The wrong ground

There is no route to independence which does not pass through a point at which there is direct and acrimonious confrontation with the British state. This confrontation is inevitable. It is unavoidable. If Scotland’s independence is to be restored, this confrontation must be faced. Preparations must be made. Scotland must prevail. If any doubted the truth of this before, they surely cannot doubt it having witnessed the behaviour of the British government over the past several years.

Confrontation is inevitable because the constitutional issue is a contest between two wholly incompatible and irreconcilable doctrines ─ popular sovereignty versus parliamentary sovereignty. It is unavoidable because it is existential. If the British state prevails, Scotland will cease to exist as a nation. If Scotland’s cause succeeds, the British state’s conceit of itself will become unsustainable.

Let’s not deceive ourselves. Confronting the British state may be necessary, but it is nonetheless a daunting prospect for any politician. The British state machinery is massive and powerful. The British state is, after all, derived from ─ at no great distance ─ absolute monarchy. The Crown in Parliament is a compromise between absolute monarchy and a superficially democratic institution resulting in a form of managed democracy. In addition, the British state can call on the support of almost all the UK media. And this is all before we start to consider the extraordinary power over Scotland that the Union gives the British state. It makes the British political elite a formidable opponent.

But for what do we in Scotland elect politicians from the SNP and other pro-Scotland parties if not for their claimed preparedness to face this formidable foe? We vote for them not merely in the hope that they will confront the British state as required, but in the expectation that they will do so. would we vote for them if they said the task of restoring Scotland’s independence was too difficult? No! We vote for them on the basis that their assurance that they are prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Scotland prevails in that existential battle. We vote for them because they tell us they have the wherewithal to take on the British state and win!

It now seems to me ─ and I know I am far from alone ─ that these politicians have been getting themselves elected on false pretences. At least those voting for the British parties know what they’re getting. They know that when they elect British party candidates, they are getting the dregs from the pool of political ambition. They know they are voting for people who will talk Scotland down and work against Scotland’s interests in the name of their allegiance to the ruling elites of the British state. They know they will get exactly what they are voting for. They know they will get the likes of Anas Sarwar and Dougla Ross. I rest my case.

Would that those of us who vote for Scottish, rather than British, politicians could be so sure of getting the bonnie fechters for Scotland that we expect. Oh! They talk a good fight. They are fine so long as it is no more than talk that is demanded of them. If there were prizes for bold rhetoric, bluster and virtue-signalling, the mantlepieces and display cabinets of Scotland’s political class would be groaning under the strain. There are damned few prizes for action competing for space.

We know how powerful is the British state. We are daily reminded of the way Scotland is massively disadvantaged by the Union. We know that to succeed our politicians will need to fight clever. We vote for them on the promise of their cleverness. We see very little evidence of that cleverness once they are elected. Right now, we see only jaw-dropping stupidity when we observe the antics of the SNP/Scottish Government. The farce of Nicola Sturgeon’s gender recognition reform (GRR) legislation is undoubtedly the most glaring example.

The main advantage that Scotland has over the might of the British state is that it is available to us to choose the ground on which the inevitable final confrontation occurs. We get to pick the basis of the fight. We get to select the issue at stake in this confrontation. Unfortunately, we have elected a government dominated by someone who is absolutely convinced that she can avoid a confrontation for which she has no appetite whatever, regardless of the convincing show she put on in order to get to the dominant position she now holds like some medieval baron in his keep surrounded by troops both loyal and mercenary.

We can but speculate on the reasoning ─ or lack thereof ─ behind the confrontation that Sturgeon has contrived ─ or stumbled into ─ over the GRR Bill. As readers will surely be aware, the British government has stymied that Bill with an intervention under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998. There is evidence or reasoned argument for believe both the contriving and the stumbling scenario. The persuasive evidence is that Sturgeon was fully aware that a Section 35 intervention was on the cards. She was well warned. This makes it look as if she has deliberately provoked this action by the British government. The persuasive evidence that Sturgeon simply stumbled into this situation while her mind was out to lunch is that it is just too stupid to be explained in any other way.

I have never thought of Sturgeon as a stupid person. I had come to be persuaded that she was not the astute and adroit politician that I once thought she was. I had long since concluded that she was no kind of leader for Scotland’s cause. But I’ve never considered her to be stupid. Once upon a time, I would have contended that genuinely stupid people don’t rise to positions of power, for the simple reason that the competition for positions of power demanded cleverness on the part of those who hoped to succeed. That was before Boris Johnson. That was before Liz Truss. These examples, and others, make it clear that no smarts are now required of any individual who rises to the top in politics. They need only be the chosen puppet of the apparatus behind the curtain. Being not very clever actually helps. Clever people make poor puppets.

There’s also the effect of being in power. It is said that ‘the job makes the man’ or presumably, the woman. Sometimes people rise to the demands of high office. They become better leaders than was expected. I suspect that there are many more instances in which the job unmakes the man or woman. There must be countless examples of the status and privileges of high office going to the head of an incumbent and rendering them stupid never mind how clever they were before. I look at Nicola Sturgeon and can’t help but wonder if she has succumbed to this ‘unmaking effect’. It would explain a lot.

But let’s suppose it was not stupidity which led her to pick this particular fight with the British government. Let’s allow that this was, in Sturgeon’s estimation, a clever move. Maybe she thought poking the bear so it lashed out would demonstrate that it was a lashing out kind of bear to which Scotland is shackled. Perhaps this intervention by the British state was intended as yet another of those things that was supposed to boost support for independence so that the British state buckled under the pressure and agreed to fully and honestly cooperate with a process whose purpose was to end their ‘precious’ Union. This, after all, has always been Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘plan’ for getting independence. No need for confrontation. We’d just build support for independence to a point where the British state was intimidated by it.

