Tim Dieppe comments on the case of Harry Miller, who is suing the police over their policy on ‘hate speech’.
Former police officer Harry Miller lives in Lincoln and is a director of a business that employs some 70 people. One day in January he received a call from his office saying that the police had turned up there and wanted to speak to him. He called the police and spoke to PC Mansoor Gul who told him that an anonymous person had reported him for hate speech. The caller had found the company he is a director of and reported that his workplace would not be a safe place for trans people.
PC Gul said that he was in possession of 30 offensive tweets by Harry Miller. Miller asked if he had committed a crime. PC Gul said no. Miller then asked if any of the tweets came close to being a crime. PC Gul then read what he called a ‘limerick’ which Miller had re-tweeted. Miller did not even write the poem which asserts that transgender women are really men and that trans surgery is artificial. Miller then asked why PC Gul was wasting his time on a non-crime, to which PC Gul replied: “It’s not a crime, but it will be recorded as a hate incident.”
What is a ‘hate incident’?
The definition of a ‘hate incident’ is:
“A hate incident is any non-crime perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race / religion or perceived religion / sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation / disability or perceived disability / transgender or perceived to be transgender.”
Notice how many times ‘perception’ is emphasised in this definition. Basically, if anyone perceives anything as a hate incident then it is a hate incident. The police will then have to record it, and there is no innocent till proven guilty. There is no proven guilty at all. In fact, there is no way to prove innocence either. Such an allegation will be recorded against you forevermore, with no recourse to fact or anything else. No matter whether the motive of the reporting person was actually hate in the first place! When Miller later asked Humberside police to remove him from their hate-crime statistics, they said they couldn’t because they were following the policing guidelines.
During the conversation with Miller, PC Gul kept referring to the complainant as ‘the victim’. Miller asked how he was a victim since PC Gul agreed that there was no crime. Miller explained that calling the complainant a ‘victim’ made Miller a ‘criminal’ by default. PC Gul persisted with this terminology, however.
Then PC Gul explained that he needed to speak with Miller because even though Miller had committed no crimes whatsoever, “I need to check your thinking”. Miller explained that that meant PC Gul was acting like the ‘thought police’. He asked PC Gul if he had ever read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Gul hadn’t, of course, and Miller explained that it was a dystopian novel and not a police handbook.
Police training to blame
PC Gul then explained to Miller: “What you have to understand, Mr Miller, is that sometimes a female brain grows with the wrong body parts and that is what being trans is.” Miller asked if that was the official definition of trans. PC Gul said “Yes, I’ve been on a course.” Miller laughed, and the whole conversation lasted over 30 minutes while Miller was lectured on thoughtcrime, and transgender ideology.
Transgender campaign group Mermaids advertise on their website that they provide training for NHS, Police Service, Social Services, Schools, and others. In this way, officers like PC Gul are being trained in transgender ideology. Even worse, some of them, like PC Gul, seem to actually believe it too, no matter that it is clearly contrary to science and common sense.
Miller has been brave enough to sue the police over the whole ‘hate speech’ agenda. He says that he was merely participating in a contemporary political debate over transgenderism. The government did a consultation on gender recognition last year and the law has not changed so far. Yet the police are clamping down on comments which are perceived as ‘transphobic’. Miller’s only resort in law is judicial review which is costly and therefore not open to most people. Nevertheless, Miller has decided that this is a fight worth sacrificing for. People must be able to speak their minds. If we don’t have free speech, we don’t have a free society.
Miller wants his name cleared of a hate incident. As far as he was concerned, there was no hate and there was no incident. He is also calling for the College of Policing to immediately withdraw their guidelines on hate incidents.
Miller was finally able to get hold of copies of the 30 tweets that the police claimed were transphobic. One of them simply said: “Huh?” What that ‘huh?’ was replying to was redacted. Another said, “When did transgender day of remembrance become a thing?” which is merely a question.
Miller later found that his ‘hate incident’ could appear on an enhanced CRB check. This in spite of him not having committed a crime and having no recourse to appeal. This means that anyone who is reported for a ‘hate incident’ could have their career blocked with that incident appearing in a DBS check for employment.
Miller set up campaign group Fair Cop to pressure the police to change their policy on hate incidents. Fair Cop is crowdfunding his case against the police. The Judicial Review case will be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice this week. His lawyers will argue that the police are acting in breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which preserves the right to freedom of expression. This case is very significant. If he wins, we could see a wholesale change in policing and a real shift towards freedom of speech. If he loses, then this will demonstrate that we are clearly living in a restricted society and that thought police are a reality in the UK today. Either way it is expected that the case will be appealed.
We will be following the case closely as it has big implications for the freedom to preach the gospel and to speak truth in today’s society. We hope and pray that the courts see sense.