Does a majority of Scots both oppose and support new hate crime laws at the same time?

Under a strangely cropped shot of the Justice Minister, the Scotsman tells us that:

When you look a the data, put together by ComRes for Free to Disagree, after a lot of questions not specifically about the bill you find this big one:

Q3_1. For a criminal offence to be committed, there must be a proven intention to stir up hatred: The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in April 2020. It includes new offences criminalising ‘stirring up hatred’ against people on the basis of age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or variations in sex characteristics. The offences carry a maximum prison sentence of seven years. Supporters of the new offences say that ‘stirring up of hatred can contribute to a social atmosphere in which discrimination is accepted as normal’ and that they will ‘offer greater protection for those who experience’ such behaviour. Opponents of the new offences say that ‘introducing new crimes in which it is impossible to draw a firm distinction between causing offence and stirring up hatred is a recipe for bad and dangerous law’. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Apparently 69% agreed and 9% disagreed.

So you have to read that enormous question and then agree or disagree along a continuum from ‘Strongly agree‘ to ‘Strongly disagree.‘ See any problems?

Which bit are we agreeing with or disagreeing with? Can we agree with both? Does the 69% include those who both agree with the bill and those who disagree with it?

Am I missing something here?

Is this the biggest and the worst questionnaire question ever?

10 thoughts on “Does a majority of Scots both oppose and support new hate crime laws at the same time?”

  1. Ask stupid Questions and you get stupid replies
    But if you ask a biased loaded question you have to be smart enough of a reply that completely bursts the self inflated false concern and ego of the preparator
    Many yrs ago i gave for all my management staff a fancy dress party
    For which i dressed fully as a woman c/w
    My daughter professionally doing my hair and make up
    Back at place of work when we were conversing as to how the party went for all
    One of my most trusted and Snr.nanagers
    Said to me
    But you attended as a woman so What does that make you
    So i took a obvious deep breath ( to confuse him into thinking he was going to get the answer he so desired )
    Then replied
    Exactly the same as You
    A fellow Human Being
    To this day i await correction from any

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The “Majority of Scots” have no idea what all this manufactured stooshie is about over a draft to modify existing legislation, but as seen in the GRA draft amendments before it, there is a highly active group with media connections campaigning to stymie any legislation within Holyrood before it is even discussed.
    This “poll” is yet another component of that campaign…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m still waiting for the question.
    Where are the certain words?
    God i must be thick.

    Are they trying to confuse? Pretty sure they are. Long question like that is trying to do something.

    Free Dictionary
    2. The item or items to be mentioned next: Please buy the following: milk, bread, and eggs.

    Did i fall asleep when they changed the meaning of ‘following’ maybe it was about the same time they changed the meaning of ‘woman’.


  4. What an appalling report: I’ve now read it through twice and remain confused – even finding the questions asked is a challenge!! To help understand the claimed conclusion in the newspaper about 69% opposing (something!) I searched the text specifically for every occurrence of ‘69%’ – I am none the wiser.

    Two others things strike me. Firstly, there seems to be use of ‘straw man’ propositions throughout. Their inclusion may confuse and/or ‘condition’ and therefore slant responses.

    Secondly, (and candidly, this is as best as I can disentangle from this report – but I may well have been ‘confused’), the one set of questions which arguably gets closest to addressing the core issue is far from giving a clear cut message from respondents. I refer to Question 2.

    It states: “Q2. Summary: If each of the following claimed that certain words were ‘abusive’ and ‘likely to stir up hatred’ against them, to what extent do you support or oppose someone who used those words being prosecuted for a hate crime?”

    There are then seven distinct characteristics listed including but not limited to ‘a religious person’, ’ ‘a trans person’ and ‘an elderly person’.

    For each of the seven named characteristics, the percentage AGREEING i.e. supporting prosecution for a hate crime varies between 27% and 40%; the equivalent figures for those OPPOSING, i.e. against prosecution for a hate crime varies between 28% and 30%.

    The highest level of support for prosecution for a hate crime -when it is “claimed that certain words were ‘abusive’ and ‘likely to stir up hatred’ against them” – is when the act/s are aimed at disabled people (40%).

    Is this yet another example of how survey methods are abused and their results used and abused? How many readers of the newspapers publishing such headlines will actually go back to source?

    The use and abuse of survey results has been an issue raised a number times on this site. By chance, I came across this earlier today from the specialist online news source ‘Nursing in Practice’.

    Its headline is : ‘Nursing in Practice survey: Care homes grappling with extra work and reduced staff’.

    The article begins: “Workloads for social care staff across the UK have risen since the Covid-19 outbreak, according to a Nursing in Practice snapshot survey.”

    The article then explains: “All 12 respondents in the survey, run in July and August, said their workload was either ‘higher’ (7 people or 70%) or ‘much higher’ (3 people or 30%) since the pandemic began. “

    So 12 respondents contacted over two months constitute a survey! And such a survey enables a conclusion to be drawn about social care staff across the UK! Should this win a prize for the most unrepresentative, statistically bizarre survey ever?


    It would be hilarious if this abuse of survey evidence was not a serious problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Finally found some questions.
    As Wings pointed out many people are either insane, stupid or having a laugh.
    Only 5% oppose free speech but 20% think it should be a ‘criminal offence to disagree with same sex marriage’.
    I guess it is a bit like racism. No one likes to think of themselves as a racist (even if they are) and very few like to think they are against free speech never mind freedom of thought (even if they are).


  6. I can only think that the question looked different than how it is shown in the results. The section highlighted by John has two statements and then asks you whether you agree to not to the following. Bonkers.
    Worst questionnaire ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Remember the “Good ol’ Days” when Scottish Labour weighed their votes?
    They all detested each other.
    Hate Bill? They could have written it out, line by line.
    Even siblings.
    When Wee Wendie was the “Next Big Thing”, her own brother ratted her out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That cropped photo of Humza is deliberate, it’s a freaking disgrace. These rags need to take a hard look at themselves. To crop away someone’s lower face, ie their mouth in a photo? The Scotsman would never do that to a photo of a Britnat politician. They think they are being subliminal, but really, is it not a bit racist even? I think they need taking to task over that one.

    Liked by 2 people

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