Will 2023 be a guid New Year?

Last year, I blogged about what should happen in 2022 to bring independence closer. It’s important to realise that they were not predictions because, if they were, I would have had a pretty poor score. Nostradamus would have little to worry about. For those brave enough to want to imagine what life would be like if these non-predictions came about, you can read the wish list in full here.

In 2021, Sturgeon’s reason (excuse?) for delaying independence was Covid Even though so much was possible during a pandemic, Scottish election, self-id and Hate Crimes, it just wasn’t the right time to progress independence, or even talk about it.

2022 saw a new independence delaying strategy. As the effects of the pandemic faded, meaning it couldn’t be used again, Sturgeon instead referred the concept of an independence referendum to Westminster’s Supreme Court, knowing that a negative response would provide another reason for delay. The Supreme Court obliged by ruling that an independence referendum was outwith the Scottish Parliament’s competence, allowing the promised 2023 referendum to be ditched, without even a real whimper of objection from the Scottish Government.

So much was going to be done in 2022, a new referendum bill, an updated independence prospectus and agreement on the referendum question. What was done was no new bill, three papers on life after independence (widely mocked as useless) and the floated possibility of a three question referendum, including enhanced devolution, which received such overwhelming derision that it hasn’t been mentioned since, though, I suspect, it’s not forgotten.

I suggested that the biggest blockage on the road to independence was Nicola Sturgeon and her leaving would be a big boost for the independence campaign. Given that she didn’t leave and the independence campaign continued to flounder, does that mean I was right? Maybe.

I also suggested that a way to ‘encourage’ the SNP to move on independence was to vote for Alba, ISP or other independence supporting parties instead of the SNP in the local elections. Instead, the SNP got an increased share of the vote and, as a result, took that as confirmation that no movement on independence was necessary. So they did nothing.

So what are my non-predictions for 2023? I still think that Sturgeon’s departure is essential for there to be any movement on independence. Will she go this year? With all her objectives achieved, Hate Crimes, Self-Id GRR and longest serving FM, what’s left to do? I guess only her fear that her work might be undone if she left would keep her in post. Depends how much faith she has in her possible replacements. Given she knows how much she had conned Alex Salmond by 2014 into believing she was the perfect replacement, she could be worried that her potential replacements are similarly conning her.

Without Sturgeon’s departure, it’s hard to see any progress being made. Even with her departure, if she’s replaced by one of the SNP Looney Bunch, most likely Robertson or Smith, then there’s little chance of anything happening. There are no elections planned for 2023 (at the moment) and the chances of the SNP Government resigning to force an election are remote. In fact, more non-existent than remote.

So it’s looking as if 2023 is going to be a pretty fallow year. Unless someone from Salvo or Liberation knows different.

Despite all the depression I’ve tried to spread, I hope you and yours have a happy New Year, and may all your non-political wishes come true. Political wishes? – we can always hope.

Slainte Mhath. Saor Alba.


BEAT THE CENSORS
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SALVO
The progress of Salvo has been the most encouraging development of 2022. It is doing sterling work educating Scots about the Claim of Right and spelling out what it means that the Scottish people are sovereign, not any Parliament.

LIBERATION.SCOT
Please register at Liberation.scot and join the mass membership organisation that will be the signatories to our application to the UN, debate and organise a new Scottish Constitution. The membership of Liberation is also where the first members of Scotland’s National Congress will be balloted for selection.

The unwanted Christmas present?

Tuesday 20th December, 2022 will be known as the day of the shameful sixty four. The day when that number of our MSPs thought it was a good idea to remove the distinction between male rapists and women. This was the Scottish Parliament’s Christmas present to Scottish women and girls.

This was the day when male rapists were allowed to put on a dress, call themselves women and be allowed access to all women only places and facilities.

The day when male rapists were given permission to access to rape crisis centres, not because they’ve been raped, but because they are, or would like to be, rapists.

The day when male rapists were given permission to enter women’s refuges so they can continue to abuse women sheltering there hoping to recover from abuse.

The day when male rapists were given permission to enter women’s toilets, so they can wave their willies at teenage girls, or, if they’re lucky and there’s no one else about, they may be able to force girls into sexual acts.

The day when male rapists were allowed to enter women’s changing rooms in sports and retail facilities, so they can parade their ‘women’s cocks’ in front of real women and girls, probably with a hard on brought on by the excitement at what they are doing. They may even be able to take photos of themselves (ooh, look at me) or even photograph women changing, so they can post the pictures on social media to show how clever they are.

Of course, when the law is passed, it will be the day when men are allowed to enter women’s sports and win everything because they are bigger and stronger than the women they’re competing against and if it’s a contact sport and women get seriously hurt, then that’s just acceptable collateral damage, Acceptable to the Scottish Government anyway.

This is all taking place in the name of trans rights, but those I’m talking about are not trans. They are perverts, rapists and paedophiles who are taking advantage of a law which has been drafted to allow all this.

The excuse the sponsors of the bill used to allow all this was that it would breach the human rights of perverts, rapists and paedophiles to prevent them from gaining a Gender Recognition Certificate. The sponsors say they have taken legal advice about this, but, of course, they are refusing to release the advice they have been given. I wonder if they asked for legal advice about whether giving perverts, rapists and paedophiles a free pass into women’s facilities would breach the human rights of the women and girls. I don’t suppose they did. If they did, they ignored it.

All of these things will soon be law and the perverts, rapists and paedophiles will soon have the law on their side. Women who complain will be breaking the law and could be arrested and charged with a hate crime because they don’t want to share their private spaces with perverts, rapists and paedophiles. Insanity or what? Because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s right.

However, this weekend and next, I think everyone needs to forget what’s happened over the last few days and try to enjoy whatever Christmas and New Year celebrations you have planned. Don’t let the shameless sixty four spoil your plans.

Remember, you can always return unwanted Christmas presents and after New Year, we can all work hard to remove this shameful law from our statute books.


BEAT THE CENSORS
Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.


SALVO
The progress of Salvo has been the most encouraging development of 2022. It is doing sterling work educating Scots about the Claim of Right and spelling out what it means that the Scottish people are sovereign, not any Parliament.

