Free Speech

"Conversations over the Dinner Table That Incite Hatred Must Be Prosecuted …, the Justice Secretary Has Said"


From The Times (London) (Mark McLaughlin):

Conversations over the dinner table that incite hatred must be prosecuted under Scotland's hate crime law, the justice secretary has said.

Journalists and theatre directors should also face the courts if their work is deemed to deliberately stoke up prejudice, Humza Yousaf [the Secretary for Justice for Scotland] said.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill … will introduce an offence of stirring-up of hatred against people with protected characteristics, including disability, sexual orientation and age….

Mr Yousaf … told the Scottish parliament's justice committee that children, family and house guests must be protected from hate speech…. "Are we comfortable giving a defence to somebody whose behaviour is threatening or abusive which is intentionally stirring up hatred against, for example, Muslims? Are we saying that that is justified because that is in the home? … If your intention was to stir up hatred against Jews … then I think that deserves criminal sanction."

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  1. What is the ethnic background of Minister Yousaf? He needs to return there.

    1. Even obnoxious speech like yours should be protected.

      1. His kind would have me beheaded in the street, with a dull, rusty knife.

        1. More significantly, he himself would like to throw you in prison.

        2. What “kind” is that, pray tell?

            1. I’m pretty sure he’s not related to E.T. Or is that not what you meant?

            2. Mr. Yousaf was born in Glasgow.

              1. You think that matters to DaivdBehar? He said at the outset he’s talking about ethnicity. He’s not shy about it.

                1. Culture is bound to ethnicity. To pretend otherwise is a neo-Marxist, masking, false propaganda ideology. We should not tolerate legal denial, nor legal fictions. Zero tolerance for political correctness.

                  Culture bound to ethnicity is likely more powerful than race. So, dark skinned, African immigrants outperformed whites in the 2010 Census. The most famous one became President. Despite his pretense, his experiences and upbringing had zero similarity to that of the American South blacks. He attended a Madrassa. They under performed, with an entirely different ethnic background and culture from his.

                  I watched with dismay the finals of the National Spelling Bee. No white Americans. Finally, a black kid appeared. I yelled at the TV, an American. Nope. Recently from Kenya. They ran out of dictionary words. They went to technical words. They out spelled me in my own field. They memorized multiple technical dictionaries. The culture of very hard work at age 13 was 100% tied to immigrant striving and ethnicity.

              2. Ahh yes, the usual meme that we must accept anti-Western third worlders as “one of our own,” despite the fact that they were foisted on an unwilling populace.

                “Tlaib was born in Michigan!” “Omar is an American citizen!”

                Let’s get one thing straight. Third worlders will *never* be my countrymen, regardless of what their passport says.

                1. Don’t you just hate it when immigrants come to a country without permission and oppress the indigenous population?

                2. “Let’s get one thing straight. Third worlders will *never* be my countrymen, regardless of what their passport says.”

                  You’re a misfit in your own country, along with the rest of the poorly educated clingers, superstitious bigots, and disaffected right-wingers who have lost the culture war and must comply each day with the preferences of better Americans.

                  The Conspirators — who are disaffected misfits if they have positions on the faculties of strong law schools — feel and share your pain. And will continue to feel it, as America’s liberal-libertarian mainstream shapes our national progress against the wishes and efforts of movement conservatives.

                  Reason. Education. Tolerance. Science. Modernity. Freedom. Inclusiveness. Progress. These prevail in America over time, defeating ignorance, backwardness, dogma, superstition, authoritarianism, insularity, and silly pining for good old days that never existed (not 50 years ago, not 2,000 years ago). Successive waves of bigots have learned this the hard way in America, more more than a century. And our current batch of bigots seems nothing special.

                  Everybody ready for the election celebrations?

  2. That is Biden’s America.

    1. Not Biden’s America because not America. But forget it. You’re rolling.

      1. It’s the America that Biden, Harris, and the rest of the Democrats want to create. That’s why you people want to seize our guns.

