I will get round to muttering about more high-profile vents in due course (probably, unless I don’t) but mean time a slow burning bit of insanity that I’ve muttered about before continues. It seems that Leicestershire Police have become the 9th police force to decide that “subculture” is a definition for a hate crime category. The Sophie Lancaster charity think that “alternative subcultures” deserve treatment from the police. Now as one of those dodgy alternative types and someone who had the pleasure of joining Leicesters knife crime statistics you might think that I’d welcome this development, but as you might have surmised I don’t, it’s madness on stilts. Now first on foremost I don’t think it should matter one jot why someone gets attacked, being attacked is both illegal and a deeply unpleasant experience, and if they kill you you’re no more dead if they do so because they don’t like how you’re dressed than if it’s because they wanted your Iphone. The police should treat any attack on anyone for whatever reason with the same seriousness. Beyond that having an additional offense of “hate crime” says that some people are more deserving of protection and better care than others, I always thought we were meant to be equal before the law.
Beyond those I think quite simple objections though just what is an “alternative subculture”? Surely a subculture is by it’s very nature alternative so specifying it has to be an “alternative subculture” is redundant? And who gets’s to decide that a subculture qualifies? As I’ve argued before being a member of the Bullingdon club or the EDL is as much a subculture as being a goth or a hippie. Though of course being a pensioner isn’t so no special counseling and victims unit for them, save those resources for those fragile “alternative” types. It does though I’m sad to say get worse the Sophie Lancaster foundation is actually campaigning is campaigning for legislation to change so that “lifestyle and dress code” is a hate crime category nationally.”. If lifestyle choice and how you dress is a hate crime category who doesn’t qualify? It just makes it all hate crime. So why not get rid of a pointless additional law and treat all harassment, assaults and murders equally regardless of the perceived motivation and the self-identification of the people experiencing it. Speaking from my own experience I was a goth at a folk festival when I was attacked so was it a hate crime against goths or folkies? Do folkies qualify as a suitably alternative subculture? Regardless I didn’t really care what the miserable scrotes who attacked me where saying I was more worried about the knife they had, fortunately both myself and my friend walked away, but I’m fairly sure that the injuries I sustained wouldn’t have required different surgery or more time off work if they’d been shouting “folky” or “goth” at me whilst they were attacking me. As a final point I’d observe that those fragile “alternative” types aren’t above treating people differently because they happen to be chavs or skins or “normals”. So maybe we should get our own house in order first and ask that everyone be treated properly by the police rather than demanding special laws and treatment because someone doesn’t like the way we dress?
In the meantime following the excellent “advice for decent people” penned by the much missed night jack:
- Get your complaint in first
- Claim you heard them saying nasty things about your appearance/lifestyle/subculture
Remember if it’s a “hate crime” because you’re part of an “alternative subculture” it will be recorded separately, get treated more seriously and you’ll have special resources dedicated to helping you. Unlike the poor sod who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – much like you probably were.