Welcome to the New Woke Totalitarian Regime of Scotland

‘Where are the women without penises of Scotland?’ the banner reads. Also: ‘Trump Won!’

I have no idea what this means, but today is the first day of the new Woke Totalitarian regime of Scotland (™ Stephen Daisley) and gathered outside Holyrood are some very angry people with Union Jacks and Family Party banners protesting the Hate Crime Act. The crowd is reaching a frenzy of frothing rage, a state that has been building-up for months as more and more apocalyptic scenarios have been imagined by a gruesome coalition of bloggers and Britain’s finest commentariat, from Iain Macwhirter to Stephen Daisley, from Stuart Paiton to Andrew Neil and many more.

As the crowd assembles a speaker outside Holyrood someone starts reading out the names of politicians behind the most vile legislation imaginable while the crowd boos. At the mention of Nicola Sturgeon a man shouts “jail the bitch”:

Welcome to what Andrew Neil has called the Orwellian Nightmare of Scotland. Yet through the rage and the gnashing of teeth – a few cold facts stand out. As Andrew Tickell points out: “The parochialism of the discussion on hate crime is a thing to behold. France – where Andrew Neil lives – already has the following offences on its statute book, including inciting hatred based on race, religion, sexuality, gender identity or disability.” Read the details here.

Is Neil turning his formidable rage against Macron?


As Tickell points out, contrary to the hysteria surrounding the new law: “Aggravators don’t create any new ­offences or make any conduct which is currently legal illegal. As the name suggests, they’re attached to existing crimes like assault, vandalism or breach of the peace… recorded, and reflected in sentencing.”

In fact, all that the legislation does is add on to existing laws that have been around for years. Embarrassingly for the narrative that’s been built-up, age, disability and transgender identity have been added along with religious grounds and sexual orientation, bringing Scotland into line with *checks notes* England which have had religion and sexual orientation as crimes down south since 2006 and 2008 respectively.

Well that’s awkward.

There are worries that allegations of hate crime can be made anonymously – though Libby Brooks, the Guardian’s Scotland correspondent has pointed out that third-party reporting centres where this can be done have existed for 10 years and are a legacy of the Macpherson report.

But this is consistent with the wave of disinformation that has washed over the land in recent months, with more ink spilt on this topic than anything before. “The Hate Crime Act makes it a criminal offence to insult somebody” rails Craig Murray.

In reality it doesn’t at all.

As former Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins, writes in the Herald: “Under the Hate Crime Act, the threshold of criminal liability is not that a victim feels offended (a subjective test), but that a reasonable person would consider the perpetrator’s action or speech to be threatening or abusive (an objective test).”

He continues: “Asserting that sex is a biological fact or that it is not changed just by virtue of the gender by which someone chooses to identify is not and never can be a hate crime under this legislation.”


This is in fact a grand coalition of the reactionary, the deluded and the deliberately confused. They are united in a fantasy about the draconian and authoritarian nature of contemporary Scotland, while many, possibly most, purposively avoid the very real attacks on civil liberties in the UK. For example the ‘Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill’ pushed through in 2021 by then Home Secretary Priti Patel is an astonishing piece of legislation. As George Monbiot wrote:

“The last-minute amendments crowbarred by the government into the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill are a blatant attempt to stifle protest, of the kind you might expect in Russia or Egypt. Priti Patel, the home secretary, shoved 18 extra pages into the bill after it had passed through the Commons, and after the second reading in the House of Lords. It looks like a deliberate ploy to avoid effective parliamentary scrutiny. Yet in most of the media there’s a resounding silence.”

He continues: “Perhaps most outrageously, the amendments contain new powers to ban named people from protesting. The grounds are extraordinary, in a nation that claims to be democratic. We can be banned if we have previously committed “protest-related offences”. Thanks to the draconian measures in the rest of the bill – many of which pre-date these amendments – it will now be difficult to attend a protest without committing an offence. Or we can be banned if we have attended or “contributed to” a protest that was “likely to result in serious disruption”. Serious disruption, as the bill stands, could mean almost anything, including being noisy.”

