I wonder whether, if I went for a walk in Moss Side Manchester sporting a pencil thin moustache, spats, wearing a top hat and tails and carrying a cane and was assaulted by a group who shouted as they left me in the gutter, â€œwe don`t want toffs here; get back to Alderley Edge,â€ the Greater Manchester Police would register the offence as a hate crime. After all a person who chooses to wear idiosyncratic black clothing to indicate his cultural proclivity, enhances that with the odd metal stud in various parts of his anatomy, bright purple hair and white face powder is assured that if a crime is committed against him GMP will classify it as a hate crime. Is this organisation driven by its PR department? Is its PR department headed by an idiot?
Hate crime constituted by criminal activity against an individual on the basis of his genetic endowment of a skin of a certain unalterable colour, a genetic or acquired physical or mental vulnerability, a nationality, a religious or sexual orientation can truly be described as appropriate but to classify similarly those whose attire and appearance is a voluntary undertaking which demonstrates their attitude to society`s norms is truly political correctness gone haywire. By encompassing such sartorial variations within racially, religiously or sexually orientated offending the tree of hatred is lost within the wood of difference. And what is the CPS to do when presented with such charges? Will sentencers in Manchester find that guidance to follow the logic of the police recommends that violence against Goths is an aggravating feature? And what of those colleagues of mine who disagree as I do with the whole notion that is being put forward by GMP?
Is the reservoir of our collective judicial sanity being squeezed dry?