Opposing this legislation is not anti-gay. Rather, it is pro freedom of speech. ...
If, as is suggested by Justice Secretary Jack Straw, the burden of proof is on the accused to prove they didn't mean something in a hateful way, it will create a legal minefield. If someone calls a homosexual a ''poof", it can be meant in a number of ways, as this week's Ofcom ruling in favour of Channel 4 has shown. It can be meant in a hateful way but it can also be used as an affectionate term, believe it or not.
Having said that this legislation should be opposed by the Opposition, I have few expectations that they will do so. Tories will seek to amend the proposals but in the end political realities will dictate that they will not go into the ''no" lobby. A ''courageous" abstention will probably win the day.
In some ways I find it hard to criticise such a stance. Ideological purity may be a wonderful thing, but it can be terribly self-indulgent. It invariably results in losing elections. Politics is the art of the possible and sometimes serious politicians are forced to adopt policy positions while holding their noses. This may be one of those occasions.
I'm saddened, but not surprised, that Iain believes that it is right that the Tories should abandon our freedoms and liberties and their principles in order to maintain a point or two in the opinion polls. Power at any price, eh? No wonder the electorate hold politicians in contempt.