Offensiveness is a two-way street

Is causing offence the same as someone taking offence? Every week I write things in this column that – whether it’s my disrespectful nicknames for certain leading politicians, my disdain for people going on TV quiz shows when they lack even a rudimentary grasp of general knowledge, or any opinions I have regarding gender identification – someone somewhere could choose to be offended by.

As Ricky Gervais says, being offended dosn’t automatically make you right, yet that seems to be the way things are being steered, certainly in British society, by humourless people with a persecution complex.

I find the whole concept of Love Island offensive. It’s a choice and I choose not to watch it. I find organised religion offensive so I choose to have nothing to do with it. What I don’t do is see either as a personal attack on me or my values. It’s not causing me to be hurt on an emotional level and as long as I continue to have the freedom to express my opinions in the way I wish, then whether someone becomes offended by that is their choice.

He or she, I’m happy to use whatever pronoun a person prefers for themselves within the two scientifically-proven genders. It does no harm and while biological fact is inarguable, if it makes someone feel they are being afforded a level of respect that we all deserve, well that can only be a positive thing.

That statement right there will have offended someone.

Saying I’m sorry you feel that way would be genuine on my part, but it doesn’t mean I’m sorry I said it, nor does it qualify as hate speech, a title which is fast becoming a convenient blanket that through over-use is allowing the real trolls out there to remain hidden.

Every day there are people whose safety is threatened on social media, who are relentlessly targeted and bullied online by faceless cowards, most of them complete strangers, who cause immense harm to their victims’ mental wellbeing for a perceived “difference”.

Surely stopping this is more important than what changing rooms you should be allowed to use at the swimming pool or shouting victimisation because someone dared to bring up chromosomes in a discussion.

Scotland’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Act is primed for abuse and vexatious attempts to stifle free speech when just enforcing the laws that are already enacted better would deal with matters more efficiently. In just the first day, Scottish Police received more that 3,000 hate crime complaints.

There are far more important things going on than someone getting their feelings hurt.

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Rishi Sunak’s unexpected honours list last week was a bit puzzling when for the sake of a few months they could have been included in his departing list. Then the blatant cronyism of awarding £5million Tory donor Mohamed Mansour with a knighthood would have passed with a lot less fuss, by which time the former PM would probably be soaking up the sun in California.

I get the feeling that Dobby the Hogwarts Elf might be giving us all a two fingered salute. We know what he’s doing, he knows we know and he doesn’t give a…

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If the plan behind releasing an image of King Charles just before Easter was to put people’s minds at rest, it failed miserably.

Although the appearance for crowds at Windsor Castle on Easter Sunday was a much bigger success, he is obviously a very sick man.

Idiots Corner:

The Weakest Link

Q: Old Mothere Hubbard went to the cupboard to fetch her poor dog a what?

A: Pale of water

Tipping Point

Q: How many faces on a dice?

A: 5 (IT’S A CUBE YOU DIMWIT!!)

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Edward Case

Columnist

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