Editors at National Review Online lament a disturbing development across the pond.

The “Hate Crime and Public Order Act” was first introduced to the Scottish parliament in 2020 by Humza Yousaf, currently the highest-ranking politician in the Scottish government and leader of the far-left Scottish National Party.

The sweeping legislation, which went into effect this week (on April Fools’ Day, no less), makes it a criminal offense punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment to “stir up hate” against a protected identity group.

Protected characteristics include religion (which feeble carve-outs permit one to “discuss, criticize, ridicule, or insult”), as well as sexual orientation and transgenderism (which citizens are permitted only to “discuss or criticize”).

A single source is sufficient to prove an offense occurred. No specific victim is required. The law gives the police powers of entry, including the seizure of property, against suspects. Citizens disturbed by wrong-think can drop into Stasi-esque reporting sites across the country, which — as if this couldn’t get any more ridiculous — include an LGBT sex shop in Glasgow and a salmon and trout wholesaler on the east coast of Scotland.

The only standard to determine whether a crime has been committed is if the person’s conduct is something “that a reasonable person would consider to be threatening, abusive, or insulting.”

Too bad there are so few reasonable persons in the Scottish government.

How this legislation is enforced will necessarily depend on the whims of complainers and prosecutors.

For instance, Yousaf said he felt vindicated in his support for the legislation after “racist and Islamophobic” graffiti appeared on a wall near his family home. But after the law passed, Police Scotland received thousands of complaints about Yousaf himself — who, in June 2020, gave a speech in which he appeared to complain that there were too many white people in government.