; or religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived transgender identity."

They further ‘clarify’:

There is no legal definition of hostility so we use the everyday understanding of the word which includes ill-will, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike.”

And the departing DPP seems to actually be proud of this. So, well done Alison. You really won’t be missed.


  1. We are living under an Orwellian dictatorship

  2. The first three words "Any criminal offence..." suggest that you need to do something against criminal law. Going to another seat on public transport is not (yet) an arrestable offence?
    If you had said "Bloody hell, I'm not sitting with you". there might be a case?

  3. I'd agree with you except that 'any criminal offence' immediately gets overlooked in favour of the perceived nature of the offence caused. This is a self-justifying as it allows 'victims' to define what the offence is.
    See the prosecutions for de-facto blasphemy which have made the news.

  4. I left the UK forty years ago and still have fond memories of that place. Wouldn't recognize it now.