The news this morning that a couple in Rotherham had their foster children removed from them because they were UKIP members almost defies belief.
It seems to me to be symptomatic of a much wider problem with soft totalitarianism. There are now an enormous number of views the holding of which will lead to immediate retribution from left-leaning bureaucrats, not the least of which is global warming scepticism.
In his book The Real Global Warming Disaster, Christopher Booker quotes Richard Lindzen on Carl Wunsch as follows:
[He] professionally calls into question virtually all alarmist claims concerning sea level, ocean temperatures and ocean modelling, but assiduously avoids association with sceptics [because] if nothing else he has several major oceanographic programs to worry about.
Get that? If you even associate with sceptics there will be consequences. You will find yourself defunded. You will be ostracised. Is it any wonder that there are, quite literally, no climatologists in the UK who will profess themselves sceptics? When NERC has activists like Bob Watson and even a representative of the Green Alliance running it?
And quite rightly so, I hear the upholders of the global warming consensus say. Sceptics are at best crazy and at worst in the pay of big oil and we should remove them from respectable scientific circles.
Which is the nub of the problem. Totalitarianism, both in its soft and its hard incarnations, is born of the very best of intentions. I read somewhere that Stalin died thinking that sending dissenters to the gulag had been an unpleasant but necessary step on the road to socialist heaven. He was doing the right thing.
So I'm sure the council workers in Rotherham did what they did for the very best reasons. That doesn't stop their actions being part of a vile and dangerous trend in public life in the UK.