LIBERATION.SCOT
Please register at Liberation.scot and join the mass membership organisation that will be the signatories to our application to the UN, debate and organise a new Scottish Constitution. The membership of Liberation is also where the first members of Scotland’s National Congress will be balloted for selection.

Nicola Sturgeon – super independence negotiator?

There’s been lots of talk recently (and not just from me) about whether Nicola Sturgeon and elected SNP MPs and MSPs. still have independence as their number one priority or even if it’s on their priority list at all. Unfortunately, recent events have not made this clearer. Despite Sturgeon announcing the date for a second independence referendum on 28th June this year, little if any campaigning has happened, though I have been informed by SNP members who still speak to me that there have been three leaflets available to be delivered, though I can’t find much information about them on either the Scottish Government website or the SNP website, suggesting they may be information already in the public domain being recycled.

At the recent SNP conference, with just 12 months to go before the referendum is due, there were no debates on independence and no motions on the activities planned. It was almost as if the SNP has no intention of taking part in their own referendum.

There’s little comparison between current SNP inactivity and what was happening in September 2013, a year before the first independence referendum. Then, the campaign was gearing up, most Yes (and other) groups had been formed and many conversations and meetings were being held. I even got a “Yes volunteers briefing pack” from Shirley-Anne Somerville, produced before her conversion to deputy assistant Wokemeister. Now, the SNP won’t even discuss an independence strategy at their conference, though they are happy to discuss an unnecessary code of conduct, apparently designed to exclude any group who doesn’t share their views on gender and women with willies.

Of course, there is the (in)famous Building a New Scotland series of papers, promised by Sturgeon to provide all the information Scots need to allow them to make an informed choice about independence. The papers, not sure how many are planned, will be available in 17 different languages (not Scots, obviously). The first two, Independence in the modern world, issued in May, and Renewing Democracy through Independence, issued in June, were roundly criticised for containing no indication how the Government intended to achieve the objectives set out in the papers. But surely, the third, A stronger economy with independence, which was issued last week, was the icing on Sturgeon’s devolution cake. Criticised for its continued adherence to the Growth Commission’s idea of retaining sterling for an indefinite period (who would want to stick with sterling after the last few weeks) and its lack of detail as to how the benefits will be achieved (again), it doesn’t inspire confidence in the SNP’s desire for independence. Indeed, Richard Murphy, who supports Scottish independence, in his review of the document, was driven to say, “I doubt the conviction of those who wrote it about independence” and who can blame him. Read his full statement here in a Twitter thread.

Now let’s think of what happens next if, despite Sturgeon’s best efforts, Scotland achieves independence. With Sturgeon still in position as First Minister, she would lead the negotiations with Westminster to determine the terms under which Scotland would leave the United Kingdom. Obviously, Sturgeon would be determined to get the best deal possible for Scotland, wouldn’t she. Or would she?

Let’s look at some recent examples of her interest in the future of Scotland and the success of Scottish independence.

First, the ScotWind auction.

For years, the SNP have been promoting offshore wind generation as a jewel in Scotland’s resource crown, one of the reasons why an independent Scotland would be so successful. Why then did the ScotWind auction earlier this year place a cap on the maximum amount companies were allowed to bid? What sensible organisation running an auction would decide that no matter how high buyers were prepared to bid, no matter how much companies thought it was worth, a limit would be placed on the amount the seller was prepared to accept. In this case, the maximum bid was set at £100,000 per sq.km., hence the total of £700m raised from an area of 7000 sq.km.

The £100,000 price was a last-minute decision to increase the cap from £10,000 per sq.km. following bids for an 8GW (Gigawatts) area in England raising £875m per annum using a different auction method. To put it another way, given that the areas auctioned would allow the installation of at least 25 GW of wind power, the ScotWind auction represents a price of no more than £28m per Gigawatt.

Was that a fair price? How does it compare with other similar auctions? Coincidentally, at almost the same time as the ScotWind auction, the US government held an auction for areas just off the coast of New York and New Jersey. This was for a much smaller area than the ScotWind auction, supporting only 7 Gigawatts of wind power, but it raised a total of $4.37bn. Converting to Sterling, this represents a price of £530m per Gigawatt, 19 times the ScotWind price. Had ScotWind raised a figure similar to the US auction, the Scottish Government would have received a £13bn boost, or around 40% of their annual budget.

The cap not only prevented the Scottish Government getting a potentially enormous one-off bonus, but the auction rules mean they get only a tiny annual fee, there’s no government involvement in the on-going development and no real guarantee of local benefit from the projects, in either supplies or jobs.

Why was the auction deliberately set up to minimise the advantage to Scotland and the Scottish people? Was this the action of a party determined to deliver a successful independence?

Now the island ferries.

Much has been written about the island ferry fiasco, so I won’t repeat the details here. Those who want to find out more need only look at Iain Lawson’s blog, Yours for Scotland to see statements from Professor Alf Baird and Dr. Stuart Ballantyne, among others, who know much more about ferries than I do (or the Scottish Government do, apparently).

What has always puzzled me is why the Scottish Government have persisted with support for the current ferry replacement policy, led by CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited), a public company wholly owned by the Scottish Government, when that policy has clearly failed. So much is currently wrong, complex, one-of orders; high cost; often incapable of using existing island facilities; leading to slow delivery of replacement vessels and resulting in an aging fleet, prone to breakdown and providing a poor service to island communities.

There are better ways. The Clyde Catamaran Group have submitted proposals for the replacement of the CalMac fleet with low cost, internationally proven designs, which would lead to a modern, responsive fleet, saving both build and operational costs, while providing a much improved service to the island communities, a service that would allow the islands to prosper. It is nothing short of unbelievable that these proposals have hardly been considered by the Scottish Government/CMAL, often without even the courtesy of a reply to communications from the group.

What reason can the Scottish Government have for ignoring the obvious advantages contained in the proposals. Is it stupidity, is it a determination not to admit that mistakes have been made, is it corruption as has been suggested by some, or is it a deliberate act to ruin another aspect of Scottish life. The last option sounds unbelievable until combined with other Scottish Government behaviour, as described above and below.

Finally, there’s this.