        1. It doesn’t take much imagination to guess what to expect from the people who want to shut you up and render you defenseless.

          1. Paranoid, disaffected gun nuts are among my favorite culture war casualties.

          2. Your florid tribal imagination fails you again. I’m a gun owner. Try deriving your expectations from the real world. You’ll embarrass yourself less.

            1. (That response was to Ed Grinberg.)

        2. Keep talking out of your ignorant tribal ass. I’ve been a gun owner probably longer than you’ve been alive.

    2. worse – its harris’, and she’ll be president much longer than zombie joe

      1. Since Harris will be president of Scotland “much longer than zombie joe” doesn’t tell us much.

        1. Saying Harris will be president of Scotland….

          1. England’s Conservative Party is to the left of our neo-Marxist Democrat Party. The people of the British Isles deserve to suffer for their poor political choices.

            They make half our wages, and everything costs twice as much. They have a quarter of our lifestyle. Go to the British Amazon and look at the prices for the same exact item as in the US, like a book or a CD. Pretty shocking. Now look in the want ads for an electrician and the salaries offered for the same experience.

            1. England’s Conservative Party is to the left of our neo-Marxist Democrat Party.

              It really isn’t. (Twice, in fact.) See here for a convenient diagram.

              1. The Guardian? A neo-Marxist, false propaganda, Hate America hate speech outlet. Dismissed.

                1. Like I said, I didn’t mean to refer to the article but to the diagram, which wasn’t made by the newspaper. (I would have used a direct link but couldn’t get it to work.)

              2. Left means, bigger government. Right means, smaller government. Defined that way, the Conservative Party of England is to the left of our neo-Marxist Democrat Party. For example, private health care for everyone is beyond the imagination of Conservative MP’s. A Health Savings account where the money is tied to the person, not to the rent seeking , thieving government would not even be understood by them.

                The US is already 90% Commie if one includes control of private assets by regulation. Trump’s rampage of deregulation likely dropped that amount to 89%. That was enough to make the economy soar.

                1. Did you just learn the word neo-Marxist or something and can’t wait to try it out?

                  1. Did you just learn

                    If it’s Behar, the answer to any question that begins thusly is going to be “No.”

              3. The democrats in the US should be shifting upwards too. ‘Demonizing opponents’ isn’t just a rightwing thing – as Tucille has ably demonstrated in Reason repeatedly.

              4. Holy shit, that paper is garbage. They use the European Left/Right scale for US politics as a first, incredibly basic, error, and then proceed to absurd levels of misclassification and outright falsehoods.
                I mean, to pretend that the Democrats “almost never disrespect opponents”? Or pretend that extra sex-based financial support to working women is a sign of democracy and opposition to it is “autocratic”?

                I mean, when you equate “references religion” to “autocracy”, then your study is bullshit bigotry from start to finish. It’s embarrassing that you even tried to reference this.

            2. They make half our wages, and everything costs twice as much.</i.

              No they don't, no it doesn't.


              1. Depends on the profession and on the degree to which you by the PPP adjustment which is uncertain at the 10 to 20% level

              2. You got me. They make $40000, we make $70000/capita. That is not half our wages. I tried to help a British guy look for an electrician job. They were offering $27000 a year over there, and $50000 here for the same level of knowledge.

                A Taylor Swift CD is 11 pounds ($14) on, and $7 on US Amazon.

                A person making $100,000, living in a US suburb, is living higher than a billionaire in Europe. Better health care, more physical security, more freedom, better isolation from shithole areas and shithole people, less crowding stress, less traffic, more opportunity for the children, more comfort. For example, stay at a castle. No window screens that cost $35. You get eaten alive in your sleep. OK. Close the windows. No A/C. Go to a restaurant for a $250 meal. Go to the toilet. No $100 toilet. You could fall into a hole in the ground and require a rescue operation to pry your rear end out. Even the rich live like animals in Europe.