Speaking of being noisy – you won’t have heard a peep out of any of these protestors about the vey real attacks on civil liberties imposed under Tory rule. Why not? Stop and search overwhelmingly affects people of colour, and anyway much of this legislation is aimed at environmental protestors, and you can bet that the cross-section of Angry Columnists don’t care about them (will add detail ad nauseam if really required…).

The fact that you are living in a British state that created some of the most oppressive legislation you have ever known – effectively criminalising peaceful protest – while howling at the moon about this bill – tells you everything you need to know about this coalition and their hysteria. The protest brings together Grifter-bloggers, the far-right, the openly racist, the terminally dim, a Unionist hardcore and many who have just been radicalised and confused by the tsunami of disinformation that has surrounded the legislation.

But ‘Where are the women without penises of Scotland?’

I still don’t know.

Comments (57)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Cathie Lloyd says:

    A disturbing development. We need our own coalition around social justice. Read Judith Butlers Gender Matters – analysing the origins of this movement back in 1990s. Her conclusions are so valuable.

  2. Dougie Grant says:

    Last photo – Max Dunbar, former BNP organiser and erstwhile sidekick of Alistair McConnachie, (“manky jaiket”), holocaust denier. “Gruesome coalition” indeed.

    1. I didn’t know that, thanks Dougie

      1. Welsh_Siôn says:

        As a bonus – Scotland, know your enemies:

        “Dunbar served as the treasurer of the BNP before taking on the same role at the splinter party Britannica.

        […H]e was barred from campaigning with Scotland in Union after his links with the far-right came to light.

        Hope Not Hate have described Britannica as “essentially the core of the BNP Glasgow branch under a new name” which formed after a split with Nick Griffin back in 2009.”

        1. Dougie Grant says:

          The very same

  3. Frank Mahann says:

    A hundred or so Alt-Right enthusiasts ( plus dog) brave the rain to demonstrate at Holyrood. Wow!

    1. Welsh_Siôn says:

      They chose the right day to demonstrate what utter AFs they really are …

  4. SleepingDog says:

    I would have thought ‘reasonable person’ as a legal fiction could not reasonably be called an ‘objective test’. It is curious the Wikipedia page doesn’t have criticisms of the definition.
    If it was an objective test, there would be no scope for legal argument. I think it is too early to say what the effects of the law will be, given some confusion over police statements (on comedians and actors, for example), with Police Scotland apparently going to investigate every complaint without any extra funds. There is an obvious example of people who describe anti-genocide protests as ‘hate marches’, and every criticism of Israel as antisemitism. What would a reasonable person think about that? Are judges really the best judges of what reasonable people might think, given so many top judges appear to be somewhat lacking in the quality of judgement?

    Just because some bampots protest the Act doesn’t mean other concerns should be discounted. The point about other, more draconian and anti-democratic legislation is well made, however.

    Another concern would be unintended/unwanted side effects.

    1. David Robins says:

      The ‘reasonable person’ test is certainly not ‘objective’. It ensures that, assuming it’s a jury trial, no-one will know if they’re facing jail until they can see the jury and guess whether these are the sort who read the Guardian or the sort who read the Telegraph. The chilling effect that results is a quite deliberate evasion of legislative responsibility.

  5. Niemand says:

    What Bella’s analysis assumes is that a) readers are quite happy with existing laws and b) happy to see them taken further in Scotland.

    Personally I am not happy with either and agree with some of the more obvious objections made around free speech, something the left no-longer values anything like as much as it used to. I think we need to be very careful where we go with such thinking. It would be possible now, for example, to say in your own home that you hate young people (and obviously mean it), be reported by someone else there who was offended and it be a possible crime. Even if not taken to court you could be subject to investigation (with all the consequences of that), and it be recorded as a non-crime hate incident against your name. I think no-one should be criminalised let alone investigated / recorded for such a thing. I find it absurd in fact.

    The degree, extent and implementation of such laws really does matter. Unless you believe in a free-for-all (I don’t) then it is all that matters. What these far right people think of it all and say is irrelevant and a distraction and it is shame that this is the focus rather than the detail of what is in this new Act, some which is actually quite hard to understand due to ill-defined and woolly language (hate, ill-will, malice), and concepts such as ‘reasonableness’.

