It happened again last week, some New Yorker (you know, an inhabitant of New York who does not believe that there are any other States in the Union, nor countries in the world) called me “English.” I looked at him for a second, smiled pityingly and said in a tired voice, “Scottish…Scottish.”
As those who have ever been to any of my lectures will know, I am very proud indeed about being Scottish, or rather… I used to be.
Last week, the Scottish Parliament passed legislation demonstrating that it is the most “Woke” in the entire western world.
I remember being invited to address that same parliament in 2016 (it’s on YouTube). I could not have anticipated that just a few years later the Scottish Government’s Justice Minister, Humza Yousef, would pass legislation that would criminalize expressing an opinion in your own home that falls foul of the Woke, Scottish Government’s list of “Protected” groups you are not allowed to criticize. He is the man who recently said, “Antisemitism deserves the same contempt as Islamophobia and any other prejudice.” Wow! What a comfort, Humza!
Serious concerns have been raised about the impact on freedom of speech, with opponents arguing that the full implications of the proposed law have not been thought through. There have been suggestions, for example, that the bill could lead to author JK Rowling facing a seven-year prison sentence for her statements about the impact of “trans” rights on women.
The Catholic Church worries that the new law could make it illegal for people to oppose same-sex marriage or transgender rights on religious grounds.
And there were even concerns that proposed laws on possessing “inflammatory material” could potentially lead to libraries and bookshops being prosecuted for stocking books that are deemed to be offensive. This section of the bill actually covered people who “have in their possession threatening, abusive or insulting material with a view to communicating the material to another person.”
Do you recall “1984” and its fictional dystopian state, Oceania? In the novel, the ruling English Socialist Party created “Newspeak” to meet the ideological demands of English Socialism.
Newspeak restricted vocabulary so as to limit the people’s ability to think “dangerous” and “subversive” concepts such as personal identity, self-expression and free will. These were criminalized as “thoughtcrimes” because they contradicted English Socialism’s core beliefs.
So, I am really glad that I am now an American where freedom of speech is protected…well sort of.
Actually, as we now know the U.S. has its own version of Newspeak (think of Dr. Seuss). I think it deserves its own title so how about, “Sickspeak.” This demands you have to use words that conform to the American Left’s world view. In Orwell’s nightmare novel, there is Thoughtcrime (think of Dr. Seuss). Let’s call the contemporary American Left’s version, “Sickthink.”
As long as you are committed to Sickthink and Sickspeak you should be ok (unless you’re the Governor of New York that is).
And if you are naïve enough to think that your religious rights are protected by the constitution you are in for a shock. America’s Left, like Scotland’s Parliament, don’t believe that all groups deserve equal treatment. When two group’s rights clash and respecting one means disenfranchising the other, Sickthink decides which is more important. Their Thinkpol (Thought Police) unleash a horrible punishment on you (usually via social media) if you are on the wrong side.
In a conversation I had in Jerusalem two years ago with English intellectual and journalist, Melanie Philips, she recalled one of her regular meetings with then British Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks. She told me it was a light bulb moment for her. Lord Sacks simply pointed out that the Left’s agenda at its core, is a root and branch attack on the ethics and moral foundation Judaism gave to the West.
That has led to a virulent sickness which has spread to every part of the West’s body politic. As Jewish schools are found in the UK and recently in New York, the Left have Orthodox institutions firmly in their sights. They want our schools to teach Sickthink and Sickspeak instead of Jewish thought and values. It can’t be too long until they unleash their Thinkpol on the same Jewish people and their religion. After all, who gave the world the very values that they so hate?