Last week, the Daily Express posted an opinion that crime against the elderly should be categorised as a hate crime.
They reference examples of abuse of the elderly, and quote Gary Fitzgerald, the chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse:
Some of these people were children during the Blitz. Some saw the birth of the NHS. All of them contributed to our nation. And none of them deserves to be attacked, beaten, tortured, threatened, abused or neglected. But today we live in a society where people are frightened to grow old.
The next statement is:
As part of our Respect For The Elderly crusade, the Daily Express has said that violence towards old people should be categorised as a hate crime.
The next question is where does this epidemic of hate come from?
A hate crime in the UK is defined as “criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity,” according the the CPS.
Age does not make that list of protected characteristics but arguably should. However, with the Express questioning where the hate comes from, one would probably have to query whether it exists at all. The more simple, perhaps more obvious motivating factor for offences against the elderly is that the cowards that choose to commit the crimes are seeing an easier target.
My grandmother does not have a great understanding of internet banking given her lack of desire to use a computer, which makes her more vulnerable than, say, me, to phishing. She uses a zimmer frame to get around and has broken bones as a result of falls that a younger adult would bounce up from straight away.
Unless the criminal says otherwise, I’d venture that the crime is rooted in a lack of respect rather than hate. That’s not to say that the proposal to punish a crime against those that cannot defend themselves more heavily than those who can is a bad one, but let’s get the reason for it right and call out these cowards for what they really are.
I watched the fall out to the non-trial of Brett Kavanaugh by cross-examination of Dr Christine Blasey Ford.
In one corner, we had Dr Christine Blasey Ford who alleges that she was raped at a party when she was 15 year old. Some say that she spoke calmly with clear explanations to support her claims. Others would note that a psychology professor would be an ideal candidate to make false accusations seem believable.
On the other side, we have Brett Kavanaugh. I saw one Facebook post showing that his anger, tears and demented demeanour indicated guilt because that’s not how someone would react to being questioned over an alleged rape, but on the other side that is surely how someone would defend themselves over such allegations. I saw others say that he definitely did it because he didn’t answer whether or not he thought the FBI should investigate with a deadline of one week which, with his experience, he possible just saw as stupidity.
At the end of it all, with so many unqualified opinions, I was actually wondering whether it should have been televised. Surely it would be better just to let the experts deal with it?
Where experts might not be best placed to come up with things is in FIFA. At their “The Best” event a few weeks ago, Thibaut Courtois was voted as best goalkeeper of the year. Mohammed Salah was one of the top three nominees for Men’s Player Of The Year, with Lionel Messi (who plays in the same position) not in that top 3.
Yet when presenting the team of the year, the goalkeeper in that 11 was David De Gea, while Salah’s name was nowhere to be seen anywhere, while Messi’s was present and correct.
The best, but not good enough to make a team that is only hypothetical and will never play together anyway.