Those Scottish Elections, and What Happens Now 259

Well, there is no denying an overwhelming SNP victory, with an increased vote, increased seats, increased percentage and double the support of the next largest party. Together with the Greens there is a substantial pro-Independence majority in the Parliament, so that matter is settled. Personally I would welcome an SNP/Green coalition with a guaranteed pro-Independence majority of at least fourteen (depending on who is presiding officer). It would remove the Tory jibe that there is not a majority government. But I suspect the SNP will prefer to go it alone again.

The dominant question is Indyref2. It remains my fear that Nicola does not want to actually move for Independence, and will merely continue to make pretend moves in that direction. In the campaign she continually hedged around with not just after Covid, but after the effects of covid, and then the final resort piece of hedging that a referendum must be “legal”.

Let me spell out my fears. I do not claim I am right, because it is impossible for me to know either Sturgeon’s mind, or the future. But it is my best prognostication based on my own assessment of the public indications, and information from sources including several SNP MPs and MSPs.

I expect no serious steps towards Indyref2 to be taken before 2023, on the excuse of Covid, except possibly some more meaningless “enabling” legislation with no dates, to keep the troops believing.

In 2023 I expect Sturgeon to ask Johnson for a S30 in the full knowledge he will refuse, and I expect an answer to be stalled until 2024. I expect that then Sturgeon will be happy to see the matter go to the courts, at the behest of one side or the other. Sturgeon knows very well that the UK Supreme Court will state that the Westminster parliament is ultimately sovereign, because within the UK it is sovereign. That is why we need to leave this union.

It is very probable that Johnson will amend the Scotland Act specifically to preclude a referendum without Westminster permission. By then we will be at the next Scottish parliamentary elections, and Sturgeon will stand in 2025 or 6 on the basis that a referendum must be legal, we must ask Johnson for a S30, and for him to refuse would be a “democratic outrage”. Which game can go on forever, with no real intention of achieving Independence.

I realise that there are many very good, decent people within the SNP who believe that I am wrong, and that Sturgeon has a genuine commitment to Independence, and has some kind of secret plan which is much more radical than I have outlined.

Well, we shall see who is right.

The worrying thing is that I have been saying this since 2016 and would think five years of inaction have proven me right already. I have a horrible feeling that if we arrive in 2026 after five more years of inaction, Nicola’s followers will still believe her. I see a continuing role for Alba for those who are actually serious about Independence, despite its frankly disastrous electoral debut (the causes of which were largely not Alba’s fault, but that is for another day).

Nicola and the SNP have of course it firmly in their power to prove me horribly wrong. They can prove me a complete fool by using this mandate to take bold and genuine steps and achieving Independence. In which case, not only shall I acknowledge I was a complete fool, I shall be delighted to do so.

I think this is a good time to utilise again one of the few decent things from the Guardian, its daily Covid graphs.

I have broadly supported lockdowns, aside the odd specific illogicality, and strongly advocate vaccination. But the facts are unanswerable – despite some people’s addiction to fear, they have to face it is just about over. Despite politicians’ addiction to the heady combination of increased personal exposure and popularity, plus increased control over the population, it is just about over. Vaccines have licked it in the UK. The risk of death to a non-geriatric healthy person is now as close to zero as makes no difference.

Oxgangs library has been turned into a Covid Testing Centre. I sat on a wall this morning and observed for half an hour as nobody went in and nobody came out, and the young man on the door tried to find ways to relieve his boredom. The time will shortly be with us when the public appetite will fade for daily briefings that say six people feel slightly unwell in Elgin.

England and Wales have enjoyed seven consecutive weeks of negative excess deaths (I can never find the Scottish figures on this). That means this spring is very possibly the least dangerous period you have ever lived through, in terms of the chance of you dying.

As the vaccine programme goes ahead, it gets ever safer. At some stage, the public are going to notice. We have had attempts to boost the fear factor by successive claims that the South African or Indian or Brazilian strain had arrived in Britain and was massively more deadly, massively more transmissible, evaded the vaccine, killed more young people. All of these arrived in the UK and none of the claimed disasters happened.

Of course, there could one day really be that super deadly variant. Equally, there could be an entirely new pandemic disease. But we cannot live our lives locked and cowering against these eventualities. For now, we should come out – vaccinated – into the sunlight again. The emphasis should be on border control and firmly restricting international travel until the rest of the world catches up. It should also be on overseas aid to help the rest of the world catch up. Biden has shamed our Tory government by his support for voiding patents on Covid vaccines, but the Tories have always seen the pandemic as personal profit opportunity.

