What England’s Sentencing Council and the NZ Human Rights Commission have in common

Time machine

Our Human Rights Commission has proposed to “review the adequacy of current legislation in addressing and sanctioning hate speech and incitement to racial disharmony, including hateful and disharmonious speech targeted at the religion and beliefs of ethnic minority communities.” It also argues that the law as it stands is “unable to be utilised in respect of religious hate speech directed at, (wait for it…) Muslim New Zealanders”.

If you would like to know where legislation like this leads you don’t need to jump in a time machine: you can simply read about what is happening now in the UK.

The UK sadly is a lot further down the Sharia law rabbit hole than we are here in New Zealand. Shockingly they are now proposing up to six-years in prison for anyone who criticises Islam. Most at risk of prison time are websites like Whaleoil who have a large online audience.

This is why I felt so strongly about repealing New Zealand’s old blasphemy law.

The draft law in the UK doesn’t specifically name Islam and talks about criticising “religion,” but everyone knows which religion is meant. No one is going to go to prison for criticising Christianity or Judaism. Quote:

[…] People promoting “hostility” towards a religion or the transgendered online could get much harsher sentences, of up to six years in jail, especial if they have a large online audience according to new proposals.

The Sentencing Council for England and Wales has drafted changes to public order offences, including anyone perceived as targeting online a “protected characteristics” including “race; sex; disability; age; sexual orientation; religion or belief; pregnancy and maternity; and gender reassignment.”

The most severe punishments will be handed to those “in a position of trust, authority or influence and abuses their position to stir up hatred,” such as political leaders or figureheads and anyone whose offences are “persistent.”

If an “offender was a member of, or was associated with, a group promoting hostility based on race or religion,” their sentence will also be harsher.

This is scary stuff because we have seen many, individuals and groups falsely labelled as Alt-right, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, Nazi, Fascist, anti-Semitic and white supremacist in the west. The fact that political leaders are specifically mentioned in the legislation tells me that it is an attempt to curb the popularity of the anti-immigration and nationalistic political parties in the UK.

The UK even prevented  Lauren Southern a young Canadian reporter from entering the country. They stopped her using anti-terrorism legislation. If they are going to call her a terrorist then literally no one in the UK is safe from being falsely labelled.

The Sentencing Council for England and Wales has said that it believes that the use of YouTube, social media and other “websites” to stir hatred is a growing problem but it has also has said that Quote:

Volumes of these offences are extremely low and there have been no offenders sentenced for some offences,” End of quote.

Oh dear, clearly there is a shortage of genuine hate out there and since everyone knows that they won’t prosecute Islamic hate preachers they have decided to lower the bar to make it easy to label critics of Islam instead. This way they can increase the number of prosecutions and strike fear into the hearts of any person or group who dare to complain or criticise. Quote:

[…] “Among the cases analysed there were a number of ‘hate speech’ type offences, where inflammatory speeches were given by influential figures with the intention of stirring up racial hatred.End of quote.

As I said this is seriously scary stuff. Remember that it was in the UK that a court told a Scottish comedian, Count Dankula that they knew better than he did what his intention was when he taught his girlfriend’s cute pug to salute in response to offensive Nazi words. They were not interested in context either. They said that his intention was what they said it was and they didn’t care at all about context.

Nazi pug

We must fight any moves in New Zealand to introduce ‘hate speech’ laws. If we don’t, we won’t need a time machine or to visit the UK to experience oppression: we will have created it for ourselves right here in little old New Zealand.


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