The release of the third paper in the Building a New Scotland series. I’ve already mention above the almost unbelievable plan to retain Sterling for an indefinite period. However, that’s not the worst of it. Sturgeon states that although there’s no legal responsibility for iScotland to accept any UK debt, she thinks we have a moral obligation to help out Westminster with their debt problem. Setting aside the stupidity of alerting your opponent to your thinking in advance of any negotiations, why would we want to take a share of debt that was mainly accrued to benefit England, especially in the circumstances where the English government have been ripping us off for centuries. If anything, our stance should be that we are owed multi-billion pound reparations for all we have lost by being part of this union.

Accepting a share of UK debt without significant concessions from the other side (which is unlikely to happen) will damage Scotland and has the potential to make independence less successful. Why would any independence leader suggest such an action?

Scorched earth policy?

These are just three examples of the SNP and the Scottish Government making decisions which appears harmful to Scottish independence, but there are many others, such as the divisive GRA amendment policy and the inaction of SNP MPs in Westminster, both of which impact on the possibility of Scotland regaining her independence and make it more difficult for independence to be a success.

Much has been said about Sturgeon’s alleged interest in securing a UN or EU post after resigning from her current position as First Minister of Scotland, but the events described above point towards her last gift to Scotland, before leaving, being the implementation of a “scorched earth policy”, doing her best to disadvantage the Scottish people and make independence seem less attractive.

Is there another explanation? Recent statements from Sturgeon and senior colleagues seem to confirm a continuing involvement of the SNP at Westminster following the next UK general election, currently scheduled for 2024, which, considering the current SNP plan to hold an independence referendum a year from now, would suggest either an expectation of defeat or certain knowledge that the referendum will not take place.

Let’s look at some of these statements.

Ian Blackford tells BBC News that at the next UK election, the SNP will have a growth plan for the UK. Why? Will we not be negotiating independence by then? See the clip here (courtesy of WoS). Meanwhile, his boss was telling us she was looking forward to working with Rishi Sunak and that we also need an immediate UK General Election to get rid of the anti-Scottish Tories and replace them with anti-Scottish Labour.

How do you build a “constructive working relationship” with someone you want to leave and are campaigning against? Perhaps because there won’t be any campaigning?

In the meantime, let’s hang around doing nothing. What else could I do?

And call for a general election, which you won’t get and, in any case, it’s only to give the SNP three extra years on the Westminster gravy train.

And if that’s not enough, here’s Tommy Shepherd worrying about English residents. Pity he doesn’t spend time worrying about Scottish residents suffering from colonialism. Still, I suppose the extra £15k for making such statements makes it seem ok.

Do these comments sound like they come from people who want independence above all else? Do these comments sound like they come from people who you would want to be negotiating the future of an iScotland? If not, what are SNP politicians for?

Gayle’s response to ‘the trust has gone’

Is it England’s fault that Scotland is in its current state, or is the Scottish Government’s lack of assertiveness responsible. Here, Gayle makes a convincing case for the latter.


If you look at it from the English establishment perspective this is what they see daily: Scotland, who is their equal and signatory partner, refuses to take responsibility for ANY and ALL political decisions. Scotland constantly defers governance and then complains when England, whose set of priorities is vastly different from those of Scotland, makes political decisions that suit its needs.

Scotland is bound to the same terms as England yet refuses to acknowledge its own constitution, laws and rights and instead seeks those of England, while Scotland is an independent country within GB it outright refuses to act accordingly and ignores the many breaches to the treaty. Even when England categorically states that to them UK means a GREATER ENGLAND with Scotland extinguished and subsumed into it and that they never enacted the treaty and if they ever had it was no longer the case, Scotland ignores it and continues as though nothing was ever said, where in the parliament of GB English parliamentary conventions has no place Scotland upholds them, when Scotland should be sitting directly opposite the English government in the chamber it prefers to sit at the back of the room and rely not only on English policy making but on its institutions.

Where Scotland provides the capital to the union it acts as a silent business partner. In short, to the English government they see a weak and pathetic partner who refuses to assert any of its rights and happily accepts abuse thrown at it no matter what.

Scotland has forgotten how to govern itself but will not admit it to its own people so excuses come easily to its own politicians. Everything is big bad England’s fault when all Scotland need ever do is assert itself. If England is to be cast as the panto baddie then they will play the role well.

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING stopping Scotland from standing up and telling England to get tae… That they are equals and partners not possessions. That from here on out Scotland will take no more of the abuse, admittedly self inflicted. Yet it refuses to do so.

When Alba stood up and asserted Scotland’s rights that should have been the moment the SNP government stood up for Scotland. But no, they put petty political rivalry before country. They demonstrated that when push comes to shove they will side with England not Scotland and its folks. That to me is the biggest betrayal of them all. They simply rode roughshod over Scotland in order to preserve their lifestyles and maintain the illusion of governance when they are incapable at every single level. That is perhaps why they also permit English political parties to stand in Scotland.


BEAT THE CENSORS
Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who can be critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please share this and take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

The trust has gone

Open letter to Nicola Sturgeon MSP FM

Dear Nicola,

Earlier I saw a tweet highlighting the lack of excitement that your referendum announcement has created in the wider YES movement.  Despite the promise of a referendum in about 15 months time, there’s nothing like the activity and the passion that was on display about 15 months before the first referendum.

But why is that?  Have folk in Scotland gone off the whole idea of independence?  Is it a foregone conclusion the the No side will win?  Or have folk noticed that, despite all that’s being said by the SNP and, in particular, by yourself, history has shown that words mean nothing unless followed by actions and, unfortunately, in recent years, SNP words are rarely, if ever, followed by actions.

Following the loss of the 2014 referendum vote, Alex Salmond resigned, and was replaced by you, his deputy, as First Minister and party leader, amid a huge increase in membership and support for the SNP, prompted, in part, by the actions of the English government in Westminster voting down all the benefits Scotland had been promised following a No vote.

So you were leading a buoyant SNP, with many No voters in the referendum regretting their vote, disgusted by the actions of Westminster.  A perfect pro-independence storm, you might think.

In the run-up to the following year’s UK general election, with a huge SNP majority of Scottish seats a certainty, you unexpectedly stated that a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence.  Why would the leader of the alleged ‘party of independence’ not make the most of this opportunity?  Was this the first sign of a change in emphasis on independence?

Despite gaining 56 out of 59 seats in Westminster, a mandate for independence, nothing was done to further the cause in the months that followed.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2015.