            3. Go to the British Amazon and look at the prices for the same exact item as in the US, like a book or a CD. Pretty shocking. Now look in the want ads for an electrician and the salaries offered for the same experience.

              I have, have you? (I would add some more links to do exactly this comparison, but I’m pretty sure including more than one link in a comment would send the comment into moderation.)

  3. Something only the Rev could love.

    1. The Rev plus good liberals all over the country.
      Here in Minnesota, Keith Ellison was elected Attorney General in the last election. When President Biden appoints him U.S. Attorney General, I can totally see him saying something along the lines of Justice Secretary Yousaf’s comments. And if you think that Democrats in Congress wouldn’t pass such a law, or that the (packed) Supreme Court wouldn’t uphold it, you’ve got another thing coming.

      1. Open wider, Ed.

        Or not. You comfort as you are swallowing progress has become a diminishing concern.

        You can whimper and bluster as much as you like, but you will toe the line established by better Americans.

  4. the so-called western democracies are starting to more resemble North Korea, East Germany, the Nazis and the USSR. Basically the prosecutor is doing what the old Stasi did- turn neighbors and family against each other.

    1. Glad to see we’re not overreacting…

      (Or worse, virtue signalling.)

      1. So what level reaction do you think is appropriate to a senior member of the Scottish government telling people they will be arrested for dinner conversations that fall under the incredibly vague topic of “inciting hatred”?
        A category that, by the way, has included such terrible things as reporting crimes by people of certain ethnic identities.

  5. Suppose you say, the Secretary of Justice is a stupid moron who should be deported back to where he came from?


    1. No, just racist and stupid, given that Humza Yousaf was born and raised in Glasgow.

      (Which is, for the avoidance of doubt, in Scotland.)

      1. It’s discouraging how many people apparently think the way to show their opposition to punishing even despicable speech by awful people is to be an awful person who says despicable things.

        1. I do not find awful or despicable much of what is labeled “hate speech.” I do find awful and despicable the desire of some people to criminalize speech they find uncongenial.

          1. How about the actual speech Martinned and I were responding to?

      2. So it’s racist and stupid, and why does it not come under the proposed law, exactly?

      3. People who call others racist are called race whores. All race whores must be cancelled.

        Minister Yousaf could have been born in Buckingham Palace. He should still be deported to a country where his views are accepted.

        1. So you’re just balls out fascist. Cool. By which I mean of course that you’re a garbage person. Have fun with that.

          1. Hi, Leo. Personal remarks violate the Fallacy of Irrelevance.

      4. The problem is, studies have shown that children of Muslim migrants tend to be more radical than their parents. He is the first Muslim to be elected to the Scottish parliament, and isn’t setting a good example for future ones.

        1. Yes, as any French person could tell you, those awful running-for-elected-office proposing-bills radicalised 2nd generation Muslims are a real plague!

          1. The French deserve to suffer for casting their lot with these foreigners. They are getting paid back for their betrayal of the West and appeasement of the enemy.

            1. Which “foreigners”? Do you mean to say that Muslims are always foreigners, even if they are French citizens?

              Also, “betrayal of the West” how? The French were on our side in the Cold War, the last time there was any “West” that could be betrayed.

              Also, which “enemy” are we talking about? Because I haven’t seen a great deal of appeasement lately, but maybe we’re thinking of different enemies/conflicts.

          2. He has been radicalized – but in this case as an Orwellian Stalinist.

          3. You might discern that now is not the time to make an argument for France and positives in regard to radicalized Islam. Or, keep on keeping on with your argument. I will agree that the majority of Muslims, ones that avoid the poison of grievance culture, are not the bugbear that the far right makes them out to be.

      5. You, as is typical, are completely wrong. BL’s hypothetical comment would be something that would fall under the hate speech laws in Scotland. Also, you chose to ignore Bored Lawyer’s hypothetical and decided that he was stupid and racist, which says much about you.

