The National:

HAS the UK gone mad?

That was the question posed by the front page of today’s edition of The National – in the wake of arrests of anti-monarchist protesters and the one-sided coverage of Charles’s accession from our media.

The answer from the majority of respondents was a resounding "yes", with the page being shared by journalists as far afield as America and even flagged for study by the politics department in one British school.

But among the din were some familiar faces – at least for those of us unlucky enough to know Unionist activists by their Twitter profiles.

READ MORE: Jane Lax bemoans 'Police Scotland SNP wokeness' as Nicola Sturgeon complaint binned

One of the most prominent was Jane Lax, the former treasurer for the Moray Tories who complained to the police about Nicola Sturgeon not wearing a mask in a barbershop.

Showing a startling inability to read, Lax tweeted: “Appalling headline. Scottish police using Scottish laws brought in by the Scottish nationalists. Their own desire to control the people has backfired...”

But it wasn’t only her.

Another account – which embarrassingly claims to “understand … policing & the law” in its bio – wrote: “The SNP ... brought in the law being used to arrest protesters by Scottish Police. But it’s all Westminsters [sic] fault apparently!”

“Scottish police enforcing laws brought in by the Scottish parliament. You absolute muppets,” a third account – describing themselves as “Tory for now” – chimed in.

A fourth added: "Blaming the English for arrests in Scotland under a Scottish Law passed by the SNP was entirely expected." The list goes sadly on. 

Anyone who actually read the stories of the arrests – not just on The National but on any outlet, even the BBC who finally covered the story on Tuesday morning – will know that the protesters were held under breach of peace laws.

The Unionists are all raging at the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime Bill – which became law in April 2021. The bill meant “stirring up” of hatred offences now apply to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity, not only race.

But, unfortunately for those raging Unionists, that bill has literally nothing to do with these arrests.

Breach of peace laws have existed in Scotland for centuries, and are a common law offence. The leading case outlining Scotland’s breach of peace laws (Smith v Donnelly) happened in 2001, years before the SNP even got a whiff of power.

But that – let alone the fact that England has also seen arrests over anti-monarchist protests – doesn’t fit the Unionists’ agenda. Or perhaps, and this seems likely, they just haven’t bothered to do their research.