Archive for April, 2024

Scottish Labour misses a moral imperative and an open goal

02/04/2024, 10:48:19 PM

by Rob Marchant

Yesterday – as many wags observed, fittingly, the first of April – is the first day of possibly the most illiberal piece of legislation in the UK during at least the last three decades (and it has been almost 36 years since the enactment of Section 28, the Margaret Thatcher’s notorious anti-gay legislation, so that pretty much fits).

It essentially creates a hate crime, which can be pretty much whatever imagined slight the person who reports it says it is. It is also a crude attempt to secure gender self ID through the back door, because it talks about “gender identity” (not a protected characteristic) instead of “gender reassignment” (a protected characteristic).

In short, it is exceptionally poorly drafted, making it completely unclear what the objective criteria are for having committed this crime; it is severely limiting of free speech, in a similar way to blasphemy laws enacted in developing countries; it will undoubtedly be used to attempt to stifle dissent on the Scottish Government’s LGBT policies, and quite probably instigate punishment for anything understood as religious blasphemy; it will gum up the wheels of an already-understaffed and over-worked Police Scotland; and finally, it will almost certainly be politically disastrous for the hapless government of Humza Yousaf, a First Minister so inept that he has been in a disaster at every previous portfolio he has held in that government, and failed upwards.

(more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon