Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Tweedledum and Tweedledee from ‘Alice in Wonderland’

If there is any one policy critics of SNP ineptness can point to as emblematic of how the party has ripped apart a once cohesive movement by their inability to perceive fault lines in their competency, it is the Gender Reform Bill, (GRA) a slavish adherence to the discredited Stonewall’s warped idea of what womanhood should be. To my observation, the party has suffered from Nicola Sturgeon’s utter conviction her way is the only way, and to bully her colleagues into slavish adherence conformity. Boris Johnson takes the same line with his party MPs; say ‘Yes’ or forget the knighthood; rip up agreements, or I shall appoint another who will, gang up on him as a group and you will be thrown out of the party.

In every society there are the mediocre on the make who will grab the opportunity to take on an unpalatable commission if a higher authority asks for their loyalty. Decency and ethics have nothing to do with their decision. Boris has made an entire career of promoting deadheads and bigots who suit his purpose. And the Eton Mess is a known misogynist who cannot remember how many children he has fathered. He is also very clever at creating diversions to keep attention of his stupidity and transgressions.

Journalist Kevin McKenna has similar trouble telling Sturgeon from Johnson.


By Kevin McKenna

This week’s most predictable development: Nicola Sturgeon is to host a summit of women’s groups in Scotland to discuss abortion rights. Last week the First Minister couldn’t bring herself to define what a ‘woman’ is. Perhaps she could sub-contract Stonewall to provide her with an updated guide before she meets the women’s groups. She surely wouldn’t want to be excluding anyone while she’s in the process of coming to a decision on what defines a woman. And if she’s still harbouring doubts, I suppose she could always convene a focus group to help her identify their chief characteristics.

You don’t want to be cynical about what’s motivated the First Minister’s enthusiasm for convening this abortion summit. She’s previously described herself as “a feminist to her fingertips” and so we probably ought to assume sincerity in her eagerness to “convene and personally chair” the abortion summit. Perhaps having a chance to meet and greet women in the raw will help her come to a decision about what they really are.

Now that she’s decided to become personally involved in an issue about women’s rights perhaps she might show similar enthusiasm in tackling another matter that affects their health and security. For more than two years now dozens of complaints made by female members about alleged intimidation, bullying and threats of sexual violence from within her party have been ignored by the SNP leadership.

Joanna Cherry

Joanna Cherry has been the chief target for the SNP’s internal hate mob simply for advocating a reasonable debate about how the self-ID proposals in their proposed GRA reforms might affect women’s sex-based rights. Whenever Ms Cherry and others within the party who share her concerns have sought to raise the issue of their personal welfare they have been bullied into silence at the National Executive Committee and by the toxic boys club that operates under the SNP flag at Westminster. The First Minister who has shown a commendable burst of pace in convening the abortion summit has been somewhat more glacial about addressing women’s safeguarding concerns within her own party. It renders all her lofty idealism on related issues little more than performative grandstanding.

Fifteen months have elapsed since a former SNP member was convicted of threatening Ms Cherry with sexual violence, yet the “feminist to her fingertips” at Bute House never once inquired after her welfare. Instead, Ms Cherry has been demoted from her front bench position at Westminster and says she has been subjected to routine bullying at her place of work, in an orchestrated attempt to force her out of politics. Whether or not this is connected to concerns by Sturgeon loyalists that she’s a plausible candidate for the future leadership of the party can’t be verified beyond doubt.

The Scottish Government, like its counterpart south of the border, proceeds by the ancient law of any port in a storm. Lacking any identifiable centre of gravity beyond a half-hearted commitment to independence it scans Scotland’s political firmament looking for contrived excursions and alarums to deflect attention from this month’s mess.

Embroiled in a multi-million-pound ferry fiasco? Not to worry, Downing Street’s party-gate scandal will conveniently occupy the spotlight. Accused of privatising Scotland’s renewable energy bounty for a pittance? Never you mind that. Those Russians have invaded Ukraine and we must only be concerned with that right now. It would be callous not to.

