Rod Liddle

The laws against inciting religious and racial hatred are counter-productive

The laws against inciting religious and racial hatred are counter-productive
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Fucking Jews! A Foreign and Commonwealth civil servant has appeared before Westminster magistrates accused of inciting racial and religious hatred. Rowan Laxton, who reportedly earns £70,000 per year at the FCO, was allegedly heard to shout “fucking Israelis………..fucking Jews” in a gym while watching a Sky news report of Israeli military action in Gaza. Confronted by a chap who heard him, Gideon Falter, Laxton admitted the rant but said that his comments were not racist but added that he hoped “Israel would be blown off the face of the fucking earth” (although Laxton denies saying this last bit, and also denies saying he said “fucking Jews”.) The court case is ongoing so I suppose we shouldn’t speculate too much; at the moment, though, it would seem to confirm suspicions that the FCO is still staffed by fairly hard-line Arabists, as it ever was, even if Laxton didn’t say “Jews”.

I tend to get very racist when using the running machine my wife bought for me a while ago because, as she put it, “you’re a fat fuck.” I usually howl abuse about Somalians, but I’ve also been known to have a go at the Roma and the Portuguese. I hate working out and like to have a nation at hand to blame (quite wrongly, of course) for my predicament. Luckily nobody is around to hear me inciting racial and religious hatred (I have a go at the Scientologists and the Muslims sometimes, when I’m bored of dissing the Somalians). And then there’s this: My little daughter, aged three, came up to me the other day and said: “Take me to the toilet, nigger.” Incredulous, I asked her to repeat what she had said and she did, giggling. I have no idea where she got the word from – even on the running machine I don’t dare say stuff like that. I thought for a moment about ringing the police, as I had been mortally offended. Bang her up.

What a fatuous, expensive, inhuman, cringing and counter-productive piece of legislation it is. That people can be hauled before a court for “giving offence”; a genuflection to our tissue paper-thin sensitivities these days and our determination to make people suffer when they do something we do not like. I suspect I would disagree with Rowan Laxton about almost everything, and especially Israel. But to prosecute him for his views?