    It is noticeable that there is the suggestion that hate ‘crime’ ruins lives which is a clever way of saying that what we now are calling a hate crime is ruining lives and hate crimes will certainly rise when you expand what a hate crime is.

    1. Paddy Farrington says:

      “It would be possible now, for example, to say in your own home that you hate young people (and obviously mean it), be reported by someone else there who was offended and it be a possible crime.”

      This is not true. It really does not help to state such falsehoods.

      1. Niemand says:

        How so? Age is now one of the protected groups and I described a scenario whereby clear hate was directed at a part of that group, ‘stirring up’ said hatred. If I am clearly wrong in some way, please explain

        1. For all the reasons laid our by Professor Walters – no such statement would possibly reach the threshold of prosecution. To suggest otherwise is just wilfully poisoning the well of public debate.

          1. Niemand says:

            I don’t see anything in what Waters said that could not be potentially interpreted as hate in the case I describe. It really does all depend on interpretation and circumstantial detail. The person could be ‘threatening and abusive’ (4) and ‘intending’ to stir up hate (5). So wilfully poisoning? No I am not.

            I would therefore ask regarding age, if you think that wholly wrong, in what circumstances would it then be a hate crime to show hate to an age grouping?

            And there is still the point about being investigated regardless of how far that goes and a record being kept. Does that not matter?

            Whatever the detail and complexity of law there is a divide here that cannot be got round, between those who do not believe we should be going down this further curtailing of speech road and others who think it fine. That is what is not being debated or give any credence. It is a legitimate debate and resorting to the usual wheeling out of genuine extremists and then attacking anyone who has a problem with it as ‘poisonous’ to try and prove a point is not sound and fair argument.

          2. To be fair I didn’t ‘wheel out’ any extremists – they wheeled themselves out.

            This guy was prominent: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16399120.meet-pro-union-activist-worked-orange-order-denies-jews-murdered-gas-chambers/

            But its a fair point – I just don’t think this is going to have an impact on free speech, and the example you use just wouldn’t be prosecuted.

          3. David Robins says:

            “I just don’t think this is going to have an impact on free speech, and the example you use just wouldn’t be prosecuted.”

            Even so, it will be investigated and a NCHI will be recorded. Humza’s law provides no clear line of demarcation between what can legitimately be said and what cannot. That’s why comparisons with the Gestapo and the Stasi are accurate: the law is applied through arbitrary administrative decisions by police management. When the law was fair to all – and didn’t make a special issue out of each of the New Left’s protected pets – it was easy enough to say what was meant by incitement to violence. ‘Stirring up hatred’ isn’t good law; it’s a tabloid headline.

          4. Who are the New Left’s protected pets?

          5. David Robins says:

            Section 4(1)(b)(i) and (3).

            Women are conspicuous by their absence, but neither the list nor the Act should exist anyway. A straightforward law against incitement to violence, or harassment, directed against any individual or any group, would protect both free speech and those who might otherwise live in fear.

  6. florian albert says:

    Humza Yousaf’s justification for the new law is that Scotland faces a ‘rising tide of hatred.’ I doubt that this is true. Hatred based on religion, sexuality and on ‘race’ have lost the cloak of respectability which protected them for generations.
    If there is no ‘rising tide’, then this legislation is unnecessary. Further, it will distract the over-stretched police force from its primary purpose of protecting the public.
    (There is no doubt that the internet has allowed incivility to be broadcast much more widely than was possible before. The appropriate response should be to regulate social media better. A task which need not be performed by Police Scotland.)
    Humza Yousaf comes across as an SNP equivalent of Jack McConnell. Having no worthwhile ideas for dealing with Scotland’s chronic social and economic problems, he finds solace in displacement activity. With Jack McConnell it was the absurd suggestion that Scotland was the ‘Best Small Country in the World’; with Humza Yousef it is the equally foolish view that Scotland is a particularly hate-ridden place.
    I suspect the voters will reward Humza Yousef as they rewarded Jack McConnell.

