The Scottish Government’s attempt to criminalise parents for protecting their children in its proposed conversion therapy ban reveals some troubling insights into how the political class in this country operates. It also captures the near-wholesale annexation of the left by forces that are intrinsically illiberal.

These are led by a charmed Gold Command  intent merely on maintaining the rewards that come with high office in the trade union movement and those political parties who identify as left of centre. To them, radical action is reduced to sticking fingers in the air to detect which way this week’s cultural cross-winds are blowing. Improving the lives of working-class communities is subservient to the new ideology, and only if it fits the plan. The real left seeks to improve the lives of working people and their families by giving them access to fair wages, decent working conditions; paid leave and reasonable job security. Beyond the office and the factory floor they will also seek to combat the exploitation of disadvantaged people by price-fixing and cartelism. It’s not a blueprint for revolution; merely an aspiration to quality in their daily existence. This is most commonly manifest in having the means to enjoy a rich and rewarding family life free from intensive state surveillance.

In recent years though, it’s become evident that a counterfeit left has hollowed out the SNP, the Labour Party and the Greens. They despise working people as much as some Tories. They are a white-collar aristocracy who operate at the top of these parties and the trade union movement.

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If you want them to fight for fairness and equality, it comes at a price. They will insist on controlling the way you think; how you conduct yourself in your private life and the way in which you choose to follow your own conscience. Helpful hint: for an easy life just hand your conscience over to them.

It’s rooted in a groupthink that distrusts the instincts of real working people and still believes them to be insufficiently intelligent to make their own choices and to raise their children in an approved manner.

When any group of people connives to remove children from the influence of their families and the wisdom of generations it ought to raise several red flags. For what purpose would any organisation seek to reduce parental input in their children’s lives? Only those with a hidden and darker agenda would seek to loosen these bonds.

Red flags are scattered throughout the 86-page document the Scottish Government published at the start of a consultation process on banning conversion therapy. It risks promoting that which it seeks to prevent.

Yesterday all was laid bare in a legal opinion by the KC, Aidan O’Neill. He described the proposals as “ill-though out, confused and confusing and fundamentally illiberal in intent and effect”. They amounted to “jellyfish legislation” as “the concepts it uses are impossible to grasp”.

Much easier to grasp though, are its potential consequences which include a “disproportionate intrusion into private and family life and freedom of religion and freedom of expression”. This would be most obviously manifest in its potential to “criminalise parents who lovingly and in good faith and in accordance with their own best judgment and conscience, seek to caution and direct their children against acting on any stated intention to embark on ‘gender affirmatory/gender transition treatment”.

It could also criminalise medical professionals who sought to “dissuade an individual against undergoing or undertaking medical procedures (such as puberty blockers, hormone treatment and/or gender), which conflicted with any of the official positions now adopted by the state”. In conniving at this, the Scottish Government had “forgotten its duty to take seriously its obligation to maintain the conditions of and for a liberal democracy, preferring instead to impose, by virtue of its possession of a monopoly on legitimate violence, its own vision of the good life”.

The Herald: A protest over the ill-fated Named Persons legislationA protest over the ill-fated Named Persons legislation (Image: PA)

Mr O’Neill is experienced in exposing this administration’s creepy and sinister obsession with insinuating itself into every room in our homes. In 2016 he won a victory at the Supreme Court over a previous attempt by the Scottish Government to snoop on families via its sinister Named Person scheme. The Supreme Court judged the legislation to be a breach of families’ human rights.

It was another indication of how, in the Sturgeon/Yousaf era, a middle-class layer of doctrinaire opportunists have risen quietly to the top of Scottish politics, united in their loathing of ordinary families: how they speak to their children; what they discuss; what they eat and how much they drink.

In the 1960s and 1970s the apparatus of state control most favoured by the East German psycho-state was imposed via a network of neighbourhood and factory-floor spies. If you valued your job and your personal safety you had no choice but to comply.

Usually, this meant little more than being careful not to speak out of turn and adhering closely to state fictions: life is a bowl of cherries; religious faith is evil; suspect everyone in your family circle. It was made clear that your career advancement could be helped by turning in anyone you suspected of loose talk or questionable activity.

In Scotland, preference in public life is given to those who are seen to be enthusiastic in signing up for the state doctrine, even when they know it to be false. An entire industry dedicated to the imposition of gender theory and funded by millions of pounds of public money has emerged in the Sturgeon/Yousaf era. It rules by fear. If you refuse to bow to this then you are targeted and blacklisted.

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Thus, if you identify as Christian, then you’re a fundamentalist whose opinions are considered worthless. If you’re a lesbian, you stand accused of bigotry if you refuse the advances of fully-intact men presenting as women. If you’re a second-wave feminist who fought successfully against sexual discrimination in the 1960s and 1970s then you too are deemed to be hateful and intolerant for defending every woman’s right to a safe space. And don’t expect any support from the SNP if, like Joanna Cherry, men target you with threats of sexual violence because you dared to stand your ground.

If you’re a gay man who expresses concern about young and vulnerable gay teenagers being ushered down the path of medical intervention then you are a transphobe.

The SNP leadership, having ditched its core reason to exist - the cause of independence - and lacking any other deeply-held principles, has had to invent this reactionary dogma. And it’s less laborious than improving the outcomes of Scotland’s disadvantaged communities.