Tuesday Apr 09, 2024

The EDI Tax

As Scotland’s Hate Crime and Public Order Act comes to the end of its first week, the number of ‘hate crimes’ reported to Police Scotland has ticked over the 8,000 mark. This was entirely predictable and no doubt reflects a combination of reporting by those keen to make use of the act’s censorious powers and mischievous attempts at exposing its almost comically authoritarian intent. What's also clear is how the new Act has quickly become a major distraction for Police Scotland, which needs to pay its officers overtime, handle the public relations fall out and continue to address ordinary crime. Having now welcomed nearly 1,000 new members to the Free Speech Union, we’ve set up a Hate Speech Hotline in case any of them get into trouble with the police about something they've said. We’ve also put an arrangement in place with Levy & McRea, a top firm of criminal lawyers in Scotland, so that if any of our members are arrested or interviewed under caution for something speech-related we can come to their aid. You can find the Hotline number, as well as detailed instructions about what to do if you’re arrested in Scotland for a speech-related offence in this set of FAQs, here. We move on to discuss a piece of research the FSU released in March entitled, “The EDI Tax: How Equity, Diversion and Inclusion is Hobbling British Businesses”. It was great to see our survey results reported in The Telegraph in an article that highlighted how nearly a quarter of employees going through EDI and/or climate training have been compelled to say things they don’t believe. The release of our report coincided with the publishing of the Inclusion at Work Panel’s recommendations, several of which alluded to problems akin to those uncovered in our survey. We end today with a discussion on Open Data, or rather the lack thereof. Writing in The Times, conservative MP for Harborough, Neil O’Brien, raises concerns that the failure of multiple government departments to publish granular migration data in the way that they used to is potentially frustrating an important debate.

‘That's Debatable!’ is edited by Jason Clift.

Copyright 2023 All rights reserved.

Version: 20240320