Owl & the Pussy Hats

BY FRANK HAVILAND

Like a freshly-embossed ‘Lord Bercow’ business card, the free speech jubilation over last week’s vindication of Harry ‘the Owl’ Miller was a tad premature. Miller, a man of such unspeakable wickedness he dared retweet an ‘offensive limerick’, had been visited by Humberside Police who wanted to ‘check his thinking’. He was told he had committed no crime, but the event would be recorded as a hate incident, the CPS definition of which is as follows:

Any non-crime incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice.

So any bloody thing then.

As welcome as the verdict is, we ought not to be complacent. The list of those who have lost their jobs, been no-platformed, or otherwise convicted of thought crimes in the UK is expanding fast. In fact crime is now the only thing not policed in Britain, with the Old Bill adding daily to the list of duties they will no longer attend to (lefty roadblocks and lawn desecration being the latest).

Every second the notion of a ‘hate incident’ even exists, let alone resides smugly on the Statute Book, we do not have free speech in Britain. Besides which, most hate incidents have nothing to do with hate whatsoever, just humour you don’t share or truths you don’t like.

Even if it were hate, so what? Hate is sovereign territory – you cannot police the thoughts of others, only those they dare vocalise. The advocates for such laws are therefore compelling deceit rather than attempting to persuade – a chilling distinction.

The latest show trial is that of Kate Scottow, convicted on Valentine’s Day of causing ‘annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety’ to transwoman Stephanie Hayden on Twitter. What kind of incendiary language did she use you may ask? Scottow referred to Hayden (a self-confessed serial litigator) as a ‘pig in a wig’, as well as ‘deliberately misgendering’ ‘her’. Playground squabbles then, for which we all used to know the answer:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will get me arrested.

If you cannot bicker unmolested on Twitter then the platform serves no purpose, beyond being the world’s largest liberal wank-wipe wastebasket. If this is truly the state of Britain in 2020, then the game is up – you might as well go all-in: have fun stabbing in the capital with your Sadiq Khan-endorsed switchblade; try a little gang-rape in your local Labour constituency, or pop over to Syria for a spot of gap-year head-chopping. Either way, you’ll  be granted more clemency than for saying what most people know: men who chop their dicks off are not women.

For the left, litigation has now officially replaced argument: whoever screams first wins. Bravo for the Stephanie Hayden’s of this world, particularly since tolerance only actually resides on one side of the aisle – conservatives accept liberal views, liberals do not reciprocate.

Even in a rare moment of victory, the price paid for taking a stand as a free speech ‘Nazi’, ‘racist’ or ‘transphobe’ is immense. Miller himself admits to suffering a breakdown over the case, wandering 30 miles out into the freezing night. While Jordan Peterson, perhaps our greatest defender of free speech, ended up in intensive care in Russia with possible ‘neurological damage’. The Left runs no risk in defeat, and simply invents another -ism.

One of the Left’s continuing tactics is the expansion of the mythical ‘far-right’, to include everyone but the staunchest Guardianista. Which means – and make no mistake – they’re coming for you too, whatever you do. Move out, you’re a xenophobe; move in you’re gentrifying. See colour, you’re racist; don’t and you’re ignoring it. Don’t like foreign stuff, you’re non-inclusive; like it and you’re appropriating. They even eat their own; just ask JK Rowling, Julie Bindel, and Germaine Greer.

As I argued in my book Banalysis, the root cause of all this piffle is the same: the Left’s war on variance. They have replaced truth with victimhood – a far more marketable commodity. Scientific realities such as gender, race and IQ have become ‘social constructs’ – useless until you can extract offence from them. Herein lies the Left’s real objection to free speech: it makes offensiveness part of life, rather than a monopoly.

You may have wondered recently, why Caroline Flack only became popular after she was dead, or why the charlatans of the Labour Party invested so much time bemoaning the extradition of rapists and murderers in lieu of their victims, but it comes down to this:

The liberal mainstream disdains genuine victims, for they are rarely accompanied by perpetrators the Left can score points from.

So instead of patting ourselves on the back, we’re going to have to get serious about this. There needs to be more pushback, more shoulders to bear the free speech burden, more free speech not less. With Brexit finally underway, a strong Tory government, and Corbynism sent packing the time to strike is now!

We can all play our part, however small: refrain from politesse at dinner parties; speak out against virtue-signalling social media posts, and support broader initiatives like Nigel Biggar’s Free Speech Union.

Personally I’d prefer the 2030 New Year Honours list to include Sammy Woodhouse rather than Shamima Begum, but right now I know who my money’s on.