But meantime, the strongest temporary border controls. As long term readers know, I am very strongly opposed to mass air travel anyway, only made possible because of disgraceful international complicity in not taxing fossil fuel for aircraft. Nobody actually needs a £30 ticket to Ibiza.

There is another issue where I doubt that Sturgeon genuinely believes what she says, or intends to act speedily, and that is trans rights. Here she will be under enormous pressure to deliver GRA reform very quickly, and that from her closest allies.

This is going to be interesting. Trans rights have been a very useful wedge issue for Nicola and extremely effective against her most dangerous internal rival, Joanna Cherry. Broadly similar issues, like gay marriage and abortion, were intensely controversial until carried into law, and then the matter was effectively settled as a matter of public debate. I expect trans rights might be similar and that Nicola has no real interest in settling the matter because she does not want the controversy to die down.

Personally I am extremely frustrated at the extraordinary alignment between

Never-never Independence supporters and trans rights,


Independence Now supporters and trans exclusion

There seems no logical connection between the two, yet these strange alliances have become the most important dominant fact in the politics of Scottish Independence. My own opinion – which upset huge numbers of staunch Independence Now people on twitter – is that Alba’s strong identification with excluding trans women is one reason for its electoral failure.

Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist has become a pejorative term, but it seems to me a precise intellectual description of where an especially vocal section of Alba support was coming from, and voters found it rather weird and bitter.

I was considering founding a party which supports trans people, but at the same time wants Scotland to achieve Independence irrespective of any legal or political efforts at veto from London. But I fear there would only be me in it.

So the trans wedge issue has become so important to Nicola politically, I suspect she has no real interest in ending it. Besides, legislation is difficult. The current proposal is ridiculously over-simplified, as demonstrated by Gordon Dangerfield. I support self-ID and I extremely strongly uphold the principle that people should be who they want to be, and unlike Gordon I really don’t care about their genitalia and don’t see why anybody else should either. Mind your own business. But I can see that in certain rare and specific circumstances, like elite sport or people involved in criminal justice proceedings, there may be a need for some kind of arbitration of genuineness or good faith of a gender change; with good faith being the presumption that has to be overturned.

I might add that I particularly dislike the jibes at “women with beards” and the social media posts making fun of the physical appearance of trans people. There has been far too much cruelty flying around. I count Stuart Campbell and Chris Cairns as friends and allies who genuinely want Independence. But I cannot approve of this kind of cartoon, and I feel obliged to say so. How would it make you feel if you were a trans woman?

[Update I am told it is not Chris Cairns but is signed Stella. I had presumed that was part of the “joke”, but if it is not Chris I of course apologise to him].

It is of course also true that pro-trans activists are far too rude to people who disagree with them, with a small and defined group seriously nasty and out of control, including threatening violence. That group is closely connected to SNP leadership figures. This is all quite appalling. Frankly both sides of the debate need to find tolerance and empathy.

What is my prediction? I think the trans issue will be shelved, and Nicola will seek to placate Ms Blackman and her ilk by the abolition of jury trials in cases of sexual assault, as a first step, to be followed later by the abolition of jury trials in other crimes against women. Why all of that is an appalling idea I shall expand further one day, though I find it rather shocking that anybody would need that explained.

One thing I am sure of; we will see decisive action from Nicola on the abolition of juries long before we see any real movement on Independence. I would bet my life on that.


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259 thoughts on “Those Scottish Elections, and What Happens Now

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  • jomry

    Describing genuine expressions of concern at the prospects of self id threatening women’s sex based rights as “trans exclusion” is both shallow and intellectually lazy. A number of rights are in conflict here and the attempt to shut down discussion of this comes directly from the Sturgeon cabal. You say you are an Alba member. Have you not read the policy paper from the Alba women’s conference? Is there no resonance with you that both the Women’s convenor and the Equalites convenor , elected by SNP members to carry out these roles, both resigned from the SNP to join Alba because of the inability to discuss these matters openly within the captured SNP organisation?

    You are usually more perceptive than this.

    • jomry

      As someone noted, few would have genuine concern at the %0.007of the population who are bona fide holders of GRC certificates using otherwise sex protected facilities . The problem arises when you allow anyone to simply self identify as the opposite sex, without safeguards or visible conformity , thereby demanding access to personal other-sex facilities. You may not like the perhaps unkind shorthand of “men with beards in dresses” – but predatory behaviour is predominantly a male issue so self id as a women to access female spaces, without appropriate safeguards. is a real concern and should be discussed without the “transphobic” slur being used.

