Nanny State in a Kilt



I had realized that Scotland was ruled by a gang of daft leftists, but Christoper Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, brings home to us just how all encompassing it has become:

Charging Highlanders wearing kilts and waving Claymores?  Bagpipes?  Tossing the caber at the Highland Games?  Really good whisky?  For those of you who have similar thoughts, Brendan O’Neill takes great pleasure in introducing modern, real Scotland:

Well, if that’s how you see Scotland, you urgently need to update your mind’s image bank. For far from being a land of freedom-yearning Bravehearts, Scotland in the 21st century is a hotbed of the new authoritarianism. It’s the most nannying of Europe’s nanny states. It’s a country that imprisons people for singing songs, instructs people to stop smoking in their own homes, and which dreams of making salad-eating compulsory. Seriously. Scotland the Brave has become Scotland the Brave New World.

Jailed for singing songs?  Surely O’Neill must be joking.  Unfortunately, he’s not.

Last month, a 24-year-old fan of Rangers, the largely Protestant soccer team, was banged up for four months for singing ”The Billy Boys,” an old anti-Catholic ditty that Rangers fans have been singing for years, mainly to annoy fans of Celtic, the largely Catholic soccer team. He was belting it out as he walked along a street to a game. He was arrested, found guilty of songcrimes—something even Orwell failed to foresee—and sent down.

Seems its now illegal in Scotland to make opposing sports fans feel bad in any way.

It’s all thanks to the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which, yes, is as scary as it sounds. Introduced in 2012 by the Scottish National Party, the largest party in Scotland the Brave New World and author of most of its new nanny-state laws, the Act sums up everything that is rotten in the head of this sceptred isle. Taking a wild, wide-ranging scattergun approach, it outlaws at soccer matches “behaviour of any kind,” including, “in particular, things said or otherwise communicated,” that is “motivated (wholly or partly) by hatred” or which is “threatening” or which a “reasonable person would be likely to consider offensive.”

Catholic Celtic or Hibernian fans might want to leave their rosaries at home.

Even blessing yourself at a soccer game in Scotland could lead to arrest. Catholic fans have been warned that if they “bless themselves aggressively” at games, it could be “construed as something that is offensive,” presumably to non-Catholic fans, and the police might pick them up. You don’t have to look to some Middle Eastern tinpot tyranny if you want to see the state punishing public expressions of Christian faith—it’s happening in Scotland.

I sure am relieved that they don’t have a law like that here in St. Louis or the City Police would have to commandeer every bus in the metro area every time the Chicago Cubs came to town.  But what else can the haggis-for-brains Scottish National Party get its panties in a bunch about?  Well, there’s obviously smoking.

Not content with policing what soccer fans sing and say, the SNP also polices Scots’ smoking, boozing, and eating habits. It was the first country in the U.K. to ban smoking in public. Last month it announced that it will ban smoking in cars with kids. It is currently pushing through a ban on smoking in parks. And it has its eyes on smokers’ homes: if a public-sector employee, like a doctor or social worker, visits your home, he or she has the right to say that you should “not smoke when they are providing [their] service.” This, of course, is the ultimate goal of the global jihad against nicotine: to move from making bars, cars, and parks smokefree to making our homes smokefree.

Scotland has set itself the Orwellian-sounding goal of making the whole nation, every bit of it, smokefree by 2034. What will happen to any smoker still lurking in Scotland after the glorious dawn of the 2,034th year? It’s probably best not to ask.

And drinking.

Scotland is also plotting to put a sin tax on booze. The SNP blubs about the fact that “alcohol is now 60 per cent more affordable in the U.K. than it was in 1980″—that’s a bad thing?—and so it is pushing through the Alcohol Minimum Pricing Act, which will impose a state-decreed price on all liquid pleasures. It is trying to push the Act through, I should say: it’s being held up by a legal challenge from the Scotch Whisky Association which, understandably, doesn’t want the state telling it how much it should sell its wares for. I would say “God bless those whisky makers,” but I’m not sure how much you’re allowed to say “God” or “bless” in relation to Scotland these days.

