Sturgeon in Trouble

ALBA MP Kenny MacAskill looks at the consequences of the Gender Reform Bill, how Nicola Sturgeon has once more handed the right to implementation of a Scottish parliamentary act to our oppressors. Nothing she has done seems to come to a safe and prosperous conclusion.

And no one has answered satisfactorily my question, what value is there in a self-ID Certificate when a man crosses the border? Will he have to change back again to a man, whether wearing women’s clothing or not? England wants to block the Bill, ergo, it does not recognise Scots law. A passport is of no use because Scotland does not issue them while under English rule, and so on, and so forth. The anti-biological claptrap in this case trips and traps Sturgeon’s SNP yet again.

The Gender Recognition Reform Bill has been driven through the Scottish Parliament but at a heavy price for Nicola Sturgeon.

The minor SNP rebellion solidified, and she now has a group within her parliamentary party with neither loyalty to her, nor anything to lose from further revolts. Those may be only a handful but they’ve a great deal of sympathy amongst a significant section of the party and wider public opinion.

All politicians build up capital over years in office. Those savings provide some comfort when mistakes are made, or circumstances get rough. Then you need to draw down on them. The First Minister, rightly or wrongly, had amassed a small fortune.

But she’s been facing turbulence for quite some time as austerity bites and failures mount. Simply not being Boris Johnson isn’t enough and patience’s wearing thin. She was already requiring to dip into those savings. And on an issue that, the more it’s exposed, the greater will be public opposition, she’s emptying the political ‘piggy bank’.

The vehemence with which she’s pursued this has exposed her. Timing in politics, as in comedy, can be everything. Perhaps, in fairer times, this would be less of an issue or at least generate less heat. But we’re in the midst of an austerity and fuel crisis with the constitutional issue ever present as a backdrop.

Why this of all issues to make your stand and make your defining issue? Whatever happened to closing the educational gap, let alone “judge me on education”? This Bill wasn’t in the SNP manifesto, which suggests the deal with the Greens was predicated on this, not environmental actions or independence.

But it’s clearly something she feels passionately about and has abandoned her usual cautious and calculating judgement to risk all for it. It has support from a vocal minority but, more widely, it’s going to bomb.

She’s also hoisted by her own petard over interference from Westminster. Leaving aside the fact that trans rights is hardly the rallying call to ignite the independence cause, especially when her push for that, let alone shouts for “freedom”, has been missing, she has by her actions ceded the argument on legality to Westminster and failed to press for Scottish sovereignty.

For sure, this Bill has been passed through Holyrood. But legal arguments over its impact on reserved UK equalities legislation have been well known. Why her Lord Advocate felt it possible to sign off this Bill, but not the Referendum Bill only they can explain? But the similarities are there. Sturgeon’s meekly accepted the outcome of the Supreme Court and failed to convene a convention or indeed take any action at all to seek Scottish sovereignty.

If she and her cohorts think that trans rights is the defining issue to make the independence case, they’re going to be mistaken. They’ve ceded the high ground to unionist opponents, who have now got the legal entitlement that Sturgeon conceded, as well as public opinion on trans issues behind them. Talk about charging uphill?

UK minister Kemi Badenoch needn’t even intercede and can leave it to legal challenges by individuals or groups. Given the fast-track referral of the referendum question, why not here?

Sturgeon’s boxed herself in, and is fast running out of capital.


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10 Responses to Sturgeon in Trouble

  1. surfsensei says:

    Precisely, I fear she’s been trying to learn tactics from Bonnie Prince Charlie (ref: Culloden).. why they didn’t approach this issue in a gradual, stepwise way I don’t understand, if they *really* felt it had to be done now.. just ease one thing, let it settle, than propose one more… Or perhaps political self-immolation rather than the shame of bailing out from really pushing independence?

  2. Alastair says:

    Let’s hope this is Sturgeons swan song , she has been the worst first minister and leader of the SNP we have ever had. If it was not for this imposter we would have been free in 2015. She has done everything to prevent independence and is still a putting spanners in the works yet. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone running the SNP who wanted independence and campaigned for it, someone who doesn’t persecute fellow compatriots or cow tow to our colonial masters courts our their sham parliament.
    I await her demise with anticipation and glee.
    Dissolve the Union.

  3. lorncal says:

    If Nicola Sturgeon thought that this issue would inflame Scots when Westminster interferes, she is sadly mistaken. Using one half of your population, the half that shares your sex, to sacrifice them for ‘the greater good’ will not wash – neither for her nor for any of those who voted for it, for whatever reasons. Kenny is right: Westminster need do little but sit back and wait for the implosion. Every woman I have spoken to is furious about this stuff. We all feel that we have been used and abused, and doubly so when idiots, sorry chaps, but usually men, write stupid letters to The National stating that it is all for the best. Not from where females are standing. If the attitude by so many SNP/Green supporters is: stop bleating, this is part of the cunning plan, then they can go forth and multiply because we will not be giving our votes to such blatant anti female nonsense.

