SNP’s bitter ‘trans’ row: what has this to do with properly governing Scotland?

by Colin Campbell

NICOLA Sturgeon made two big announcements last week. The first, as everyone is all too well aware, was her determination to push for an illegal referendum at the height of the pandemic. In the midst of rampant virus and vaccine concerns, that angered and infuriated very many people and could turn out to the biggest mistake she’s ever made.

Then, later in the week, she felt it necessary to appear on a specially filmed video to give her opinion on concerns about “transphobia” in the SNP.

Joanna Cherry.

If that first announcement was scandalous, the second was bizarre.

Where did all this transphobia stuff come from?

It’s clear it’s a huge priority for them. And it’s at least part of the reason Joanna Cherry was sacked.

Cherry, a supporter of “gender critical” campaigners, has argued that the Scottish Government’s measures to strengthen the rights and protections for transgender people have eroded rights for women.

This goes against Sturgeon and the Scottish Government who are currently working to amend the Gender Recognition Act, to enable people to self-identify as any gender legally. This means that transgender people would not need to be diagnosed as experiencing what is termed gender dysphoria or prove that they have been living as their identified gender for at least two years, before legally changing their gender identity.

Many people, like me, might wonder what in God’s name has this minor side issue got to do with governing Scotland – health, education, transport, and not to mention the prospect of mass Covid unemployment and businesses going bust up and down every city centre street and far beyond.

But to the SNP it’s a big, big deal. This increasingly strange party and some of its more crazed inmates are being torn apart by it.

What Sturgeon and co basically want is a situation where someone with a beard and hairy forearms could turn up at the Inverness leisure centre, tell perplexed staff he was a woman and say he’d be using the female changing rooms. Just like that. Or vice versa even.

I guarantee everyone in the queue behind would, like the staff, think this was total madness and that someone would step forward and say that he/she/they could shove their “self identification” rights, and potential mayhem would ensue. That’s what would happen in the real world.

But in the eyes of Sturgeon and “trans” extremists they would be as guilty as if they racially abused a person from an ethnic minority in the front foyer. They would be guilty of “transphobia”, which would become a criminal offence and for which they could and no doubt would be arrested.

But that’s the scenario Sturgeon and co want to create.

Joanna Cherry and others in the SNP believe that this would be an infringement on the rights of women who were using the female changing rooms. Are they wrong to believe women would find this totally unacceptable? That if a person who looked like a man walked into female changing rooms mayhem would not ensue there too?

How much mayhem do Sturgeon and co want?

Apparently some young trans people have left the SNP because of the “transphobia” of Joanna Cherry and others, and Sturgeon made her video appeal to bring them back.

I am from an older generation. I may not be as closely aligned with these changing times as some other people.

But for the SNP to be riddled with division and acrimony over this kind of issue makes the shuddering prospect of them gaining absolute power in an independent Scotland seem even more terrifying.

If they can’t sort out this kind of thing without fighting like ferrets on steroids in a sack, how could they deal with so much else?

Never mind currency, or mortgages, or pensions, or being out of the UK and EU, or the deficit, or a hard border with England, or all the other questions they have no answers for.


Some nationalists really do think, despite her still relatively composed demeanour, that Nicola Sturgeon is cracking under the strain of the virus, the slow pace of the vaccine rollout in Scotland, the Salmond affair, and the pressure being exerted on her by various groups of zealots and fanatics in the party to hold an illegal referendum.

The evidence of that seems to be mounting by the day.

Let’s see what Fergus Ewing makes it of all when he starts his Inverness campaign to be re-elected for the sixth time after 20 years of a cosy and lucrative tenure down at Holyrood.

Will his campaign brochure headline be: “Transphobia – please let me know what you think.” Nothing would be a surprise with the SNP any more.

But if it is, you read it here first.

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