Then came the Brexit referendum.  The SNP campaigned against Brexit , but, unsurprisingly, you could not persuade the UK government to treat each part of the UK separately, so the decision in favour of Brexit was an English decision, completely ignoring the Scottish and Northern Irish decisions against.  We will not be dragged out of the EU against our will was your slogan, but, in the event, most of your post-referendum campaigning was in England, trying to overturn the English decision.  Finally, faced with the intransigence of the English government, independence was the only way to keep Scotland in the EU and, with that certainty, you took no action. You simply dropped the slogan and allowed the English government to overrule Scotland’s wishes.

Once again, we see you allowing Scottish opinions to be overruled by the English government without taking action to prevent it.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2016.

In the snap 2017 UK general election, despite the pleas to ‘give us a mandate’, the word independence was banned from SNP election materials and, with no promise of independence, many former SNP voters simply didn’t turn out. That resulted in a big drop in SNP support and a big reduction in the number of SNP MPs elected. However, the election still resulted in a majority of SNP MPs, but, once again, no action followed the mandate. Nothing was done to bring independence closer.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2017.

As the mandates piled up with still no action to bring independence closer, the number of unhappy SNP members voting with their feet and leaving the party was increasing, but this didn’t seem to overly worry you or the rest of the SNP leadership. You just refused to publish membership figures and pretended it wasn’t happening.

A further UK general election followed in 2019 as Boris Johnson sought to confirm his premiership. Once again, the SNP asked for a mandate, once again they got one and once again, no action on independence followed.

Nicola, we trusted you to deliver independence, but you let us down in 2019.

Now let’s consider the latest national election, for the Scottish Parliament in 2021 and another mandate demanded by the SNP. A referendum by the middle of the parliament, or a referendum by the end of 2023, was your cry, a tight timescale, a year less than the time it took in 2014. The justification offered for the feasibility of the shorter timescale was that, coming only nine years after the first referendum, many aspects of the preparation would take less time or even wouldn’t have to be done at all.

Despite all the aforementioned justification, you would have thought that you would have been anxious to get started on the preparatory work, but that didn’t seem to be the case. In the event, it wasn’t until the following year, this year, that any progress was made.

You announced that a further request for a Section 30 would be made and, if that was rejected by Boris Johnson, the next UK General Election, likely to be in 2024, would be treated as a plebiscite on Scottish independence. This latter point was surprising as up until that very day, you had been solidly against a plebiscite, describing it as a hindrance to the independence cause and describing those making the suggestion as idiots, or worse. We now know that, as most people expected, Johnson rejected the Section 30 request, not giving it more than a moment’s thought.

The next action was to submit a request to the English Supreme Court for a decision on whether a referendum was within the competence of the Scottish Government. As with the plebiscite, this was a surprising move, as the Scottish Government had gone to great lengths to destroy Martin Keatings attempt to establish the same thing just a year earlier. I suppose some might also think it strange that the Scottish Government should be asking an English court (I know it’s called the UK Supreme Court, but as there’s no such thing as UK law, it isn’t really) to establish whether they can hold a referendum when you and the rest of the SNP leadership appear to accept that the Scottish people are sovereign, not an English court.

Now we have the release of the first two of the promised series of papers on (and here I quote) “Building a new Scotland”. Unfortunately, here I have to confess a certain amount of disappointment.

The first paper, a comparison with other similar sized European countries, shows clearly that they are better off than Scotland in so many ways, implies that Scotland, with independence, can be the same, but gives no indication of the steps that would be taken to achieve this goal.

The second paper, which focuses on democracy, highlights Scotland’s current democratic deficit and the problems a government focused on the South of England creates in Scotland, but again, beyond the aspiration of independence, no positive steps are laid out to make this a reality.

More papers are to come and we can only hope that they will concentrate more on the actions you and the Scottish Government plan to take to achieve the goals set out in each paper. Without that, you could well be accused of following the same failed path of words not leading to actions.

After such a series of missed opportunities, is it surprising that many Scots are reluctant to place much trust in your current statements?

One last point, an action you seem determined to take is to try to prevent people who don’t agree with every SNP policy from being part of independence campaigning. These policies include the decision to reform the Gender Recognition Act in ways many Scots disagree with, thus seeking to limit the numbers campaigning for independence. Placing the highly controversial GRA reform above the need for maximum unity in the independence movement seems, at least, counterproductive and, at worst, an action likely to limit the chances of success.

Nicola, we are trusting you to deliver independence. Let’s hope you won’t let us down again in 2024.

Yours in independence

Angry Weegie

I believe in unity, just not with ‘them’

This week saw the most post-election independence activity ever from Nicola Sturgeon, perhaps pushed into it by the enormous success of the Wee Alba Book, with crowded venues at every event organised to discuss it. However, several important questions, such as the date, the currency and the borders, were either not addressed or were glossed over. In particular, there was one very important aspect of any campaign that Sturgeon refused to address, even when directly questioned.

One thing that all Independistas agree on is the need for a united campaign. Without unity, there won’t be a campaign, there will be several different campaigns. Without unity, there will be disagreements between the campaigns, there will be arguments about the correct way forward, there will be different points of view on all of the questions that damaged Yes in the 2014 referendum. Without unity, voters will think that independence is all about arguments and confusion. Without unity, independence will not happen.

Despite the obvious disadvantages, Nicola Sturgeon has consistently refused to allow the SNP to have any contact with Alba and ISP and the other independence supporting groups and parties. In fact, the opposite is true as she has encouraged her followers to describe the other independence supporting parties in the most unflattering of terms, describing them as enemies, not friends, as if trying to ensure that pro-independence voters have only one realistic option, rather than trying to maximise the independence vote.

A recent reply from an MSP to a query from one of his constituents pretty much confirms that there is no possibility of a collaborative relationship between the SNP and Alba. Typically, the SNP puts the whole blame on Alba.

Sturgeon gives the impression that she believes the SNP owns the Yes movement and there’s no need to discuss policy options with other groups. Recent events have shown how true that is. Last Tuesday, following the presentation of the first in a series of papers highlighting the advantages of independence (a bit of a damp squib considering how it was announced), Sturgeon was asked if she saw a role for Alba in the independence campaign. She refused to give a direct answer.

