Marion Millar takes part in a woman’s rights demo organised by Women Wont Wheesht in Edinburgh last month (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Artillery Row

Marion Millar’s case discontinued

But for gender heretics, the punishment is the process

In an era when common sense appears vanishingly rare, we must applaud when sanity prevails.

Today came the happy news that the case against Marion Millar for alleged gender hate crimes on social media has been discontinued by the Crown. Her solicitor David McKie issued a statement welcoming this outcome as the right decision for a whole number of reasons, not least the cost to the public purse. 

This whole saga has been unedifying for a number of reasons. First, the opacity of the initial charges against Millar — which appeared to relate to a suffragette ribbon tied to a fence being perceived as a noose. It later transpired that the charges were amended shortly before or immediately at one of her court hearings. Dates for her court appearance were continually adjourned. One can only imagine the toll this takes. As many have pointed out, the punishment for gender heresy is rarely a conviction — most claims by self-appointed victims are trivial and vexatious. The punishment is the process. Marion has been through the mill, but thankfully she was able to secure top notch legal representation from Joanna Cherry QC who no doubt assisted The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to a better understanding of the operation of Article 10 ECHR. But not all litigants in her position are so lucky. 

I hope what happened to Millar represents the beginning of the end of a very pernicious form of collective insanity

The English courts had already made themselves clear in Scottow v CPS that offence taken against hurtful words was unlikely to be a reason to breach someone’s fundamental human right to free expression — however coarse or vulgar they might wish to be. Scotland seems keen on taking another course, but this decision to discontinue against Millar may be the first indication of a dawning realisation that they need to reconsider their current direction. 

But we are not out of the gender woods quite yet. Meanwhile another woman waits to be arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for her “hateful” tweeting. The police won’t tell her exactly what the tweets say until she agrees to come in for an interview. Her defiant response is “arrest me then”. It’s been five days and, as yet, no arrest. Watch the clock on this Twitter account.

The damage done here goes deep. I am co-author of the report The Invisible Strand released by Fair Cop on 25 October, which examines the disturbing evidence of the police’s capture by “gender ideology” and how the conflation of sex and gender has made women and girls less safe. A copy will go to every PCC and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. 

What I hope Millar’s case and its discontinuance means is a sign of sanity returning. What appears to have developed over the years is one minority group elevated above criticism, demanding and getting compliance with its ideology that seems akin to a religious faith. A variety of state agencies have offered compliance, often it seems in defiance of the actual law. The consequences for the continued cohesion of our society and safety of our democracy are obvious. 

For many months Millar had to face the criminal process hanging over her while she was continually abused, threatened and intimidated online. The police appear to have taken no action against any of those individuals. She will not get that time back nor the money spent. We cannot allow her individual suffering to translate into greater harm to our trust and confidence in the police and the criminal justice system. I very much hope that what happened to Millar represents the beginning of the end of a very pernicious form of collective insanity. If it doesn’t? Then we fight on. 

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