I hate to mention it, but bad faith actors are rising up everywhere - John McLellan

Not so long, ago actors were what you saw on stage or film, but now they are everywhere, and few of them good.

Edinburgh was used to bad actors every August on the Fringe, but now a bad actor is not just Chewin’ the Fat’s Ronald Villiers or Charlie from Casualty but might be a whole country.

But from bad actors intent on doing us harm, we have a new troupe, the BFAs, Bad Faith Actors intent on doing Scottish Government legislation harm; dreadful people who are abusing apparently well-intentioned laws for their own ends.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sure, the new Hate Crime Act has been badly communicated by the Scottish Government, as justice secretary Angela Constance was big enough to admit this week, but it’s really the fault of those “bad faith actors who are intent on spreading disinformation,” she said, who “would have done so regardless.”

Well heavens to betsy, a government which spends an inordinate amount of time and energy telling us what a hateful society we live in is surprised that some of it might rebound on itself? Or that politically-motivated people might take advantage of politically-motivated legislation and use it to make a politically-motivated point?

Now First Minister Humza Yousaf would have us believe that repealing the Hate Crime Act would be “disgraceful,” leaving people with no protection against hatred at all, despite the glaringly obvious fact that many recent complains, including one leading to the arrest of a blameless 74-year-old woman, were made under the old legislation.

How then, would going back to the pre-April 1 position, leave us unprotected from the BFAs if laws already existed?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

No, no, the Act was needed to tidy up the law, bring it up to date, fit for purpose, and all that stuff which politicians use to justify doing nothing very much at all. But this time it was accompanied by such inflammatory publicity about tackling hate that no wonder some people decided to give it a whirl.

But now we discover it’s not enough, that laws against misogyny are needed to close loopholes in an Act which has only been live for a fortnight, and that in fact it wasn’t sufficient to protect trans gender women, which we were told was part of the problem of the old law.

So the plan appears to be that if someone is very mean to a double rapist, let’s call her Isla, because she also happens to be a man called Adam, then poor Isla would be able to make a complaint of criminal misogyny.

Oh no, that wouldn’t count, we’ll no doubt be told, that’s misinformation, you BFA, you.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But guess what, it wasn’t the SNP’s fault that female characteristics weren’t covered in the Hate Crime Act, but women themselves who didn’t want to be included. So now the very thing that many women feared, the dilution of their rights on the trans gender altar, will be included in a new anti-misogyny law that was supposed to make amends.

And if there aren’t enough BFAs in the world, wait till misogyny legislation comes in, when in very short order, weak female politicians under any sort of pressure from male opponents will have the threat of a criminal complaint to flaunt as a defence.

But I have an idea, a Bad Faith Actor (Scotland) Bill. That’ll sort it out….

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.