What then could be the reason for Nicola Sturgeon to rule out SNP collaboration with any other independence group? What could be the reason for her to do the one thing that all independistas agree will assure a No vote?

Two possible explanations occur to me, neither great, but one worse than the other.

First, it could be that Sturgeon believes that she knows all the answers and that independence can only happen if she calls all the shots. Based on her behaviour as First Minister and leader of the SNP, it is obvious that Sturgeon needs to be in charge. She allows no dissenting opinions. Nothing happens in the Scottish Government or in the SNP without her say-so so it wouldn’t be a shock if she acts the same way about independence. Her policy of my way or the highway can be seen from the swift action she takes to sideline any party members with their own opinions. Those promoted are those who agree with her every statement. Whether that leads to better government and whether it would lead to a winning independence campaign is in some doubt.

Second, and much worse, it could be that Sturgeon is making decisions to sabotage the independence movement, and she could be doing it deliberately (© George Foulkes). Could that be the explanation for her strange and counter-productive infatuation with GRA reform and Hate Crimes legislation which are obviously creating division in the Yes movement. Could that be the explanation for the otherwise astonishing decision to sell off Scotland’s wind energy future for buttons. Could that be the explanation for her ignoring all the earlier opportunities to advance the cause of Scottish independence, particularly in 2016 with the Brexit vote.

If Nicola Sturgeon is serious about independence, she will have to accept that any campaign is not just about the SNP. There are other parties with other opinions whose views will have to be discussed and accommodated within any campaign strategy. Can she do this? Will she do this?

The gemme’s a bogey?

The gemme’s a bogey if we don’t all make the effort to change the current situation.

No doubt, you may already have seen loads of analysis following the Scottish local elections, now just about three weeks ago as I write.

Well, here’s more.

I’ve looked at the voting figures for this month’s elections and compared them to the last local elections in 2017.

Most of you will have seen that the SNP proportion of first preference votes increased, from 32.3% in 2017 to 34.1% this year. The turnout was lower, 47% in 2017 and 44% this time, that in itself an indictment of our government’s efforts to keep the electorate enthused, but what about number of votes.

The number of SNP first preference votes increased from 620,820 to 636,950. That’s an extra 16,130 voters who, on a reduced turnout, decided that the SNP was the party they wanted to support. At a time when independence options not available in 2017, like Alba and ISP, were on (some of) the ballot papers, and when more and more adverse comments about the government’s current performance are appearing in both mainstream and social media, more people are voting for a party which almost certainly won’t bring independence. Won’t even try. They’re also voting for a party with an increasingly poor reputation for good governance. And don’t tell me that local elections are not about national issues, because we all know that most voters vote for the party, not the individual.

How can you explain that the more obvious it becomes that the SNP doesn’t see independence as a priority (some would go even further than that), the more people are voting for them. How can SNP support increase when so many have seen through their charade around the independence question and are providing the evidence for everyone to see.

I believe that there are two groups of people who now feel able to support the SNP.

Firstly, there may be lots of people in Scotland who are frightened of independence but are too embarrassed to admit it, even to themselves. Their concern about independence may be down to fear of the unknown, fear of losing what they have, be it little or not so little, or just fear of having to stand on their own two feet after years of leaving all the big decisions to their bigger neighbour. I suppose this is a change from several years ago when some independence supporters were too embarrassed to admit their support of what, at the time, seemed like a way out idea.

Secondly, there are those who see themselves as British and want to remain in the United Kingdom, but see the SNP as a better option for the government of Scotland than the English controlled parties, who admittedly, don’t present a very high bar. This is hardly a new group. In the pre-SNP days of Labour majorities, many would vote Labour for Westminster and SNP for Holyrood, thinking they were the best parties for each parliament.

What connects these two groups is that their vote for the SNP is because they know full well that independence will never happen with the current SNP in charge. These additional votes come from people who don’t favour independence, either because of the fear mentioned above or because they still want to remain part of the Union, but they all realise that there is now no danger that the SNP under Sturgeon will ever seek to promote independence. They vote for the SNP because they know in their heart of hearts that the SNP will never deliver independence.

Are there now tens of thousands of voters, maybe even hundreds of thousands if you include the apathetic who didn’t bother to vote this month, who would vote for the SNP because they don’t want change. Voters happy with the illusion that devolution suits Scotland very well. If this has always been the SNP’s plan under Nicola Sturgeon, it has worked out beautifully.

How long can this continue. There may be little we can do about the unionists, despite the SNP telling us to concentrate on convincing the ‘soft Unionist noes’, whoever they are, but is there anything we can do about scared voters? Can we get scared voters to love the idea of independence? The answer to that may be no as well, unless we change the SNP into a party that shows everyone where independence can take us. Impossible? Maybe not. Maybe there is a way.

Well, we’ve heard many independence supporters say that if there’s no referendum in 2023, they won’t support the SNP again. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you’re the SNP, many of these people said a similar thing in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021. Many may actually keep their word and stop supporting the party, but despite the thousands of members deserting the SNP, their votes keep rising, leading me to think that leaving the party and not voting for the party are two unconnected actions, the second not necessarily following from the first.

In 2007, Alex Salmond knew that demonstrating that the Scottish Government could govern competently would encourage more folk to believe that Scottish independence was worth pursuing. And who can say it didn’t work. The period from 2007 to 2014 has been called the golden age of SNP government, because most of the advances the SNP boast about today came from that period. The voters saw this as well and their reaction boosted the SNP from minority government in 2007 to a majority in 2011. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option open to us now, as Nicola Sturgeon has taken a diametrically opposite approach, governing so incompetently, encouraging more folk to dismiss the whole idea of independence.

To improve the chance of change, we can always try to replace Sturgeon, though that would be pretty difficult as too many modifications have been made to the party’s internal processes to prevent ordinary members having any say in the running of the party. It’s a more likely possibility that she’ll be nominated for the UN job of her dreams and she’ll just go anyway. Off to pastures new, leaving behind her shattered country as her legacy.

My suggestion is a mass campaign of contacting your local SNP MP/MSP/Councillor telling her/him that you will only be voting for the MP/MSP/Councillor concerned at the next Westminster/Holyrood/Local Authority election if, and only if, the SNP have begun to cooperate with all other pro-independence groups and parties to create an agreed plan to deliver independence and to answer the questions unanswered from 2014, such as borders and currency. Of course, this would only have an impact if they received a whole load of contacts and if the writers were those likely to vote SNP, those, for example, who had voted SNP at the last election. So not Alba members, I suppose.

