Frankie Boyle has criticised the Scottish Government’s controversial anti-bigotry laws as an attack on the working classes.
The law, passed by Holyrood last month, was specifically aimed at targeting sectarian chanting at football matches – even though the move was widely criticised as an erosion of free speech.
Now Boyle has launched an outspoken attack on the legislation, saying it fails to tackle the root cause of religious intolerance.
He said: ‘Of course, some of the songs and words contravene laws on racial hatred, and maybe even on inciting violence. But that’s a debate that needs to be had.Why aren’t we having that? Because it would be really f***ing awkward.
‘Sectarianism is a real problem, but ... if we were really serious about this, the first step is to end religious segregation in schools.’
In the interview with The List magazine in Scotland, Boyle added: ‘It’s basically an attack on freedom of speech. It’s the ruling classes telling the working classes what to say and think.
‘Will middle-class rugby fans be arrested for singing anti-English songs? The idea is laughable.
‘Supporting Rangers, being in an Orange Lodge, that whole life – that’s a valid culture. Supporting Celtic, waving a tricolour because your parents are Irish – that’s a valid culture. You can’t come in and say that the opinions those people hold, the songs they sing, the language they use, is inferior and invalid.’
‘Here we have a ruling class that has internalised colonial attitudes and says, ‘ban songs, ban words”.’
It has already been suggested that the new laws could be used to stifle comedians’ work – although the Scottish Government insists that ‘reasonable’ behaviour such as artistic performances will be excluded.
Got a religious joke? Tell it to the judge: Correspondents article from December 20.