      Your easy slur of such legitimate concern as “trans exclusion” is both inaccurate – and quite frankly – beneath you. Which is a real disappointment, since I appreciate your input on almost all the other issues you tackle.

      • Mockingbird

        Well said Jomry. There have been a disproportionate number of convictions afaik of transgender male to female paedophiles, this next story being one of the latest. Safeguards must be put in place.

        “UK — Devon, England. A paedophile, who currently identifies as a woman called Jessica Smith, has been sentenced to almost three years in jail and put on the sex offenders register for life. In court, Smith admitted to three counts of Attempting To Incite A Child To Sexual Activity and one of Arranging To Commit A Child Sex Offence. Smith was caught after communicating with decoy accounts pretending to be 14-year-old girls. The decoy accounts were set up by the group Justice for the Tears, which stages online sting operations to catch people they suspect are predators trying to groom children.

        Smith also arranged to meet with one of the girls, asking her to bring her 12-year-old friend as well. When members of Justice for the Tears arrived at the arranged meeting location, they “were surprised to find what they assumed to be a man rather than a woman lurking in a hedge near the designated meeting place”. They told Smith they were looking for a female paedophile, and called police after Smith said he was a man who had been sent to fetch the child.”

    • Mighty Druken

      Thanks jomry for your post, I must admit I find the trans question a bit confusing,

      As the argument appears in public discourse it looks a lot like “trans exclusion”. To over generalise it seems there are two main groups the woke and everyone else. When everyone else talks about trans rights they dismiss them out of hand, rather than trying to open a debate to reach a compromise. For example, men who identify as women could be treated as women in most ways with a few exclusions.

      I have only seen two concrete reasons given why trans rights are a bad idea. One is that men could pretend to be transgender so they can perv over and assault women in toilets. This argument appears very weak to me as men’s and women’s toilets are only enforced through convention. Plenty of times I have seen the “rules” broken, if a man wants to assault or perv of a women (or any combination of genders) then they can easily do so now. It all feels very sexist as the argument is that men are so violent and dangerous that women need safe spaces (even though they are not very safe). Is this a sex issue or a dickhead who should be in jail issue?

      The second argument I have seen is to do with sports. We could have genetic tests and particular XY combinations are allowed here or there. Do Trans rights people totally object to this? I hear so much anti-trans worries that I never actually here the people who support trans rights and what they accept. Does the current system actually work well for women anyway? Is it really true that there is no woman in the country who isn’t good enough to be in the men’s football leagues? Women’s leagues tend to get a lot less attention and pay.

      Having two genders is just a classification system people have grown used to in my eyes. In the past eunuchs were treated separately. We treat boys and girls differently to men and women in many respects. I don’t get what all the fuss is about, people are people.

      • S

        Regarding the toilets. I’ve visited a university in the US where they took the signs off the doors to be more inclusive. (I don’t know whether it was for legal reasons.) So men and women had no idea which toilet they were supposed to go to. This makes sense when the toilets are floor-to-ceiling enclosed rooms. But I am talking about toilets with urinals and little cubicals with gaps at the bottom and top so everyone can hear everything and see quite a bit. Aside from the abstract debate about rights, in practice, I think most people found this very uncomfortable. If that is what is coming here, then it is quite disappointing.

        The other point that you didn’t mention is prisons.

      • jomry

        Thanks for your post Mighty Drunken, “Trans” people do have, as they should, all the rights extended to protected characteristics in the 2010 Equality Act. When rights collide, mature and sensible discussion is needed. The basic issue is the dismantling of safeguards in determining who can legally be regarded as a woman and therefore who has access to the personal space in sex-protected areas (sanitation, hospitals, prisons etc.) Listen to Rhona Hotchkiss, es governor of Cornton Vale Women’s prison on this issue. Look at the increase in “women’s” violence and sexual crime statistics already distorted by this – or the potential decrease in reliability of health statistics.

        Discussion of this is often toxic, often as a result of the knee-jerk reaction of many to call raising of concern “transphobic” which is intellectually demeaning and unhelpful – the main reason I take issue with Craig Murray’s characterisation. I have found that the most reasoned and mature statement I have come across so far is from the ALBA women’s conference. You will find it at and I think the page is well worth a read.

  • vin_ot

    Looking from the outside, it seems there is not yet a dependable majority in Scotland for independence. Hence why the SNP has not addressed the big questions on the economics, the border, etc. It had been speculated that Johnson would call the SNP’s bluff after the election and permit an immediate indyref he thought he would win. Now the talk is of a more cautious long game where the Tories wait for Scots to tire of SNP hegemony and for Sturgeon to retire and be replaced with a less popular leader.