Now that’s just wrong.  Oh and then there’s what Scots eat.

Scotland’s great and good also watch what the little people eat. Last month, BMA Scotland, an association of doctors, declared war on Scotland’s “culture of excess” and said ads for junk food and booze should be banned. The SNP wants to go further: it’s agitating for an EU-wide ban on junk-food ads, clearly keen that all the peoples of Europe, and not just poor Scots, feel the stab of its Mary Poppins extremism.

There is even—get this—a discussion in Scotland about making salad bars mandatory at restaurants. Yes, there exist actual officials who would like to force businesses to serve you vegetables, even if they don’t want to and you don’t want to eat them. Concerned that “Scots are 30 years away from reaching the World Health Organization target of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day”—apparently the average Scot only eats 3.5 portions a day—there is talk of “beefing up [get it??] the number of greens by introducing mandatory salad bars.”

Can’t leave out how they raise their children (this one is truly frightening).

And then there’s the authoritarian icing on the cake, if Scotland will forgive such an obesity-encouraging metaphor: the SNP’s Children and Young People Act. This Act plans to assign a Named Person, a state-decreed guardian, to every  baby born in Scotland, in order to watch him or her from birth to the age of 18.

Due to come into force in August 2016, the Named Person initiative is truly dystopian. Once, it was only abandoned or orphaned children who became charges of the state; now, all Scottish children will effectively be wards of the state under a new, vast system of, in essence, shadow parenting. In an expression of alarming distrust in parents, and utter contempt for the idea of familial sovereignty and privacy, the state in Scotland wants to attach an official to every kid and to keep tabs on said kid’s physical and moral wellbeing.

Hopefully, the Scots will, at some point, rise up and rebel against all this crap.  But until they do, I’m going to start referring to my dad’s European ancestors as Ulstermen.  Because Country-I’m Thoroughly-Embarrased-By-And-Would-Really-Rather-Not-Be-Associated-With-Right-Now-Irish is far too long and wouldn’t fit on any forms.

Go here to read the comments.  The modern welfare state is truly allergic to freedom unless the freedom asserted, gay marriage for example, can be used to tear down traditional structures like the family that stand between the State and its subjects.  That any of this has anything to do with either the true welfare and freedom of the inhabitants of any country is one of the greatest con jobs of the last century.

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  1. It was not until x-rays disclosed that tar and nicotine coated the lungs and caused cancer was smoking no longer considered a pleasurable pastime, but an expensive medical cost. People just died. I am asthmatic and have an asthma attack when exposed to second hand smoke. Joseph Stalin died of an asthma attacked less than two weeks after he had his personal physician executed. Dependent children ought to be protected and so ought professionals who come to practice their profession in your home, like it or not when a person comes into your home you are liable for his well being. Second hand smoke kills.
    I am also allergic to alcohol and I miss the occasional wine or other hard drink so I shall not comment on this.
    Now, the most important part of my comment. Every person is dying. Each and every breath may be that person’s last breath. The state does not give life, but must protect life. The sign of the cross for a person who may have breathed his last breath, cannot legitimately be denied. The sign of the cross is necessary before every sports game. The hard ball hit me right between the eyes. Dark lines filled my head. I did not feel hitting the ground. I am still here but for anyone to deny me the freedom to make the sign of the cross that day, let him go to hell.
    Here is my take on the state:
    Isaiah 50:4-9
    4The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 5The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. 6I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;8he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. 9Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
    No trial in absentia. The accused must be faced by his accuser in a court of law. Habeas Corpus. Even before the Magna Carta; even before The Declaration of Independence; even before the Constitution; even before the Declaration on Human Right of the United Nations. From Whom did these magnificent founding principles come but from God through Isaiah, who was put to death by tyrants and oppressors.
    Isaiah 43: 5-10: Fear not, for I am with you; from the east I will bring back your descendents, from the west I will gather you. 6 I will say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Hold not back! Bring back my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the 7: earth: everyone who is named as mine, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. 8 Lead out the people who are blind though they have eyes, who are deaf though they have ears. 9 Let all the nations gather together, let the people assemble! Who among them could have revealed this, or foretold to us the earlier things? Let them produce witnesses to prove themselves right, that one may hear and say, “It is true!” 10 You are my witnesses says the Lord, my servants whom I have chosen to know and believe in me and understand that it is I. Before me no god was formed, and after me there shall be none.11 It is I, I the Lord: there is no savior but me. 12 It is I who foretold, I who saved; I who made it known, not any strange god among you; you are my witnesses, says the Lord. I am God. Yes from eternity I am He; there is none who can deliver from my hand; who can countermand what I do?
    The First Amendment.
    Civil rights of all nations are either plagiarized from God or formulated from the Bible, without giving God and the Sacred Scripture proper acknowledgement.