    1. Frank Mahann says:

      By replacing Yousaf with Anas Sarwar, who also supports the Hate Crime Act?

  7. SteveH says:

    “The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes”

    Thomas Payne

  8. Washington says:

    You bunch of knuckle-dragging primitives. Nearly 250 years after the Americans secured free speech you still haven’t. What an embarrassment. No wonder you are being overrun by the third world – some of you progressive midwits never joined the first. Now go on an virtue signal how proud you are of that.

    1. Frank Mahann says:

      If you say so, Donald.

  9. Mike Parr says:

    The articles mentioned (by the commentariat such as Neil) can be classed as “grooming” of serfs – point them in the right direction (away from e.g. Patel’s quasi-fascist legislation) and get them frothing about … other, largely irrelevant stuff – & that’s the whole point – divert UK peasants away from what is important.

  10. John says:

    The Hate Crime legislation, which has been subject to a lot of review and is backed by all parties in Holyrood bar Tories, has upset the usual suspects.
    I would be very surprised if there are many arrests and convictions in next year. I would imagine this will not be a high priority for Police in current circumstances.
    It would be more interesting to read a comment from someone from a minority group who has suffered from the type of hate outlined in legislation rather than from the same old commentators ie those with the loudest voice.

  11. This is from Mark Walters, Professor of Law at Sussex University

    The Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021.

    1. There’s been lots of misinformation abt the Act’s imminent commencement; especially re misgendering being prosecuted as a “stirring up of hatred” offence. Here are some points of clarification about the provisions
    2. The first thing to note is that “stirring up of hatred” provisions are not new to Scotland. Stirring up racial hatred has been on the statute books since 1965. Stats show that there are very few prosecutions for such offences each year-between 2006-2016 there were just 9 cases
    3. The Act extends existing provisions to cover more PCs (age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity, and variations in sex characteristics). HOWEVER these new provisions are actually much stricter than those in place for stirring up of racial hatred
    4. First, prosecution must prove that someone has used “threatening or abusive” language/behaviour (note for racial hatred the word “insulting” is also included – indicating that for other PCs language/behaviour must be more than merely insulting). AND
    5. Second, pros must then prove defendant “intended” to “stir up hatred” (NB for racial hatred test also includes “a reasonable person would consider the behaviour/communication of the material to be likely to result in hatred being stirred up”) Proving intention is much harder!
    6. For example in England and Wales almost identical provisions for stirring up sexual orientation hatred enacted in 2008 have resulted in only two convictions – that I am aware of.
    7. The Law Commission for England and Wales carried out a review of these laws in 2021. It found the following “We did not receive any evidence of the existing stirring up offences being prosecuted in a way which amounted to an improper interference with freedom of expression…”
    8. “… On the contrary, prosecution of such offences has almost invariably occurred in the context of expression which would fall outside the protection of Article 10 altogether, or which amounts to encouragement of crime or violence.”
    9. Note also while the word “hatred” is not defined in the legislation it is generally considered to require a greater degree of animosity than stirring up “prejudice” (ill will/malice) – which is the word used in the other hate crime provisions.
    10. Third, the prosecution must then consider “freedom of expression” rights. S. 9 of the Act states “behaviour or material is not to be taken to be threatening or abusive solely on the basis that it involves or includes discussion or criticism of matters” relating to the PCs
    Conclusion: jokes/comms referring to the new PCs are highly unlikely to ever meet these legal thresholds unless the person in qu intentionally uses abusive/threatening lang AND intends to stir up hatred. Even then, FoE rights would be considered before pros can take place. End.

    1. John says:

      Thank you for providing this – it shines some light (informed, expert, measures, professional opinion) rather than heat (ill-informed, amateur, shouty prejudice) on this legislation.

    2. David Robins says:

      How about drafting legislation that’s so crystal-clear it doesn’t need a law professor to hazard a guess at how it might work?

  12. Frank Mahann says:

    Andrew Neil, after his less-than-impressive performances at the Scotsman and GB News. He’s have the savvy to keep quiet.