There’s at least a couple of things wrong with this ‘plan’. Firstly, support for independence hasn’t increased. Secondly, the British state is never going to cooperate with a process that might end the Union. It’s existential, remember!

There are good grounds on which to initiate the final confrontation with the British state, and there are bad grounds. Brexit would have been good grounds. There was a clear democratic iniquity involved and, crucially, majority popular support was almost guaranteed. That’s what makes good grounds. A winnable fight with most of the Scottish people cheering you on. The only fly in the Brexit ointment is the small but loud contingent of independence supporters who see the EU through the eyes of Nigel Farage. But there’s always going to be a few people not prepared to lend their support. It’s a question of numbers. And that’s what makes GRR such a monumentally bad choice of ground on which to confront the British state.

The UK government has given its reasons for the Section 35 intervention. As Sturgeon was warned, they have a very solid case. Nonetheless, she has implied that she intends to seek a judicial review. It is all but certain she will lose. She simply doesn’t have the kind of case that would make this sensible ground on which to confront the British state.

Neither can she be certain of the necessary public support. GRR (self-ID) is a wedge issue that has split voters ─ with what appears to be a considerable majority either actively supporting the UK government’s intervention or at least declining to support Sturgeon as she fights it. She knew this too. Just as she was told that a Section 35 intervention had to be anticipated, there was ample evidence of deep and widespread concerns, particularly regarding the self-ID aspect of GRR.

Sturgeon looks to have picked a fight with the British state that she cannot win and for which she has little support. If this was intentional then there’s even more stupidity involved than if she had just stumbled into the situation.

Thankfully, this is highly unlikely to be the decisive confrontation with the British state. It looks more like being an embarrassing fiasco along the lines of the last time Sturgeon went to the UK Supreme Court in an ill-advised adventure. But even if this isn’t the final confrontation it serves as a test of Sturgeon’s judgement as to what grounds are chosen for the final confrontation. And it shows clearly that she is totally unfit.

Quite what we do about that I’m not sure. But be in no doubt that so long as Scotland’s cause is in Nicola Sturgeon’s hands it is in grave jeopardy.



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47 thoughts on “The wrong ground

  1. ” ….with what appears to be a considerable majority either actively supporting the UK government’s intervention ….”

    Based on a snap poll of WoS followers? A site run by some one who even the most ardent of his apologists must now see as being no friend of independence, and who hasn’t been for some time.

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    1. I would not accuse Wings of being anti Independence!
      However, Wings is clearly anti Nicola Sturgeon.
      That is not the same thing as being against Independence.
      It is also clear, Wings, and many, many others, are against certain aspects of this crazy Gender Bill.
      But we do note at same time, the tory regime, and their allies in Scotland, are claiming this Gender thing will have an adverse impact on England.
      We didn’t notice any of them care one wee damn bit, that Brexit would have an adverse impact on Scotland, but still they pushed it thru regardless.
      And now, so do both Labour and LibDems follow it regardless.
      It is such a pity, actually, a catastrophic disaster for Scotland, the SNP (and we have to include the ALBA politicians in this, as they were a part of it, at the time) didn’t go to war with London over us being taken out of EU, despite all the talk, from SNP, they wouldn’t allow it to happen, and we’d be Independent by now, and still in Europe.
      All Wings Over Scotland has done, is to have pointed these things out.
      It is however, unfortunate, Wings thinks the London rulers over are Scotland are correct to confront Edinburgh over this issue.
      But that has been the direct fault of the SN[P/Green alliance.
      Yet at same time, both Labour MSPs and LibMSPs, and 2 tories, supported this Legislation.
      In effect, most of Scotland’s MSPs voted for this, whether we liked it or not.
      Thus, we have the Parliament in Edinburgh being trashed by the overlords in London.
      That is not acceptable.

      But neither was it acceptable, those same MSPs were over ruled by London with Brexit, the Bedroom Tax, and a slew of other policies imposed on us from London.
      And yet, these MSPs did accept it. All of it!
      Now, they are all of a sudden in a great big huff!
      ell, we can only hope they are big huffs enough to push for Independence, at long last!!!
      We can only wait and see, but we can only wonder.
      I mean, we have Labour in Edinburgh at odds with Labour in London,, and even still, the Labour boss in Scotland is going out of his way to say anything against his superior in England, despite his fellow MSPs saying plenty.
      It hardly sounds like that group of politicians are going to confront their colonial overlords too much, but then again, this Gender stuff seems to mean an awful lot more to them than Brexit!
      So, just maybe, even some in Labour will see the light of day!

      At any rate, we have to oppose the UK Government on this matter.
      We have no choice
      But as Peter says, here, will our politicians finally stand up to London?
      We will see…….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gordon: it is more than unfortunate for females in Scotland and in the UK as a whole. Maybe the SNP/Greens will stand up to Westminster, but they will do it without a large portion of the women’s vote. Women’s groups, over and over again, told the SG and the parliament that the GRRB would conflict with the Equality Act 2010 and many other pieces of legislation of UK origin (reserved Matters). They chose to ignore them all, feeling safe in the knowledge that Westminster would do nothing. Well, they have been proved wrong and, if they go to court over this, they will lose and they will, yet again, have wasted public money.