Would they pay attention? They might if it was going to affect them financially. We must all know that the continuation of their income is probably the only real motivator of today’s elected SNP politicians. If there were enough letters/emails, and they believed their job and therefore their income were threatened, they would pay attention, but it would take action from a large number all over the country, every region, constituency and ward. Just convincing a few MPs/MSPs won’t be enough and they’d be too scared anyway to do anything for fear of getting into Sturgeon’s bad books. There’s safety in numbers.

How many of you really want independence? How many of you are up for telling it as it is? How many of you think the chance of independence is worth a letter/email? How many?


BEAT THE CENSORS
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Does the SNP think Scots Law exists?

Or are they trying to make sure it doesn’t?

The basis of this blog is a comment made by Gayle, a reader of the site, in response to my blog “What authority does the Scottish Government have”. You can read my blog here. I think Gayle’s reply is worthy of a wider audience.


With the Scottish Government meekly accepting English Supreme Court rejection of two Holyrood bills, they are doing exactly what they should categorically be refusing to do; recognising its legitimacy. This is especially relevant as it refers to UK law. UK law is non-existent, there being only Scots and English law within the Treaty of Union.

What is worse though is their absolute silence on the fundamental breaches to the treaty which not only violate the treaty but change the very nature of it.

Take a look at the English Act of Union Bill (2017-2019) being discussed in the Lords and what it says in Part 1 Section 1 concerning the very name of the treaty. UK not GB. Now you may think but this is what the treaty is commonly referred to but legally the treaty should be in the name of Great Britain. Then read further on how they make themselves the sole continuator state and authority and give themselves the power to define which areas of life they will control and the power to change these at will without consulting the devolved parliaments, thereby granting themselves a veto over Scotland and the Scots. You can read the full act here.

Next, look at Clause 38 of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act, where they have written English parliamentary sovereignty into law for the first time. Carwyn Jones puts the point across very well in this video.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNawcGqBWc4 though he incorrectly states that the Scottish Parliament was dissolved in 1707.

Then, look at Westminster’s Internal Market Act, paying close attention to the wording – again under UK not GB. And recently the motorist identification legislation which states that all Scots must cover up and/or replace GB identifiers with UK. You can read the full act here.

It won’t be lost on you why this fundamental change. Add to that to the paper commissioned by the English government and penned by Crawford and Boyle, particularly Part IV, which claims that Scotland was extinguished and subsumed into a Greater England albeit under the new name of UK and the significance of renaming the state UK becomes clear. As does the reason they enacted EVEL.

And what has the Scottish government done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. They have capitulated to the English government every single step of the way. Did you know that they are actively writing into law all the aspects which have been mere conventions within the treaty of 1707? Such as the convention on ratifying treaties. Now ask yourself why the English government are writing this convention into English law. And to top it off they even have English government offices in the Scottish capital and in Glasgow. This and so much more has been happening right under their and our noses and there is silence. There is the constant “permission must be sought from England” from them not an assertion of Scots sovereign authority. And let’s not forget that they actively removed the Scottish nationality and replaced it with British which is against the law to do. As I have pointed out elsewhere, this is death by a thousand cuts and hardly anyone seems to notice.

What is also worrying is that any time Scots start to question why Scots authority is not asserted and seek to do so, as if on cue out come the “Scotland is a colony” chanters. Almost as if deliberately trying to undermine Scotland and its true status as a sovereign nation state and partner to the treaty.


My comment

I think Gayle is quite right when she suggests that the Tory government are trying to establish in law a unitary state called the United Kingdom, of which Scotland will be just a small part. It cannot have escaped the SNP’s attention that this is happening, so the question to be asked of and answered by the SNP and the Scottish Government is why are you doing nothing about it.

Beat the Censors

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Will 2026 be soon enough?

Or What can We do to Stop the Holyrood Takeover?

The current SNP leadership and many of the current (much reduced) membership seem to be happy to adopt a gradualist policy when it comes to progressing independence. Gradualist may be a fairly optimistic description. Neverist might be closer.

Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly stated that the Scottish Government cannot make any effort to advance the cause of independence until Covid has been beaten and until the impact of Covid is over. Earlier, it seemed from a statement made just before the election that she had no faith in Westminster acting in Scotland’s best interests in directing the recovery from the effects of Covid, but now we must wait until the recovery is over before even thinking about independence. Am I the only one that sees the inconsistency between these two viewpoints?

As the Scottish Government sits on its collective backside, too feart to act or too disinterested in independence to be bothered, what about the organisation that they repeatedly tell us is our biggest opponent, the UK/English government. Have Westminster decided to set everything else aside until the Covid crisis is over? The answer, of course, is no. Unlike the Scottish Government, the UK/English Government seem to be able the think about more than one think at a time. I always thought that, as women claim to be able to multitask, and with more women in the Scottish Cabinet, working on several projects at the same time would have been easy. Apparently not.

So what have the UK/English Government been doing at the same time as threatening us with herd immunity and untold Brexit disasters? Have they been ignoring Scottish independence, just like the Scottish Government? Have they f**k. Here is some information about four acts/bills currently being considered by Westminster. and what they might mean for Scotland.

The Covert Human Intelligence Act

makes it legal for huge numbers of state “actors” like the police, army, intelligence services and many others to commit crimes in the execution of their duties, if authorised to do so. As it’s an act, it’s already been passed into law. You can read full details of the Act here.

Who can authorise the “legal” commission of crimes, I hear you ask. Well, here’s the list taken directly from the Act.

Any police force.
The National Crime Agency.
The Serious Fraud Office.
Any of the intelligence services.
Any of Her Majesty’s forces.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
The Department of Health and Social Care.
The Home Office.
The Ministry of Justice.
The Competition and Markets Authority.
The Environment Agency.
The Financial Conduct Authority.
The Food Standards Agency.
The Gambling Commission.

On examination, I thought, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought, who have they missed out? Which organisation is NOT able to authorise people working for them to commit criminal acts to further the interests of the state?

