Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Social and Political Theory at the University of East Anglia (UEA)
Alexander received his PhD in political philosophy from University College London in 2005, where he lectured in political theory before coming to UEA. In 2009 he published a book on why personal responsibility matters as well as a book on global equality of resources. His articles on freedom, distributive justice, and legitimate expectations have appeared in a range of academic journals. He is currently working on a philosophical examination of hate speech law for Routledge.
On Tuesday, 26 July, the government published its long awaited plan for addressing the problem of hate crime, <em>Action Against Hate: The UK Government's Plan for Tackling Hate Crime</em>. And, once again, disability hate speech has been put to the back of queue.
David Cameron has spent the past five years building a rod for his own back. "Promises, promises" the electorate will now be saying to themselves − both the people who did and the people who did not vote for the Conservatives.
At any rate, the real question raised by the Hopkins affair is this. What type of hate speech laws do we want (or not want)? Do we want the type of laws that would allow authorities to pursue prosecutions against hate speakers simply by showing that they had used hate speech without also having to show that they had intended to or were likely to stir up hatred?
To borrow some lyrics from the song 'E's are good' by the 90s dance band, The Shaman, David Willetts has been 'very much maligned and misunderstood'. Or so he would like us to think. The problem is that so long as he continues to pay no attention to who he is speaking to he is likely to remain maligned and misunderstood.
25/05/2012 12:12 BST
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