        If they thought to confront Westminster through the GRRB, you then have to accept that they were willing (and all who support them were willing) to throw women and children under the bus. That would have been the rpice of independence if they ever introduced it, which they won’t, as the 2023 debacle is now out of the window – precisely what they wanted. Wings, and many of us, predicted that they would try and blame Westminster if they were confronted over this insane legislation. It was an ill-conceived piece of legislation from its inception. Let’s ask all Scots men to give up their rights till we achieve independence?

        Had everyone had the courage to stand up against this stuff, we could have strangled it at birth AND been able to concentrate on independence. More and more, I am coming to the conclusion that females and children really do not matter, either in Scotland or elsewhere, and neither do working-class people or those without a job or who are on benefits. We are living in a left-wing, middle-class delusion of epic proportions and it is going to come crashing down about our ears when the reality of ‘gender identity’ really comes home to even the least sentient. The hard left, from whence this stuff comes, has never, ever embraced national identity and self-determination, but, hey, totalitarianism never happens – like sexual assault.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. (NB: All uppercase wording is the initial author’s for emphasis, not mine).

        Try reading this link;
        https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2023/01/19/the-screeching-change-of-direction-the-forgotten-westminster-history-on-gender-recognition-reform/

        Until very recently the UK Govt was intent on passing the self same legislation with the record showing “The Government said IT WAS PERSUADED BY THESE ARGUMENTS and wanted to make it easier for transgender people to achieve legal recognition”.

        The UK Govt’s 2020 consultation on the reform showed overwhelming support from over 100,000 replies. Despite this, and despite a Tory back-bencher reminding the Govt of the ” …. fear being used against them (Teans) and fears, void of evidence, to sustain them ….”, Boris Johnson’s Govt bowed to right wing pressure and abandoned the legislation. Afterwards, Labour stated “LABOUR WOULD “CONTINUE TO SUPPORT UPDATING THE GRA TO INCLUDE SELF-DECLARATION FOR TRANS PEOPLE” and on the abandonment of the bill said “LABOUR BELIEVES THAT IT IS SIMPLY WRONG”. Something Sir Kier Starmer has conveniently forgotten.

        In December 2021, the report from the inquiry into the reform of the GRA, chaired by a Tory, stated “THE GRA IS CRYING OUT FOR MODERNISATION, AND THE GOVERNMENT HAS SPECTACULARLY MISSED ITS OPPORTUNITY”.

        So the reason the UK Govt didn’t make any opposition to the Holyrood GRR bill known sooner was because until recently it was also long standing UK Govt policy, supported by all parties (bar the DUP) in Westminster.

        You have to wonder what would have happened had Holyrood abandoned its manifesto commitments to GRR and Westminster had lived up to its manifesto commitments on it. Would Westminster veto itself as it would create two systems within the UK? Of course not. They would implement it and deride the Scottish Govt for not doing the same as the arguments against GRR were unfounded, misinformed, “bigoted” and “void of evidence”.

        Do Indies really want the movement to crumble over an issue that has been deliberately misrepresented by right wing groups, their willing mouthpieces (Rev) and the gullible who hang on their every word? This is, whether you like if or not, the pivotal moment for ALL Indies. They have to ask themselves; “do you believe Scotland should be making its own laws on everything, or is the UK Govt Primacy a good thing to save us from ourselves (Rev)”? You cannot be an Indy and believe the latter.

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          1. Apart from the thousands of people born every year with both a penis and a vagina ….. but you’ll just pretend they don’t exist as it destroys your argument.

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            1. Sex is not defined by having either a penis or a vagina. It is defined as two different architectures of the reproductive system ─ one to support large gametes and one that supports small gametes. Having both a penis and a vagina is a mistake. Nature makes mistakes. Which is just as well because without those mistakes there would be no evolution. Regardless of this malformation of the sexual organs, the individual is either male or female depending on the architecture of the reproductive system as a whole.

              It is not necessary to pretend these people don’t exist in order to destroy your puerile ‘argument’. All that’s required is some very basic knowledge of human biology. But, of course, that’s science. The gender cult has no regard for science.

              Liked by 4 people

              1. Sorry, science is against you again. According to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica;

                “In ovotesticular disorder (sometimes also called true hermaphroditism), an individual has both ovarian and testicular tissue. The ovarian and testicular tissue may be separate, or the two may be combined in what is called an ovotestis”.

                Got any more pub science?

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        1. Slavery was once supported by many people, both in and out of parliament. It took years for people to agree with Wilberforce that it was morally wrong, and the government of the day had to compensate those who had invested the family silver in the slave plantations and industries. This bilge is equally immoral.

          MBP: read the Denton’s Document. It could just have said, bring out your children and we’ll sterilise them so that middle-aged, middle-class men in the grip of a paraphilia can claim that they were born in the wrong body/have a gendered soul/knew they were ‘trans’ as soon as they popped out of the womb (delete as appropriate because, of course it is a choice, not innate, as sexual orientation – being gay – is).

          Read Blanchard, Bailey, Zucker, Lawrence, all sexologists/psychologists who interviewed many of these transvestite/transsexual men. In almost all cases where the man was heterosexual, he had a paraphilia. Read Multiple Paraphilic Diagnosis Among Sex Offenders, a study by Abel, Becker, et al, a confession of paraphilia (sometimes overlapping ones) in men (mainly) who had a predilection for ‘woman face’.