  13. George Archibald says:

    Craig Murray is quoted as saying “The Hate Crime Bill makes it a criminal offence to insult someone”.
    Surely Craig didn’t say that? Craig surely wouldn’t say something so silly as that?
    If he really did say that (and I’d like to see the evidence that he did) then I say that Craig is a complete nutter.
    Craig, if you really did say it then please feel free to have me charged now that I have insulted you by calling you a complete nutter.

      1. George Archibald says:

        Thanks for confirming that Craig really DID say it.
        Dearie me. He seems very mixed up, angry, paranoid even? He needs to calm down for his own mental well being.
        Well, to test his assertion I say again here that he is a complete nutter.
        I look forward to meeting Craig in court if/when my case comes up?!
        George A

      2. SleepingDog says:

        @Editor, in the published legislation it seems “insult” only applies to race, colour, nationality, ethnicity etc and not the other protected characteristics, and like the other offences is group-related rather than for inciting hatred against an individual?

        But what about Craig Murray’s assertions over Scottish judicial doctrine of universal jurisdiction (over the Internet etc) that may (or may not) expand the scope of the law worldwide?

        I accept that universal jurisdiction is appropriate in the most serious of crimes, for example:

        At least the Act seems to have abolished the common law offence of blasphemy. Although why that was still on the books…?

        1. I don’t see how Craig’s assertion can possibly be true. It doesn’t make any sense. Like alot of what he writes its vaguely hysterical clickbait.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Editor, sure, but it would help to have clarity on the scope of jurisdiction nevertheless.

            I am in favour of legal protection against unreasonable hate, in principle and if effective regarding benevolent intent.

            Reading the legislation (I have no relevant legal training or theory apart from a brief encounter with the philosophy of law) I was struck by the clause:
            “It is immaterial whether or not the offender’s malice and ill-will is also based (to any extent) on any other factor.”
            This leads me to wonder what psychological model lies behind the law. There may be a difficulty, for example, in adjudicating between hatred and righteous anger. If you write about the crimes of the British Empire, using words like ‘redcoats’ and ‘atrocities’ say, are you inciting righteous anger or/and hatred against a nationality? There are those totalitarian commenters who equate criticism of one’s own country with hatred, and presumably ride the Clapham Omnibus in this legal fiction.

            Having said that, the regular demonising of official enemies by the British imperial state would also, perhaps, reasonably fall foul of this Act. Ah, but Crown immunity is specified “Nothing in this Act makes the Crown criminally liable.” Lucky Crown.

            A further concern would be how easy it would be to just add (or subtract) provisions now the legislation has been enacted (does this depend on the Scottish parliament or just Ministers?). There is a provision for adding or modifying sections to address the characteristic of sex, and if I’ve understood it correctly, other unidentified provisions. I gather that the current recommendation is that misogyny be dealt with in a separate Bill, which oddly leaves sex without the protections of the Act-named characteristics.

            The issue of politeness and social contract I note but pass over here.

            The possible use of AI to assist in volume pre-scanning of material is worth raising since there is technology-surveillance-capitalism concern. As Phil Jones writes in Work Without the Worker: labour in the age of platform capitalism, there are often undisclosed amounts of exploited labour used for training and moderation (the ‘fauxtomation illusion’) which in the case of hate material may be psychologically damaging to human screeners.

            I found the section on the duties of service providers to be a bit opaque, as to the scope of jurisdiction. Some older terms were updated for the information age.

            My question about whether environmentalist groups like the Chem Trust might be in breach by describing pollution-caused conditions as “birth defects” is as yet unanswered.

            Well, there will be annual reports, and a picture should emerge, and in the meantime some results of the much-delayed Scottish Census are due to be published.

  14. Graeme Purves says:

    The ‘reasonable person’ is a well established character in law.

