It Can’t Happen Here?

Some time ago, a house in my neighborhood started flying a gay/trans flag. In response, I suspect, two nearby houses started flying American flags. But recently, there was a change: the gay/trans flag was replaced by the Scottish flag:

If you remember Scotland as a country of highland clans, conservative Presbyterians and fearsome warriors, that may seem strange to you. But actually, it makes perfect sense: Scotland is being transformed into a far-left dystopia. Its leader, Humza Yousaf–not a Presbyterian, one supposes–has pledged to make Scotland “Tory free.” And Scotland has enacted a new anti-“hate” law:

Consider the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, which takes effect on April 1 and extends the offence of “stirring up racial hatred” to the realms of religion, age, disability, sexual orientation and transgender ID. Appropriately, it replaces the old Scottish blasphemy law. Hate crime legislation, like edicts against blasphemy, isn’t only about order and justice but also defining what the community regards as sacred or taboo.
First, blasphemy laws rarely defend all faith in general, but rather the specific beliefs of the authors – and in that spirit, the Stirring Up Act makes an interesting choice. It proscribes hate on the basis of transgenderism but not on the basis of sex, suggesting that transphobia is a more serious problem than misogyny and potentially creating a loophole by which trans activists can be horrid to feminists but not the other way around.

The act extends to private conversations, and seeks to turn Scotland into a society of snitches:

This leads us to the inevitable challenge of vexatious complaints: highly likely when the offences are so poorly defined and the Act covers everything from newspaper columns (oh dear) to tweets (yikes!) to private conversations (I’m going to jail).

Anonymous complaints are welcome; centres have been set up to receive them.

And the act institutionalizes its own biases:

[O]f course, this guff isn’t aimed at Islamists. Just as the liberal/Left state gets to decide what is or isn’t a crime, so coppers turned social workers are let loose to define the criminal type according to their own instincts. Police Scotland’s website says that hate crime is most likely to be committed by “young men aged 18-30”, especially those with feelings of social exclusion “combined with ideas about white-male entitlement”. In plain English, white, working-class boys.

Is there anyone to stand up against this assault on free speech, this institutionalization of left-wing perspectives? The columnist, Tim Stanley, points out that Scotland is already pretty much Tory-free. And, in any event:

No doubt the Conservative Party will squeal about the SNP’s war on free speech etc. But it long ago conceded all the Left’s points on devolution, equality, policing, secularism – and thus has surrendered in a culture war that it doesn’t have the troops to fight, even if it wanted to.

In America, the culture war continues, at least for now.

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