On the 24th of October 2019, a public consultation on the implementation of “hate speech” laws was launched. It ends on the 13th of December. The drive to implement these laws is only the latest in a long line of initiatives, designed to integrate Ireland into the progressive, corporate, post-national status quo. The propaganda campaign to push through these laws is already well under way, and the public consultation is likely to be just another part of that. So how did we get here? And where exactly are we heading?
The effect of last year’s referendum on blasphemy was to change the constitution in the following way. It previously read:
The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.
The new text reads:
The publication or utterance of seditious or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.
At the time, Neale Richmond of Fine Gael wrote that once blasphemy was removed from the Constitution, hate speech could be dealt with in legislation. So, here we are. Our constitutionally-granted right to free expression, made subject to “public order and morality”, certainly will not protect us from this hate speech law, as “public order” can be arbitrarily defined. The ruling classes’ “morality” is based on a radical form of progressivism mixed with hyper materialist greasy-till worship. This gives wide scope for the government to define what is, and is not, indecent.
As part of the creation of this new law, the government is going through the box-ticking exercise of “stakeholder consultation.” Stakeholders in this case are the public, filtered through an online form, inevitably framed with leading questions. Then a special consultation with “minorities” (i.e. the designated victim groups) and finally the designated experts. Experts, of course, will be the NGO grifters and people who spend their days teaching college students the point of privilege and what “racialisation means in an Irish context.” Most, if not all, in receipt of State and EU salaries or grant money. We even have one NGO calling itself the Irish Council for Civil Liberties involved in actively seeking to snuff out Irish civil liberties.
The EU of course has made its position clear on free expression, as the following case is amble evidence of: EU Court Upholds Prosecution Of Woman For Comparing Muhammad’s Marriage To A Six-Year-Old Girl To Pedophilia. Our own Irish Judge Síofra O’Leary was part of this court and backed this decision.
While many think we live in a society where we can speak freely, this isn’t really the case. As can be seen, there has never been a debate on immigration in the Dáil. There has been a little hand wringing on concerns about “resources” and so forth but no real debate. The fear of an out of place comment is too great –so it’s best to say nothing or get the Darren Skully treatment. The media censor and police themselves too. They expel people who breach protocol; Kevin Myers, John Waters and George Hook for example. The Irish government and media work together to tone-police the “national conversation”, which is whatever clownish non-concern or sideshow gets to be the issue of the day. For real debate and results, you have to accept that people will be offended. You have to risk appearing to be too rude or abrupt or lacking tact. That’s the way it has to be or else you get a society where serious issues are swept under the carpet.
Charlie Flanagan, the Minister for Justice, is concerned that he was challenged during the recent Ploughing Championships on the subject of mass-immigration. Charlie should be more concerned about, say, the 100% increase in sexual assaults compared to a decade ago or perhaps the FGM situation or even, dare we say it, immigration enforcement or the Garda Morale crisis.
Back in September 2018, Charlie Flanagan was quoted by The Irish Times as saying “removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution will confirm Ireland’s status as a modern democratic society where free speech is valued and multiculturalism is embraced.” He said that if the offence remained in the Constitution, internationally Ireland would be seen as “a country which keeps company with those who do not share the fundamental values we cherish such as belief in freedom of conscience and expression.” Later in May 2019, Charlie Flanagan banned an obscure US evangelical speaker, Pastor Steven Anderson, from entering Ireland. What the Minister says and does are two different things.
Charlie’s issue now is that nobody is being prosecuted for hate speech. The NGOs and their friends have told him this. Of course, nobody was prosecuted for blasphemy either. Not since 1855, and that didn’t bother many. But Charlie along with David Stanton, the Irish Integration Minister, have been ordered by the clerics of liberalism to draft new secular blasphemy laws and make arrests. All so the quasi-religion of liberal progressivism is not blasphemed.
The problem for the NGOs and Charlie is that unregulated public space now exists for people to mouth-off and they simply can’t have that. People are spending more time online and dumping traditional modes of media consumption. Global internet corporations do their bit for the system in shutting out certain voices. However more needs to be done to stop Charlie being asked uncomfortable questions at agricultural fairs. Were he to answer these questions truthfully, of course, he would have to admit that Irish sovereignty doesn’t much matter nowadays and that ultimately Irish people are nothing but tax serfs to be shaken down for the sake of the mystical GDP. Charlie needs new laws to put a chill through society and send a strong message –there are certain subjects you just shouldn’t talk about.
An aspect of modern political liberalism is that it needs to control meaning and language, knowing that if you do so you can control people’s actions. If you can’t express an idea, then it can’t spread. You may observe soft tone and language policing in your daily life. For instance, a friend or neighbour might insist that “you simply can’t say that.” Indicating that you have crossed some invisible line, appeared crass or rude or insulting, but this usually isn’t a big deal. Normally these things would stay within the casual scope of the social sphere. To be sorted out in everyday human relations. The public tone-policing going on by government and media is the escalation of this to State policy. The rules of everyday human interaction must now be strengthened and intensified and codified in law. Blasphemy laws have been abolished only to be replaced by a new category of secular blasphemy laws. And unlike the previous ones, these are intended to be enforced.
