This piece originally appeared (behind a pay wall) in the Daily Telegraph on 21 December 2021.
In January 2019 a woman – who can be identified only as “B” – contacted Humberside Police.
“I would like to report an individual by the name of Harry Miller [she gave his work details]. Miller has been making transphobic remarks on his Twitter account under the handle @HarryTheOwl. These comments are designed to cause deep offence and show his hatred for the transgender community.”
Mr Miller believes that biological sex is immutable. His tweets – which were not directed at B – often made the same point, sometimes in rather coarse terms, as when he quoted a snatch of doggerel:
“Your breasts are made of silicone
Your vagina goes nowhere
And we can tell the difference
Even when you are not there ….”
In 2014 The College of Policing had issued Guidance to all forces, informing them that they must record all “hate incidents.” In so far it was relevant to transgender people, a “hate incident” was defined as:
“any non-crime incident perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender ….”
Such records “must be made,” the Guidance insisted, “irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element.” In the Looking Glass world of the College of Policing the police had a role to play even when there was no evidence of a crime having been committed, no reason to suppose a crime was likely to be committed, no identifiable victim and no evidence of hatred. Continue reading “Harry Miller has won an important battle, but don’t expect the College of Policing to change very much”
Congratulations to Boris Johnson. This is his victory, and I’m afraid it is an advertisement for what a flamboyant advocate, not afraid to dissemble and to stretch the rules can sometimes achieve.
There are plenty of reasons to worry about what he has in store, but even for those of us who did not vote for him there are also reasons not to despair, and even to be cheerful.
It goes without saying that Corbyn’s defeat has saved the country from the risk of bankruptcy, Venezuela-style . Practically any alternative was preferable to that.
So far the signs are not very encouraging but there is perhaps now some chance that after its catastrophic defeat the Labour Party will come to its senses, move back towards the centre, and begin to look like a credible government in waiting, or at least that it will provide a serious opposition.
And there are two other tiny crumbs of comfort. Continue reading “Even if you didn’t support Boris Johnson there is no cause to despair”
Over the last few years there have been a number of powerful nominations for the title of stupidest Parliamentarian. This blog has in the past made what I thought was a powerful case for the prize to be jointly shared between Messrs Peter Bone and Phillip Hollobone, and the Secret Barrister has repeatedly and persuasively argued the case for Phillip Davies, and indeed may do so again at greater length in his eagerly awaited book. Just to prove that Conservatives do not have a stranglehold on the competition along comes Harriet Harman with a legislative proposal which is guaranteed to produce injustice and, for good measure, is virtually certain to be ruled incompatible with the Article 6 right to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights. Continue reading “Harriet Harman’s proposed ban on sexual history evidence would be grotesquely unfair”
The new Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, is probably the cleverest man in Mr Cameron’s new Cabinet.
That is just as well because he faces formidable problems: prisons groaning at the seams with frequently suicidal inmates, civil and criminal legal aid in a state of near collapse, criminal barristers threatening to strike, and many demoralised police officers wishing that they were allowed to do so.
Intractable though these problems may be, they are insignificant compared to those that face Mr Gove should he try to implement one of the few concrete promises included within the Conservative Manifesto: repealing the Human Rights Act. Continue reading “Repealing the Human Rights Act is not as easy as it seems”