          This is the stuff that the ‘trans’ lobby doesn’t want the public to know about, and proof, from the horse’s mouth (the sex offenders filled out the questionnaires themselves in the Abel study) that these men should never be allowed in female spaces. Three types of ‘trans’ exist: 1) those with body dysphoria (an illness that can be treated, most of the time, with psychology and psychiatry and, out of which, over 90% of young people grow if supported, loved and given appropriate treatment that does not include surgery and hormones; 2. paraphiliacs, whose motivation is entirely sexual, driven by paraphilias; 3. transsexuals who have had all surgeries completed and who pose no physical risk to women, but who are still men and, therefore, should not be in women’s spaces either, but in third spaces.

          So, MBP: are you going to explain why this range of men with a woman face complex and many with a wide range of paraphilias should be the problem of women for whom they are mere props in their own deviant sexual fantasy? Do, do feel free to justify your lack of empathy for females and children who already have these spaces and rights that are being invaded by arrogant, bullying and utterly self-centred men when, as Peter says, sex is dimorphic and immutable because evolution and Mother Nature demands it is so, the perpetuation of the species relying on that definition of human biology. If it’s not, do you want to explain to everyone who comments on and reads Peter’s blog why the human race will cease to exist soon?

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Your views on this subject get increasingly offensive …. not to mention unhinged.

            It reached “peak nuttiness” when you repeatedly banged on about trans people seeking to take over the World and enslaving women across the globe like some form of the Illuminati. Really, you lost the right to be taken seriously at that point.

            But, ignoring the disturbingly bigoted stuff, this phrase is so ridiculous it pleases me to address it;

            “…. sex is dimorphic and immutable because evolution and Mother Nature demands it is so, the perpetuation of the species relying on that definition of human biology”.

            Laughable. Evolution absolutely relies on things not being immutable. If things were immutable, including reproduction, there would not be the vast abundance of varied lifeforms on the planet with the equally vast abundance of varied behaviours and biologies, again, including reproduction.

            And Mother Nature demands nothing. She certainly does not demand that every individual of every species be capable of reproduction. There are a lot of childless couples who are painfully aware of that. The perpetuation of the species demonstrably does not rely on it.

            Again, pub science is being trotted out by the anti-trans lobby to justify their bigoted stance. They would threaten independence on the back of this nonsense?

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            1. I am not even going to attempt to explain to a science-denying cult-drone the difference between amenable to change and amenable to being changed. I see where you’re going terribly wrong. But I doubt if you’d understand the explanation. In fact, I’m absolutely certain you wouldn’t. Let’s just say, you don’t have a scientific mind-set.

              I get the impression also that you are only spewing your gender cult pish here to cause aggravation. It’s what trolls do.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. I am quoting real science Peter. And I only do so to counter the Alf Garnet non-science the likes of yourself are spouting. Also, as you know, my entire background is in science having spent my life working in medical laboratories. What’s your scientific background?

                And again with the troll accusation. I am debating with people who I fundamentally disagree with. If you can’t see the difference between that and trolling then perhaps you’re not the intellectual behemoth you would have us all believe.

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    2. No, based on proper, credible polls from companies with proper credentials that actually ask specific questions about GRR and self ID and not misleading guff like “Should trans people have equal rights?”

      Consistently you’re looking at 2 to 1 or 3 to 1 against.

      You might not like that but it’s the truth you have to deal with.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You’re right, Sturgeon is not stupid.

    However, she is pig-headed and simply ignores advice or opinion that does not accord with her own preset views. I genuinely believe that she wants to push through the GRR legislation and that her upset over this issue is real. The immediate visceral response from the FM and her allies and her statement that it will ‘end up in the courts’ contrasts starkly with the ‘I’ve got time on my side’ approach and waiting for one-third of a year after the UK Supreme Court ruling on the Scottish Parliament’s (in)ability to pass a referendum bill.

    I don’t think the intention has been to provoke the British Government into acting as part of a plan to show up their true undemocratic nature. I just think she didn’t expect it.

    The trouble for Nicola Sturgeon is that after all the bluster of ‘Scotland will not be taken out of the EU against its will’ and claims that the Westminster government’s position on refusing a S30 is ‘unsustainable’ the Brits have become emboldened.

    They’ve called her bluff.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It’s pretty clear now that we have been abandoned by the SNP in our quest for independence , you talk of bonny fechters , there are none . In choosing this GRR as the battle ground chosen for the final showdown proves that capitulation is the name of the game .

    Yes we need to confront Westminster as you say but it doesn’t have to be on a big single issue , we can use all kinds of guerilla tactics to disrupt and get them to ask if we’re worth holding on to.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. S30: ‘respect.’ S35: rage. Well, you have to get your priorities right…
    SNP MP’s roaring like the Bull of Bashan and howling like stroppy teenagers. The Scottish public unable to credit their ears, or swallow this manufactured rage. Once the howling subsides, and the costly, and doomed to failure, court cases start, the SNP/Greens will be content to lay back on their oars. Not for them the lash of hunger. Oh, for a lance to puncture this sham of a Scottish government. I am inclined to be gloomy…

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I agree with duncanio. This was a blunder of massive proportions and they are now clamouring to salvage something from the wreckage. That they have chosen independence as the opportunistic issue to cry their crocodile tears over is beyond forgiveness.

    I watched a video of her marching at a Pride Rally. It was beyond ‘just be kind’, and note that she has never once taken part in a YES March; her whole body language spoke of commitment way past virtue-signalling, although I have no doubt that is part of it. She needs to go. No ifs, no buts. Pride Rallies are a show of fetishism.

