“There are simply too many types of hate around these days and, while the government believes that, in general, diversity is a good thing, this is leading to confusion, among both bigots and law enforcement,” junior Home Office minister Justin Borrocks today told the House of Commons. “Consequently, we’ve decided to simplify the situation with the introduction of our new ‘Universal Hate’ policy, under which all existing forms of hate crime, regardless of whether it is racial, religious or gender based, will all be amalgamated into one single type of hate.” The new legislation has, apparently, been inspired by the government’s attempt to replace five hundred and seventy two types of benefit, with a single ‘Universal Credit’ system, so as to reduce administration and red tape as claimants move between different types of benefit. “Before Universal Credit, if someone fell sick while claiming unemployment benefit, for instance, the switch yo sickness benefit – and eventually back to unemployment benefit – would result in an administrative nightmare for civil servants and, for the claimant, risk a break in payments,” explained Borrocks. “Likewise, under current hate crime arrangements, a bigot who decides to change from, for example, straightforward racial hatred to, say, homophobia, might risk being prosecuted under the wrong legislation, or wrongly and unfairly labelled a ‘racist’ when, in fact, they are now a ‘homophobe’. Under ‘Universal Hate’, this will no longer happen, as they will be able to move freely between any form of hate they like without fear of misrepresentation.”

Bigots themselves have broadly welcomed the new proposals, acknowledging the difficulties of trying to operate under the existing system. “At the moment, it can be really restrictive,” opines convicted racist Harvey Clackers, speaking to the Daily Norks. “You can find yourself stuck in a very narrow rut of bigotry – personally, I like to try and embrace the full spectrum of hatred. But right now that can cause you big problems if you try and switch at short notice – you always have to be careful to make sure there are clear lines between your different hate activities. But under ‘Universal Hate’ there would be none of of that nonsense of having to keep up with who you are meant to be hating this week – it will be covered in a single package of hate.” Clackers also welcomes the sheer flexibility ‘Universal Hate’ would bring to his activities, freeing him and his associates from the straight-jacket of victim availability. “We’ve all experienced those really annoying days when you just want to go out and harass some Muslims, but you just can’t find any, but there are a lot of homosexuals about,” he muses. “Except that, under he present system of hate, they are only fair game if you are a homophobe, but you are an Islamophobe. But under ‘Universal Hate’, it would be OK – you could go out and harass anybody you liked. Bloody brilliant!”

Clackers has also pointed out that, under the present legal regime, some forms of hate crime are essentially unclassifiable, leading to all kinds of confusion. “I’m a Gooner and, like all Arsenal supporters, I hate the Yids and I’m not shy about letting the bastards know,” he explains. “But that’s just football-based hatred. I mean, I’ve got nothing against Jews, as such, just Spurs supporters – I’m an old fashioned racial bigot, not a bloody Nazi, for God’s sake – but because they call themselves ‘Yids’, everyone assumes I’m an anti-Semite. Which I find offensive. Hopefully, ‘Universal Hate’ will bring an end to that sort of confusion and I’ll no longer run the risk of being arrested as a suspected neo-Nazi.” Overall, Clackers believes, ‘Universal Hate’ will be good for rank and file bigots. “The likes of the EDL and BNP frequently seem somewhat confused as to who they are marching against,” he says. “Which is because most of the people joining them are just general bigots – they just want to indulge in a bit of hatred, they don’t care who it is against. They just want to lash out at anyone who looks a bit different, then go home and beat their wives, girlfriends and kids. That’s why so many of those demos so quickly descend into chaos. Now it won’t matter who they are supposed to be protesting against. If you want to burn down a mosque, but can’t find one, don’t worry. A synagogue will do instead.”

Borrocks argues that ‘Universal Hate’ will also benefit the victims of hate crime. “For victims there will be no more of that tiresome rigmarole of trying to work out what sort of hate you’ve been subjected to when reporting it to the police.,” he observed. “That’s right, no more wasting time trying to decide whether you’ve been the subject of homophobia, racial prejudice or disability hatred – it’s all just plain old ‘Universal Hate’. Surely a boon for all those black, one-legged lesbians the likes of the Daily Mail seems to think are out there, eh?” It would be good for the police, he contends, with only one type of hate crime for them to ignore from now onwards. “You see, everyone’s a winner,” he declares.

Critics, however, fear that the Tory government’s plans for ‘Universal Hate’ could end up being beset by the same problems which have plagued the roll-out of its ‘Universal benefits’ system. “Frankly, it’s over ambitious and they simply won’t be able to deliver it within the lifetime of this parliament,” says Labour Home Affairs spokesperson Abe Frumpton. “Just look at the mess they’ve made of ‘Universal Credit’: claimants not getting their payments on time, various agencies not recognising the new benefit, confusion over who is entitled. It’s absolute chaos.” Frumpton fears that ‘Universal Hate’ will be no different, with bigots potentially being denied their regular quotas of hatred and victims consequently missing out on potential compensation. “It’s just another Tory fiasco,” he says. “The whole thing is being undermined by cuts to staffing levels in the departments administering ‘Universal Hate’, meaning that it will be compromised before it can be properly implemented.” For its part, the government maintains that it is confident that its new, streamlined, version of hatred will be completely implemented before the next general election.