    I particularly like the Wednesdbury Reasonableness Test (Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation (1948)). Failing it requires a decision to be ‘so unreasonable that no reasonable person acting reasonably could have made it’. In the course of my career, I have been involved in defending four legal challenges to decisions by Scottish Ministers on the grounds of ‘reasonableness’. The coursts have considerable experience in distinguishing between what is reasonble and what is not.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Graeme Purves, I’m not denying the usefulness of the legal fiction of ‘a reasonable person’; but surely you agree it is not an ‘objective test’ as claimed by Adam Tomkins as cited? As to whether our top jurists are of sound judgement, there are many grounds to question this apart from the recent Garrick Club membership furore.
      It seems likely that for many top judges and expensive lawyers, ‘a reasonable person’ will always be a certain kind of default male.

      I notice that the boilerplate at the bottom of the Guardian article includes the sentence:
      “Teams of lawyers from the rich and powerful trying to stop us publishing stories they don’t want you to see.”

      Perhaps any reasonable person has grounds to doubt that our British judicial system is objective and impartial enough to reliably deliver justice?

      1. Graeme Purves says:

        I am content to wait and see how things pan out once the largely politically-motivated hysteria has died down.

        If judges take a conspicuously unreasonable view of the perspective of the ‘reasonable person’ there will be ructions, but I think that is unlikely.

        I agree with Joanna Cherry that it would have been better if the Act had encompassed mysogyny, but I am not opposed in principle to legislation of this kind.

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Graeme Purves, well, I wished you hadn’t used the misogynistic term ‘hysteria’ to back outlawing misogyny (Editor: I note you’ve tagged this article with the term and used it twice in the article too), but yes, its omission from the Hate law creates imbalance. The Act and the issues itself are political, but what of that? Politics is basically how we arrange to live in groups large enough to contain strangers. But I agree that we will need to wait and see what unfolds, and what data and reports become available. I suspect there could be rounds of (linguistic etc) experts called in prosecution and defence, and we’ll see how the social contract stabilises.

          The point about judges goes beyond these criminal cases, as another recent Guardian article explains:
          Scotland has had its own legal scandals.

          1. Graeme Purves says:

            ‘Hysteria’ is not a misogynistic term, and I think less of you for attempting that slur.

            Of course the issues are political. I have no quarrel with that. But I think that it is ‘reasonble’ to be critical of people who seek to ‘stir up’ unwarranted fears in pursuit of political advantage.

          2. SleepingDog says:

            @Graeme Purves, learn something and then reflect on how easy it would be to choose a less degrading term:
            Same applies to Bellacaledonia (a style guide comes in handy for these lexical choices).

          3. Graeme Purves says:

            Try harder not to be patronising.

          4. SleepingDog says:

            @Graeme Purves, I appreciate the style feedback but I would prefer substance. I raised what I consider to be a serious point. What in your opinion would a reasonable person conclude about whether the term ‘hysteria’ was misogynistic or not (in the casual way used on this page, say)? Then say whether your opinion is ‘objective’ or not, if you please.

            I am not suggesting this usage would or should amount to a crime. Here is what appears to be the relevant Scottish government consultation:
            Chapter One
            Recommendation: An offence of Public Misogynistic Harassment

            So *some* uses of the word ‘hysteria’ could/would/should meet this kind of threshold for an offence of public misogynistic harassment, or aggravate another crime, as in the example previously cited, if such guidance were to be put into law.

          5. Graeme Purves says:

            I have no desire to follow the links you offer and no intention of taking instruction in my use of language from them.

            The dictionary definition of ‘hysteria’ closest to my intended meaning is ’emotionally charged behavior that seems excessive and out of control’. In my experience, men are at least as prone to displays of such behaviour as women.

            Orwell is good on how public discourse can be restricted by removing words from the vocabulary. See ‘1984’.

          6. SleepingDog says:

            @Graeme Purves, if you can point me to where George Orwell expressed concern about the standard medical practice of deprecating terms (as it has done for ‘hysteria’ and volumes else), I would be obliged. A subset of these will express derogatory biases, including racism, ablism and misogyny. Or be associated with Nazis etc.

            Prosecutions on Hate language will almost certainly be on the basis of words found in dictionaries. That deprecated medical terms are still found in lay language is unsurprising. Dictionaries can be unhelpful in saying why they consider a medical term ‘old-fashioned’, but in the case you are not motivated to find out the history of the medical term (Germaine Greer wrote about this in ‘The Wicked Womb’, for example), you can find a dictionary with an etymological entry.