    Yet, the FM of Scotland was more than happy to wave a rainbow flag at one, at least. No, the SNP and the Greens are up to their oxters in this stuff. They are just too dim to comprehend the bigger picture. These people are not in nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, public libraries by accident or out of the kindness of their wee ‘trans’ hearts; they are there to indoctrinate our children. It’s Queer Theory, folks, thrown in with globalism and corporatism. We need to start thinking about David Hume and Adam Smith and all the other great Scottish Enlightenment figures. Passion tempered by reason = critical thinking.

    The bams in the SNP and the Greens were told over and over that this stuff is dangerous and that a helluva lot more research would be necessary. Nah. Research would have uncovered the realities of this half-deluded, half-evil hybrid, and we couldn’t have that for “the most vulnerable minority” in the history of the planet. That phrase was actually used by the Westminster leader of the SNP today, without even a nod to irony: members of 51-52% of the world’s population are battered, beaten, brutalised, raped, sexually assaulted, killed, kept in poverty, unfed, worked to death in some part of the world every day of the week, every week of the month, every month of the year. What about the Jewish people? The Palestinians? The young Iranians who are being judicially murdered? The list is endless.

    The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. The SNP has no intention of bringing us to independence, yet they use this issue cynically, as they do women and children. It is, and has been, a lie of such magnitude that some, desperate for hope, still believe it. ‘Trans’ ideology is a far bigger existential threat to Western civilisation than Westminster is to Scotland because even Westminster, and England, and even the Tories, are in its sights. It is creeping totalitarianism that we have to fear right now. It is right among us, nurtured here, not at Westminster. Yes, we need to keep our eye on the ball on independence, but if we take it off the ‘trans’ issue, independence won’t be worth anything because totalitarianism does not recognise human rights and national rights.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Me Bungo Pony
    JAN 18, 2023 AT 16:34
    ” ….with what appears to be a considerable majority either actively supporting the UK government’s intervention ….”

    Based on a snap poll of WoS followers?
    ————
    Yes – and a reporter who cautions that it is a self-selecting sample and thus prone to bias.

    But perhaps you should have read on a bit: he quotes another poll with another self -selecting sample, but by one that is both Sturgeon and TRANS-friendly.

    Thanks Despite a heavily loaded question the result was much the same.

    You might be wise to extract that self-inflicted bullet from your hoof.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You could not be more wrong, MBP. Poll after poll shows the same. People are beginning to wake up to this nonsense. Some cannot even get their heads round it. It really is a huge danger to our society, but, as per, people have to be plunged into the reality of madness before they can begin to comprehend it.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. What you and likeminded people have to worry about is “people waking up to” your nonsense. The vast majority of people have barely given GRR a second thought. When it has been thrust in their face, it was more often than not to be misled by the anti-trans lobby. So it is no surprise, that when asked to give a view, and having given it little thought, many say they “oppose” it. Had it been allowed to pass, the vast majority would just have got on with their day …. as they did with the extant GRA which introduced GR Certificates, and the Equalities Act 2010 which governs access to single sex spaces.

        When they learn, which they will, that the Holyrood GRR did not “invent” GR Certificates; changed nothing about access to single sex spaces; that in any case there is no evidence what-so-ever that the scare stories at the heart of the anti-trans argument concerning women’s safety or rights have any foundation in truth; and that, therefore, they have been demonstrably lied to over the issue …. they’re not going to be to kean on listening to or supporting the people/groups/organisations that have misled them.

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          1. I was specifically referencing the GRR Holyrood bill. I did not realise I had to spell out its main aims every time I did this. Are the memories of the denizens of this blog so short they constantly need reminded?

            And right back at you Peter. Did you think people would not notice you dishonestly avoiding addressing the awkward facts for your stance. Access to single sex spaces is governed by the Equalities Act 2010, not the GRR bill, and there is no evidence, what-so-ever, anywhere that GR Certificates (or their equivalent), self-id or trans access to single sex spaces have been introduced, of any increase in violence against women or women’s rights being adversely affected. After decades, you’d think there would be a huge body of evidence …. but there’s none.

            The arguments as presented by the anti-trans lobby are hollow and indicative of a wish to see them out of sight and out of mind. It is reminiscent of the arguments against legalising homosexuality.

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  7. Me Bungo Pony
    JAN 18, 2023 AT 16:34
    ” ….with what appears to be a considerable majority either actively supporting the UK government’s intervention ….”

    Based on a snap poll of WoS followers?
    ————
    Yes – and a reporter who cautions that it is a self-selecting sample and thus prone to bias.

    But perhaps you should have read on a bit: he quotes another poll with another self -selecting sample, but by one that is both Sturgeon and TRANS-friendly.

    Despite a heavily loaded question the result was much the same.

    You might be wise to extract that self-inflicted bullet from your hoof.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MBP: I was brought up in a relatively poor family, but we always had both a set of encyclopaedias and dictionaries, a set of Dickens and Burns, a bible and a few other types of books. My family was half Protestant and half Catholic, so I attended both churches for family occasions, although brought up in the Church of Scotland in my early years. It was a fairly strict upbringing, but there was all kinds of music, lots of discussions around politics and different subjects, education was important, but, above all, it was very much steeped in Enlightenment principles and critical thinking. Most working -class family environments of that time were the same, both Protestant and Catholic. Enlightenment is passion overlaid and tempered by reason (Hume). ‘Trans’ is reason trampled underfoot by passion (Stonewall).

