by Colin Campbell
“ABUSIVE” comments and speech during a second independence referendum could become illegal, under new legislation planned by Hate Crimes Humza. The issue may be largely immaterial, because there isn’t going to be a second referendum.
Even so, it doesn’t get any better with the SNP’s determination to place curbs on free speech.
The first target for any “hate crimes” legislation should obviously be the infamous online Cybernats. I’ve never taken part in any exchanges with these people but I’ve seen their offerings.
If anyone defending the Union tries to engage in reasoned online discussion with them he or she is immediately vilified as a “Yoon traitor” or a “fake Scot” or other much worse endearments. There is, quite frankly, no point in trying to reason with these cretins.
But what else would Justice Minister Humza Yousaf like to drag within the scope of criminal legislation?
Would it be acceptable to describe SNP politicians and some of their more extreme supporters as liars, chancers or hypocrites, all of which in one way or another they are.
This is not sinking to the sewer of the Cybernat level.
If an SNP campaigner tells you your future pension after independence will be funded in perpetuity by the UK Government – as one did on the doorstep of a relative of mine before the last election – he is telling a lie, so he is a liar.
If an SNP politician says there would be no hard border between Scotland and England after independence he or she is opining on something they can know nothing about, so is as near a liar as makes no difference.
Those who flatly deny that Scotland receives around £2,000 per head more to spend on public services than folk in England (“it’s our money anyway!”) are liars.
Those who claim Scotland would be guaranteed rapid re-entry to the EU if it was independent are chancers and fantasists.
And what about Ross MP and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who has described himself as “a simple, 10 acres crofter”, when at the last count he was the second highest claimant at Westminster, raking in £242,000 in expenses alone? Isn’t the description odious political hypocrite just made for him?
In another referendum feelings on both sides would be running so high that harsh, abusive and even hateful language might be the least of our worries. Physical confrontation would be much more of a concern.
So there is no way that anyone would pay much attention to Hate Crimes Humza’s fantasy of a softly-spoken and “civilised” debate over nationalist determination to tear the UK apart and drive Scotland into poverty, despair and ruination.
Another independence referendum would be neither softly-spoken nor civilised. So it is indeed just as well there isn’t going to be one.