by Colin Campbell
IT can be difficult for many folk of my generation to keep up with changing social attitudes in these ever changing times. Some of us, at the very least, are often left bewildered by what’s evolving around us.
At the same time, we have to be aware of the risks posed by the SNP Government’s crackdown on so called “hate crimes”, which has a scope far wider than the obvious need to provide a strong deterrent to racism, which is disgusting in any shape or form.
In the sinister circumstances it would be helpful if we were all provided with a simplified list of free speech which is being rendered illegal overnight.
This applies particularly with the SNP Government’s obsession with transgender rights and its determination to eradicate “transphobia”, neither of which feature in the daily lives of the overwhelming majority of people.
Will it be legal to venture the opinion that men are born men and women are born women and that is an unarguable biological fact?
Or that it is ludicrous that those who were born as men should have the transgender rights to compete in women’s sports, leaving females trailing in their wake?
Or that men who “self identify” as women should be allowed to use female changing rooms and toilets, at Inverness leisure centre for example?
Highland Council, at Culloden Academy, blundered to the very edge of this minefield laid out by the SNP Government right at the start last week of the new school year.
The first concern raised by parents? Nothing to do with the curriculum, teaching numbers, classroom sizes or the three Rs. A group of parents and pupils was formed in opposition to “unisex toilets” being introduced there.
Parents of pupils at the school were not consulted on the removal of all single-sex toilets in the school, and were shocked to learn female pupils as young as 11 were due to be sharing a toilet with boys as old as 18 at the school. And the only reason they were not consulted is because they would have given this lunatic notion the response it deserved.
But for some completely inexplicable reason it was enacted anyway.
One opponent was grandparent Judith Reid, who told the Inverness Courier: “My personal view is that this is just another step towards girls and women’s safe spaces being eroded.
“This is simply not acceptable.
“Sharing toilet spaces with an open door – the latches have been taped over so anyone can see who is in there.
“So does my 12-year-old have to share with a 17-year-old boy?
“Girls are refusing to go to them. Some toilets don’t even have bins. I’m beyond furious that the school has taken this stance.”
Judith Reid is a grandparent. Does that mean she’s behind the times, not quite keeping up with shifting changing attitudes, that her attitude to “gender fluidity” isn’t quite fluid enough?
The Courier also ran an opinion poll on whether it’s acceptable for a school to have “unisex toilets” with no alternative.
As of Sunday it was running at 94 per cent opposition.
So far from being out of touch, Ms Reid spoke for virtually everyone.
The council has now backtracked and will restore male and female toilets for pupils.
How on earth did officials get this so hopelessly wrong and create such an explosively acrimonious situation right at the beginning of the school year?
Are they purblind idiots?
Or were they influenced by transgender, transphobia, gender fluidity pressure bearing down from above, that is, from the top of the SNP Government? And their obsession with an issue that’s not only tearing their own party apart, but is also causing many other people, including so many parents around Culloden Academy to shake their heads in outright despair?