Britain Justice Politics Scotland

The Political Police and the Slide to an Authoritarian State

I believe that this is an extremely important subject and that is speaks to a clear and present danger that all freedom loving free thinkers need to be aware of.  If you agree please pass it on and let try to get our politicians and police back to what they should be doing in a free state – governing for the good of all and protecting all equally under the law. 

What is the purpose of the police in any society?  In a liberal democratic state they are there to enforce the laws passed by the democratically elected representatives of the people.   In an authoritarian state they are there to fulfil the desires of the authorities and they police not only the actions, but the speech and thought of the people.  Some are concerned about what they perceive to a slide to authoritarianism in States like Brazil or Poland….but they seem to be turning a blind eye to a more subtle and just as dangerous a form of authoritarianism occurring in Western ‘liberal’ states such as the UK and Scotland.

The United Kingdom established on Christian foundations has traditionally had a role for the police as enforcers not makers of the law.  But that is now changing.  The police in both the wider UK and especially in Scotland are now being politicised.  There is an enormous danger that we will develop into a police state.  I received a further indication of this with this letter from Police Scotland concerning the Religious Hate posters.  and my complaint to Police Scotland and the Scottish Government

Good afternoon,
I write with reference to your initial correspondence dated 03rd October and subsequent email dated 16th October, regarding the current Scottish Government hate crime awareness campaign.
I thank you for your comments on this subject and re-iterate that the aim of the campaign material was, and continues to be, to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage reporting.
The creative concept documents a series of letters addressed to perpetrators of hate crime and describes the experience of victims, stating that ‘your hate has no home here’. The letters are signed ‘Yours, Scotland’, to encourage those who read it to report hate crime if they witness it, thereby helping to create better community cohesion.
The creative concept and stakeholder engagement in respect of it was delivered and conducted by Scottish Government. We consider it relevant therefore to inform them of any feedback or concerns we receive, in order to contribute to both the overall evaluation and the planning of any future campaigns. The Scottish Government email address has been provided, to encourage any views to be raised directly with them.

As you may be aware, the following definitions are used by Police Scotland in relation to hate crimes and incidents:
A hate crime is any crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group.
A hate incident is any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group but which does not constitute a criminal offence.

The Police Scotland Hate Crime Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) directs that ordinarily, the perception of the victim or any other person is the defining factor, in determining whether an incident is hate related for recording purposes. I would highlight however that although a SOP sets out processes and procedures, it is recognised that there will be circumstances requiring action on the part of officers or staff, which may require them to exercise professional judgement or discretion.
Police Scotland has assessed the circumstances you raise. The motivation of the Scottish Government campaign is not based on malice or ill will towards any social group, therefore the circumstances will not be recorded as hate related. Details of your correspondence however have been recorded and the content passed to Scottish Government, Connected Communities Unit.
No further action will be taken in respect of this matter.
I have provided the link below to the complaints process for Police Scotland, should this response not be to your satisfaction.
Yours sincerely
Superintendent David Pettigrew

Equality & Diversity Unit
Specialist Crime Division
Safer Communities
Scottish Crime Campus

I have just sent the following response:

Dear Superintendent Pettigrew,

IMG_4012Thank you for you letter explaining the position of the police as regards my complaint. My problem is that in ignoring and dismissing my complaint about the Hate Crime posters which in my perception (and that of many others) breached your own guidelines and incited hate against a religious minority, you have further exacerbated the offence. In fact you have made a nonsense of the policy.

You tell us that – “A hate incident is any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group but which does not constitute a criminal offence.” That seems clear enough. But you then in your letter go on to qualify that considerably.

First of all you tell us that it is the perception of the police, rather than the perception of the victim which really matters “.it is recognised that there will be circumstances requiring action on the part of officers or staff, which may require them to exercise professional judgement or discretion.”

You then tell me that you have judged the Scottish government and in your judgement “The motivation of the Scottish Government campaign is not based on malice or ill will towards any social group, therefore the circumstances will not be recorded as hate related”

This completely undermines the principles and the law you put forward and it in effect puts the police and the Scottish government beyond the law. What particularly disturbs me is that you will not record my complaint as a ‘hate related incident’ and so therefore it won’t figure in your figures. You are clearly setting up some groups as ‘protected’ and discriminating against others. For example if someone complains to you about what they perceive as a hate crime against Trans people you will automatically accept it because they are in your protected category. In fact you are encouraging and inciting people in the groups you favour to report as much as possible. This must be the only time in history where the police want crime figures to go up!