    • kebbocks

      Cart before horse? Surely a major part of the reason why there is not a perceived dependable majority for independence is precisely because the SNP has not prepared policies on the currency, the border, etc?

  • DiggerUK

    Tim Black in Spiked Online: The SNP cares nothing for democracy – It is fuelled by anti-Brexit, anti-masses prejudice.

    The SNP surprised no one by winning last week’s Scottish parliament elections. It now holds 64 out of the 129 seats at Holyrood, one shy of an outright majority.
    Predictably, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon claimed that her party’s victory, based as it was on the campaign pledge to hold a second independence referendum, provided a mandate for just that. It doesn’t matter that the SNP failed to regain the parliamentary majority it won in 2012. As SNP supporters have constantly pointed out, add the pro-independence Green Party’s eight seats to the SNP’s 64, and you have a pro-independence, pro-referendum majority in Holyrood. It prompted Sturgeon to characterise a referendum on Scottish independence as ‘the will of the Scottish people’.

    The UK government disagrees, and has continued to reject Sturgeon’s call for a new vote on Scotland’s future. Senior Conservative minister Michael Gove even claimed that, in terms of the total number of constituency votes, pro-Union parties won a greater share of the vote than anti-Union parties. Perhaps that is the will of the Scottish people.

    While unionists and nationalists indulge in a bout of inconclusive psephology, one thing does seem certain: there won’t be an independence referendum anytime soon. This is not only the position of the UK government, which dismissed talk of holding a referendum as ‘reckless’. It is also the implicit position of Sturgeon and the SNP. Deputy first minister John Swinney said as much on Saturday, stating there would only be a referendum ‘once we have got the current context of Covid under control’. Given the SNP’s enthusiastic embrace of lockdown and, at one point, a daft Zero Covid policy, that could be a long time.

    This is not a surprise. For all its belligerent talk, in practice the SNP is politically tentative, perhaps even reluctant to take the independence leap. This was palpable when the SNP did its level best to try to thwart Brexit, despite Brexit being the SNP’s best shot at justifying another vote on independence. And it is palpable, too, in the SNP’s reticence today, in the name of recovering from Covid, to go full steam ahead with a referendum, despite a pro-independence majority at its back.

    This is not simply tactical, as some suggest … [ snip ]

    But while this parasitical project has won the SNP elections, it has turned independence into a problem. Freed of the majoritarian democracy of the UK, the SNP loses its meaning and role as the voice of anti-democratic prejudice. Hence it almost needs to continue its current tic-like existence, feasting on the elitist sentiments that continue to course through the UK body politic.
    No wonder it is willing to kick that independence referendum into the long-grass of the post-Covid world…….

    I post the above as a cut and paste. The SNP really cares nothing for democracy, it wants an elected dictatorship akin to the European Commission, nothing more nor less…_

    • Ewan Maclean

      The only thing “daft” about “zero covid” is the name. It refers to the strategy pursued by the likes of New Zealand. The alternative is accepting that the virus will continue to circulate at relatively high levels but that test//trace etc. will keep it sufficiently under control for the economy to stay open. The vaccines and border controls make the latter now more feasible. It would have saved literally hundreds of thousands of lives had everyone gone for “zero covid” from the outset and not decided that “herd immunity” was a thing to be achieved by letting the virus run through the population.

      • Ken Garoo

        Zero covid? What does that mean? Covid is caused by a coronavirus, just like the common cold, and has mutated to an endemic form, just like the common cold and flu [confirmed by Whitty Are we going to have zero common cold as well? A similar thing applies to the flu, which is also endemic, but is caused by another virus species, so covid is not flu. The rapid mutation of all three mean a vaccine is not possible. The best that could happen would be an analogue of the flu ‘jab’ which is a mix of drugs targetting the most likely variants in a given year.

        No wonder the CEO of Pfizer has said covid drugs are now a reliable revenue stream. A shame that it appears to be 30x more lethal than all vaccines in the last 20 years. But they are OK as they have total legal immunity.

        • Cara3

          Craig, I was fit and healthy 55 year old that looked fifteen years younger. I got the virus last March I had nontest no access to hospital treatment and now am so damaged I don’t know which of the things I am trying to survive will take my life prematurely as they try to do even now, will it be a heart attack or stroke will it be aggressive early onset dementia from the brain damage caused by inflammation last year and this? Or the sudden paralysis from the inflammation of the spinal cold demylelination that stops the signals to my muscles include those that control my breathing. It will be the lack of care and belief that pervades in my local NHS and the ignorance that people can be youngish and die or be continually battling a terminal loop without that being identified and so some sort of treatment. It is like having all organ failure dementia and aggressive end stage MS all at the same time.

