What a difference a year makes. Here’s the Irish Times’ own Kitty Holland, almost exactly one year ago, approvingly reporting on proposals to introduce a hate speech law:
And here’s the Irish Times’ own Kitty Holland an hour ago, reacting to the news that that nice Mr. Corbyn had not achieved a majority for socialism in the United Kingdom’s parliamentary election:
Ms. Holland is very fortunate that the hate speech law has, as yet, not been introduced. As a reminder, here is what Minister Flanagan said on the subject:
“Calling on people to engage with the Department of Justice during the consultation process, the Laois TD said he wanted the new legislation to be balanced.
“I don’t want to interfere with the fundamental freedom of speech but at the same time I’m very concerned about what I’m hearing as to the manner in which minority groups in particular are being treated and the fact that offensive speech, hate speech is becoming common place in Ireland.
“I don’t think that is good and I want to outlaw it”
In this case, Ms. Holland appears to be suggesting that “Zionists” had some hand in the outcome of the election – a classic anti-semitic trope – and that they are “monsters”. Monsters, of course, cannot be negotiated or reasoned with. You cannot persuade a monster to stop being a monster. You can only eliminate a monster.
Is that anti-semitic? Well, here’s what the head of the anti-semitism policy trust, Danny Stone, has to say:
“Others may use the term Zionist to slate those who support the state of Israel.
“It’s worth bearing in mind that 97 per cent of Jews have a relationship with Israel, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they support the government or its actions,” said Mr Stone.
“There’s a wide spectrum of opinions across those who recognise self-determination. It’s problematic when everyone is lumped in, there’s a lot of collective blame, and the word Zionist is swapped in for Jews.“
Ms Holland is, perhaps, lucky that the test for whether or not you are an anti-semite in Ireland is not whether or not you have said something anti-semitic, but whether your name is Kevin Myers or Kitty Holland.
Gript reached out to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, asking the organisation whether Ms. Holland’s comments, in their opinion, constituted “hate speech”. That organisation has been at the forefront of the campaign to introduce hate speech legislation.
At the time of writing, despite having agreed to provide a comment for this article, they had missed their deadline for doing so.
Two days ago, Ms. Holland suggested that the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuennsberg, should be fired for discussing postal vote trends in advance of polling day. What does she think the penalty for anti-semitism should be?
Or is it, as usual, one rule for the likes of her, and another rule for the rest of the plebs?
This woman is a disgrace. If she worked for a regional paper she'd have been fired by now https://t.co/FQKYhyG40L
— Deirdre K (@KittyHollandIT) December 11, 2019