Gerald Warner: We must fight our descent into a totalitarian state

‘BIGOT’ is a favourite term in the vocabulary of PC intolerance that temporarily went out of fashion after Gordon Brown was overheard using it to denigrate Gillian Duffy, a Rochdale grandmother.

‘BIGOT’ is a favourite term in the vocabulary of PC intolerance that temporarily went out of fashion after Gordon Brown was overheard using it to denigrate Gillian Duffy, a Rochdale grandmother.

Last Tuesday, however, Nick Clegg showed it was back in currency. As a curtain-raiser to a reception for supporters of same-sex marriage, his office released his speech in advance, including these sentiments: “Continued trouble in the economy gives the bigots [sic] a stick to beat us with as they ­demand we ‘postpone’ the equalities ­agenda in order to deal with ‘the things people really care about’.”

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This arrogant “hate speech” (to borrow a loaded PC term) affords an instructive insight into the contempt the political class feels for anyone who dares to dissent from its politically correct and dictatorial impositions. Within 48 hours of Clegg’s denunciation of “bigots”, the UK-wide ­petition against same-sex marriage passed the 600,000 signatures mark; a counter-petition in favour of the legislation has ­attracted a derisory 62,000 signatures.

Yet a less noticed part of Clegg’s speech claimed: “For starters, we had 228,000 ­responses to our consultation on equal marriage. That’s more than any other we’ve found in the records.” Yes, and if it mirrors the response in Scotland, more than two-thirds of those 228,000 representations will be opposed.

If you submit a reasoned objection to same-sex marriage, Clegg’s reply will be: “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’, then.” In Scotland, the usual sham consultation produced a record 77,000 responses, 64 per cent opposed to the measure. The SNP government immediately moved to implement it.

If you want a good laugh in these difficult times, comb back through the propaganda that was spewed out during the devolution debate about how a Scottish parliament would be a “listening” legislature, closer to the Scottish people, faithfully reflecting their views. Then recall the controversy over repeal of Section 2A, when more than a million Scots voted against the measure in an independent referendum and, after excoriating the impertinent electorate with the ‘b-word’, our ­rulers proceeded to defy the public will.

This unaccountability extends far beyond issues relating to homosexuality. On the crucial topic of immigration, the British public was muzzled for half a century by laws abolishing freedom of speech; now, when the situation is patently critical, the dam of public opinion has finally burst, yet still nothing is done. The weasel term “equality” comes hypocritically from those who have abolished the hard-won principle of equality under the law by ­introducing “aggravated” crimes against privileged minorities which attract much heavier sentences.

George Orwell’s “thought crime” has been relabelled “hate crime”, but that is the sole difference. The outlawing of any public expression of Christianity, such as wearing a small cross in the workplace, contrasts with the privileged status awarded to other religions and minorities.

David Cameron recently claimed he intended to legislate to protect the rights of Christians, so why have his lawyers been arguing this month in the European Court against the rights of four Christians, three of whom have lost their jobs by standing by their principles? Recently, a housing manager in Manchester was demoted and had his salary reduced by 40 per cent simply for saying same-sex weddings in churches were “an equality too far”.

That particular issue is a classic example of the “Big Lie” that is the routine mechanism for promoting the PC agenda. Assurances that churches will not be compelled to host same-sex weddings are worthless. The European law on this is ­already set in stone. Last March, in Gas and Dubois versus France, the European Court of Human Rights ruled there is no obligation on any government to introduce same-sex marriage, but, if it does, it must be on exactly the same terms as heterosexual marriage, which includes weddings in church. It is dishonest of Nicola Sturgeon, or anyone else, to give bogus ­assurances contrary to the known law.

Frankfurt Marxism is imposing a revolution aimed at banishing the Judaeo-Christian ethic from society. Since such an ambition is intellectually and morally indefensible, opponents are being coerced into acquiescence. Those who defend the traditional foundations of society – marriage, family and freedom of expression – will not be silenced by vilification.

The first opportunity for punishing the enemies of free speech will come at the independence referendum – we have had sufficient foretaste of the totalitarian norms that would govern an independent Scotland. Dave, Nick and the other tin-pot commissars can be dealt with later. «