IT appears that the Scottish Government may simply ignore the myriad objections to the proposed Hate Crime Bill which now looks set to trundle on its merry way through the back corridors of Holyrood.

We’ll have to wait and see if the powers that be decide whether or not to listen to anyone outside of their clique when drafting the changed Bill. But in the meantime, it’s worth trying to situate this new authoritarian Bill in the wider context of the world that is being constructed by the modern, rules-based elites.

In football at the moment, we have this strange occurrence when a player raises his hand to another player’s face. On many occasions, it doesn’t matter how severe the touch to the face is, especially if the “victim” dives to the floor and squirms around for a few minutes.

Common sense tells us that the diver should be punished. But he never is, while the face-toucher is often given a red card, much to the anger of most watching.

This quasi-zero tolerance approach to “violent conduct” is, however, far from novel to the beautiful game. It has become an increasing norm for the authorities to think it is their role to hand out red cards in the wider world, rather than encourage people to 'get on with it'.

READ MORE STUART WAITON: The real reason behind SNP's anti-family laws

Take the approach to anti-social behaviour developed by Tony Blair’s New Labour. Here we find almost anything, from noise to nuisance behaviour, once seen as something that people could and should generally sort out for themselves, became the concern of the authorities.

Within football itself, rather than boo or shout back at fans who use language we dislike, fans are similarly encouraged to phone various helplines.

In workplaces, reporting colleagues to Human Resources has increasingly become the process through which disagreements or “office politics” are resolved.

Universities have started to develop web-support pages that encourage students to anonymously report their lecturers if they feel they have said something outwith their zero tolerance policies.


Meanwhile, in schools, if you follow the 'correct' approach to 'bullying', we find that the old adage to stop telling tales has long gone. And if nothing else, to cover your back, you’ll monitor and record almost any incident, even when your common sense tells you that there is nothing to report.

Increasingly, it has become the done thing, the good thing, to go to the authorities with almost any difficulty or disagreement, rather than attempt to resolve things for ourselves, or challenge behaviour or comments with which we disagree. In the process, the potential for a common culture to develop between people interacting with each other and working out their difficulties collectively, is undermined.

Hate crime legislation, or more particularly, hate incident recording, takes this approach to another level.

Here we find that good police practice means that every single incident should be recorded, even when there is no evidence or when the police officer knows what is being reported is not true.

Here in Scotland, we find the Government’s hate crime approach is one that encourages more and more incidents, no matter how trivial, can be tagged with the term “hate”, and we are all encouraged to find offence and report on one another.

READ MORE STUART WAITON: Scottish Government wants to criminalise every aspect of our personal lives

Of course, there are many incidents and forms of behaviour that need the authorities to step in. But there are many that do not.

Unfortunately, the modern elites have such a diminished and degraded view of the public that it is beyond their comprehension to think that we can sort many of these things out for ourselves.

In an imagined world of hate-filled, anti-social bullies, and vulnerable victims, the authorities have carved out a new role for themselves – to police and protect us all from one another. This is a world where diving is encouraged, red cards are everywhere, and common sense and a common culture is destroyed.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.