Hate speech bill is Section 31 for our times

It is not every day that Sinn Féin pays homage to someone who has worked for the British Home Office (stop sniggering down the back ….) but one such former servant of Whitehall and leading anti-racism guru, Dr. Lucy Michael, managed to get name checked on several occasions in contributions made by Sinn Féin TDs to the love in on the proposed “hate speech” Bill.

I say TDs advisedly as very few TDs write their own Dáil speeches and Sinn Féin is now top heavy with left activists on one part of the NGO circuit. The left- liberal NGO business is to the post bellum post-nationalist Sinn Féin what the ITGWU once was to the Workers Party. Which explains the Shinners’ almost total surrender of policymaking in key areas to “advocacy” companies, and the clear lack of historical self-knowledge on the part of the staffers.

No better illustrated than by the fact that it was left to Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín to point out the total incongruity of a party that was once banned under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act now indicating that it is supporting a Bill that “will encroach on people’s ability to speak freely and respectfully about issues of real importance.”

 

Now, others might claim that Section 31 was required because Sinn Féin at the time it was in force supported the Provisional IRA before it surrendered as part of Sinn Féin’s house training. However, as was pointed out by other opponents of Section 31, the atmosphere put in place by such state censorship – backed by the sacking of the RTÉ authority in 1972 following an interview with IRA Chief of Staff Seán Mac Stiofáin – led to much wider restrictions.

Soon it became the norm for RTÉ in particular, pushed by the same type of left activists now behind the current “hate” legislation, to cast suspicion on anything that they considered to be even vaguely nationalist, or reeking of “hush puppy” Provoism. We have exactly the same mentality now deployed against critics of a wide range of establishment holy cows.  If this Bill is passed it will have the imprimatur of the state and the enforcing powers of some new form of political policing.

And all enthusiastically backed by Sinn Féin. It would be amusing were it not so pathetic.

Their enthusiasm for censorship is indicated by the fact that of the 13 speakers in the debate, 6 were from Sinn Féin and all basically parroting the same NGO script. Several of said NGOs got a mention including the far-left Far Right Observatory which was referenced as an alleged authority by Kildare SF TD Patricia Ryan.

Ironically, some might say, because it was not that long ago that Deputy Ryan herself was the target of a pile on by similar characters when she referred to a modular housing project for refugees in Newbridge.  Indeed, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that had the legislation which is being pushed by the far left and supported by Sinn Féin was in place when she made her remarks that she might even have had her own collar felt by the Diversity Cheka.

 

Lest I be accused of exaggeration here, Ryan was accused of being one of “those who take advantage of vulnerable people to further their hateful agenda” when she rightly referred to concerns that her constituents had in relation to housing and the seeming priority given to refugee accommodation.  Although perhaps after a visit to the FRO Room 101 she is now one of those “susceptible to this hateful messaging” who has taken advantage of the means she now recommends to “educate to prevent reoffending.”

Tóibín also pointed out to the ideological underpinnings of the proposed Bill and that it has specific targets. Not least being that persons who “adhere to the scientific understanding of gender” are potentially targets of this, as they have already been – and he referred to J.K Rowling and to the hysterical backlash against women who recently articulated that view on RTÉ’s Liveline – informally through the left liberal control of much of the means of cancelling dissenters.

 

He bluntly asked the Minister if she believes, as do many of the supporters of this Bill, that “women saying that a woman is an adult female is transphobic and hate speech?”  We shall await her response with interest.

The whole problem with the Bill was similarly illustrated by Minister Helen McEntee in her opening speech. She referred to tackling “crimes motivated by prejudice, hate or bigotry” as the motivation of the Bill. Attacking people is already a crime, as are a whole range of other offences that in many cases are obviously motivated by hate. Presumably most murders, other than those carried out by professional hitmen, are motivated by some degree of antipathy to the victim.

Which leads one to question why there is a need for any other legislation, especially given that many actual crimes go undetected and leniently treated in the view of many, including the victims of such crimes. Would Urantsetseg Tserendorj have been less likely to have been murdered had this legislation been in place? Hardly. The person charged with her murder claimed that his intention was to rob any person he presumably believed to be less likely to be able to defend themselves.

Nor is there any reason why there ought to “protected groups” in Irish society who have their very own laws to protect them. Groups which the Minister defines on the basis of “race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origin, descent, sexual orientation, gender, including gender expression or gender identity, sex characteristics or disability.”

Pretty much everyone could be included in such a wide ranging definition, but of course they are not. What chances would Enoch Burke have were he to take a case against the avalanche of hate he has been subjected to in many quarters, not least the social media which the left liberal pearl-clutchers are so angsted about, were he to claim he was being hated on for being a white, Irish, heterosexual, Protestant male? None.

The reason being of course is that there is no NGO which has decided to set itself up as the self-appointed defender of such a minority. There is no money in culchie prods with Biblical names. There are hundreds of millions in claiming to be the protector of other minority groups, most of whom probably are not even aware of, and certainly do not benefit from, the existence of some of the groups reverentially referenced by leftie TDs.

The only other TD to place their opposition on the record was Paul Murphy who amidst a ream of slogans and crèche Marxism pliants about racism and fascism and capitalism – all of which are “disgusting” – did at least recognise that sections of the Bill provide the state with potentially sweeping powers to prosecute legitimate forms of protest and expression, including from the left.

Unfortunately,  Sinn Féin have so immersed themselves in the Marxoid waters of resentment and victimisation while expelling any remnant of the republican defence of free speech, that they no longer even see that.

As Peadar Tóibín noted republicanism ought to mean that “each individual has and should have an equal right to that articulation of views and the equal articulation of speech.”

Something, of course, which the people who told Peadar to “fuck off out of this office before something happens” have never believed in.

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