The laguage is flawed. For example a) should be "inciting violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by race, colour etc. purely because of their race, colour etc.". If there is a protest against the Janjaweed Arab marauders in The Sudan, then this could well fall foul of the ruling - the hatred is against them defined as being Arab because they are attacking the Africans, but not purely because of them being Arab.Article 1
1. Each Member State shall take the measures necessary to ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable:
(a) publicly inciting to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin;
(b) the commission of an act referred to in point a) by public dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material;
By this, some could argue that printing the Mohammed Cartoons falls foul of it, as some might say the cartoons spread 'hatred'. This could well be the end of satire, comedy and robust exchange.
It would also appear that if the EU holds to this document in terms of xenophobia, the religion of Islam, the Koran, aHaddith and Sunnah are in great danger, as are Islamists (as opposed to Moslems), due to the many rants and threats to the unbeliever. In fact, anyone who dislikes the outsider is at risk even if their feelings are totally borne out by their personal experience. If someone has met 20 people from group X and they are all rude, spitting, angry, arrogant, barbaric, lying, cheating, glaring and smelly, then who is to blame that individual for becoming xenophobic about them? Why should I be locked up for 1 year for disliking New Labour Party members, for example?
Article 4 is about racism and xenophobia in terms of motivation. It is already all too simple for people to scream racism (witness one stoned drunk vandal recently deciding to pull the race card after seriously resisting arrest or a similar incident when a driver resisted arrest for 25 minutes from within their car - oh yes, Channel 4 forgot to mention that point in showing the short excepts and accusing the Police of brutality etc etc). This will just make matters worse.
Interstingly the legal profession are enveloped by this in Article 5, which is a very neat way of ensuring that the system is made to cover its arse at the expense of the defendants. This is particularly chilling when, in Article 9 covering Initiation of Proceedings, only very serious cases can exclude the testimony of the victim - actually should be "alledged victim" - but an interesting slip - which means that lesser thought crimes can include the "victim"'s testimony but very serious ones not so. I suspect that we the "citizen" are to be subject to the testimony of "victims" real or otherwise and the serious crimes likely perpertrated by more powerful individuals and bodies can not only disregard the voices of those who are alleging the attack, but the State and its bodies are completely exempt. Put the people at each other's throats, but the State's throat is out of reach.
However, under Article 7:
2. This Framework Decision shall not have the effect of requiring Member States to take measures in contradiction to [...] fundamental principles relating to freedom of association and freedom of expression, in particular freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in other media as they result from [...] constitutional traditions or rules governing the rights and responsibilities of, and the procedural guarantees for, the press or other media where these rules relate to the determination or limitation of liability.To me that should mean that this document is cannot override our basic rights of expression. This beggars the question - so what is the point? Why do we need this law? Frankly, I believe this is unnecessary for the UK, but is just EU "mission creep".
Fact its though, some busybody could take offence at this blog, totally missing the entire point of the name and imagery at play here (my point being "what happened to 'never again'?") and Mr Thornhill could end up in the dock.