            Dictionary publishers may label derogatory, sensitive and/or potentially offensive content. Here is the relevant Oxford English Dictionary editorial policy:
            “Sensitive content is anything that may cause offence to a reader, particularly in relation to religion, race, gender, politics, sexuality, disability, or with regard to language that is considered obscene, vulgar, or taboo.”

            A thesaurus will provide you with adequate substitutions for ‘hysteria’. I suggest something like ‘frenzy’ or ‘feverish’. There will also be modern medical definitions that don’t use misogynistic language.

  15. Meg Macleod says:

    It’s confusing ..all this blether….unless you are a frog..pondlife..
    ah ….ths basic simplicity of the natural order.
    Freedom to have an opinion ..isn’t that OK.?
    I believe..not ok to Be EXTREME..IN ANY DIRECTION
    It upsets the natural balance upon which
    society flourishes..everyone’s natural balance is based on individual circumstances……so first and foremost. Tolerance…for any friend who disagrees with you….as you say ..pinpoint the origin of draconian laws…quietly taking place in westminster

  16. John S Warren says:

    The real issue here is not the obvious one. It is captured by Andrew Neil in the headline in Mike’s Blog, and indeed by a current headline in The Telegraph: “Sunak backs JK Rowling in trans arrest row with Scottish police”. There is no “row” with the police. The police are not going to prosecute; it was ‘dare’ by Rowling, nothing more. The “row” is made up to stir controversy and create anger.

    The real issue behind all this noise, is that as the British Union and Conservative government is finally collapsing into unelectable economic failure after fourteen years of catastrophic policies on systematic austerity, a failed Brexit, financial irresponsibility and waste on a colossal scale by Government through covid and the cost of living crisis – yet unsolved (and BoE failure as an ‘independent’ operation – the LDI Pension Fund policy blunder probably cost £30Bn+, and loss of UK financial credibility), on a monumental scale; the farce of Rwanda (migrant boat numbers rising, immigration policy chaotic); and we have become mired and finally sunk by an overwhelming public anger at the poverty, sewage, squalor and comprehensive political and economic dysfunction the Westminster Government has produced.

    Unionists are thus now united in Scotland, in only one objective; in a desperate fear-driven, paranoid bid to bring down the SNP and, more important; are fixated on discrediting all Holyrood legislation above the level of bin collection. The Section 35 success has given Unionists (in the Conservative Party, Press, and media – including BBC Scotland) the hope, and leverage to believe they can save the Union by destroying the confidence of the Scottish people in Holyrood itself, and revert to Westminster; the status quo as the only solution, however bad.

    Everything else we see is essentially a means to this end. We are being invited to fall into the trap.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Exactly so. And J.K. Rowling and Ally McCoist (surely a match made in Heaven?) behaving like attention-seeking adolescents. Quelle surprise!

  17. Elaine Fraser says:

    There were a wide variety of individuals and organised groups protesting the Hate Crime Act outside Holyrood. It will affect everyone. As a woman I’ve campaigned against the loss of my rights and also the erosion of robust safeguarding policy and procedures for children since 2018 when I first became aware of GRR. Other women have campaigned for much longer. I have written on numerous occasions to all eight of my MSPs and for the most part been ignored by them all regardless of party with the exception of the tories. I have met all in person at Holyrood to voice my concerns. I have written to my SNP MP who sings the party line and offers no support. I have visited my local SNP MSP a number of times over the years to raise my concerns – she told me for her it was a generational issue. I have no idea what she meant but it was clear she was not across the details of a bill she was about to vote for. I approached her in the street to ask her for a definition of a woman (she was out canvassing during a local Council election) she refused to engage and walked away from me telling her land -yarded crew “I think we’re finished here”. I wrote to her again. In her reply said she did not like the “tone” of my letter and she told me to refer my questions to Scottish Ministers. As far as she was concerned my case was “closed”. I recently attended the Women’s festival in Alloa where I heard speak after speaker tell the audience ” you need to understand how things really work in Holyrood”… Johann Lamont , Joan McAlpine , Ash Regan, Joanna Cherry. The bottom line, shockingly MSPs are not across the detail of legislation and rely heavily on a poor quality research unit and are easily influenced by lobbyists. Ordinary women shared their experiences and information and strategised to turn this anti-women juggernaut around. I personally did not know who would be at the Hate Crime protest but felt strongly that I should be there. Did I share the views of everyone who attended ? No. One last thing, having been to many protests now re: erasure of women rights I was struck by the number of men who were there on Monday but I guess when its women rights up for the taking ‘only women will save women’ as the Spanish women beside me in Alloa said. Pass a law that affects mens right to speak their mind and suddenly a nation wakes up. I don’t read or comment on Bella anymore because as with the protest on Monday I’m tired of men putting the world to rights while ignoring the voices /concerns of ordinary women like me who don’t pass your purity test.

