THE Scottish Government’s wokey horror picture show is set for an extended run. Humza Yousaf, the SNP’s Justice Minister, seems to have misunderstood his brief. I suspect most of those who are asked to occupy this high office of state across the planet might believe its primary concern is to ensure that a nation’s laws are fairly administered and fit for purpose. Mr Yousaf seems to think that his brief is to punish more people and bring them into line with a narrow, state-approved orthodoxy that proceeds on the whim of a political class with too much time on their hands.

This is maybe okay if those people have big brains capable of thinking big, expansive thoughts. With the SNP it’s like watching young children putting on their parents’ clothes and pretending to be adults while still pulling the wings off insects.

Mr Yousaf’s Hate Crime Bill bears all the hallmarks of these conceits. It seems to be inspired by the justice model favoured by the desiccated old men of the former German Democratic Republic. These corrupt and hollowed-out wraiths were so paranoid about losing power and the encroaching influence of the bourgeois West that they turned an entire country in on itself and waged war against its own people.

At the peak of their influence hundreds of thousands of state snoopers were deployed to ensure that all households and workplaces were scrubbed clean of independent thought.

This week the Justice Minister doubled down on his proposed hate crime legislation where all that is required to receive the 2am knock is for someone to take offence at another’s opinion even if its purpose is not to cause such. To describe the response to this nonsense as one of outrage is to suggest that people were actually taking it seriously. Rather, it was universally mocked.

Mr Yousaf himself has now come to be regarded as one who typifies the entire government he represents: an over-promoted party shill, incapable of independent thought and with the distinctive attributes of a bully. Rather than retreat from some of his proposed bill’s more ghastly proposals, like a thwarted adolescent he reinforced them, ditching all reason and sense of proportion.

Mr Yousaf tweeted: “If you invite 10 mates round & it can be proven beyond reasonable doubt that you intentionally stirred up hatred against Jews, why should this not be prosecuted. It would if you did so down the pub but not in your house?” Later he indicated that journalists and theatre directors had better also watch their step if their writing was considered by the Scottish Stasi to be problematic.

In The Lives of Others, the 2006, Oscar-winning, German-language film the insidious apparatus of the GDR was laid bare. In this, a group of dissident theatrical intellectuals are subjected to close surveillance and intimidation leading to suicide, imprisonment and finally, a redemption of sorts. Mr Yousaf and his cabinet colleagues will scoff at such a comparison. Yet they are bound by a common and pernicious thread: that the citizens of Scotland are not to be trusted and must be closely monitored.

So detached have they become from reality that they truly believe enlightened Scotland is full of haters all plotting vile and unspeakable acts against their fellow citizens. The SNP are ever eager to criticise Scottish Tories for “talking down Scotland” but nothing is as egregiously damaging to our country than this unhinged assumption of widespread delinquency. That we’re all drinking too much; skelping the weans; stuffing them with fat and sugar and now plotting to knock off ethnic minorities.

The Scottish Government wants immigrants and refugees to settle here. But who would want to come to a country over-run with racist savages who beat up their children and drink that wreck-the-hoose-juice all hours of the day while singing dodgy football songs? According to the SNP this is what we are.

Mr Yousaf, of course, is playing to a familiar gallery. A tiny coterie of woke warriors who believe that they alone hold the key to progressive and civilised behaviour. But they are about as progressive as a 1970s sit-com. These ideas they all think they’ve discovered aren’t new. Once, before they were fashioned into this contrived means of self-absorbed grievance they meant something: fighting racism and sexism; opposing homophobia; reducing inequality and putting an end to discrimination.

Many of those who fought these battles when the odds stacked against them were greater are deemed to be suspect because they haven’t gained proficiency in the artificial argot of stage-managed victimhood.

For decades they fought against corrupt structures and power networks only now to discover that they are up against something more sinister as it travels under cover of enlightened and liberal thinking. It’s the dissemination of a lie. For this is the morality of the witchfinder and the inquisitor; ruling by fear and turning communities and families against each other.

Those who want to remain on the right side of this Scottish inquisition are encouraged to spy and inform; to expose and humiliate. They seek to build stocks in the village square and a penitent’s stool where you must recant and confess your scurvy opinions before you can be accepted back into the new orthodoxy.

The SNP are thus charged with something far more grievous than the exaggerated fear unionists deploy to besmirch self-determination. They have taken something precious and sacred and made it ugly and bestial. It’s not freedom but anti-freedom.

If this party takes Humza Yousaf’s dangerous delusions into the 2021 election, indeed if they take him into this election, then they have renounced the right to be considered fit for government. They have become an enemy of free speech; legitimate enquiry and the right to say “No, I won’t have any truck with this”: the right and privilege not to conform.

The SNP are now exposed as a sham: a facsimile of equality and authentic democracy. If the price of ridding Scotland of the people responsible for this cultural abduction is another decade of the Union then so be it. Independence when it comes will be for keeps. It’s too precious to be administered by these duplicitous careerists and political chancers.

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