          Nobody wants to hear me as that is counter to the narrative that you are now repeating. I cannot even see a specialist on the nhs or privately in Scotland without the nhs acknowledging the problem, in doing so in my health region that might also acknowledge that blocking access to care in the initial stages last year and even simple drugs might have changed the outcome for me. Instead people assume that if you are still ill then that must be post viral fatigue or that you had some sort of co-morbidity in the first place. Yet anyone with mild allergies is just as at risk of total systemic damage or death. This is known and documented but you would never hear of it in the UK, people like myself are being gaslighted into being profiled as mentally ill instead. Yet the vaccines show that anaphylaxis and clotting is a real danger. So to is having your immune system permanently turn on you until you die without treatment. There is no acknowledgement that this can take longer than two weeks.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Sorry to hear about your current predicament.

            Although it’s very unlikely to be a complete cure, taking 2 – 3 thousand international units (IU) of vitamin D per day could well ease many of your symptoms, since Covid & long Covid are primarily disorders of various inflammatory aspects of the immune system, which vitamin D helps to regulate. I strongly believe that if it had been administered in large amounts to Covid patients as soon as they were admitted to hospital, tens of thousands of lives could have been saved (or extended, if you want to be pedantic) in the UK alone.

            There have been a number of studies which support this, beyond any level of reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, Big Pharma doesn’t want people to know about them, as taking sufficient amounts of vitamin D would almost certainly also have a hugely positive role to play in the management of sundry chronic inflammatory auto-immune conditions, current treatments for which generate billions of dollars in profits each year. An example: in 2013, Remicade, a TNF-alpha inhibitor, alone generated nearly 10% of the revenues for Johnson & Johnson, the biggest pharma company by market cap in the US.

            Disclaimer: I am not a (medical) doctor.

            Wishing all the best for the future.

          • MrShigemitsu

            Whilst Cara3’s experience sounds very grim indeed and I wish them a speedy recovery, and Vitamin D supplements are certainly recommended during a Northern European winter when most (especially BAME) people are deficient and it can’t hurt to take them to prevent immune system dysfunction, there is, unfortunately, no peer-reviewed medical evidence so far that it has any particular beneficial effect in the treatment of Covid.


    • 6033624

      Well, yes, of course the SNP are against what ‘the majority of the UK’ voted for. This difference in opinion boils down to whether you believe Scotland to be a country or simply part of a country. Those who want Independence would obviously view Scotland as a country which should be expressing its OWN opinion whereas Unionists will see Scotland as a region of a country and feel that it should have no particular voice of its own.

      And your point about ‘parasitical existence’ is putting the cart before the horse I think. The party exists, primarily, to gain independence for Scotland but has had to increasingly come up with other policies as it has gained real power. But, of course, like any Independence Seeking Party there would be no need for it if Scotland WAS independent – but that is rather obvious. Now that it has spent so many years in power dealing with other matters it actually COULD become a party in power AFTER independence. I feel that your point on ‘dictatorship’ acknowledges this? Although not in a way that reflects the reality of the situation.

      The ‘dictatorship’ point is something often bandied about when referencing SNP. However it’s usually only said by those on the extreme fringes of far right unionism so I’m surprised you use this expression. Obviously I believe it to be wrong but more, it is very easily disproved. Scotland’s voting system in Holyrood, the d’Hondt System, means that whilst constituency seats are FPTP the regional seats votes are ‘downweighted’ according to how well the party did in the constituency vote. ie the better you did in the constituency vote they more you are ‘punished’ by downweighting in the regional vote. This produced strange situations where SNP increase their vote and win a constituency but lose the regional seat they had there, completely offsetting the increase in their vote – not very democratic, is it? This system ensure that the most popular party will ALWAYS (it has been overcome only once) have to work in coalition. You COULD be cynical and think that this was a stitch up by the Blair Government to ensure that the SNP were kept out (as both Labour & LibDems have refused to work with them) and that they, Labour, would be in more or less constant government with the LibDems as their allies. But lets not be so uncharitable, lets believe that they wrong thought this was somehow democratic. However, it DID suit literally every other party EXCEPT SNP. Labour, lets remember have dominated Scottish politics for half a century (until very recently) You could ‘weigh the votes’ in Council, Regional, GE and European Elections and then when Holyrood came in, there too. I don’t remember many of the Unionist voices that complain NOW having much to say about that. And let’s remember that was HALF A CENTURY. So the SNP gets a majority in Scotland’s Westminster seats, Councils and (nearly) in Holyrood. This is due to the party’s popularity, this is DESPITE the voting system and it is DESPITE Labour having had access to the levers of power and government for half a century. This is not a dictatorship, this is the voice of the majority fighting back AGAINST a dictatorship. Scotland IS a country and the proclamations under which the UN was founded (UK being a founder member) and now in International Law is that all countries and peoples have the right to self-determination. I can understand that this isn’t what YOU want but the last vote was honoured by those wishing Independence. Now it’s YOUR TURN to honour the wishes of the majority – just like in every other democratic country in the world.

