Process as punishment

Wings Over Scotland:

Welcome, readers, to what may be the final week of Wings Over Scotland.

We’ve been covering the Scottish Government’s horrific, draconian Hate Crime Act for almost four years now. But until this month, we hadn’t felt directly under threat by it. Wings is – sorry if this comes as a shock to anyone – based in Bath, in England, and we couldn’t see how the Scottish police could come after us.

But then they were informed that Scottish law holds that anything on social media which can be read in Scotland is published in Scotland.

…then lawyer after lawyer queued up to support his interpretation, and we became alarmed. Along with JK RowlingFor Women Scotland and Murray Blackburn Mackenzie, it’s hard to think of anyone the transgender cult would rather bring down than Wings Over Scotland, and the Hate Crime Act puts that goal firmly in reach.

They would not have to achieve any sort of criminal conviction to do so. The point of the law, with its basically non-existent threshold for “hate”, is to terrorise those with views that are unpalatable to the Scottish Government out of voicing their opinions at all, via a method often called “process as punishment”.

Wings has already experienced the technique. In 2017, under a very similar law, I was subjected to a malicious, ridiculous allegation of “harassment” by a journalist whose work we’d critiqued, and arrested. I was dragged off to a police station, thrown in a cell, detained for 15 hours, and then released just before midnight, 10 miles from home in a remote and unfamiliar location with no money and no mobile phone, and told to make my own way back.

The police kept all his phones, tablets, laptops and desktops, so he had to spend several thousand pounds to replace them all.

And the purpose of the Hate Crime Act is to menace dissident voices with the prospect of being put through that more or less constantly.

Because no sooner would we have replaced one set of confiscated gear than another barrage of complaints would arrive from transactivists, another arrest and confiscation would follow, and the cycle would repeat until we either closed the site down or were swiftly bankrupt.

The principle is similar (in both method and its intended target) to that of the infamous 1913 Prisoners Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health Act, commonly referred to as the “Cat And Mouse Act”, which was deployed against the Suffragettes.

Just keep arresting people who have broken no law until they give up.

The object was to put women under relentless stress and keep them perpetually cycling in and out of prison in order to break their resistance. But in this case the heroic strength shown by the Suffragettes is not enough by itself to overcome the tactic, because neither we nor FWS nor MBM or any of Scotland’s other gender-critical voices have access to an infinite supply of money to keep buying new electronics.

(JK Rowling probably does, but the police aren’t going to be stupid enough to arrest her in a million years. Foul-mouthed oiks like Wings and working-class women like FWS are much easier targets, as we’ve already seen in the ludicrous cases of women like Jennifer Swayne and Marion Millar, arrested and dragged to court for stickers and ribbons. FWS have also been warned by Police Scotland that the phrase “Women Won’t Wheesht” might constitute a hate crime.)

All this for the sake of…penniless migrants? Refugees? Victims of racism? Women subject to violence? Workers? People with disabilities? Orphans? Victims of sex trafficking?

No. All this for men who enjoy pretending to be women.

And politicians aren’t immune. Tory MSP Murdo Fraser, who opposed the Act in a fine illustration of the “stopped clock” principle, revealed at the weekend that he now has a “Non-Crime Hate Incident” recorded against his name for saying “Choosing to identify as ‘non-binary’ is as valid as choosing to identify as a cat. I’m not sure governments should be spending time on action plans for either.”

Wings, therefore, after a few brief chats with lawyers, finds itself forced to seriously consider its position, and that means taking proper advice. We have commissioned, and await, a formal legal opinion from a very senior Scottish KC with expertise in the field about whether it’s safe for the site and its social media accounts to continue to exist, either in their current forms or some kind of censored ones.

It’s not clear to me how this works. Is the problem that Scotland has jurisdiction over Scots no matter where they are? Wings has to take proper advice because Rev. Stuart Campbell is from Scotland, so they can reach out and nab him even though he’s in Bath? Scotland has a special, peculiar to Scotland “hate crime” law but it gets to arrest people under that law even in England and Wales?

Maybe the Rev could change citizenship?

8 Responses to “Process as punishment”

Leave a Comment

Subscribe without commenting