  6. Wow. There is little remaining of the freedom I once knew.

  7. Uncle Angus, shut up and eat your haggis.

  8. In the news on Tuesday:

    People should have the right to be offensive, Humza Yousaf says

    People should have the right to be offensive and controversial, Justice Minister Humza Yousaf has said, while giving evidence on the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime bill.
    he added: “Remember also that people have the right, and I speak as somebody who has been often the target and the victim of hatred, be it racial or religious, that people have the right to live their life without having that prejudice, that hatred, directed towards them. Criminal law must protect people from that hatred.”

    Asked whether freedom of expression should also include the right to “offend, shock or disturb”, Yousaf pointed out that there is no mention of “offensive” language or behaviour in the bill.

    He said: “There’s not a word in the bill that deals with offence.

    “People should have the right to be offensive. People should have the right to express views that are controversial.

    “This bill does not intend to deal with people who have offensive views.”

    1. Oh well then, it’s all right, nothing to worry about.

    2. Purporting to protect speech that offends while punishing speech that stirs up hatred is a hair-splitting exercise I wouldn’t hang my speech rights on even if I thought it could be performed competently.

      1. Forget competently. How about honestly and even-handedly? Experience has shown that these kinds of laws are only enforced to protect certain favored groups. And/or to squelch criticism of those in power.

        Even anti-pandemic laws, which on their face are not about speech, can be used discriminately. This summer, in many places, if 500 people gathered to express the idea “Black Lives Matter” they were given a pass. But if they expressed the idea “Praise Be To God,” they faced fines and arrest. And the Mayor of New York openly bragged about making this distinction.

        1. To be fair, I can see how a rational person would value political speech over magic ceremonies in worship of imaginary deities.

          1. Thank you for be willing to decide who’s free speech rights should be upheld and who’s should be squashed. Few would have the courage…

          2. And you feel that a “rational person” should be permitted to translate what he “values” into the force of law, shutting down what he does not value, and allowing what he does?

            And BTW, I pray three times a day, and have never engaged in “magic ceremonies.” It’s all about praising God, asking for our needs, and thanking God for what he has given us. All matters of expression. Which the Mayor of NY feels free to suppress, in favor of what he agrees with.

            1. I’m sorry, I tend to assume that on a blog full of lawyers I don’t have to worry about reading comprehension. I understand the difference between the law and policy preferences (mine and others’), and clearly my previous comment was about the latter.

              1. Maybe you should reread the thread. I commented on the actions of the Mayor of NY, and you responded “to be fair . . .”

                The Mayor of NY used his authority of law to favor one side over another. That’s more than policy preferences. Not to mention a violation of two First Amendment rights.

          3. “To be fair, I can see how a rational person would value political speech over magic ceremonies in worship of imaginary deities.”

            But that very comment might be viewed as stirring up hate.

            1. It might, but fortunately none of us is in Scotland.

        2. Competently, honestly, even-handedly or otherwise, it’s a distinction I wouldn’t make. I prefer our system which protects even stuff that does stir up hatred so long as it doesn’t constitute a true threat or incitement.

            1. Yeah that part’s idiotic.

  9. A jewish trick. The sponsors are those that generally piss off the host society. Scots who eat haggis and sip aged spirits generally do not ruin a fine feast with the talk of foreigners, that is reserved for the pub.

    Only a jew would care that a Scotsman and his mates were talking of the chosen ones, trying to list the 109 countries from which they have been expelled. Noting that it was only Cromwell who brought them back to England. Edward I was not loved by Scots, but he did expel the jews….any Scotsman will raise a glass for that.

    Hate speech scam is going to get the sponsors killed. Maybe a good thing.

    1. “A jewish trick.”

      Put forward by Humza Yousaf? Sounds like a Jewish name all right.

      Are you one of those Russian bots we keep hearing about?

      1. I’d say the chances he’s trolling are 50-50. Either way, he’s so over the top that whatever interests he’s representing aren’t being well-served.

        1. Higher than 50-50, IMO. There are people who are that antisemetic, but he posts only a single time in most threads, always with the same theme.