      • DiggerUK

        “This difference in opinion boils down to whether you believe Scotland to be a country or simply part of a country”……..

        ……..Scotland is a country that is not a part of any other country, it is a country that is part of a state, the UK; that’s not what I “believe” it is, as it is.

        Only the six counties in the North of Ireland have the legal right to demand separation without seeking further authority from Westminster. Scotland would need permission from Westminster to legally go for independence.
        The laws are as we find them, not as Scottish Nationalists wish they were. Like it or lump it, if ScotNats can’t get electoral support for independence they ain’t gonna get support for any other route…_

        • Cubby

          Digger UK

          A colonial mindset on full display.

          The imperial country of England makes the law to control its colonies is what you are saying. Colonialism = fascism.

    • Brian c

      “Right-wing, Brexit-obsessed Tory government.’ Sturgeon sounds like a Guardian op-ed. Another member of Britain’s Remainer establishment. But then in many ways that is what the SNP now is – Remainerism given party-political form.”

      Even the Guardian itself has moved on from Remainerism, along with the rest of the Labour Right. For them that “movement” has served its purpose, which was to destroy Corbyn’s threat to neoliberalism. For Sturgeon Remainerism still has a very live and useful purpose and is a cloak she still wears with as much relish as the Guardian, Starmer, Mandelson et al used to.

  • S

    Interesting comment about air travel. Possibly we should have another tax on air travel to cover the cost of mitigating for pandemic spreading. It won’t happen, but I think that is how capitalism is supposed to deal with such things.

    I had hoped that cheaper air travel would mean that people could travel more and get a greater appreciation for cultures across the world, rather than sit in their own little bubble. For many, of course, it just means flying to Disneyland Florida or a sun holiday in a closed Mexican resort. Perhaps for a few it has opened their eyes. I think that the trips I’ve made have opened mine.

  • Al Dente

    Easy, Craig. The SNP gained one seat, and they didn’t even get half the votes. Hardly the type of outcome national socialists would call resounding mandate.

    • Wally Jumblatt

      aye, there’s the rub (I couldn’t ind Rabbie’s equivalent)
      If anyone is trying to claim the ‘mandate of the people’ it isn’t the nuber of seats, but the number of voters.
      Krankie, by accident or design, did not get half the votes this time round.
      Her party should see that as failure, and remove her.

    • Cubby

      Al and Wally

      Cameron got 36.9% of the vote to have his EU referendum but in Scotland we have to get more than 50% of the vote acvording to you. Well on the Regional list vote there was more than 50% of the votes for independence supporting parties so you are chancers and anti democratic on both points.

  • 6033624

    The pro/anti trans talk has been manufactured, I think, entirely for the purpose of drawing lines and polarising debate as well as ensuring the Indy Now backers can be smeared with something. Much of what Alba were given in the way of publicity was either misleading or flat out untrue. If I know that then so do the journalists who wrote the pieces.

    Having worked for a few politicians (I wasn’t an ‘advisor’ or anything, a lowly clerk more like) I know that there is never ‘a secret plan’ in the way their supporters like to believe. Often there is no plan other than to mouth platitudes on the issue to get votes, stay in power and get their snouts firmly back in the trough.

