Wednesday 27 December 2023

I can't tell you anything about either


There were two major events that happened in Scotland last year, but I can’t write about either of them. I take seriously the law and do not set out to break it deliberately. You can if you like. You will probably get away with it. There are millions of people on Twitter/X who will say things they ought not to. There will be enough to get the topic trending. But I won’t.

If a journalist writes something he ought not in Scotland, his boss is likely to get a phone call from someone senior in the SNP or the Scottish Government. If he breaks the law, he might get a visit from a police officer. None of this concerns you if you have a couple of hundred followers, because no one much notices what you say and anyway there are too many of you to catch. But even people with few followers and little influence sometimes get caught out making a comment that gets them into trouble. So, I try not to do that. I’d advise you to do the same.

But self-censorship is just as much a case of censorship as one of those men who used to cut the best bits from films. He could see them, but you couldn’t.

I don’t know how other people write. I think we all have different methods. Some people do methodical research and carefully construct each sentence. I get up have an idea write as quickly as I can whatever comes into my head, check through once and post it.

Self-censorship and the feeling that I dare not write something is the most stultifying limit on writing. There are ways round it of course as I learned in the past year. There can be a creativity in this. But it is hardly the ideal way to get at the truth.

But this goes way beyond Scotland and our peculiar laws that prevent us commenting on current cases and which prevent us naming individuals widely known to have been doing what they ought not. It may be an open secret in Holyrood, but don’t you dare tell ordinary Scots.

The issue is not so much that you are likely to go to prison or be fined for saying or writing something forbidden. You would have to be a complete idiot for that to happen or else a fanatic. The issue is more the reputational damage that can happen in almost an instant and the loss of your position in society.

Laurence Fox lost his livelihood for speaking honestly and openly on Question Time. You may agree or disagree with Fox’s opinions, but some of them are widely shared. He ought not to have lost his job as an actor because he freely expressed an opinion. It is completely contrary to our living in a free society that he did.

Later Fox made a rather crude joke about a journalist with whom he disagreed. Dan Wootton sniggered as I suspect most viewers did. Wooton lost his job and had to cease writing for the Daily Mail. Fox was cancelled again despite apologising. Calvin Robinson lost his job merely for supporting both.

So, you may well think that you can get away with saying whatever you want on Twitter/X or Facebook, and you may well be right, but if you have a certain type of job or if you are unlucky, you may find yourself in the same position as Fox, Wootton and Robinson.

The reason why forces such as the Scottish Government, the BBC and the leftwing establishment want to limit our ability to speak freely and to impose self-censorship on what we say and write is that they fear that the truth is not only obvious when spoken freely but that everyone agrees with it.

The SNP is corrupt. I can’t prove it in a court of law, because the SNP has kept everything carefully secret and hidden. But the smell of corruption is everywhere. I may not be able to find the carcass of the dead cow hidden somewhere on the farm, but I can smell it. If everyone could speak freely, we would find it in about five minutes, so don’t let them speak freely.

So too on all of the topics that are controversial from legal and illegal immigration, how to deal with gender dysphoria while keeping male bodies out of women’s spaces, to huge numbers of jihadists threatening a second Holocaust in Israel, there is implicit and explicit censorship.

Dare to say that you would like to limit migration to the tens of thousands as was Conservative policy relatively recently and you will be called far right by the BBC. But this is a view that has consistently been held by the overwhelming majority of the British electorate since democracy began.

Dare to doubt that it is possible for a man to become a woman and you will certainly be called transphobic.

Dare to be concerned about the anti-Israeli demonstrations in London and elsewhere and you will certainly be called Islamophobic.  

Being called any of those things may not matter to you, because you have a couple of hundred followers on Twitter/X, but being called anyone of them is enough to get you sacked as a journalist, a civil servant, a teacher and any number of other jobs.

But just as the fact that we can’t speak freely means that corruption continues in Scotland, so to it means that we are not allowed to change politically things that need to be changed.

Newspapers are largely full of bland opinion, because the journalists don’t dare be controversial. The Conservative Party has mainly merged into the Labour Party. The former does not offer free markets and capitalism, the latter does not offer socialism. What is left is mere wet mush with an officer class telling us what to do and telling us to do as we are told much as it did between 1914 and 1918. Rory Stewart is the perfect example. How dare you not agree with me and listen to your betters.

Posh twits with a sense of entitlement to run things because of who they are has been our problem since time began.

But the country is getting worse. We are getting poorer. We are living beyond our means. We have lost control of our borders and without borders eventually we have no country.

But you can walk down the street in London calling for the destruction of Israel from the river to the sea and no one will limit your free speech, you can say that calling for the genocide of the Jews depends on context, but you can be sacked for sniggering at the word “shagging”.

This is a deliberate and long-term attempt by the Left to apply a different standard to its own opinions, while condemning and cancelling everyone who disagrees. This is the point of critical race theory. This is the ultimate goal of what used to be called political correctness. Only the Left is correct and if that is the case only one viewpoint and eventually one party is allowed.

This is why free speech and daring to say what you believe matters.  Find a way to tell your story even when they try to stop you.

Scotland became very close to permanent one party rule, but we have a chance to overthrow it next year. The UK will pretend to change government, but the same figures behind the scenes will still be in charge. The next task is to overthrow them.

But they will use everything in their power to stay in charge. This is why they hate free speech while pretending it is still a British value. This is why they cancel you for saying shag, but won’t cancel you for hoping for Shoah.

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