It helps, of course that the spike in law-breaking in London’s SW1A postal area is almost entirely due to the activities inside 10 Downing Street (100 fines for Covid delinquency and counting). And that when the Tories’ Covid bacchanals were in full swing they were also operating a mafia enterprise in dodgy PPE equipment. It all helps divert attention from your own negligence in turning Scotland’s care homes into mortuaries.

And anyway, wicked though those Tories might be it didn’t stop you voting with them in providing Scotland’s poorest communities with a basic legal right to food as you did this week. Who knew the SNP and the perfidious Tories shared so much common ground? There they both were again linking arms to vote down compensation for miners and their families whose livelihoods were destroyed by being falsely arrested by during the strike in 1984-85. Tory psychopathy might have helped maintain the SNP’s Westminster Group in keening sanctimony for a decade but from time to time they make jolly decent bed-fellows.

Bad apples

Every generation of politicians on either side of the Border has its rogue element. In a polity that can host up to three national elections every few years it’s impossible to ensure that only those with personal CVs cleansed of all impurity are ever considered as candidates. Even so, it’s difficult to recall another period in UK politics when law-breaking, deception and cynical manipulation of the electorate was accepted as the mainstream and not the exception. This seems to proceed on the basis that as political malfeasance becomes so commonplace so will the electorate become desensitised to it.

The consequences of this though, are obvious. If we become so impervious to the effects of our politicians’ abject conduct in office and their daily micro-aggressions towards each other and to the laws of common decency then this will inevitably have a knock-on effect in our neighbourhoods.

The perfect storm of a hard Brexit; the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic will menace our most vulnerable communities for a generation. What might once have been deemed to be a transgression to ease a family’s burden could become a moral imperative. Once, it was only a collective sense of personal ethics and personal pride that stopped good people from breaking the law to mitigate their losses and reversals. But when these people see the lawmakers operating recklessly and with contempt for any legal censure – then they’re entitled to think that the breakdown in society has already begun to occur. And that it didn’t start with them.

If privilege and entitlement can break the law with such insouciance then what’s stopping those who have neither?

NOTE: Kevin McKenna is a columnist for various Scottish newspapers including the Guardian. This article was first published in the Herald.


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6 Responses to Tweedledum and Tweedledee

  1. In 2016 I wrote to various women’s health groups tied to Gov policy & to my MSP asking why women over 16 weeks pregnant were sent to BUPA clinics in England for abortions. They had to pay own wat including overnight hospital stays then claim back after. No one could tell me why this situation exists. Such abortions are done here only if life threatening or miscarriage has started. If you do not have the money to travel you are left trying to apply for funds..or no abortion. Time is of essence. If it is a legal thing-.get it sorted. If it is church interference remove them! Offered it to Irish women but do not tell them the 16 week limit! Due to modern contraception many women do not realise they are pregnant until well on. Now we see TRAs demanding research into how to get a man pregnant?. Run on HRT..MEN GROWING BOOBS? WOMEN ARE GOING TO THE BACK OF THE QUEUE AGAIN!

  2. duncanio says:

    There is no doubt that the incompetence, secrecy and high-handedness of the Westminster government finds its mirror image in the current Holyrood administration.

    Just as the pigs adopted the behavioural traits and customs of the humans and former masters in the Orwellian classic the current representatives of the Scottish Government have learned their lessons well from their British overlords.

    But at least the pigs managed to overthrow their oppressors before they abandoned ethics and turned to despotism.

  3. lorncal says:

    Everything about this whole, stinking mess of contradictions screams: war on women. It is coming from all sides now. Oddly enough, women’s fightback is also coming from all sides, and is a powerful refutation of the attempts to row back history and place them into a modern pre-rights era. Nicola Sturgeon, you feel, would offer succour to Auld Nick if he came calling and it seemed like she would make hay with his offerings.

    There are so many different aspects to this stuff that it is sometimes hard to see the light for the heat, but Nicola Sturgeon will do nothing to mend fences with those women who now oppose her, and her government’s attempts to foist men in frocks on us, abortion summit or no abortion summit. She has forfeited her own “feminist to my fingertips” persona.

