Thursday, October 11, 2007

Names will never hurt me?

When Cranmer was at school, sticks and stones used to be the worst that one schoolboy could hurl at another. Or maybe conkers, marbles, or (occasionally) a chair. He also recalls having a few textbooks hurled his way, a condom (unused), and on one occasion a rowing oar, though that was by a teacher (and it missed).

But names are about to supplant sticks and stones, under proposals issued by Justice Secretary Jack Straw MP. The new Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill will make it illegal to use threatening words or behaviour on the grounds of sexual orientation. And those pupils who are convicted could face up to seven years in jail (or a young offenders' institute for 'correctional therapy').

The main problem is the word ‘gay’. What used to mean ‘happy’ became over time a badge of honour worn by homosexuals. But if used as a playground taunt, it can now lead to a police investigation. This is an issue because the meaning has transmuted again in recent years to simply mean ‘bad’, ‘stupid’ or ‘un-cool’. It is the vernacular of youth culture; and children copy children as sheep follow sheep, and nobody has the slightest idea of the meaning of the word – it means simply what they want it to mean. While the children’s charity Kidscape calls for police officers to use ‘common sense’, Cranmer is reminded that schoolchildren as young as 11 have already been investigated for ‘racism’, ‘homophobia’, and other ‘crimes’ they never knew existed.

Hitherto, the 1986 Public Order Act has been used to prosecute people for ‘homophobic’ comments which are to be threatening, abusive or insulting in a way likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. The new ‘gay hate’ law is supposed to strengthen this, though Cranmer is puzzled as to why threats to or harassment of homosexuals is a greater crime than threatening or harassing a heterosexual.

The new incitement law is supported by the Liberal Democrats, but the Conservative party has been more cautious, citing concerns about freedom of speech.

Indeed. While bullying should not be tolerated in schools, a little playground banter is part and parcel of real life. Censor it there, or criminalise those who genuinely meant nothing serious by heir taunt, and the resentment against those whom the law is designed to protect will simply resurface a hundredfold.


Blogger AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

You have to ask what the advocates are smoking. Do they not know that mime can be so expressive as to be subversive (the only subversion that could not be eradicated in Romania under Ceauşescu)? Can they not remember the Silk Cut adverts? Have they not heard of the Duke of Kent, or a tendency to the lavender?

Sadly, one must remember that there is no cure for being as thick as a plank. So, we must sympathise and tolerate them. Not!

11 October 2007 at 11:25  
Blogger James said...

Speaking as a homosexual man, I find this law unappealing in the extreme. I have suffered abuse at times and it doesn't really bother me, I accept that EVERYONE has a right to hold an opinion. It is only when people act that they should be punished. Why is beating up a gay man different than beating up any other man? The crime is beating up a man. Why is shouting one form of abuse worse than another? Shouting abuse is wrong. I never support laws that create special sub-category offences.

11 October 2007 at 13:04  
Anonymous Terry said...

Cranmer, what evidence do you have that the Conservatives have said anything at all on this? They seem to be terrified of saying anything that may alienate the gay vote.

11 October 2007 at 13:28  
Anonymous Yokel said...

Your Grace, you said "though Cranmer is puzzled as to why threats to or harassment of homosexuals is a greater crime than threatening or harassing a heterosexual."

You wrote as though unaware that the Political Correctness Industry has but one goal in life: to destroy the white Christian heterosexual man and his family, for they are the fount of all evil.

Therefore this legislation will assist them to meet their targets. Of course it will become law. If there is any opposition, it will just be allocated a timetable motion (formerly known as the Guillotine).

11 October 2007 at 14:37  
Anonymous Ultraviolents (Postjudiced) said...

So let's see, you can deprive children of their consent (compulsory education) and threaten their parents with imprisonment and fines if they don't make themselves accomplices to this tyranny.

But someone or something "gay", as in "that is rubbish mate" and you go to prison. How ironic, but perfectly logical really. For you can tell what people really want buy what their beliefs practically amount to.

i.e. Comprehensive school produces nothing but demoralised criminals.

I know because I'm one of them. Along with Cho Seung Hui, and the Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

I remember being expelled after I attacked the "toughest" boy in school with a SAW in woodwork class. I went up behind him, put the saw between his legs and slashed upwards really hard. Serves him right for calling me a "shit-head". I made him cry. Heh heh heh. I would do it again and much worse if I had a second chance.

But just to reiterate, the central point is this, state schooling is a factory of oppression and the humiliation and subsequent displaced aggression that comes as a result of this actually intended by people like Jack Straw.

11 October 2007 at 15:07  
Anonymous 4micah said...

...and when the kids leave the schoolgrounds? What then? Something tells me that this will only make the word "gay" a more potent insult and that kids will be using it more fiercely outside of school jurisdiction.

It's time to end state schooling and replace it with private education. No more indoctrination. No more mind control. No more servitude to the state.

11 October 2007 at 17:11  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

You wrote as though unaware that the Political Correctness Industry has but one goal in life: to destroy the white Christian heterosexual man and his family, for they are the fount of all evil.

His Grace does seem unaware of many things, alas. I'd prefer to say that the attack is aimed at white heterosexual men, not particularly Christian ones. Christianity is the institution they wish to destroy, white heterosexual males the group.

11 October 2007 at 17:48  
Blogger chris said...

Your Grace might be interested to know that Peter Tatchell recently wrote an article against this legislation based on 3 reasons:

1. freedom of speech

2. By elevating hate speech about certain groups above others it undermines equality.

3. there is no reason for new laws when the current laws on incitement to murder are ignored.

11 October 2007 at 19:35  
Blogger Sam Tarran said...

I take it "correctional therapy" should be read as "indoctrination into the state doctrine"?

11 October 2007 at 22:41  
Blogger Steven_L said...

'Correctional therapy', isn't that just yet another sexual fetish these days?

12 October 2007 at 02:24  
Blogger Laban said...

Slightly off topic, but has his Grace any views on the document "A Common Word between Us and You", presented by 138 Muslim scholars to His Holiness the Pope and Rasputin, among other Christian leaders ?

12 October 2007 at 07:52  
Blogger Letters From A Tory said...

As always, the Labour government pander to the wishes of any group that claims to be 'under threat' in some way. Calling people names is not a criminal offence.

Why don't I get any protection from nasty comments as a White British heterosexual male?

12 October 2007 at 08:17  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Laban,

The matter is now addressed. His Grace could write much more, but fears there is little point. The response needs to come corporately from His Holiness, Their Beatitudes, and Their Graces.

Don't hold your breath.

12 October 2007 at 10:50  
Blogger Paul Nizhinsky said...

Surely if teachers were once again given the power to actually discipline their pupils, the police would not need to get involved? I'm sure they have far more serious crimes to investigate.

13 October 2007 at 13:56  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Paul Nizhinsky
Indeed. All this nonsense is simply chatter. If the British people had any idea of the number of names children call each other at school and how much bullying goes on in British schools, they would all move to Africa.

Your Grace
Our powers as teachers to discipline have disappeared and this is not going to change with the word 'gay'. At the moment, what prevents children from insulting each other with racist language is that it is not socially acceptable to do so, not because they are going to be in trouble with the teacher. Calling a fellow child 'gay' is acceptable, just as 'neek' is, or 'dumb'. Changing the laws will do nothing. Only changing societal norms will influence children's behaviour.

13 October 2007 at 20:46  

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