Most writing in Scotland is very dull indeed because it takes place within a narrow consensus and seeks neither to offend Scottish nationalists nor those who oppose independence. We are left with rather dim minds who haven’t had an original thought in decades filling newspaper columns with nothing much. But at least they won’t be reported for a hate crime.

Humza Yousaf recently responded to a story about his involvement with the Scottish government giving money to UNRWA rather than UNICEF by describing those who wrote the story as racist, Islamophobic and far-right. That sounds awfully like they committed a hate crime. So, would these people be investigated when Scotland’s new hate crime law comes into force on April 1st?

Huge numbers of Scottish nationalists think that even providing counter arguments to their arguments for independence proves that I hate Scotland. The SNP continually conflates supporting Scotland and supporting Scottish independence. Well, all it will take is one of those Scottish nationalists or indeed someone from the Scottish government to find one thing that I have written and say they are offended about it.

I happen to believe that we should use the pronouns that transgender people prefer and the names that they want to be called by. I don’t think it is pleasant to call India Willoughby a man. But I do not believe that men can really become women. Will writing that be a hate crime in Scotland? We don’t know.

It may be that the Scottish government thinks its new hate crime law will allow free speech to continue and writers need not fear being prosecuted for exploring political, moral and theological issues. But what matters is not what the Scottish government or Humza Yousaf thinks about his new law, but how the police respond to it and the courts.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

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