They tell us that criminal conduct authorisation will be required if it is necessary to commit a crime which is:

(a) in the interests of national security;
(b) for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder; or
(c) in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.

Note particularly the third area. There are innumerable actions you could take that would impact the economic well-being of the United Kingdom. You could, for instance, call a strike or suggest an increase in tax for the well off. You could support a wages increase for NHS workers or suggest a pay freeze for MPs. Or worst of all, you could support the separation of one part of the United Kingdom from the rest, or independence as it is otherwise known. Allegedly, Scottish independence would have a huge impact on the UK’s economy. Does that mean that anyone who does or says anything to further the cause of Scottish independence is likely to be targeted? Is this just legalising what they would have done anyway?

So the Act tells you who can authorise the commission of criminal acts. The Act outlines the justification required to justify such authorisation. Note I said outlines, as the Act is not really specific about why a criminal act should be committed. But there is one thing missing in the Act. It doesn’t tell you what types of crimes can be authorised. By expressing no limits in the documentation, it means there are no limits. Breaking and entering, theft, fraud, blackmail, or even acts of violence, up to and including murder. Before you reject this as fanciful, consider why acts of violence are not excluded in the Act. What is not prohibited will be justified, especially if other means have failed.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

which, among many other provisions, extends the rights of authorised persons (there’s this authorisation again) to extract (is that the same as steal?) data from private electronic devices. It also gives the police the power to restrict public protest on the basis that it might inconvenience or upset anyone in the vicinity of the protest. It could (I think they mean will) be used by the state to prevent effective demonstrations and other expressions of dissent. You can read more details about the bill here.

  • The bill will enable the police to impose conditions such as start and finish times and maximum noise levels on static protests similar to those already available for marches.
  • The bill will broaden the range of circumstances in which the police can impose conditions on protests, including a single person protest, to include where noise may cause a significant impact on those in the vicinity or serious disruption to the running of an organisation.
  • The bill will make it easier to prosecute organisers and participants for breaking conditions imposed on a protest.

Of course, these conditions are (deliberately?) left vague, so what exactly constitutes “significant impact” or “serious disruption” will be left for later definition. But who will be responsible for clarifying the conditions? Will it be the courts or the police? Will it be some independent body? No. It will be the responsibility of the Home Secretary, who is currently Priti Patel, if you needed reminding. What are the chances of Priti Patel, or any of her successors, favouring the protesters?

So demonstrations will only be permitted if they don’t inconvenience anyone or if they don’t make too much noise. Remind me what the point of a demonstration is?

WHAT DO WE WANT? SILENCE!
WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!

I wonder how easy it will be to find someone who will be happy to say they are inconvenienced or upset by a demonstration. Any Tory party member, perhaps?

The Draft Online Safety Bill

which is supposedly intended to thwart Terrorism and Child Sex Abuse (for which plenty of legislation has already been passed), but is more likely to be used to shut down any website or platform whose opinions the government doesn’t like, like those operated by independence bloggers, such as the one you are currently reading, for example. You can read more about the bill (if very keen) here.

You would think no one would disagree with the introduction of further measures against Terrorism or Child Sex Abuse, though earlier attempts to identify and prosecute a ring of important people connected to Westminster and Whitehall who were allegedly involved in child sex abuse were hindered by a lack of cooperation from the government, prosecutors and police. I wonder why.

However, buried in the bill addressing areas which the public would find acceptable, the government are sneaking in measures to silence opposition by making it effectively a criminal offence to disagree with government policy or object to government actions.

The government has been trying for years to limit the effectiveness of on-line sites, such as independent bloggers, to identify flaws in government legislation and point out the dangers inherent in government actions and make the public aware of them. And now they’re having another go. This time the plan is to place a set of rules on all organisations who provide services to allow users to post information that other users can read and all organisations who provide search facilities. Twitter and Facebook and Google come to mind as organisations who fit one of these categories.

There seems to be two possibilities. both equally awful. First, the government may implement a set of rules so onerous that the companies may decide it’s easier just to remove users who post about particular topics. Or second, the government may implement a set of rules specifically barring the companies from accepting posts on particular topics. Or, of course, it may do both. No prizes for guessing Scottish independence might be on the banned list. Remember the rule about the economic well-being of the United Kingdom in the Covert Human Intelligence Act? Would Westminster need another excuse?

The Counter State Threats Bill

seeks to “improve” earlier versions of the Official Secrets Act originally passed in 1911 and amended several times, the latest in 1989. The bill focusses on the alleged improvements to national security, but sneaked into the bill, in the small print, if you will, are some changes that seem more designed to prevent government embarrassment rather than dangers to national security.

The government are unhappy that there have been instances that civil servants, or others with access to embarrassing government restricted information, have sought to release the information to the general public, believing that the public had a right to be aware of certain government actions or proposed actions. Let’s suppose the release of this information will never compromise national security, but will certainly shed light on actions by senior members of the government that these senior members would rather remained secret. This bill seeks to treat anyone who releases such government information, (commonly called a whistle-blower) as well as anyone who distributes the information (commonly called a journalist), as a spy, resulting in the criminalisation of both whistle-blower and journalist, so bringing into the UK laws that are more often associated with Fascist regimes.

Is this bill is designed to make the UK more secure or is designed to reduce government accountability and embarrassment? I don’t think there can be any doubt that it’s the latter.

Scottish Government (In)action

Of course, these pieces of legislation are not the only ones recently passed by Westminster designed to reduce the power of the Scottish Government. The most obvious of these is the Internal Market Act which provides the opportunity for Westminster to override or ignore Holyrood in every aspect of their business. In other words, Westminster can effectively prevent Holyrood from doing anything while allowing it to remain open. Open, but completely impotent. Why have the Scottish Government done nothing about it, except having a few bleating interviews and, of course, sending Ian Blackford to Westminster to say he’s not at all happy. Don’t the SNP leadership care?

So the Scottish Government say they have no time to think about independence because of Covid, though they seem to have loads of time to introduce laws that redefine men as women and laws that seek to destroy freedom of speech in Scotland. Priorities, dear reader, priorities? Their only action to protect Scotland from the effects of these, and other, UK/English government legislation seems to be sending Ian Blackford to Westminster to say he is not happy. Of course, he’s had such stunning success with his previous efforts. Who will ever forget his pièce de résistance “Scotland will not be taken out of the EU against it’s will”. Now, how did that work out?