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      1. A nice cosy story lorncal, but the wrong conclusion. It is you and your ilk who have allowed passion to trample reason underfoot.

        When you invent scare stories, devoid of evidence, to demonise a minority …. you are trampling reason underfoot. When you replace established scientific fact with “stands to reason, dunnit” pub science …. you are trampling reason underfoot. When you deliberately misrepresent what the GRR bill does in order to dishonestly whip up opposition to both the bill and the trans community …. you are trampling reason underfoot.

        Reason has nothing to do with the anti-GRR arguments. We can use the word “passion” to describe them, but there are uglier words.

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        1. MBP: Devoid of evidence? I have given you reams of evidence. Lots of sources to consult. There is lots, lots more of actual pretendy ‘women’ who have attacked real females with their penises. Or are you calling a wee lassie who was attacked in Morrison’s toilets, in Scotland, by a ‘trans’ identified man a liar? Her father who caught him trying to assault his bairn a liar? Her mother? The staff? The police who arrested him? You just do not want to hear the truth, MBP. I am perfectly willing to accept that there are members of the ‘trans’ community who are not predators, who would never harm women and children. BUT, WE do not know in advance who is and who is not a predator.

          What we can be fairly certain of, is that most of the ‘trans’ identified males are autogynephiles/paraphiliacs/fetishists because, if you bothered to consult the Abel, Becker, etc. study done on sex offenders: Multiple Paraphilic Diagnosis and Sex Offenders in which sex offenders admitted overlapping and multiple fetishes associated with transvestism/transsexualism.

          So, by all means make getting a GRC easier, so long as birth details, details of offences, etc., are kept, too, and keep all ‘trans’ identified people OUT of the opposite sex spaces, sports, sex-specific jobs, services and so on, and they cannot be allowed to have any legal impact on pre existing legislation that affects females. Got it? Simple, isn’t it? EXCEPT: that is not what the ‘trans’ identified males want, is it?

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Just more bigoted pish lorncal.

            A survey of sex offenders which you have extrapolated out to encompass all trans people. And you can’t see how “unscientific” and offensive that is. No one is saying there are not bad trans people. They are just a group of people who will have good and bad individuals within their cohort the same as every other “cohort” of people. We are seeing the demonisation of a persecuted minority using the same techniques as were used against homosexuals during their struggles for equality and Jews in the 1930s (and forever).

            Repealing the GRA 2004 and Equalities Act 2010 will not make women safer in single sex areas. Sex offenders have no need of a certificate, that no one asks to see, to access these areas. No one is asking for proof of what you are before you enter them. It is nonsensical to believe that a sex offender would willingly assault, rape or murder women but would balk at entering a female toilet without a GR certificate because that would be “wrong”.

            Can you not see that …. or is it you can, but choose to ignore it to carry on your bigoted crusade against trans people. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere in the World, where GR certificates and access to single sex areas has been implemented for trans people, of any increase in the rate of violent crime against women or erosion of women’s rights. That is a fact that debunks all your offensive fearmongering on this subject.

            Your arguments would see all trans people considered dangers to society and basically shoved back into the “closet” bereft of any meaningful rights. You are the very definition of a bigot.

            Like

            1. “… Your arguments would see all trans people considered dangers to society and basically shoved back into the “closet” bereft of any meaningful rights. You are the very definition of a bigot… ”

              They have every one of the same rights, both civil and human, that every other person in these island has. I just do not want them to get women’s rights, too. Is it too difficult for you to take on board. Do as you want, say what you want, dress as you want, live as you want BUT keep out of women’s spaces, rights, jobs, etc. Just KEEP OUT. Now, how difficult is that? You see, the minute you start your nonsense, you give the game away. The whole point is to get into women’s spaces, etc. Not necessarily because they are predators, or, at least, not at the top of the predatory food chain, but most of them have a fetsih of some kind, and probably more than one. I don’t give a flying whatsit if they have an armful of GRCs. Just keep the hell out of our spaces, jobs, sports, etc. Stop brutalising children who have been indoctrinated into believing the ‘trans’ bullshit. THOSE are the boundaries. KEEP OUT. If they are sincere, they will honour those boundaries.

              Liked by 1 person

  8. ‘Scotland’s cause in the hands of Sturgeon is in grave difficulty’

    Agreed. But why restrict your view to one person? What about the rest of the nodding donkeys and clapping seals who sit behind her and cheer on her lunacy? They are equally responsible for the position we have ended up in. They are a total embarrassment and have zero intellectual ability.

    How many of them could you point to as being worthy of the positions they are in? I struggled to get to more than I could count on the fingers of one hand. If Sturgeon were to go we would just get more of the same or worse with the SNP/Greens in government.

