Q:Why did George Vote? A:He had a fe(e)-line whip
I have now heard this joke twice. The votes yesterday were on the details of what should be unlawful. I am always worried about laws where people break the law when they did not intend to.
The problem with the government's approach on Religious Hatred is that they approached it much like breaking the speed limit. With the Speed Limit is entirely fair to have a strict liability rule although that should only apply when the speed limit is obvious.
If, however, you are going to lock people up for being unintentionally abusive or insulting then I think that is clearly going too far. I understand a considerable amount about different cultures, but many people don't. Certain statements can really jar and act as being abusive or insulting without the person saying it being aware at all.
If you start going down that route you are really making government take control over the minutae of people's lives.
I have accepted (and demonstrated by 3rd reading support) the principle that we need to take action to stop the incitement to conflict in society. The deliberate causing of trouble involving violence and acts of hatred is not something society can tolerate.
George Galloway incidentally voted with the Government on this.