BBC News

Irvine Welsh: Scotland's hate crime bill is open to abuse

The Edinburgh author Irvine Welsh has said he believes the Scottish government's contentious hate crime bill is open to being abused.

The bill, which was introduced earlier this year, was supposed to crack down on hateful and offensive speech.

Its backers say it is necessary to make hate crime legislation fit for the modern day.

But concerns have been raised about the potential impact on freedom of speech.

Mr Welsh has made a documentary which considers whether society is now too easily offended.

He told BBC Scotland's The Nine he did not think it was the role of the state to intervene in what people could ay or think.

"It's open to all sorts of abuses of power," he said. "The sad indictment of us as a society is we've not been mature enough to police ourselves."