The righteous energy that inspired the sadistic priests of that infamous festival of hate – the Spanish Inquisition – is present in Sturgeon’s own 21st century crusade. I’m currently reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s 19th century classic, The Brothers Karamazov, the sharpest investigation into the human condition in modern literature. One of the more famous chapters of the epic involves the parable of the Grand Inquisitor. The moral tale unfolds as follows. Jesus returns to earth –Seville – during the Spanish Inquisition. When the Inquisition discovers him there the Grand Inquisitor has him arrested and imprisoned. The Grand Inquisitor explains to Jesus why he was arrested and, if necessary, will have him killed a second time. This is perplexing: why would a Christian commit the monstrous crime of killing Jesus?
From the 21st century the answer is bone-chillingly familiar. Rather shockingly, the Inquisitor explains that his justification is cut from the same intellectual tree as that preached by Jesus: love of mankind. The Inquisitor and Jesus have different views about the nature of mankind, however. Jesus died to ensure our eternal freedom, the Inquisitor believes we fear freedom and cherish happiness more. As he explains, the Inquisitor better understands our essential nature and it is his duty to deliver us to our natural calling of perfect serenity. For that cherished ideal, he can indefinitely suspend freedom. It is out of his love for human kind, he has spared us the inner torment of liberty by using his earthly power to keep us entertained and satisfied; our bellies too full to ask questions; our minds too busy with entertaining spectacles. To preserve that sacred happiness of man he will kill the only son of God, again.
Dostoyevsky’s point is clear: people do not perpetrate awful crimes because they are evil but because they believe they are better than other people and know what is better for them. He truly is motivated by a deep love of humanity. Their devotion to their cause is forged in the fires righteousness; they are convinced that they have privileged access to ‘the truth’. With the zeal of a prophet, they begin to convert non-believers; those who cannot comprehend the ‘truth’ require immediate conversion by those ‘in the know’. This charade quickly descends into viewing others as intellectual degenerates and moral sloths, a visceral repulsion that someone should not share their divinely placed moral co-ordinates. How can they not see the light?
The parallels with the SNP are striking. With evangelical energy, the high priestess of hate Nicola Sturgeon strives to convert every breathing body in Scotland to her political program, bending every individual into her belief system. Only she and her toxic travelling show has privileged access to ‘the truth’ and can lead us to happiness and contentment – the Promised Land of nationalistic bliss, Scottish separation from the Union. Those who refuse to follow the Gospel are, in some way, deformed. They have been tainted, corrupted by evil outside forces. Like the shape-shifting agents of darkness, they come in many disguises and forms to lure the weak from national deliverance. The BBC has brainwashed non-believers into quiet supplication; the long tentacles of the Daily Mail has captured their reasoning faculties; or they are part that arcane institution, the Orange Lodge. Should the indolent blaspheme not square with any number of possible iniquitous interferences then the unbeliever is a manifest moron. Any sane person with an IQ higher than your average Alsatian can see this plain truth, they argue.
These entirely fabricated excuses serve only to support their own ideology; for to admit that well reasoned and educated people should refute their manifesto of madness brings doubt upon the authority of its truth. Are the brains of the majority of Scots filtered through a Unionist propaganda sieve that results in a thick, compliant pulp, or are we a diverse people with a range of opinions and beliefs? Which one of those scenarios seems most likely?
This week the Queen of the Tartan Manson Family decided to change her tone on separation, an inevitable decision given the recent General Election result. Her change of tactic has been reported as IndyRef2 being ‘shelved’. This is a gross misinterpretation. The Church never waver from its divine path, it is etched into the party’s identity; their entire existence is based on destroying the world’s most successful Union. Not a familiar sound to our Scots ears. Like the rusty mechanic sound of a moving tank turret was the indistinguishable sound of political recalibration. She has merely delayed her decision until a later date. They need to feed the cult a few more followers before we can commit the collective act of national suicide on the altar of nationalist dogma. From the political pulpit, Sturgeon will preach and prophesise about the immorality of Brexit and Tory austerity; she will scream with a sound of fury, fire and brimstone politics, in her desperation to save the Church. The SNP are out to convert the masses for the good of the nation; for the good of humanity and our children and our children’s children. Believe in our Dear Leader; believe in Room 101; believe in the Grand Inquisitor.
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A female substitute teacher has been arrested and charged with alleged sexual contact with a 17-year-old student in Missouri.
Loryn Barclay, 24, has been charged with purportedly having sex with the student in his car and at his home on numerous occasions between November 2016 and January 2017.
She has been charged with six counts of alleged sexual contact in two Missouri counties, according to The Monett Times newspaper.
A local police officer who also serves at the school, Jay Jastal, was tipped off about the possible relationship.
Mr Jastal said Ms Barclay reportedly told him she was in fact involved in an “inappropriate relationship”. He said he does not believe at this time that any other students were involved with the teacher.
“When we became aware of potential involvement with a student, we followed all procedures by informing the Children’s Division,” Superintendent of the Monett school district Brad Hanson told the newspaper.
“We had a conversation with her and she was not employed from then on. We learned about it the day of her exit as an employee. We dealt with it swiftly,” he said.
The county prosecutor pressed charges against Ms Barclay and was released on $25,000 bail for the Lawrence County charges. She is yet to be arrested in Barry County and has a $10,000 bail for those charges.
Ms Barclay is due in court on 24 July in Lawrence County.
Former Northumbria University student Manton bombarded girls as young as 12 with sexually explicit messages
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A paedophile musician who bombarded children with sexually explicit messages is set to be freed from prison after top judges slashed his sentence.
Joshua Manton, a former Northumbria University student, used social media to prey on youngsters around the country, with one of his victims aged just 12.
The 19-year-old knew the girls were underage but still encouraged them to exchange indecent images and tried to meet up with one.
His crimes only came to light when the mum of one of his victims spotted the incriminating photographs on their phone.
In August last year, a judge at Northampton Crown Court locked Manton up for two years and four months but on Tuesday his sentence was cut to one year and eight months by judges sitting at London’s Court of Appeal.
The court heard he is likely to be freed immediately because of the time he has already served behind bars.
Manton is originally from Burnley but had been studying psychology and criminology in Newcastle.
He was a guitarist for Cult Lust, who described themselves as a “scuzz-rock mosh pit punk” band.
But as soon as his crimes were discovered, former bandmates rushed to distance themselves from him.
Mr Justice Wilkie told the court Manton exchanged about 180,000 messages with a number of girls, most of whom were over the age of consent.
But the judge said the age of those he chatted to seemed to have been a “matter of chance”.
When confronted by police about the messages to underage girls, Manton said he had “got carried away”.
The court heard he asked one 12-year-old girl to perform a sex act for him to watch over the internet.
He also tried to get her to send him naked pictures of herself, but she did not comply with his requests.
During online discussions with other girls, aged 13 and 14, he again asked for indecent images.
He engaged in explicit conversations with them and made one victim watch as he pleasured himself.
He also tried to persuade a 13-year-old girl to meet up with him.
The offences all took place between October 2014 and January 2015.
Manton admitted inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, three counts of inciting a child under 16 to engage in sexual activity, one of causing or inciting a child to watch a sexual act and one of arranging to meet a child following grooming.
Urging judges to reduce his sentence, his lawyers said it was too tough and didn’t take enough account of his admissions of guilt or his personal mitigation.
Allowing the appeal, Mr Justice Wilkie, sitting with Lady Justice Sharp and Judge Martin Picton, ruled the total sentence was “manifestly excessive”.
He said: “In our judgment, a proper total sentence for these offences would have been one of 20 months’ custody.”