      2. Pavel is Jewish. Only a Jew talks as he does.

      3. Humza Yousaf sounds more like someone who takes flying lessons, and skips over the class on landing the plane

  10. If this becomes law or if it is law already then Scotland has lost its freedom even freedom of speech. All a political group would have to do is to get any saying that they don’t like declared hate then the person that uses it would be persecuted and I DO mean persecuted and not prosecuted.

    1. Sorry, I ellipsed some bits from the article I quoted above:

      The bill seeks to consolidate, modernise and extend hate crime legislation in Scotland

      This basically already law.

      1. The bill seeks to consolidate, modernise and extend hate crime legislation in Scotland

        “Modernize”, v To return to ancient behaviors humanity has learned the hard way are the tools of tyrants.

        1. Yes, if there’s one thing we know about tyrants is that they really dislike it when people say racist things.

          1. The progressive party and movement, woke culture, antifa all bear this out as true -your sarcasm fails.

          2. If there’s one thing we know about tyrants, it’s that they suppress opposition. One of the ways this can be done is by (1) criminalizing “hate speech,” followed by (2) labeling the opposition’s speech “hate speech.”

  11. “All I said was, this piece of haggis is good enough for Jehovah…”

    1. “No one is to stone anyone, until I blow this whistle!”

  12. On the remote chance that anyone is interested in a facts-based conversation, the bill as introduced is here

    1. The groups protected from ill will include the disabled. Half the criminals have Antisocial Personality Disorder. This is a disorder with an inability to act morally. It has been well validated since the 19th Century. It is an immutable biological characteristic. Any utterance criticizing a criminal violates the hate speech law, including one in a tribunal.

      1. Yeah, I’m sure that’s how the law will be interpreted. You’re a very serious person.

    2. So it seems all you have to do is avoid being insulting or abusive regarding protected groups – even behind their backs – and you’ll be OK.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I would vote against this bill in a heartbeat if I was an MSP. But I figured this conversation could do with a little less “America FTW!!!” and a little more actual fact about (potential) law.

        1. It could well be that in a brief time the USA will be at the stage of “progress” Scotland is reaching today.

          1. To hear Tucker, Sean and Laura tell it, we’re already there. Back on planet Earth, not so much. Constitutional speech protection, which has never been so strong, isn’t going anywhere.

            1. I like to think so, but one packed court later, and hate speech that makes people feel bad (see the brain scans of damage!) “so we need to stop it!”, and one of the worst tools of tyranny is loosed, escaping the contained domains of business and campuses.

              1. The problem with that analysis is that only one SCOTUS justice has shown an inclination to erode First Amendment speech protections, and it’s Alito, not one of the liberals.

                1. Well, that’s not true. The liberals want to overturn Citizens United. Thomas wants to rethink NYT v. Sullivan. Roberts was in the majority in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project. Kagan complained about “weaponizing” the First Amendment against liberal policies.

                  1. You’re right, I overstepped. I shouldn’t have said he’s the only one inclined to screw around with the FA, but that he’s the one with the strongest inclination to do it.

    3. Thank you Martinned. But what do you think “variations in sex characteristics” are?

      1. There are 540 ways to love. Be careful what you say. All but one are a denial of reproductive reality.

        I identify as rich. I expect everyone here to accommodate me by sending me money to make rich.

      2. Clause 14 of the bill gives (further) definitions:

        A person is a member of a group defined by reference to variations in sex characteristics if the person is born with physical and biological sex characteristics which, taken as a whole, are neither—
        (a) those typically associated with males, nor
        (b) those typically associated with females.

        (Which is the phenomenon referred to by people who are not parliamentary counsel as “being intersex”.)

  13. “will introduce an offence of stirring-up of hatred against people with protected characteristics, including disability, sexual orientation and age….”
    Presumably that also includes being obese.

  14. So, there is not much hope then for the Scots being free in Twenty-Three? There is much ‘exiting’ yet to be done.

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