Nicola Sturgeon’s last laugh

12 February 2022

9:00 AM

12 February 2022

9:00 AM

I was delighted to discover that the University of Bristol has been advising students how to address those who identify as ‘catgender’. These are people who ‘strongly identify with cats’ or may have ‘delusions relating to being a cat’. Apparently these individuals ‘may use nya/nyan pronouns’. Nya is the Japanese word for ‘miaow’. I am not sure why they should use the Japanese word for miaow, rather than our own perfectly good word, although I understand that a lot of young people are very interested in certain aspects of Japanese culture, such as anime and manga (although not other aspects of Japanese culture such as discipline, deference and fortitude). Perhaps this is where they have got it from, then.

I was also pleased that the university noted that catgender people were deluded and rather hoped that this word might be used to describe transgender people who really believe they are now a different sex. Perhaps this is why the trans activists have reacted with a certain pique towards Bristol’s innovation. The wider and wider the net is cast in search of adolescent delusions, the more it seems that the entirety of them consist of people who are not quite right in the head. ‘A bit light’, as my father used to say, in a kindly manner, of the mentally disturbed.

It does seem to me that there are two possible causes for insisting to people how you wish to be addressed: the first is narcissism and self-importance and the second is lunacy. The Journal of Psychosomatic Research has published a study suggesting that more than 70 per cent of people with gender dysphoria have had a mental health diagnosis in their lifetime and a later report in the reliably entertaining Schizophrenia Research and Treatment (2014) suggested that the rate of neurological disorders and schizophrenia was much higher among people with gender identity issues than among the general population.

But not as high as it is among Scottish people, surely. Every report I read about life north of the border suggests very strongly that this is a country which has just bought a one-way ticket for the Booby Hatch Express. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s suggestion that teachers should saw off the bottom of schoolroom doors so that air may flow more clemently (rather than propping them open with a small piece of wood) is only the latest manifestation of a palpable insanity manifesting in a people who 200 or so years ago were the best-educated and most thoughtful in the entire world. It just shows how quickly derangement can strike.

It was a Scottish National Party councillor who this week insisted that not only should Jimmy Carr be arrested for that joke he told about the Travelling community and the Holocaust, but that everyone in the audience who laughed at the joke should be banged up too. The furore occasioned by Carr’s quip is dealt with elsewhere in this issue, so I won’t belabour the point. Suffice to say I have read wholly sincere social media posts by people who insist that one should never, ever make a joke about any people who have been killed and that all jokes should have as their goal the moral improvement of the human race. Yes, I bet they’re a laugh down the pub. (Incidentally, the requisite formula for writing something in defence of Jimmy Carr is to caveat your contention strongly by saying you don’t like Carr and you think the joke he made was horrible. So, just to buck that little trend, I do quite like Carr and I thought his joke was funny.)

It is quite possibly SNP party line that anyone who laughs at a Jimmy Carr joke should be arrested. It seems to me that when it comes to prosecuting people for what they say or what they think, there has been no organisation more diligent than wee Nicola’s band of tartan thought police since the NKVD. The Scottish Hate Crime Act, which criminalises people for saying insulting stuff even if it causes no tangible harm, is sufficient evidence of that.

But then we have the remarkable case of a certain Joseph Kelly, aged 36, from Glasgow — a case suffused with a rather winning irony. Kelly — who is a Celtic supporter and I suspect no great fan of the union — tweeted the following upon the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the chap who walked around his garden to raise money for charity consultants and advisers. Kelly wrote: ‘The only good Brit soldier is a deed (sic) one, burn auld fella, buuurrn.’

Incredibly, Kelly was prosecuted for having made this statement, found guilty and will be sentenced next month. He was adjudged by the Scots to have fallen foul of the 2003 Communications Act by saying something ‘grossly offensive’ — which makes one wonder why yet more legislation was needed to stop people saying things. But you can never have enough legislation policing what people say or think, I suppose. I do not agree with Mr Kelly’s hypothesis about British soldiers, but I would suggest that a good number of the people who fill Celtic Park every couple of weeks would most likely concur. Are they so short of crime in Scotland that the police have to be dragged in when someone says something a bit gamey? Why shouldn’t Mr Kelly say what he thinks?

The rather beautiful irony in this case is that the SNP has, for two decades and beyond, attempted to foster in the Scottish population a vicious and bitter resentment and hatred towards the English. The Anglophobia of Sturgeon et al has been at times quite explicit — a loathing which has become the very bedrock of SNP support. You have to say that they have done this with verve and panache and consequently run the entire place without much in the way of opposition. Mr Kelly is really one more of Nicola’s success stories.

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