The virtues of forgiveness in many different contexts of life are manifold and well known. Forgiveness can encourage and enable healing, peaceful relations, improved individual and social welfare, and psychological well being. But forgiveness is a personal choice and it must not be coerced, whether implicitly or explicitly. It is not a panacea.
Vengeance is the darkest of human emotions. It is the belief that any injury that a person deals to you must be returned in kind. At its worst, it leads to feuds and atrocities; reprisals on top of reprisals. The Troubles in Northern Ireland could have ended so much sooner had it not been on for the desperation of either side to let no slight go unpunished. Yet for all this, it is surprisingly common for it to be glorified in the most unlikely of places.
In his pre-G8 speech the Prime Minister once again raised "the golden thread" theory which posits a link between open economies and open societies. Eradicating conflict and corruption, establishing the rule of law, free speech and the presence of property rights and strong institutions are central to this.
It's no secret that the re-offending rate in this country remains far too high and that the public find it alarming. What's less publicised is what victims think about all this. Time and again victims tell me that, yes they want those who committed a crime to be punished, but also they want them to be rehabilitated.
Criminals often target sex workers and other 'hate crime' groups, before moving on to the wider public. Two of the most notorious serial killers Peter Sutcliffe and Gary Leon Ridgway initially murdered sex workers before targeting other women. So if we can get sex workers to report crimes, everyone gains.
Hate crime is not a new concept. Throughout history there are many examples of groups being marginalised, oppressed and discriminated against. Many of the world's conflicts have stemmed from hatred towards particular groups, and genocide is hate crime in its extremist form. Hate crime is most definitely a human rights issue and should be treated as such.