The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Oh Dear, Gordon.

Two unpleasant BNP (a far-right party that majors on race) members were today acquitted of stirring up race hatred. That is the jury's verdict, and it's good enough for me.
Gordon Brown is quoted in the BBC article thus:-
Chancellor Gordon Brown said race laws may have to be tightened. He said: "I think any preaching of religious or racial hatred will offend mainstream opinion in this country and I think we've got to do whatever we can to root it out from whatever quarter it comes".
Two points, Mr.Prime-Minister-Designate:- Firstly, there is something deeply improper about a senior Minister reacting to a verdict that he (and I, for that matter) find obnoxious by musing on how to change the law so as to have better luck next time; and secondly, why should it require the power of Parliament to forbid something that will
"offend mainstream opinion"?
In a democracy someone is always going to be offended. They, and Mr. Brown, need to learn to live with it. Argue, dispute, debate if you will, but as for using the Parliamentary sledgehammer - forget it, Gordon. You want to be a statesman. You can do better than this.