    I would be interested to know how many you count.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think this is addressed to me. If so, all I can do is repeat that I reckon Scotland is being failed or betrayed by our entire political class. That we are failed/betrayed by the British parties is no more than what we would expect ─ they’re British! But I think most of us expected better of the Scottish parties.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Peter: I think there is something else that people need to know. It is that the Westminster government cannot pre empt Holyrood legislation. That means that it must first be passed by Holyrood in order for it to be challenged. So many just don’t understand that very basic point about devolution. The S35 Order could not be invoked until the bill had passed at Holyrood, and it is very unlikely that it could be invoked against other sensible legislation that did not impinge on UK-wide legislation. Sometimes, I think we are just too stupid to deserve independence. As for his nibs, MBP, I have studied this ‘trans’ stuff over a number of years and in great depth. I see that he is having a go at you, too, over lack of scientific knowledge. This stuff is in the realm of psychology/psychiatry, not a science lab. One thing that does come up frequently is how much mental/physical trauma some ‘trans’ people have experienced, and it goes some way to explaining why they might find ‘trans’ some form of relief. However, trying to encroach on others’ rights and trying to reduce them by threats and accusations is not an edifying spectacle. Many of these people are dangerous. No way should they be allowed into female spaces, where women, girls and children of both sexes are to be found. No man, who is in any way, a decent man, would seek to breach these boundaries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve tried to explain about S35 a few times now. I find it strange that people feel able to comment on things while having no knowledge of the matter. It is especially strange when research has never been easier. It takes only a few moments to find information. Wikipedia is without doubt that greatest research tool ever. Of course, like any tool it is only as good as the person using it. I can understand that some people might not have the skill to research a topic. What I find incomprehensible is that they should suppose they don’t need to. That they just assume they already know all they need to know.

      I get accused of thinking I’m always right. That’s not it at all. I just go to some trouble to avoid being wrong.

      MBP is a symptom. I don’t pretend to understand what is going on with all this ‘trans stuff’. But there is definitely something more behind it all than just some disadvantaged group seeking justice. I’ve seen many such campaigns in my time. This one seems distinctly odd. It doesn’t fit the usual pattern for these things at all. For one thing, it is all but impossible to discern the injustice. Or at least, the extraordinary injustice. It is presented as a gross injustice with real suffering as a consequence. In which case, the wrongness should be more stark than it is.

      Another thing that strikes me is that the sort of people who would usually sympathise most with a campaign against injustice are the very people who seem to have least time for these ‘trans rights’ campaigners. I get a powerful sense of things being turned on their head.

      Most telling of all is the total lack of a clearly expressed case with accompanying arguments. I have yet to find a factual, non-emotive statement of grievance. It’s all very vague and general. Nothing that could be presented in court. The lack of any reasoned arguments is perhaps even more obvious. I’ve seen enough to feel able to say with some confidence that the gender cultists NEVER answer questions and NEVER respond to criticism. They don’t respond to what has been said. They respond at all times as if something else entirely has been said. You can’t say you have this or that doubt about the matter without eliciting a response that alleges the most egregious hate-speech. Which explains why the ‘debate’ so quickly descended into the bitter, ugly thing that it is. It must be so because on one side there is nothing other than bitter and ugly and counter-accusations of bitter and ugly. So that all that’s visible is the bitterness and ugliness.

      At base, it is about power. Everything is. I know I’m oversimplifying. But that is a good way of thinking about things, so long as you remember that it is just a tool for thinking. But what I’m seeing at play is the power of righteousness. A righteousness that has no basis. It is a massively exaggerated righteousness that is fuelled only by itself. It is weaponised righteousness. But weaponised by whom and for what purpose? In a ‘normal’ cause, the who and the why of the righteousness is plainly evident. As is the purpose. There is a stated aim that is generally comprehensible. This ‘trans stuff’ seems to lack any of the attributes of a true campaign against real injustice.

      The one thing that stands out is that the ‘trans stuff’ is massively disruptive. Indeed, that appears to be its only effect. Which makes it appear as if that is its sole purpose. Bringing us back to the matter of power. Disruption is a device used to manipulate populations. It can be manipulation for the purpose of revolution. It can be manipulation for the purpose of repression. Or it can be manipulation for no purpose other than to use the power to manipulate.

      There need be no conspiracy. Simple band-wagon jumping will do the job. Once the righteousness reaches a certain level it will attract those who are most susceptible to the appeal of righteousness without questioning its underpinnings. This grows the power of the ’cause’ to the point where people of a certain psychological make-up feel compelled to join in. It becomes fashionable. It becomes ‘the done thing’. It develops its own momentum.

      Does that not begin to sound like what we are witnessing? Lots of people sitting at the pinnacle of a pyramid of righteousness proclaiming a righteousness so complete that it cannot be questioned but never considering for a second what that pyramid is made of or on what foundation it rests.

      Does this not work as the definition of a cult?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “… At base, it is about power… ” Spot on, in my opinion. It is about wresting the power that females have to a sense of equilibrium in both civil society and domestic society. Yes, it behaves exactly like a cult, and people deny its fundamental motivation at the bottom (widest) end of the pyramid of ‘trans’ – that is, sexual motivation. I think this what so many cannot their heads round, even as they talk about ‘predators’. They just do not get it that at the very least, more than three-quarters of the ‘trans’ movement is based on male (and, probably, some female) paraphilias. This is actually where the most danger lies at this part of the pyramid because men with a fetish can a tendency to want to act it out in public, in front of women and children.

        Yes, indeed, just reading over MBP’s replies – and he does exactly the same when the topic is independence – there is a total lack of substance which, when you think about it, is totally in keeping with our shallow society. No rigour of thinking seems to apply even to academia these days, much of which supports this obvious drivel that men can be women and vice versa. As I said about the witch hunts, some people knew they were not witches, knew perfectly well that innocent people were being sacrificed for the power of being able to sway the ignorant population and keep it in thrall.

