THE way things are going in Scotland – where, almost daily, the ruling SNP government produces new measures to prove itself the bossiest and silliest regime in the Western world – it’s not entirely unrealistic to imagine that I might soon be hearing those dread words ‘Take him down’ and feeling the warder’s hand on my collar. This may sound like an unusual turn of events for a law-abiding 73-year-old family man; but recent developments give me the distinct feeling that I should pack a bag and keep it ready by the front door.
Last week the Scottish Government published a ‘Hate Crime and Public Order Bill’. This proposes legislation aimed at countering the ‘stirring up of hatred’ towards people who share characteristics of race, religion or sexuality, specifically those who group themselves together under the LGBT umbrella. No definitions are given of what the words ‘stirring up’ or ‘hatred’ might constitute in legal practice but they appear to mean that, henceforth, it will be a crime to say anything that might wound those people’s feelings. That would probably include airing any suggestion that possessing male gametes and a Y chromosome means that a person remains male even if he says that, deep down inside, he’s sure he is a woman. Despite being confronted with the greatest global crisis to face humankind in the last 70 years, the SNP government promises to push these provisions into law with all possible zeal and alacrity.
Even if solving the coronavirus problem is beyond her powers, you would have thought Nicola Sturgeon would have plenty to do nearer to the front door of Bute House, her official residence. Under her party’s regime, Scotland has achieved the lowest educational attainments in the UK, with almost half of Scottish children leaving school functionally illiterate and functionally innumerate. At the same time, Scotland now has the most severe drink/drug problem in Europe, the worst child health, and the second-highest murder rate after Belarus. It makes you wonder what exactly Nicola Sturgeon has to be so cocky about – apart from leading a government that has established a secure record for being simultaneously the most purblind and the most authoritarian in Europe, as the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill proves.
Certain omissions and oversights in that Bill are immediately obvious. It will not, apparently, be a crime to stir up hatred towards one particular group whose members share a common sexuality – men. Nor are any sanctions promised against those who speak ill of a group that could loosely be said to share racial characteristics – the English. You can see why. If speaking ill of men or of the English became a criminal offence in Scotland, half the stand-up performers in the Edinburgh Fringe would have to be dragged away to the cells on their first night.
In addition, and less amusingly, we learn that ‘the Scottish Government is committed to developing a stand-alone offence of misogynistic harassment’ and that ‘a working group will look at how criminal law deals with misogyny’.
At this point, we take a deep breath and solemnly swear, ‘Over my dead body, comrade.’ This is a step towards absolutism and tyranny which every well-intentioned citizen should adamantly resist, whether or not it leads to the penitentiary or even to the stake.
We can predict with certainty that ‘a working group’ that looks ‘at how criminal law deals with misogyny’ will conclude that criticising feminism is a misogynistic act and, therefore, a criminal offence. Such proposals have already been mooted in the European Parliament. They are of a piece with the Left’s persistent blurring and conflation of what ought to be distinct and separate categories of argument in order to impose their intolerance and to deny discussion and dissent over their ideological tenets.
Thus, according to their holy writ, criticism of the doctrine of feminism automatically becomes the same as expressing hatred of all women (just as dubiety about mass immigration becomes racism and the expression of distress over LGBT propaganda in schools equals homophobia). By these conscienceless casuistries, this new legislation will be used to outlaw free speech, be sure of that. It will become a criminal offence, because it will be misogynistic, for any Scot to say, for instance, that he or she doubts the truth of the claims of the professional lobby that runs the domestic violence racket or is not convinced that all men are rapists. If you say it seems to be a funny kind of patriarchy in which 95 per cent of homeless people and four-fifths of those who commit suicide are men, you will be calling into question the sacred invocation that men run everything for their benefit at the expense of women, and that will bring the bogeys sprinting to your door. If you insist on pointing out that white boys are performing worse at all stages of the education system than any other group, you will be invited to wash out your mouth at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
The last provision of this Bill is to remove the ancient criminal offence of blasphemy from the statute books. Thus these pudding-headed, self-satisfied Scottish Taliban zealots will witlessly substitute one category of blasphemy for another, seeing nothing risible in the fact that the secular heresy of speaking critically about feminism will supplant the profanation of biblical authority.
Given their long-standing record of going along cravenly with the pernicious SJW authoritarianisms of the SNP government, all of the right-on mainstream parties in the Holyrood Parliament will probably bend the knee to this atrocity. However, no power on earth is going to stop the Scottish Family Party raising its voice against the maleficent creeds of Nicola Sturgeon’s philistine Boss Class, even if the shades of the prison house should eventually close upon us.
It’s a comfort to know that there aren’t enough cells in Scotland to contain us all.