You do not have the right to dismiss my perception of the offending poster, whilst at the same time accepting the perception of those who made them – in this case the Scottish government.

What disturbs me in all of this is not just the discriminatory and unjust policy of Police Scotland, but also the potential threat to freedom of speech that comes from your encouraging selected groups to complain, whilst rejecting the complaints of others. For example let us say that we put a bible verse on the side of a bus such as Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

What if a trans activist saw this and perceived it as hateful and reported it to you? I have no doubt at all that you would record it as a hate incident, thus adding to the published figures which the Scottish government would then use to justify them spending yet more money on promoting trans ideology in order to combat the rising tide of ’transphobia’. And so the virtue signalling self-righteousness goes on its circular route. I suspect that you would probably ask the bus company to take it down. And yet we would not put that verse up out of any malice or hatred. But you act as though you have the ability to read minds and judge hearts. The mocking anti-religious posters portraying bigots as religious are in your view not motivated by malice or hatred, but ours would be! When did the police become the thought police? When did the police decide that you have the right, never mind the ability, to read hearts and know our motivations? This is a very dangerous route for you to go on.

Screenshot 2018-10-29 at 13.00.50Let me give you one more example. Do you remember the ’Tory Scum Out’ banner from the self-styled ‘freedom march’? Did you treat that as a hate crime? What if the banner had said Muslim scum out? Or Gay scum out? I suspect that the perpetrators would be sitting in jail right now. And rightly so. That is clearly hate speech against fellow human beings. Are Tories not human too? So why are the perpetrators of this hate not facing prosecution? Is the position of Police Scotland that hatred against some groups is fine?

Can you not see what you are doing? By having only certain protected groups you are discriminating against others. Surely the law should apply equally towards all?

By the police participating in political agendas you are in danger of becoming the political police, rather than the force of law and order. As you perhaps inadvertently admitted – despite the signature on the poster – this is not actually a campaign of Police Scotland – but rather a campaign of the Scottish government. Why then are you acting as their agents – putting out their propaganda and refusing to take seriously the complaints of those who find it deeply offensive? By going against your own criteria you are destroying the image of the police as an independent force, there to uphold the law equally for all – and instead you have just become the agents of the Scottish government.

Can I ask you to return to your sworn duty to protect the public, enforce the law and please stay away from the politics.


David Robertson
St Peters Free Church

I believe that we are slowly but surely moving towards a more authoritarian state where the police are as concerned about enforcing political ideologies as they are about combatting crime.  Their policing of hate speech, hate crime and even hate thought is a charade.  It is only for some ‘protected’ (promoted?) groups.  Police Scotland for example have trained up 90 officers to ‘work with the LGBT’ community.  Surely the police are there to protect everyone?   They want to encourage reporting of certain hate crimes whilst dismissing and ignoring others.  The protectors of justice are in fact becoming the promoters of injustice.

(I should add that many ordinary police officers agree with this and are fed up being used as political tools!)

If you would like to think about this a bit more here is an excellent article from the Theos think tank – Hate crime laws – doing more harm than good?

Last week it was widely reported that hate crime was ‘on the rise’, apparent evidence that we live in an ever more divided society. Jeremy Corbyn tweeted this, though he was far from alone in bemoaning where we have come to. The problem is that the statistics came from police data, and recording practices have changed, meaning that more crimes overall have been recorded. When the number of hate crimes are indexed to the number of actual crimes, there is no such dramatic rise. In fact, the Office for National Statistics thinks hate crime has declined over the last decade. The samples are almost too small to infer trends, but according to the Crime Survey of England and Wales, around 0.3 per cent of people in the UK will be a victim of hate crime every 12 months.

Alongside this, public authorities – including the police – encourage the reporting of ‘hate incidents’. These are events which cannot be considered a crime, yet in the perception of the ‘victim’ (can there be a victim where there is no crime?) are driven by hatred of a protected characteristic. Why? What is the purpose of recording these if there is no intention of responding to them? Hate incidents can’t really be understood as a barometer of hate, perhaps at best as a barometer of the feeling of vulnerability. But this in itself encourages further additions to the list of officially recognised hates.