        There is no such thing as ‘true trans’. It is either dysphoria, which is a psychological illness and would, in the main, benefit from long-term counselling, but not always, I accept, or it is sexually motivated (the majority of the male contingent) or a social contagion (the majority of female ‘trans’). In the case of dysphoria, it might come down to the person having to be ‘transitioned’ by surgery and/or hormones, but the statistics are fairly reliable on this, and they indicate a tiny proportion of those who claim to be ‘trans’. I have said in other threads that, were I to have a ‘trans’ child, I would have to keep on supporting and loving that child, but I would never validate something that is biologically impossible. Having a gay child has its own problems, not the least being that grandchildren may be out of the question, or very unlikely. However, again, I would accept my child and pray that its life would not be too hard. Compassion and understanding for those who are different should be second nature in a decent society, but compassion and understanding for females still has a long long way to go.

        What cannot be accepted is that others should lose their spaces and rights because of my child, because of any ‘trans’ person. Yet, there is a deafening silence around the very stark and self-evident problems of ‘trans’ accessing all female spaces and rights. It appears that women and children should just accept the risks. No, sorry. If ‘trans’ people want to have easier access to GRCs, that’s fine, so long as society records birth details, offence details, and so on, but under a special order that only those that need to know, have access (police, courts, civil registration services, etc.) that are relevant, and no biological man, whether ‘transitioned’ or not should ever have access to female spaces and rights.

        These were designed to protect women. That has always been their purpose, that, and preserving privacy and dignity. That cannot be achieved if men are allowed access. Nor should having a GRC confer anything but very limited legal rights to ‘womanhood’. It is understandable that people would wish to have their driving licence, even their birth certificate correspond to their adopted ‘gender’, but there should be some form of checking as there is for certain jobs around children, old people, the disabled and vulnerable, and it should be very stringent. Third spaces for toileting, changing, etc. should be de rigueur. Sex must be defined rigidly as biological sex only, except in very restricted circumstances, such as above, and there should be no self-ID, with dysphoria being the sole qualification, and that rigidly policed as it was till recently. Instead of ‘transing’ children, we should be spending the money on counselling them, especially when well over 90% will grow out of their ‘gender dysphoria’. Anything else is to tread in the footsteps of Dr Mengele.

        As for the S35, it is an extraordinary power and cannot be used simply to block anything and everything that comes out of Holyrood without any basis for a case. Firstly, the legislation must first have been passed at Holyrood, then it must in some fundamental way affect UK-wide legislation, as the GRRB does. Yes, the GRRB could have been challenged in Scotland, but has anyone in Scotland been able to challenge the SNP recently? They just do not listen.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. lorncal; I admire the patience shown by yourself and Peter A Bell when replying to comments submitted by MBP. Quite clearly pity must be shown to MBP, a sad and troubled individual who evidently craves attention much in the same fashion as the ‘trans’ lobby seeking (equal)? rights.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. So it’s not debate then? Just me “seeking attention”? It appears, like so many malcontents, you have spent too long in the echo-chambers. You appear to believe debate consists of like-minded people agreeing with each other. Those who disagree will only be tolerated, if at all, so long as they quickly admit to the error of their thoughts and bow down to the true faith. It doesn’t say much for your belief in the strength of your arguments.

        Like

        1. MBP

          You appear to be making a real fool out of yourself again.

          If you are not prepared to even consider that you are misinformed and continue to provide written evidence of that, are we to take you for an ignoramous, a fool, or a troll?

          You might dispell some of your obvious ignorance by familiarising yourself with the contrast between ‘Phenotype’ – what a scientist can observe of the characteristics of an organism
          and ‘Genotype’ : characterising the fundamental genetic makeup of that organism.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenotype
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genotype

          You have been gifted an introductory reference to a simple piece of fundamental science that any person who can read English language text can understand.

          If you choose to remain ignorant and misinformed then than would be your deliberate, conscious choice.

          If you continue to spout such garbage after being shown legitimate references then that would be a conscious choice to be a troll. Wouldn’t it?

          Liked by 1 person

  10. No, MBP. Debate is when you engage and engage with ideas that are not based on utter delusional nonsense. What is ‘trans’? What is ‘gender’? What is ‘gender identity’? Why do grown men wear nappies and suck dummies in Pride marches? Why do men go half-naked, wearing frilly knickers and bras at these events? Why do grown men dress as little girls?

    Where is the irrefutable scientific evidence for believing: a) that someone can possibly be born in the wrong body (if they are, then where is the body they were supposed to have? Does some other ‘trans’ person have it?); b) how can you justify the “I knew from the age of two that I should have been a girl/boy” when cognitive psychologists have proven that children that age are able to distinguish between male and female dolls and even when those dolls are dressed in the opposite sex clothes, they still choose the sex as it was in the beginning of the experiment?

    These cognitive tests have been done over and over again, and the children, both male and female, immediately match the doll and the sex regardless of how it is subsequently dressed, meaning that ‘gender’ is wholly constructed socially and subsequently. One of the earliest understandings we have is the sex of the person we are seeing. That would be essential for survival of the species. For females, it would be essential for survival purposes in a different sense, and that is what ‘trans’ is trying to eliminate. Why, MBP?

    As for the GRRB, it should have been obvious to a blind mole that this legislation was going to clash with pre existing UK-wide legislation. If this goes to court, one of the questions that the anti GRR folk should be asking is: if Sturgeon and her cohort have been funding all of the pro GRR organisations which have supported GRR in all the consultations (MSPs rushed to shake hands with activists in the gallery, when it passed), is she and her government guilt of corruption because that is what it looks like? This was the style of behaviour of Robert Mugabe. When you actually engage with these questions and give seriously thought-out answers, you can be considered worthy of debate. Until then, you are a deluded fantasist – and, yes, you are a troll.

    Liked by 1 person

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