    If it was even possible to believe that such a crass action would lead to independence, it would be so cynical as to be out of the field of play. As you say, GB, what happens when the GRC tourist returns home, if he returns home (it will almost certainly be predominantly males who come up here)? Will that force Westminster to introduce it down south? I doubt it. Neither, I think, will they oppose it by bringing in anti Scottish measures. Women in Scotland, England, Wales and NI are already banding together to fight it, and they are also in communication with women in every corner of the globe where this stuff has been introduced or is to be introduced. The ‘trans’ lobby has perpetrated a huge con against the ‘liberals’ of the West, and, soon, that will be seen plainly for what it really is. Do these politicians actually believe that females will forgive and forget? Nah! In every constituency across the UK, votes will be withdrawn, seats toppled – remember the cheers when all those Tory seats fell? – and female-specific laws demanded that will negate the worst aspects of this stuff.

    I hope Dame Helena Kennedy is listening. It was always perfectly possible to make access to a GRC possible, whilst retaining all details necessary for proper statistical collation, making self-ID a big deal rather than the afterthought it has become, and that could have been done without touching women’s spaces and rights. Unless, of course, they always knew, these politicians, that well over 75% of the ‘trans’ movement is based on lady feelz and that access to female spaces and rights was always what it was about – in which case, they must also have known that the numbers asking for a GRC in Scotland, and those heading north for a GRC, would be very much higher than they told us, plus they must have known all along that all laws relating to female equality across the board would also be under siege. Well, well. The plot thickens, eh, Nicola and all you gutless wonders in Holyrood: SNP, Greens, Labour, Lib Dems. Or, like the Lib Dems at Westminster, has Big Pharma promised a large donation to the coffers for passing this stuff as the sociopathic American billionaires, who are bankrolling Stonewall and its arms, set in progress the next wave of neoliberal capitalism? Do tell, because it sure as hell has nothing to do with ‘trans’ rights or female rights.

  4. So much time spent on it over 7 years and still could not put in safeguards before it got through the stages? Set up to fail? ‘ah tried Patrick’ She is led by the nose by her SPADs. I understand only available to Scots born or those who make their homes here. What does that entail I wonder? 2 weeks holiday twice a year? It will cost more to administer this farce.

  5. tombkane says:

    Kenny, thanks. And Gareth, too.
    That this FM was billed as cautious, taking the softly, softly approach, gently, gently to woo the middle ground into trusting good government in Scotland first before addressing the independence question; and to see her government incapable of following civil service protocols, not minuting decisive government decision-making, not being honest or open with the SNP conferences, establishing and pursuing unlawful investigations, and now introducing this Bill at Christmas with all of the same hallmarks of disdain, privacy, exclusion, and definitely in no way softly, softly culminating in a first minister and party first 3-line whip… Well, it is now a personal authority issue, and the msps have chosen their sides. But they are now grimacing at each other on an issue that has nothing to do with nation-building and is easily weaponised to divide and set people against each other. Not only that, only a small number of voices have been heard…

    Am pretty gutted that Adult Human Female could not be shown in peace at Edinburgh University, a film from filmmakers Deirdre O’Neill and Mike Wayne, to explain show “how far things have already changed for the worse for women and how difficult it has been to be heard, to be listened to”.

    The SNP that pronounces, dismisses, does not respect law or rules for good government, that thinks womens concerns are invalid is not a fitting vehicle to bring a humane Scotland onto the world stage as a new and independent country. We all know it. And the enemies of Scotland’s independence love it.

    Shamed National Party.

  6. diabloandco says:

    Excellent – thank you both.

    I look forward to a different New Year stripped of the idiotic and self serving.

  7. David Henry says:

    Yes can’t disagree with the article. However I think there’s more wrong behind the scenes inside the SNP. The missing indyref funds the refusal to hand over accounting records and bank statements all leads me to believe that there is corruption at the heart of the Scottish National Party.

    The GRR BILL is not widely supported and as Kenny rightly highlights there’s been no plan by the SNP to deliver Independence since Alex Salmond left as FM.

    Nicola Sturgeon has turned out to be a 2nd rate TV presenter that’s all.

  8. alfbaird says:

    Yes David, on the matter of “corruption at the heart of the Scottish National Party”, postcolonial theory reminds us that a compromised national party elite working only to delay independence “behaves like a gang” (Fanon) and, as we see: “it takes refuge in a hypocrisy which is all the more odious because it is less and less likely to deceive” (Cesaire).

  9. stuartlngr says:

    When assuming that Sturgeon is pro independence, then pretty much everything she has done since 2015 has been a misstep. The GRA is just the most obvious of these, though that is also arguable as the persecution of key independence players had her fingerprints all over it.
    However, if one starts from the position that she is working for the British state, then she has played an absolute blinder.

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