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Old 09.07.2016, 13:09
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

Quote:
Britain First has announced it is to launch a “direct action campaign against Muslim elected officials” targeting “where they live, work, pray”. The militant, far-right group says politicians such as Sadiq Khan and Sajid Javid would now be classed as “occupiers” intent on taking over the UK.
This tiny band of extremists sound like they are advocating hate crimes, and will no doubt be dealt with under the robust legislation that exists for this purpose.

Quote:
Polish shops are being vandalised and Polish families have their garden sheds next to their house set alight, and are being aggressed and insulted in the streets, at school, etc. Second, third generation British people of Indian origins are being spat at and insulted and told to f**k off back home... Exactly what my mother witnessed in Munich 1933.
Odile, you are better than this. Munich 1933? Really?

Yes, we've all heard that there has been an increase in the reporting of hate crimes, but an increase in reporting is by no means the same as an increase in the crimes. Before you jump at me, consider these points:
  • Do high profile court cases centring on rape and child abuse really bring about a large increase in these crimes? Or is it simply that people feel more confident in coming forward to report them?

  • Before the referendum, imagine this scenario.... In a busy supermarket carpark in Sometown, UK, a Polish driver nips into a parking space just ahead an English guy who was about to reverse into it. The English guy winds down his window and shouts at the other guy. The Pole gets out and walks towards the shop, calling back to the English guy that he was quite entitled to park there. Recognising his Polish accent, the English bloke, still fuming, shouts: "And go back home! We don't want you here!" The Polish guy shrugs and carries on with his shopping. He later recounts this story to his Polish mate and they have a chuckle about it and think no more about it. The English guy meanwhile, had found another parking space and calmed down, feeling bad that he had shouted at someone over nothing, and resolves to be more sensible in future.

    After the referendum, imagine the same scenario.... except that later on, when he recounts the story to his Polish mate, instead of having a chuckle about it, the mate says: "I've been reading about this sort of abuse, and the local MP says we should report all instances of this sort of thing." And so they go to the local police station and duly report this "hate crime" because the English guy had made reference to him being a foreigner. A reporting statistic is born where previously there was none.

  • The figures themselves need careful examination. The Met Police say they get up to 50 hate crime reports a day, but that in the week after the referendum this rose to 74 a day. It seems there were 599 reports between 24 June and 2 July, and that reference to the EU or the referendum was made in 23 of those 599 incidents. Not good, but consider this. I could sit at my computer now, create a dummy email account, and send 200 abusive emails to random non-British people in the UK. Even if only 100 of those people bothered to report the abuse, that’s another 100 reports immediately on file. The argument about what constitutes a hate crime, and the insistence on regarding each instance as a separate crime, needs to be taken on board.

  • Within a few days of the referendum, I must have seen at least half a dozen newspaper reports about Twitter messages depicting notices that had been stuck on the walls of Polish shops, social clubs etc. saying bad things about ‘foreigners’ in their native language. Now of course, I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that it is in the interest of Remainers to want to keep the angry pot simmering away, but something did occur to me. How hard would it be for me to go to Google Translate, concoct an unpleasant message in Polish, attach it to a suitably untraceable wall or window, take a picture of it and post to Twitter, claiming I’d seen it attached to the local Polish deli? I repeat that I cannot possibly imagine anyone mischievous enough to do such a thing, but I feel the need to report this weird thought I had, to prevent anyone else making the same mistake as me.

In fact, I am not doubting the possibility, even the likelihood, that there has been some increase in abuse. We are living in emotional times. But I have to say that nearly all the anger and bitterness I see and read, is coming from one side only — those who lost the referendum. I could understand it far more if there was a surge in hate crimes following a 52:48 defeat for the Leave side. But post-victory, all I’m seeing among Leave commentators and people I know is a sense of relief and silent satisfaction. Now that we have the decision we argued for, the very last thing I feel like doing is rabble-rousing and provoking anger from the other side. I’ve got what I want, and what I think the UK desperately needs. Implementing Brexit will take a long time — at least 2 years and possibly between 5 and 10. But after waiting so long, I’m prepared to be patient for a bit longer.

But please be careful about those "Munich 1933" parallels which only weaken your argument. What your mother experienced was probably dreadful but having been in the UK for the last week, I can assure you that Manchester 2016 is really not Munich 1933, and will never become so.
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