    And whilst I have always advocated for ‘an embarrassingly high majority’ in favour of independence before going to the polls I would like to see a Referendum happen within the next 5 years. We’ve have about 30 polls in a row with a majority. There’s a majority in parliament in favour (again) and a majority of Scottish Westminster seats held by SNP too. Now I see that the tone of Westminster has slightly changed. Not say NO, not saying ‘Now is not the time’ either. Instead they are saying not RIGHT now. They have realised that they CAN’T keep saying no. They will have to grant a referendum at some point and I’m sure even they will have to do so within the next 5 years. Obviously they’ll want to control the narrative – to which end they have been flooding our press and TV with planted news, information and ‘Academics Say’ type stories. I think they will work hard on reputational issues now. I feel that the problems Salmond had were at the instigation of someone outwith Scottish politics who then sold the idea to someone on the inside. I strongly feel that another top level politician in either the Green or SNP parties will be attacked in this way too. The ongoing attack on Alba will not cease as they realise that their campaign against them isn’t going to hold them back at the NEXT Holyrood election. However, their publicising of the poor electoral system we have has, I hoped, made SNP supporters think about what to do with their second vote.

    However, Sturgeon has made it clear she will be stepping down after this term. That DOES mean she will have no campaign to fight and she may consider that this means she no longer has to worry about pleasing the electorate that put her in place. Of course it could mean the opposite, that she wants to go out on a high? But she has now promised for a second time that we will have IndyRef2. May said NO and them along came COVID. She now MUST deliver a Referendum date prior to the next Election, she knows that failing will result in the public losing faith in not just her, but the party too.

  • Goose

    It’s a hugely impressive result for the SNP given the backdrop of scandal vis-à-vis the Salmond case. Unionist media and Westminster politicians are certainly taken aback by the result.

    Respectfully, It’s probably a good thing she didn’t force the independence issue. It’s easy for those who support a cause to get carried away and think everyone thinks like them, but Sturgeon’s political instincts are clearly more finely attuned to public opinion than her critics. I do think she’d love to be remembered as the mother of independence, but she wants polling certainty before pulling the trigger – and therein lies the problem.

    On the result, people can argue over whether the media blackout of Alba representatives hurt their potential support, it undoubtedly played some part, but Alba’s failure, for me, illustrates the fact people aren’t champing at the bit for a referendum right now. Timing is crucial and this result suggests there’s only Sturgeon with the political stature to carry the day. Like it or lump it.

    • Cubby

      Sturgeon is batting for the away team as the jolly guys in Mi5 would say. She will never deliver independence.

      How do you stop Scottish independence – control the political party of independence in a peaceful nation.

  • Ewan Maclean

    I have a question about the pandemic. It is surely correct that at this stage border control is vital. But the government in London is still half-hearted at best. What are we supposed to do? In August, Scotland could have avoided a second wave by imposing a strict quarantine. For whatever reason it followed London. The variants some are flippant about are more dangerous than the Kent variant that fuelled the second wave in the UK and the rest of Europe. Without proper border controls, we are relying on the public health service to isolate cases quickly (that is the service the government declined to invest in). Can Scotland impose proper border controls? As an aside, lockdowns are, as I understand it, an admission of failure, necessary only because we have not implemented standard public health measures.

    I have a question about “trans rights”. Sport is an obvious problem. But what you are happy to call TERFs have other concerns, which seem to me legitimate. Trans activists blur the distinction between sex and gender to argue for access, for example, to changing rooms and female prisons. They also argue for drastic medical intervention for children approaching puberty. I have read philosophers on both sides, and I have to say that I cannot understand why the blurring of “sex” and “gender” is considered credible and sufficient to justify such interference in the previously widely accepted rights of women and girls. Trans rights will surely eventually (soon, one hopes) be entirely accepted and uncontroversial. But not if trans activists persuade society (through legislation, campaigns aimed at schools, corporations etc.) to disregard the rights of roughly half the population. I am genuinely baffled. I think your comments side-step the difficult questions.

      • Ken Garoo

        Border controls are vital – for the political control of the hoi polloi.

      • Tony

        The literature you link to notes its own limitations.
        Namely the data is only 2 May 2020
        The data on border closures would be incomplete due to insufficient time .
        The countries analysed still were on an upward trend.

      • Chris

        No evidence in the literature, David? You’re having a laugh, surely. What about this:

        “Increasing COVID-19 caseloads were associated with countries with…longer time to border closures from the first reported case (RR=1.04; 95%CI: 1.01–1.08).”

        That’s from the article you quoted.

        And this:

        “The government policy of full lockdowns (vs. partial or curfews only) was strongly associated with recovery rates (RR=2.47; 95%CI: 1.08–5.64). Similarly, the number of days to any border closure was associated with the number of cases per million (RR=1.04; 95%CI: 1.01–1.08). This suggests that full lockdowns and early border closures may lessen the peak of transmission, and thus prevent health system overcapacity, which would facilitate increased recovery rates.”