  2. In 1866, my great great grandfather, George McLuckie, a Catholic Scot, left Scotland forever and came to the United States. He lived in Allegany County, Maryland. The two most significant towns in Allegany County are Cumberland and Frostburg, both of which are closer to Pittsburgh than Baltimore, Annapolis or Washington, DC.

    Thank you, Mr. McLuckie, for leaving that miserable country.

  3. Every child ought to have a court appointed guardian insinuates that the child’s parents are critically insufficient or criminally negligent. The cost to the tax payers will be insurmountable. Every child does have a guardian appointed by the court. Every citizen acting for the common good in good will is responsible for every individual person as his neighbor.
    Every child ought to have a court appointed guardian gives the government the license to surveillance… I started to write a normal response when it hit me. Tying parental love and the loss of children to subjugation to the state’s bidding is ingenius. Pure genius. What devil thought this up?
    Ingenius, absolute genius, except that violating parental love and parental prerogatives to extort concessions, and subjugate the individual person who constitutes the state did not work for Hitler nor for communist Russia and on two points, the children will grow up and learn to reason (ask the grandchildren of the Holocaust victims if they love Hitler) and Scotland will lose its sovereignty and become a gulag. To threaten parents with the loss of their sons and daughters unless they conform to the state’s tyranny, let us say, of being taught in public school that 2+2=5, or that a man lying to his sperm is a natural expression of love, or that man is a beast without redemption, or that man has no eternal life, nor human rights endowed by their Creator; to subjugate the people to the dictates of the state by the threat of the loss of their children is diabolical.

  4. The sooner the Scottish taxpayers have to start paying for all this the better. That’s the only hope of putting this train in reverse.

  5. My grandfather Don Piper after who I am named, would be ashamed of his Highland Scottish heritage, having been a descendant of the pipers of the MacDoanld clan. He used to talk to me with pride of his ancestry and ingrained it in my persona.
    I am inclined to think that he would take that old Mk.II Lee Enfield .303 rifle that he brandished as he rushed ashore at Galipoli on that fateful 25th. April 1915 day, and run the attached bayonet up the loins of some of his modern so called loyal countrymen.
    What a disgrace, and an insult to all honourable Scotsmen – from William Wallis to Robbie Burns to those who helped establish the free world.

  6. One thing not alluded to in all this: the Scottish National Party is a purveyor of pseudo-particularism.

    I got into an online discussion with some SNP partisans last fall and their reasons for Scottish secession boiled down to “we’re tired of being ruled by southern English public schoolboys”. Now run down the list of British Prime Ministers of the last 50 years and pick out the ‘southern English public schoolboys’. The only such specimen to have lived in 10 Downing Street since 1964 has been David Cameron, (whose paternal side relations migrated from Scotland to England a generation or so back). Maybe a third of David Cameron’s cabinet might be described as ‘southern English public schoolboys’. Masses of people in Scotland despise Margaret Thatcher (who bore little resemblance to ‘southern English public schoolboys’). David Cameron is the only public school boy to have led the Conservative Party in that time and the Labour Party’s leaders over the last 20 years have had backgrounds at least as tony as those of the Conservative Party.

