Guest blog: How you do politics


Back in January 2018, Venice Allan organised the first public meeting in Scotland about proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. Naturally, the meeting – held in Glasgow –  was subjected to the usual disruptions by trans activist bullies, as was the meeting organised by WPUK in Edinburgh the following month. Reports since then (many linked to from my politics page) have mostly left me feeling less than optimistic about the situation north of the border, in spite of some fantastic work by courageous politicians and other campaigners.

But that changed somewhat this week, with the news that the Scottish government wasn’t, as expected, charging ahead with its draft Bill on gender ‘reform’ but would be re-opening the consultation. At last some good news and a testament to the hard work and commitment of feminists and allies.

Then I was alerted to a great wee Twitter thread by an SNP supporter which, frankly, filled me with joy and I am very grateful to Gavin Barrie, aka @jammach for permission to reproduce it here.

I got involved in the Trans People & Women’s’ Rights debate after a casual question to my sister one weekend.

It was a family gathering and I asked how they felt about GRA reforms.

It turned into an eye opener on Women’s concerns, how common abuse is and living fearful.
It was an epiphany. I thought I knew bits of it, I thought I was well informed. I’ve experienced sexual abuse myself but don’t live in daily fear.  I don’t have to suspect every male stranger as a potential abuser. I don’t plan routes to avoid danger. Go read my pinned tweet.

So I started asking questions of the Trans Rights Activists too.

Why was this needed? What was the aim? What was it rebalancing? What were the potential knock-on effects?

The responses I received were deeply concerning. I was told I was a man and it wasn’t my concern;
I was told Women’s Groups were consulted (a lie); that it wouldn’t impact the equalities act (a lie) that it wouldn’t impact safe spaces (a lie) that Women’s Groups were happy with it (a lie) and then Joan McAlpine joined in and the abuse ramped up.

I’ve never seen a tight core of campaigners be so two-faced, so disingenuous, so dismissive of concerns, so defensive and righteous when questioned and so arrogant in how they engaged.

As I learned more, challenged with facts, links and sources directly to key individuals, they had no factual response. They would simply stop talking and ignore me and then repeat the same lies five minutes later in a different thread to someone else.

There was never any acknowledgment they were wrong, no willingness to think again, or change legislation.

And more and more people saw this too and they started banding together. In the past month 7000+ emails of concern were sent to MSP through WriteToThem and who knows how many more directly?

Iain Macwhirter got involved and received the same abuse.

So it blew up in the faces of the TRA, big time.

We now have a very gratefully received pause to go back out and correct some fundamental flaws in the consultation and what is the response from the TRA?

More abuse.

Videos posted of them crying and upset. Accusations that we are responsible for the trans people who will commit suicide, more lies about who did what and accusations that the SNP are throwing the LGBTQ community under a bus.

Seriously, I’m absolutely disgusted with them.

We need a purge. We need a reset. These people are not honest. They don’t listen to logic or reason and *crucially* they are not listening to the electorate.

We need them out of the party as Independence is not their priority.  They themselves are their priority and that is hideous and dangerous.

Lastly, I have an enormous number of people, too many, to thank for educating and enlightening me but may I thank @DrMoragKerr, who first made me curious and concerned, @rattlecans for speaking up and @SophiaPangloss for listening. There’s many more.

Final thought:

You don’t get one group equality and lift them up by either harming or facilitating harm against another group.

That is how you do politics – collaboration and consent.

‘Purge’ is a very strong word. I don’t use it lightly, but these people are in positions of influence and authority and they have behaved in an atrocious manner and misused that influence and authority.

Why would you accept that?



Published 23.06.19

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