Politicians claim to want to tackle the root causes of prejudice and racism. That is bold idealism, and an objective unlikely to be realised this side of eternity. They are more honest when they acknowledge that hate crime legislation is about ‘sending a message.’

I will give an update on this in the Quantum Podcast later this week….and I hope to post tomorrow another extraordinary letter – this time sent to me by two brilliant young men whose letter deserves to be published but who  are understandably concerned and so it needs to be published anonymously.  Another indication of the semi-police state that we are slipping into.

You can support The Quantum of the Wee Flea fundraiser by clicking the link


  1. Excellent article David. You have captured my views 100 %. The Police as a disciplined organisation have always capitulated to their masters. With our authoritarian Scottish Government, Police Scotland are very much their puppets.
    Please remember, as I suggested previously, I strongly suggest you make a formal complaint about Police Scotland.

  2. “…A hate incident is any incident which is perceived BY THE VICTIM OR ANY OTHER PERSON, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group…”

    Logic and self-awareness were both out of the window when they worded it like that, but those few words are what we need to keep hammering, and keep on hammering.

  3. It would be interesting to know if the 90 police officers trained for the LGBT community ( if indeed they are a community) are LGBT themselves and have a personal agenda. One can be arrested on the street preaching by quoting some passages from the bible, or a passer by can ask a question about any aspect of LGBT to get an answer they will deem offensive to get the person arrested.

  4. Thank you David for pursuing this so vigorously. We need far more people in positions like yours and indeed other leadership positions in society to be doing the same. Which is not to say that only people in leadership positions need to be doing this but such people are, perhaps, more likely to be taken notice of. If I did it nobody would take any notice but if, say, some leading person in business, the law, educatoion or whatever did so then, perhaps, it might be noticed. And how about some “””celebrity”””. What chance of that? But it’s the Niemoeller situation: if it doesn’t affect me now why should I take any notice. But your turn will come.

  5. Thanks for taking a bold stand. Undoubtedly you will not be popular but you will be faithful and hopefully it will encourage more Christians to be courageous in the face of this political onslaught. We know deep down there is only one real agenda,silence the voice of God! Thankfully that is destined to fail. God cannot be silenced though many have tried. Keep speaking up.

  6. There is another key shift in Police Scotland’s response. They state ‘ordinarily, the perception of the victim or any other person is the defining factor, in determining whether an incident is hate related’. That is different to the McPherson report which, as I understand it, said that the person’s own perception was the starting point e.g. one started from their view of the incidrnt and then investigated whether that perception was correct. Making a person’s perception the defiining factor throws any notion of investigation or fair play out of the door.

  7. David, another excellent article on a “live” issue which deserves all our thanks. For me, this is where the Church should be – challenging the assumptions of our society, especially those generated by the state. Our freedoms, especially that of speech and thought are very precious and require constant care and attention to ensure they are not adulterated or curtailed. Free speech is not the norm for any society at any time in history. We have attained it only after many centuries of conflict and struggle. The Bible gives us our model for freedom to speak out as it shows us how to praise and worship the Lord openly and without fear and, if necessary, in defiance of those who would silence us.
    Secular society has benefited from so many of our Christian values, particularly here in the west. Freedom to think and speak out according to our conscious is an example. It is no coincidence that as we slip our Christian moorings and, as a society, drift further and further away from the source of our freedoms we start to get the type of thing you have been describing and standing up to.
    Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 1976 when asked how Soviet Russian will develop answered, “…it would be more appropriate if it were not you asking me which way the Soviet Union will go, but if I were to ask you which way the West is going. Because at the moment the question is not how the Soviet Union will find a way out of totalitarianism but how the West will be able to avoid the same fate.” Prophetic words from a man who clearly saw the path the West had embarked upon.

  8. Wow! 😔 What a sad sad state our nation is in. That 0.3% statistic will surely rise as our nation focuses its attention more and more on hate and so polarise this nation further.

    Philippians 4:8-9 comes to mind…”Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

    God’s word is so practical! I pray that God’s word would become central to our nation once again…both His written word and Jesus, His word become flesh. God have mercy on Scotland!

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