    Now consider the public program of the SNP proposed removing Scotland from the UK but not removing Scotland from the EU or any other supranational body. The EU and derivatives of the Council of Europe can be quite intrusive and impose obligations on their members which are the antithesis of sovereignty. The elected officials in Westminster are unacceptable to SNP partisans, but the bureaucratic pustules in Brussels are fine-and-dandy.

    Now consider the public statements of the SNP press office, chock-a-bloc with denunciations of the United Kingdom Independence Party. What’s the point of one particularist organization attacking another? There wouldn’t be if local self-government was what animated the SNP (rather than a greater franchise for SNP bosses to piss away other people’s money on their clientele). However, to Britain’s bien pensants, UKIP is icky.

    What’s depressing is that the Scottish electorate falls for this poisonous humbug hook, line, and sinker.

  7. The sovereign personhood of each and every person constitutes the state. The sovereign person’s taxes fund government. In our Preamble to our Constitution is expressed the purpose of our Constitution, the guidelines for government’s relationship with the citizens. If such laws that enable government officials to remove children from their parents are imposed, the framers of the state ought to enable themselves to sue the government for malfeasance, malicious behavior and for any injury. (Isn’t this what the gay agenda is already doing?)
    Un-emancipated, dependent minor children, a captive audience, have at least until emancipation plus several months, and then some, to sue for injury, if their parents do not or cannot sue as their parents or guardians. This ability to sue the government will be a force to maintain equal Justice and civil rights…freedom for all persons and sovereignty for the people as a nation. The Trial at Nuremberg was the victims of the Holocaust suing Hitler’s regime.
    Take a child from his parents and make the child a ward of a tyrannical government would cause injury. This injury must be indemnified. Being unable to sue for damages causes further injury. (If the LGBT+ injures your child and you cannot sue the LGBT+, then the child, when emancipated, ought to be free to sue the government that imposed such injury on him.) What makes the government above the law and giving a good account of itself? Do we not have a Government Accountability Office to account for money? Why not a government accountability office for injuries suffered at the hands of government agencies? Do not persons incarcerated unjustly, then, have indemnity? The people as a whole constituted the government. The people as a whole can and may be held accountable.
    In the Old Testament, God refers to Himself with a capital “G”. “I AM your GOD and you are men sacred to me”. ( I will find that notation) God refers to men as “the lesser gods”, small “g”, but, nonetheless divine, made in the image of Divinity. The anti-theist will reject his small “g” divinity because the atheist rejects his Creator. If the anti-theist’s atheism injures any other person, adult or minor, that person, the atheist, anti-theist, secular humanist or any of the ilk, Satan worshipper, becomes liable in a court of law for damages.
    The sovereign souls of the aborted, when allowed to know their aborters at the Last Judgment, will then be able to pursue equal Justice in the court of heaven. This is their prerogative and their just due.
    If Scotland pursues taking children from their parents, then let them be ready with a good account of themselves, equal to, or better than the damages inflicted on a minor child. I also hold with suing the state if self-defense is denied and the police fail to protect a citizen from crime. Your tax dollars at work.
    Let me too, apologize for the length of this comment.

  8. Magdalene wrote, “You forgot about midwives being coerced to perform the murder of the unborn in abortion now…”

    In fact, the Inner House ((Lord Mackay of Drumadoon, Lady Dorrian, and Lord McEwan)) unanimously upheld their right to conscientious objection. Lady Dorrian said, “The right is given because it is recognised that the process of abortion is felt by many people to be morally repugnant. As Lord Diplock observed in the RCN case, it is a matter on which many people have strong moral and religious convictions, and the right of conscientious objection is given out of respect for
    those convictions and not for any other reason. It is in keeping with the reason for the exemption that the wide interpretation which we favour should be given to it. It is consistent with the reasoning which allowed such an objection in the first place
    that it should extend to any involvement in the process of treatment, the object of which is to terminate a pregnancy.”

    It was the Supreme Court (A UK court with an English majority) that reversed the judgment of the Inner House.

  9. Michael Paterson-Seymour: “It was the Supreme Court (A UK court with an English majority) that reversed the judgment of the Inner House.”
    The repudiation of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland in itself is reason to wish independence.

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