Police are not investigating cases of hate speech against white people, according to a report by a free market think tank.
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) study said freedom of expression was being stifled by an increase in the number of hate crime investigations.
It meant that people who spoke about controversial issues such as transgender rights or who criticized homosexuality or Islam risked being investigated by the police on the basis that their comments were harmful.
But the IEA report by Marc Glendening, its head of cultural affairs, said the laws were being partially enforced and police were refusing to seek prosecutions for similar cases targeting white people.
To overcome what he said was “growing censorship,” he called for a new concept of freedom of expression, centered on the intrinsic right of all individuals to express their opinions, regardless of their background or views.
“British democracy faces an existential threat from those who seek to silence debate,” Glendening said.
“This is the result of the emergence of a ‘cultural control left’ ideology that sees state regulation of language as the primary way to enforce greater social equality.
“This necessarily implies violating the right of expression of people who wish to express opinions considered transgressive.
“Advocates of political pluralism now need to mount a counterattack based on a fundamental defense of freedom of expression based on natural rights.”
Glendening cited the tripling of the number of non-crime hate incidents recorded by police, which rose from 45,000 in 2013 to 120,000 now.
Among the cases this year, one was opened against a pensioner for placing stickers that said: “Keep men out of women-only spaces.”
In another, feminist Marion Miller was charged under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 for an allegedly transphobic tweet. The case was later dropped.
Christian preachers in Birmingham have been arrested and charged for preaching in public, often based on their critical comments about homosexuality or Islam.
However, Glendening compared those cases to the police’s refusal to bring a case against a wellbeing and diversity officer at a London university who posted the phrase “KillAllWhiteMen”.
In a similar case, no police action was taken against a model who claimed “white people were brought up as racists” and a Cambridge academic who called for an “offensive” to “eliminate white people” as a class.
“It is important to see that this new, more interventionist approach to law enforcement is being applied in a partial and inconsistent manner,” Glendening said.
“In particular, the police have refused to prosecute people in cases very analogous to those described above, except for the fact that they involve racist statements directed at white people.”
Threat to liberal political culture
The report warned that the censorious trend was driven by the view that speech should be controlled to prevent alleged “harm” against certain marginalized groups.
He quoted Nadia Whittome, a Labor MP, who stated that the debate was not a “harmless and neutral act” and that the very act of debate “is an effective rollback of supposed equality and a foot in the door to doubt and hatred.” ”.
Glendening warned: “Britain’s liberal political culture currently faces a greater threat than any it has faced since our country emerged as a representative democracy in the early 20th century.”
The solution, the document concluded, was to reaffirm the inherent right of every individual to think and express themselves peacefully.
Glendening highlighted “the unique importance of independent thought and individual agency.”