    1. Niemand says:

      A very welcome voice Elaine. I agree. I cannot help feeling that those who refuse to see anything wrong with this law and instead attack those who do, ad hominem style, are acting more tribally and so more unthinkingly than most of those they oppose. There have been nearly 4000 complaints to the police in the first two days and Yousaf now says he is ‘very, very concerned’ by the number of ‘vexatious’ complaints. He probably means complaints made legitimately using the law as it is (very vaguely) laid out, and openly encouraged by the police in a very visible campaign.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Niemand, I’ve had a quick look at Police Scotland’s online complaint form (Hate Crime is top of the list on the home page) and I’m not sure it has any protection against automated submissions (roboplaints or whatever they’re called now).
        If you coupled automated, anonymous submission with AI-trawling of the Internet, the reported 4,000 complaints could just be a drop compared to what could follow. This in turn could mean the police adopting (being sold) AI to screen complaints, which in turn…

        Furthermore, if social media platforms wanted to offload some of their moderation costs, adding a “report this” (to Police Scotland) button might open another flood. But maybe the novelty will wear off, and those hoping for blaring sirens and targets in handcuffs may be disappointed, for now. What the effects on public and private speech might be, events may tell. Misogyny Bill in 2026?

      2. Elaine Fraser says:

        On Sunday night I printed off two sheets of guidance on what I should do if I were to receive a visit from the Police. I am not on FB or Twitter but if I was I would be doubly concerned. A Whats App group of ordinary women from all walks of life actively considered whether we should delete all our messages. I left for Edinburgh with the name of a lawyer in my purse. When a KC such as Joanna Cherry advises you to be very careful especially if you intend to protest then I think it wise to pay attention. She did not say do not go but cautioned that we should be aware and prepared for the potential consequences that could befall us. Women are putting in subject access request to see if they have a NHCI against their names. Many women spoke of their need to protect their jobs.
        All of the above felt unreal. But our fears are not unfounded. In the past few years women all over UK have lost promotions, work , friends , positions in universities, they have had Police at their doors an even been arrested. This is not hysteria. JKR is one of us – we are all fighting this. Male rage at non compliant women who refuse to reflect their imaginary self back to them. Activists drawing up lists of women to target. Its not the words of our enemies we will remember but the silence of our friends.

        1. Thanks for your comment Elaine.

        2. SleepingDog says:

          @Elaine Fraser, I think your fears and concerns are rational and well-founded, and given the powers the Act gives police, even issue of a warrant could be devastating for individuals, encourage the equivalent of Swatting, and allow police to conduct fishing exhibitions.
          This is a police force recently described from within its own ranks as having a ‘boys club’ culture, endemic misogyny and victim-blaming, and a practice of instilling fear to silence complaints. The gifting to police of powers of raiding and holding personal belongings including vital communication devices is something that seems ripe for abuse. Civil society must rise to the challenge this poses.

          From all accounts, Police Scotland would have its hands full investigating its own officers. Maybe that’s one reason why misogyny was omitted.

    2. What is the purity test?

      1. Frank Mahann says:

        Something in the poster’s imagination?

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.