All of these limitations to our freedom are of course being carried out under the cover of the Covid crisis, with the UK/English government, the Scottish government and the media all conspiring (not another conspiracy?) to keep quiet about the impact of the changes in Scotland, while our First Minister says she can do nothing about any part of it until Covid and its consequences are sorted out completely. To be clear, that’s sorted out completely by Boris Johnson according to the priorities assigned by the UK/English government. Will Scottish requirements be a priority? I don’t think so. Do you?

I’d like to finish with two quotes which I think are relevant.

“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels.” Laura Vanderkam

“Action expresses priorities.” Mahatma Gandhi

Do you think Nicola Sturgeon would agree with them?

Beat the Censors

Many Facebook sites are increasingly censoring bloggers like myself who are sometimes critical of the actions of the SNP and the Scottish Government. They are attempting to prevent bloggers from getting their message out, so we have to depend on readers sharing the blog posts. If you liked this post or others I have written, please take out a free subscription by clicking the follow button on the home page or on the posts. You will then be notified by email of any new posts on the blog. Thank you.

To woke or not to woke, that is the question

Political parties, especially those in power, can face many problems.  These problems can be caused by circumstances, can be caused by the actions of their political opponents, or can be caused by their own actions.  Often the last of these is the most difficult to overcome, because the party may think they are doing the right thing and they find it very difficult to see the possible harm they are doing both to themselves and others and having set on a course, politically it is difficult to change direction without losing face.

One of these ‘problems of their own making’ is currently facing the Scottish Government.  This is the Gender Recognition Act, or at least, the changes being proposed to it to provide more flexible protection to trans people.

First, a bit of background.  Trans people are able to receive legal recognition of their acquired gender through a process set out in the Gender Recognition Act 2004.  So those individuals who were born as a male, but wanted to live as a female, or those who were born as a female, but wanted to live as a male, were given protection from discrimination under the law.  Few would disagree with that objective.

Current law requires anyone who wishes to transition to go through psychological assessment to confirm a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria and to have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years.  However, many trans people feel that existing laws do not go far enough and are overly complex and time consuming.  As a result of lobbying by several trans activist groups, many financially supported by the Scottish Government, changes have been proposed to the legislation in Scotland.

These changes include:

  • The minimum time period for living in the acquired gender to be reduced from 2 years to 3 months plus 3 months additional reflection time
  • Self Id – trans people can simply state they are living in their acquired gender without need for medical or psychological assessment
  • There is no need for any on-going or planned medical procedure
  • The minimum age for transitioning to be reduced from 18 to 16.

However, many trans women believe that laws should allow them to live their lives as any other woman would.  In particular, they argue that trans women should not be denied access to women only spaces, such as women’s toilets and changing rooms and refuges for women that had been subject to domestic abuse.  This view puts them at odds with the majority of women who are uncomfortable with sharing such facilities with individuals who are physically still male.  Unfortunately, the Scottish Government’s plans don’t attempt to resolve this issue.  Though they talk of preserving women’s safe spaces, there is no definition of what is meant by a woman.  Does it include or exclude trans women?  We simply don’t know.  

The Scottish Government have initiated a public consultation to seek views on their plans, though comments made by Shirley-Ann Somerville seem to suggest that the decision has been made to press ahead with the changes no matter the outcome.  This has brought the arguments into sharp focus in Scotland, but, in many senses, what’s happening here is simply echoing what has happened elsewhere.  Trans activists have often adopted a very aggressive approach to putting across their point of view, often denying the very existence of human biology and sometimes even threatening violence against those outspoken enough to remind them of its existence.  For many trans people, any pro-woman comment will be interpreted as transphobia.

There are some particular aspects of this government initiative that puzzle me.

Firstly, why do the SNP continue to pursue a goal which shows every sign of reducing the support for independence.  There are many women (and men) who will put the preservation of women’s hard-won rights ahead of independence, especially if it’s the kind of independence that doesn’t include real independence for women.  On a practical level, there are a lot more women voters to lose than there are trans voters to gain, so where’s the advantage to the party.  Why, at this time, when independence has “never been closer”, are the SNP determined to follow this path?  Are there now individuals in the party who view the loss of independence as collateral damage on the road to a bright woke future?

Secondly, why are the party not taking disciplinary action against party members who have threatened violence against colleagues who have spoken out in favour of women’s rights?  Why has no disciplinary action taken against party members who have ‘shopped’ colleagues to the media?   There have been occasions in the past when party members have been accused of various transgressions by political opponents, Antisemitism is a favourite, and they have been thrown out of the party based on relatively flimsy evidence.  The phrase “kangaroo court” springs to mind,  but perhaps I’m being unfair to kangaroos.  But now it seems that political opponents don’t need to smear SNP members, because there are people within the party only too happy to do the job for them.

We know that a concerted effort by Trans supporters saw many elected to committee positions, including the Disciplinary Committee, at last year’s National Conference.  That might one reason why some on the committee are not keen to take action against Trans activists.  But why are the rest of the committee going along with this?  Is the threat of being called a transphobe enough to keep the rest of the disciplinary committee in line?  Have we got to the point where we are copying the French Revolution Reign of Terror or the ‘reds under the bed’ McCarthy period in the States?  Is this the SNP Pronoun Wars?  Is it true that the Disciplinary Committee is to be renamed the Committee of Party Safety?  Are party members to be forced to appear before the committee to be asked “Are you or have you ever been a terf?”.

Thirdly, why does anyone think that belief eclipses biology?  Putting on a dress and saying you are a woman doesn’t make you one.  I know it may be boring for some to see it repeated, but women really don’t have XY chromosomes, nor do they have a penis.  Those who are not women don’t have a vagina or a womb.  No matter how hard they try, a man may be able to live as a woman, but cannot become a woman, nor a woman become a man.

Perhaps there’s something that the most aggressive trans activists, you know, the ones who favour killing all TERFs, need to think about.  Women get pregnant and have babies.  Without babies, the human race would die out.  I know there used to be an idea that babies were delivered by storks, but without women, we’d better start breeding a hell of a lot of storks.  And we’d better hope female storks don’t get the same treatment as female humans.