There has been an increasing trend over the years for people expressing reasonable thoughts to be investigated by the police and fall into the criminal justice system where there is patently no threat or incitement to hatred or violence toward the supposed victims. The worst example for me was the police in Scotland recently visited an HMV store to warn them because they displayed a poster stating "Anyone But England." It may have even just been ABE.This phrase arose from comments made by Andy Murray during the 2006 World Cup, when asked who he supported. As an Englishman I uphold the right of any Scotsman to support whoever they want in the football even if it is ABE. It is a legitimate opinion and choice. That's all.

Even Peter Tatchell, a prominent gay rights activist thought Christians merely expressing opinions and views about the Bible and homosexuality should not fall foul of the law.

Similarly the black councillor in Bristol who called an Asian colleague a coconut should not have been prosecuted. It might have been offensive but it was not inciting violence or threatening. Had she said you were black on the outside but white on the inside there would have been no prosecution. The use of the word coconut merely is a short way of expressing this opinion; it is a word with no inherent bad meaning.

It is about time we adopt the views of Voltaire who stated although he might disagree with someone's opinion he defended their right to say it.

Why is this idea important?

An opinion is not a crime.

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