Douglas Murray

Why are some trying to turn life into one big hate-crime?

Why are some trying to turn life into one big hate-crime?
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After voting for Brexit earlier this year did you come over all homophobic? I mean after you did all the obvious stuff like beat up a few ethnic minorities and burn a Torah. A piece in the Guardian at the weekend explains that ‘Homophobic attacks in UK rose 147 per cent in three months after Brexit vote.’ It claims that this shows how ‘toxicity fostered by the EU referendum debate spread beyond race and religion, new figures suggest’. None of which makes any sense. Who would decide, after voting Brexit, to attack the gays? I suppose it is possible that some people thought Ian McKellen spoke for all of us (as he himself appeared to think) when he said before the vote that ‘Brexit makes no sense if you’re gay’ and that all gays must therefore vote Remain. But it seems a push.

More likely is that these figures are another part of that growth industry of pressure groups now intent on proving that Britain is the world’s most vile and intolerant country. Not content with claiming that we are a nation of racists and ‘Islamophobes’ they have also decided that we are homophobes, probably misogynists and doubtless kick people with guide dogs too.

What we are, in fact, witnessing is a self-reinforcing cartel. Consider the following. The figures on which the Guardian have based their ‘story’ are from an LGBT anti-violence charity called ‘Galop’. According to them, hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people increased 147 per cent during July, August and September compared to the same period last year. Rather than everyone being so high from the referendum that they went around beating up gays, what is most likely is that the official encouragement to report hate-crimes means that more and more hate-crimes are being reported. The numbers go up year-on-year because the reporting goes up. Which is not the same things as the attacks going up. Indeed it might be something quite else. Because while ordinarily the police or some other authority would try to persuade the media and charities to stick to the facts, with the hate-crime business everyone has different compulsions for being in on the fact-allergic action. Not least the police.

Allow me to give an example. A while ago an acquaintance of mine was on a late night train when some strangers tried to pick a fight with him. He was smartly dressed and this appeared to be the root of the ‘problem’. In the end the police were called and detained the attackers. They also discovered that the victim was gay. At which point the officers apparently spent a considerable amount of time trying to pressure the victim to say that the incident had been motivated by ‘homophobia’. He didn’t think it had been, not least because nothing about being gay had come up. He insisted on this and succeeded in stopping the hate-crime charges being logged, although it apparently required a lot of persistence to stop the police from doing so. For them, you see, that would have made it a better night’s work. Not just a mundane act of violence on a train, but a hate-crime. I would bet that the police are at this a fair amount. They have been told by their superiors to pursue this amorphous type of crime and so everybody of a certain sexual orientation, skin colour or religion will be encouraged to view and record things in such a manner. They will be aided by the fact that a lot of victims will understandably be more than happy to throw the book at anyone who has attacked them or been unpleasant in any way to them. Not everyone will hold out for the truth if the police themselves don’t seem that bothered about it.

Of course this is the beast that will eat itself. Consider one amusing snapshot. The ‘Islamophobic’ hate-crime recorders at Tell MAMA have previously been caught misleading the public with allegations of an alleged spike in ‘hate-crimes’ after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in 2013. You may remember that this effort managed to distract public attention from the brutal slaughter of a soldier in broad daylight onto mean things said online about Islam. The group’s founder, Fiyaz Mughal, subsequently tried unsuccessfully to sue that renowned knuckle-dragger Charles Moore. Anyhow, last week in the website formerly known as the Independent, we see that this hate-crime industry is becoming magnificently self-generating. Soon they won’t need the public at all.

It appears that Tell MAMA tried to organise an event at this year’s Conservative party conference. But their staff only applied for passes to the conference the day before their event. Anybody who has ever been to a party conference knows that you often have to apply for a pass many weeks in advance. There are, after all, well-known security concerns around these awful events. Anyhow, Mr Mughal and his colleagues had demonstrated as much concern with detail about their conference passes as they have done with the rest of their work. And so, sans passes, they turned up to the secure zone in Birmingham and were not let in.

When the security guards inexplicably stood near to Mr Mughal and his colleagues, the Tell MAMA crew complained that the security staff were being ‘intimidating’. Then, while the security guards were escorting the pass-less ones away, one of the group asked the security staff why they were following them. This Tell MAMA-ist ended up rather rudely accusing the security guards of picking on him, finally demanding ‘Is it because I’m gay?’

Personally, I would doubt it. In my experience there is rarely any shortage of male homosexuals inside the secure zone of the Conservative party conference. But if you’re in the hate-crime business who cares? Facts are for other people. Having been turned away from their Islamophobia event the Islamophobia-peddlers at least managed to squeeze a homophobia incident out of it and the corpse of the Independent wrote it up, thus ensuring it wasn’t an entirely wasted journey. Who knows, if Mughal and co had hung around a bit longer perhaps they might have squeezed a ‘Transphobic’ incident out of it while they were at it?

While such people try to turn the whole of life into one big hate-crime, the rest of us will just have to continue to try to insist on the facts. A task that would be made much easier if the police were on the same side as the general public once again.