I am currently slogging my way through a rather stodgy 650-page tome called Extreme Speech And Democracy. On the back is a question from Christopher McCrudden, professor of human rights law at Oxford: “What are the appropriate limits to freedom of expression in societies that wish to be democratic, multicultural, and committed to the human rights of all?”

Whether or not you regard that as a legitimate query, it’s certainly an irrelevant one. Because whatever you decide are the “appropriate” limits, by the time they percolate down to the transgendered liaison officer patrolling Workington shopping centre they’ll be reliably inappropriate. As I always point out in retailing the latest idiocy from Canada’s “human rights” fanatics, none of the above are “right-wing” in any sense that Steyn or Rumsfeld or Cheney would recognize the term. Mrs. Duffy is a lifelong Labour voter; Mr. Newman is one of those pox-on-all-their-houses types; the property company that fired Mr. Nicholson is so wretchedly politically correct it employed him as “Head of Sustainability,” a title of near parodic bogusness. Yet all fell afoul of Lord Justice Laws’ “irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary” laws. Because it’s hard not to. Because once you establish the principle that the state has the right to police ideas, sooner or later one of yours will catch their eye. I say “principle,” but that’s not really the word. The spirit is more aptly caught by a new joint initiative by the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission, the Manitoba “Human Rights” Commission and the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba to “promote and enhance the learning experience relative to human and treaty rights for all people living in Canada and around the world.” No idea what that means, but, as the CHRC press release says, this is the first time that these three useless taxpayer-funded sinecures have come together to “further their cause.” Since when do government agencies have ideological “causes”? And what happens if you disagree with their “cause”?