I think this is really awesome!

New laws to tackle online bigotry
First Minister Alex Salmond has confirmed the SNP Government will bring forward legislation to clamp down on online bigotry as well as threatening and abusive behaviour inside football grounds.

Writing in the Scottish Sunday Express Mr Salmond said: "I am determined that the authorities have the powers they need to clamp down effectively on bigotry peddled online. The Internet is a force for good in so many ways Ė but it can also be abused by those who seek to spread hatred. Thatís why the Scottish Government will bring forward legislation as soon as we can to make such online behaviour, including posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter, an indictable offence with a maximum punishment of five years in jail.

"In addition, threatening and abusive behaviour inside a football ground would similarly become an indictable offence, again with prison sentences of up to five years available to the courts for anyone found guilty. I have had talks about the need for these tough new laws with legal chiefs, including the Solicitor General Frank Mullholland, who has been at the forefront of our successful crime-fighting efforts in recent years, which has seen crime in Scotland fall to a 32-year low.

"And I hope that as many MSPs as possible, from across the political spectrum, will agree to pass these new laws when the legislation comes before Holyrood, so that we send as strong a signal as possible that our national Parliament is determined to stamp out this sort of behavior once and for all.

"Our police and prosecution service already do a commendable job in tackling bigotry, discrimination and sectarianism in all its forms, inside and outside football stadiums. And we have seen further evidence of that in recent days, with the arrests in the Strathclyde area in connection to the devices sent to Neil Lennon and others associated with Celtic. But we need to make sure that the authorities have all the tools they need to do the job, and thatís why we propose these new laws aimed at combating hate crime, whether on the web or on the terraces.

"I have been asked in recent days what the football-related events we have witnessed say about Scottish society as a whole. And we must be careful what we ascribe this behavior to, because Scotland has made enormous progress in recent years in terms of becoming a more diverse, inclusive and tolerant society and nation. Only last year we celebrated the visit to Scotland of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, where he was given a fantastically warm welcome. And similarly, our churches united to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Reformation of Scotland. Both of these events were marked in a way that would not have happened so easily a generation ago.

"There is much more which unites us a nation than divides us. And together we can and will drive out the bigots and fools who try to besmirch our national game and our country as a whole."