We have seen in other countries just how silly and dangerous hate speech legislation can become. But how will it play out in Ireland? Who will be targeted? Who will be protected? The rationale behind hate speech laws is that they protect minorities. So in practice, the ability to avail of these laws will be limited either to designated interest groups or to interested parties on behalf of those groups. The attempt to stratify Irish society in these terms is well under way. The language of American-style identity politics has already been mainstreamed. Though unlike the United States, we do not have the benefit of actual freedom of speech.
The Irish census bureau have established the racialised category of “White Irish”, which is the category against which other designations of Irish or non-Irish will be pitted legally, morally and symbolically. In mainstream journalism and punditry we see the normalisation of this new status quo. Celebrities and media personalities gush over their new found privilege. And they walk on eggshells around whatever identity controversy is currently trending. Hatred, it is made clear, is a one-way street. Racism is something perpetrated by existing populations against newcomers. It is perpetrated against designated minorities by designated majorities. As this logic escalates, the fact of being in the majority becomes tantamount to hatred. The presence of a majority population becomes a form of hostility or micro-aggression.
Hate speech laws work on painfully simplistic assumptions. They do not take into account, for instance, that in a particular school or community, people of designated minority status may constitute a demographic majority. This is already the case in certain parts of Ireland and will only become more common as time goes by. But the blunt weapon of hate speech is not interested in nuance.
The model of hate speech is imported wholesale from other western democracies where the pursuit of the same post-national, pluralist utopia has led to ever more draconian measures. The fact that hate speech is even being talked about is an indictment of current policies around multiculturalism. If your warm and fuzzy progressive utopia requires a police state to enforce, then there’s something very wrong somewhere.
The Real Target
So what exactly can we expect? What speech will be legal and what speech will be illegal? Hate speech is in the eye of the beholder. And some beholders are more equal than others. Anything that they decide is illegal, will be illegal. Whether that is quoting a passage from the Bible or the Koran or holding a banner with a quote from Pádraig Pearse. The truth will not be a defence. Context will not be a defence. If someone decides to take offence, and if that offence ticks the correct boxes, then the law will be on their side. As will the media. As will the government. As will, more importantly, the general apathy of a great many Irish people.
Hate speech laws are the language of post-nationalism. And what they attack in essence is the integrity of a society. They represent a two-tier system where national identity is chipped away at, and the society broken down into factions and interest groups. We can expect, like the school enrollment anti-discrimination laws brought in, that certain designated minorities will be exempted– the pretence of equality under the law, thrown out the window. Much will hang on what is perceived to have been on somebody’s mind. And much credence will be given to the “expert” opinions of various professional activists whose qualifications will now be upgraded to include mind-reading. In other words, the perception of the crime will become the evidence of the crime.
It’s an open secret that this legislation will target one kind of speech and one kind only. Our politicians and media are now obsessed with the rise of populist and nationalist movements. And this is precisely the kind of discourse they intend to target. Extreme Islamist groups will not be targeted. Extreme left-wing groups will not be targeted. Prejudice in the media will not be targeted. Nationalists, out on a limb, will be targeted.
Hate speech as a concept is laughable. It operates on assumptions about human beings that are not only false but willfully false. The term itself, Orwellian in the extreme, is merely designed to limit public discourse. The use of the word “hate” is nothing but a cynical shock tactic. Upon the slightest reflection it becomes meaningless. Outlawing human emotions is at best a failure of imagination. At worst it is a simple power grab.
Every group in Ireland, everyday and in every way, hates. Just as they love and hope and fear and desire. All humans are capable of expressing speech while in an emotional state. Hate being just one of those states. Hate in certain cases is what drives people to complain about our poor public services, injustices they endure, to even improve things that they hate. It’s not a bad or good thing necessarily. Pearse once put it very well, and with impeccable common sense.
…love and hate are not mutually antagonistic but mutually complementary; that love connotes hate, hate of the thing that denies or destroys or threatens the thing beloved: that love of good connotes hate of evil, love of truth hate of falsehood, love of freedom hate of oppression; that hate may be as pure and good a thing as love, just as love may be as impure and evil a thing as hate; that hate is no more ineffective and barren than love, both being as necessary to moral sanity and growth as sun and storm are to physical life and growth. (Pádraig Pearse, The Sovereign People)
What we must realise is that the idea of hate speech is utter nonsense. Laws already exist to prevent people from harm without using totalitarian ideological concepts. What we actually need is a constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression to prevent this sort of tyranny being imposed on Irish life.
Make sure to submit to the consultation!
This article was submitted by a National Party member. If you would like to submit an article for publication on the National Party website, follow this link.