GBH, Burglary, Car Theft and other Love Crimes

"Obsessed by hate crime - but giving up on burglars. How I despair of our police's daft priorities," writes Stephen Glover in his excellent Mail article.

His despair is justified. The new guidelines issued by London's Metropolitan Police tell officers to stop investigating 'low-level' crimes, such as burglary, car theft or grievous bodily harm.

The police don't have enough staff to pursue such minor indiscretions. So much more is it surprising then, writes Mr Glover, that they can devote practically unlimited resources to investigating so-called hate crimes.

You'll probably agree that the crimes mentioned in the title aren't exactly motivated by love either. So what exactly is a hate crime? This is where it gets interesting.

One telltale sign of a tyranny is its loose and open-ended legal definitions. My favourite illustration is provided by Lenin.

He once amended the proposed text of the USSR Criminal Code, stipulating the death penalty for "aiding and abetting the bourgeoisie or counterrevolution." The great legal mind knew instantly something was missing, but at first he didn't know exactly what.

Then it dawned on him: the article wasn't broad enough. Lenin whipped his trusted blue pencil out and inserted, after the words 'aiding and abetting', an invaluable amendment: "…or capable of aiding and abetting." And behold, it was good: anyone could now be deemed so capable and shot.

Working within the same fine legal tradition, Tony Blair's Criminal Justice Act defined hate crime as: "Any incident . . . which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate."

The death penalty isn't mentioned, this being a liberal democracy and all that. Yet note that this Act can be easily used to criminalise most of HM's subjects.

Some 78 per cent of the 80,393 'hate crimes' committed in England and Wales last year had to do with race, with a mere 22 per cent left over for sexual orientation, religion or physical attributes.

Since, according to the Act, a hate crime is anything the person on the receiving end says it is, the possibilities are endless. For example, I could have my wife arrested several times every day.

Whenever she says I do something beastly because of my Russian heritage (which is often), she's committing a hate crime if I choose to regard it as such. Ditto, whenever she suggests I could lose some weight. That's like calling me a lardarse, and if that's not a hate crime, I don't know what is. Off to the pokey with you, Penelope.

Such egregious insults have to be motivated by hatred - as opposed to GBH, which inferentially is inspired by love and therefore doesn't merit police attention.

Well, given the choice between being called, say, a 'Russkie fatso' and being beaten within an inch of my life or, for that matter, having my car stolen, I know which I'd prefer.

According to Mr Glover, most people agree with me. If asked whether they'd prefer the police to investigate real, as opposed to most hate, crimes, their choice would be the same as mine.

Even the Crown Prosecution Service feels that way: only 16 per cent of hate crimes reaching it via the police's good offices are ever prosecuted. Yet the police have no choice but to follow the guidelines.

"What a sorry, and deeply shaming, tale this is," concludes Mr Glover, and he's right. Yet he doesn't proffer an explanation, confining himself to answering the question 'What?' rather than the one that interests me most: "Why?"

Why, for example, is a murder motivated by racial hatred any worse than a murder inspired by money? Doesn't that deny the absolute and equal value of every human life?

Why is robbing an old black woman of her food money any worse than doing the same thing to her white neighbour? Shouldn't personal property be treated as equally inviolable in both cases?

The answer is really straightforward. A thug, a thief or a burglar commits a crime against the insignificant individual. But someone offending, say, a Muslim, a fat bespectacled gentleman or a black commits a crime against the state. And in our progressive time, the state counts for much more than the individual.

The ethos of political correctness, whence the notion of a hate crime derives, is actually a power tool, a way for a democratic state to control the populace by imposing uniformity. I call this method of government glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word.

A dictator whose power is based on the bullet is most scared of bullets; a glossocrat whose power is based on words is most scared of words. Therefore, to protect our glossocracy, purveyors of political correctness create virtual reality and shove it down people's throats.

Nobody in his right mind thinks that, for example, maiming the English language by eliminating masculine personal pronouns would solve any real social problems, even supposing for the sake of argument that they exist.

The idea is not to protect the delicate sensibilities of women but to reassert the glossocratic power of the state.

It's as if the state is saying to the people: "Yes, we know and you know that insisting on such ridiculous constructions as 'every man must do their duty' is silly. "But we want you to remember that we can bend your will even to idiocy if such is our desire."

Our ruling glossocrats don't realise, or perhaps don't care, that debauching the whole legal tradition of the West diminishes respect for the law, thus creating a fertile ground for crime.

By effectively decriminalising burglary, car theft and GBH, the state creates a crime-ridden society that will grow more and more dangerous by the day. (Incidentally, GBH is more than just the odd punch in the face. That would be regarded as ABH, actual bodily harm. GBH involves broken bones and general maiming - hardly the 'low-level crime' of the police nomenclature.)

But the state doesn't care about that. Our glossocrats are so blinded by powerlust that they don't detect the danger presented by a lawless society to everyone, them included.

They think that sending Tom, Dick and Harry to prison for trumped-up crimes, while denying them protection from real ones, will increase their own power. So it may, for a while. But that penny will drop sooner or later and, when it does, there will be a mighty bang.


Alexander Boot blogs at