Wednesday 2 August 2023

We look through the bars at what once was free speech


There is a problem with free speech in Scotland. The most important political events in recent times cannot openly be discussed. Secrecy still surrounds the time when Alex Salmond was First Minister and the court case in 2020. The only way to discuss is to write about something else and hope that people understand the point. The point is to illustrate the problem of free speech.

But the problem goes further, deeper and wider than Scotland. Its origins lie in universities in the USA and the historical problems that are particular to the USA. There is stultifying orthodoxy across the whole of the West, but in particular the English-speaking West. It has become the greatest threat to our way of life.

The world is divided into two blocs just like during the Cold War. The difference is that the leader of the Communist bloc is now China and instead of having a useless economy like the Soviet Union it now has a first-rate market economy that is mostly free although controlled by the Communist Party. China has succeeded in colonising much of the third world.

China builds a football stadium or a palace in exchange for certain mineral or fishing rights. It gives some politicians a few million pounds in order to agree to a treaty or to leave a security arrangement. Each of these countries remain sovereign states, but in certain subtle respects they are ruled by China.

But it is only the West that flagellates itself over colonisation and if there is a course on decolonisation it does not mention China nor indeed does it mention Russia, which colonised all the way from Muscovy to Vladivostok and had a Russian Empire in just the same way as the British or French Empires except ours were not contiguous physically.

But the threat is precisely this. Neither Russia nor China has woke opinions about anything. They won’t pay anyone reparations over slavery, and they won’t waste their time over whether a man can become a woman.

When the Russian military went into Syria it didn’t care about civilian casualties and was not constrained by any rules. So too if there were ever conflict with China. The Chinese military would neither care about its own casualties nor about civilian casualties, but the West would be constrained in the same way as when we fought in Iraq. One mistake and our own side gets prosecuted, while our opponent can do what he likes. It makes us weak. It will lead to our defeat against an enemy that is ruthless.

The historical success of Western Europe was grounded in distinct and largely homogenous societies competing with each other economically and militarily and using a high degree of freedom of thought to develop. It is this that enabled small populations and small states to conquer the whole world. We were able to do so because we had technological advantages over large states such as India and China.

But Western Europe is in the process of giving up both its homogeneity and its freedom of thought and it is doing so because of a woke ideology that will destroy us if we let it.

On a number of issues there is in Britain and more so still in Scotland a requirement for conformity.


1 Brexit is bad. If you campaign for leave you might lose your bank account, which will make it impossible for you to live.

2 There is something called white privilege. Even saying all lives matter is an expression of your privilege. If you disagree you are a racist.

3 Men can become women and vice versa if you disagree you, are a bigot.

4 Homosexuality is not a sin. Instead, you are a sinner if you think it is, but only if you are a Christian.

5 On certain issues like George Washington women can never lie.

6 Mass immigration is something to be celebrated.

7 Everyone who claims asylum is a genuine asylum seeker.

8 Climate change is your fault, so everything you want to do has to be more expensive.

9 You are to blame for slavery even though Arabs who also traded slaves are not to blame.

10 We have needed since World Ware II to import workers for the economy to grow.

I think every one of these views and some others have become so orthodox that you would potentially be in trouble for expressing doubt about them or for arguing against them. But the purpose of intelligent writing is to argue against conformity and to test with argument views that are held commonly.

No one has ever lost their bank account for expressing sympathy with Communism. No one has lost their bank account for supporting the breakup of the UK even by means of a unilateral declaration of independence. No one has ever lost their bank account for expressing sympathy with Sinn Féin or even for saying that IRA terrorism was justified. But supporting Brexit was worse than all of these things.

But although the ten views listed are obligatory in Britain in Poland and much of Eastern Europe you can freely disagree with all of them.

No one in Poland thinks that Poles have white privilege, because who would they have privilege over? There are almost no ethnic minorities in Poland.

Many Poles would think you were joking if you suggested a man could become a woman. They simply cannot conceive that this might be a serious position.

Large numbers of Catholic Poles think homosexuality is a sin and that it is a misunderstanding of the word marriage to suppose that a man could marry a man.

Metoo didn’t really get going in Poland because many people still disapprove of premarital sex.

Poland is trying desperately to stop the EU giving it a quota of migrants even though it would amount to 30,000 per year. The UK last year took in one million. The idea that more than half the population of Warsaw should be born abroad is inconceivable.

While Poland has allowed refugees from Ukraine, it built a fence when non-European refugees tried to migrate from Belarus.

Poles believe in climate change like we do, but no one is going to ban petrol cars or force you to get a more expensive form of heating. It’s too cold.

Poles did not own slaves and so don’t feel bad about it, instead they want reparations from Germany for destroying Poland in World War II and murdering 17% of the population.

Warsaw was completely destroyed in 1944. Poland lost much of its eastern territory and moved westwards. It endured 44 years of communism. If you watch Polish films from the 1970s and 1980s you will find a country far poorer than the UK.

But despite almost no immigration Poland is likely to overtake the UK economically in the next decade. The UK didn’t lose 17% of its 1939 population we lost 0.94%. Yet we were told we couldn’t survive economically without mass migration. We are still told this by people like William Hague. How did Poland manage and manage better?

Free speech was severely limited in Poland during Communist times. But it was possible sometimes to hint and to use symbolism. This is what I am doing now. You need to figure out the clues.

In Kanał (1957) Andrej Wajda provides us with a story of the survivors of the Warsaw Uprising rather like the Shawshank Redemption crawling through sewers

Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can't even imagine, or maybe I just don't want to. Five hundred yards... that's the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

But in the case of the Poles, they arrived exhausted, wounded by grenades and shots at a grill looking out across the Vistula at a Red Army that stopped because it preferred to see Warsaw destroyed. It was a repeat of the cooperation with Germany that partitioned Poland 1939.

But the Poles are free now while we look out through the bars. They are united. They are becoming ever more prosperous precisely because they don’t have the woke propaganda and the limits on freedom of speech that we do. They are not ashamed of their history and don’t feel guilty about being Poles.

But Britain, the United States and much of the free world has become weak and decadent and divided wasting our time on guilt for things we did not do and becoming ever more divided. In the coming contest China looks stronger. But a world where China dominates brings with it the long term defeat of the West and everything it one stood for.

And for what? For this