    The euphoria around the Indian doctor’s determination to bring a man to full term will be interesting from a purely medical viewpoint. Where will his internal organs be stored while a large enough space is created for a womb? How will they attach the womb to the faux vagina because, at the moment, men’s penises are peeled back like a banana skin and shoved up through a hole drilled below the testicles, and then connected to a length of the colon.

    Since actual childbirth through this canal will be impossible without the brain’s triggering specific hormones to activate elasticity and promote child birthing muscular contractions (men’s brains can’t do this) we can assume only that a caesarian section is envisaged. The inverted penis is physically incapable of accommodating a full-term child and the drilled hole is an open wound that has to be kept open by means of an artificial, plastic ‘penis’ used every day or it will heal up and close over.

    The colon is part of the animal waste disposal unit inside bodies, human bodies included, and it will be full of bacteria related to that purpose. If too much strain is put on the join at which colon and inverted penis meet, one can imagine that it could tear apart, so, again, natural childbirth is rather problematic. Even women occasionally need to be ‘cut’ to allow a large child to slide free or to enable a forceps birth, so it will be interesting to see how the artificial vagina stands up to the process of being stretched to oblivion. But, hey, to the stars and beyond for this favoured group. When will we see the first male birthing clinic in Scotland, one wonders? Will children be thrust aside to make way for this latest phenomenon so that a male birthing clinic in Scotland can be the first in the UK. Take that, Boris. Yah boo and sucks to you, Eton Mess!

    Boris is not really in favour of extending even more rights and privileges to ‘trans people’, despite Carrie’s handmaiden credentials, so he and Nicola do not have that in common. The blue-rinsed ladies of the Conservative clubs would string him up by his sphericals. The SNP and Greens have no such brake on their ambitions and Mr Murrell is rarely seen these days (seeing the puppeteer can spoil the illusion) but, yes, these two administrations have much in common.

  4. Is it too flippant to observe that by going to a conference about abortion, Sturgeon is inadvertently answering the question of what a woman is? For surely only women can have abortions.

  5. It has been clear to me for some years now that the SNP functions in Scotland in exactly the same way as the Tory Party functions in England. Both conspire by dubious means to remain in government in perpetuity. Both are the established party of government. Both represent the safe choice in ballots for the timid and uncritical. Both have their hands firmly on the reigns of power. Both are able to slide and squirm out of controversy and scandal. Both are supported by a secretive cabal of ideologues and strategists. Both are able to silence and sideline members who do not fall in behind the leadership. Both have taken control of the judiciary to further their ends and criminalise elements considered to be a threat to their power.

    That list was just off the top of my head!

    No doubt many other similarities could be discovered.

    It would seem that the SNP has learned very closely from the British state. The Scottish government (the unholy alliance between the SNP and the hypocrites in the “Green” Party) has wrapped itself in the ideology of identity politics, ensuring that important positions in society’s assorted institutions are given to the right people, who also adhere to its favoured ideology in exactly the same way that the English government has wrapped itself in the butchers’ apron and free market economics while ensuring its pals are given lucrative contracts and sinecures.

    The SNP has effectively crushed the independence movement by becoming the Scottish establishment. I am absolutely certain I will never see independence in my lifetime – even if my life expectancy was not limited by terminal illness. In fact I doubt if my nephew, who is the same age as the century, a passionate believer in independence, and unusually for one of his age a fierce though silent critic of identity politics, will live to see Scottish independence.

    I have come to see independence now as another delusional aspiration offered to a gullible populace, like social equality or political integrity, while the establishment trundles onward, pragmatically, opportunistically would be a better word, dealing with issues as they arise, but never once being prepared to let go of any power.

    Meanwhile the rest of us will be condemned to marginal employment, expensive and inadequate health care and material poverty.

  6. diabloandco says:

    I am sure in the dim and distant past I read somewhere that the first man to give birth would automatically become the King of India – maybe that’s why there is an Indian doctor keen to implant some willing prostate ,glanded chap.

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