1984 in Scotland 2016

As I was re-reading George Orwell's classic, 1984, recently I felt a shiver going down my spine. Not at the brutal depiction of a fictional one-party state but at the thought it might happen for real....in Scotland.

1984, as predicted by Orwell in the earlier 20th century, centred round the miserable life of Winston Smith, who worked for the state's Ministry of Truth, where he routinely re-wrote newspaper articles and books so that it erased history and matched the dictats of the rulers.

The Ministry of Truth? Would this be similar to the Scottish Nationalist Party inner sanctum where any perceived criticism of the Holyrood government is met with revulsion and state proclamations?

Well, don't take my word for it. Left-wing journalist and independence campaigner Kevin McKenna has just published similar sentiments and concerns.

Ridiculed and abused

In an article in The Herald Mr McKenna writes: "In their world (the SNP) not only is any problem not to be admitted but all opposing forces are to be ridiculed and abused. Thus any groups opposing the Named Person legislation (where all under 18s are to be allocated a State guardian) on the reasonable and understandable grounds it permitted the state to interfere in family life were howled down and accused of pandering to paedophiles."

In Orwell's story the government had a Fiction Department, a Two Minutes Hate session for all employees, and, of course, the Thought Police to deal with the crime of thought that didn't concur with the Party.  

There was also a Newspeak through which only State Party press releases were allowed because "ignorance is strength" and "stupidity is as necessary as intelligence." Remember the howling mob gathered outside the BBC in Glasgow?

It is worth noting that the Supreme Court judges, who instructed the SNP to think again about their Named Person legislation, used the phrase "totalitarian regime" about the Scottish government.

Nationalist sympathiser Kevin McKenna has warned the Party that "there is a curiously illiberal and reactionary strain running through its core which seems to belie its Socialist credentials."

Needless to say, Nat trolls have hurled abuse and bile at Mr McKenna on social media for daring to challenge 'The Party.' Scottish tv historian, Neil Oliver, had to withdraw from social media last week because of "hate-fuelled" messages. His crime? He dared to question independence.

 At least we haven't got to the 1984 scenario where critics of the State were hung from trees in the park. This was carried out by the Ministry of Love.

On looking at the Scottish Government's Named Persons legislation the Supreme Court also stated:

"The first thing that a totalitarian regime tries to do is get at the children, to distance them from the subversive, varied influences of their families, and indoctrinate them in their rulers' views of the world."

In the 1984 book children were encouraged to report their parents to The Thought Police

According to many political journalists there is a saying in SNP propaganda circles that any criticism is filed as SNP 'Bad' and must be attacked.

As Orwell put it in 1984 "all that is required of the proles is a primitive patriotism. Orthodoxy means not thinking."

I am sure you can think of States which are either authoritarian, where they seek regimentation, a uniformity of opinion or obedience. But surely not in your Scotland??

In a column in 2014 I expressed my incredulity at the fact that when I stood as an Independent candidate in a North Ayrshire election SNP 'friends' and acquaintances suddenly didn't look the road I was on. Sad but true.

But, wait, I must leave the keyboard. I hear knocking at the door.  Is it the Thought Police? I don't want to end up like Winston Smith.