        You obviously read very selectively, and seem not to understand the difference between caseload (number of cases per million) and mortality (deaths per million cases).

    • Mockingbird

      “I have a question about the pandemic”

      Covid in the UK is no longer classified as a pandemic and therefore freedom of movement is a reasonable choice for people to make.

      “Sarah Walker, professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at Oxford and chief investigator on the National Covid Infection Survey, told The Telegraph that Britain had “moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation”. 23 April 2021

      • Ewan Maclean

        I think “pandemic” a reasonable term to cover the spread of Covid from Wuhan to the rest of the world, still ongoing, indeed still growing. If we want to claim that in the UK the term should now be “endemic” not “pandemic” then we really do need border controls, and the (very welcome) “freedom of movement” best not include unrestricted foreign travel and better be backed up with efficient test/trace/isolate. Exponential growth in infection can recur even where vaccination is well advanced, I believe (did it not happen in Chile?). And to increase the chances that “endemic” doesn’t prove a passing phase, we need to give as much help as possible to those countries not as close as we are to getting the virus under control. I’m not sure why anyone would want to suggest otherwise. So, say that the hopeful position in the UK now is best described by the term “endemic” if you want, just don’t think it changes what we need to do to sustain it..

  • Ronny

    Gay marriage and abortion are not broadly similar, because they don’t involve taking anyone’s rights away. Allowing anyone to use female-only facilities or take part in female-only sporting contests, or be banged up in a women’s prison simply by asserting they are female does take away women’s rights.

    • Lorna Campbell

      Ronny: so many otherwise sensible and compassionate men appear to think that women should just smile and allow all our rights and spaces to be taken away from us without a cheep. It smacks of a deep-seated and unacknowledged misogyny in even the most liberal of men that they can’t see it. The trans lobby was stirring up vile divisiveness long before The SNP took up their cudgels. It has been resident in Canada for at least two decades and a number of really important issues have arisen there. In America, there is a fight back against incursions by men into women’s sports, with girls losing out on sports scholarships. I simply cannot understand the need to invade women’s and girls’ spaces at all in order to be a trans women. Just live your life as you wish and campaign for trans spaces. This, of course, is where it all falls down because the trans lobby does not want to campaign for third spaces, it wants ours, all ready-made and full of women and girls.

      Anyone who has the appetite and/or stamina, can access Sheila Jeffrey’s excellent essay of 2018, “The Enforcement of Men’s Sexual Rights in Human Rights Law”. You might like to peruse it, Mr Murray? Also, look up Denton’s advice to the trans lobby, and find out how a legal firm advised the trans lobby on the undermining of democratic institutions with queer theory. If you still have stamina, google all the corporations which are investing heavily in the trans issue. Maybe, then, you’ll get an idea of how crucial this issue is to all Western countries and society, to liberalism, to the fight against neoliberal capitalism and to the removal of human rights from women and girls. Or, maybe you won’t.

      Anyway, good luck with your case, Mr Murray.

  • Fredi


    but what happened on Friday? With the court case? It appears Craig is not in prison.

    [ Mod: You could find the answers to your questions by reading comments in the relevant thread, by checking Craig’s Twitter page, or by searching online newspapers – e.g.

    Regards. ]

  • Sonja Cameron

    I’d be in that pro-trans-rights Indy-now party alongside you. I think both sides of the trans rights debate have been completely irresponsible but never until just now wondered if the stirring up of division was intentional. That would make it even worse.

  • Peter N

    Craig Murray said,

    “I count Stuart Campbell and Chris Cairns as friends and allies who genuinely want Independence. But I cannot approve of this kind of cartoon, and I feel obliged to say so.”

    Craig if you go to Wings and click on the cartoon image you object to you will find that the cartoon was not done by Chris Cairns but by someone calling themself ‘Stella Illustrator’. You can see the source yourself by clicking on the cartoon (most of the images posted at Wings act like this — click on the image and you get taken to the source of the image). The source of this image is

    In any case, I would have thought that just about anyone, on looking at the image, would have quickly registered that it wasn’t the work of Chris Cairns, just too far out of Chris’ style. (Though I dare say Chris is accomplished enough as a cartoonist to change his style if he so wished.)

    In any case, I think you are owe Chris an apology.

    Good luck tomorrow, I am rooting for you.

  • Peter N

    With respect to Alba and the ‘trans issue’ I think you are being unfair, Craig. I did in two interviews I watched of Alex Salmond prior to the election note that Alex said the resolution of this debate should be managed such that a Citizens Assembly was formed to decide on what to do in this instance. I think that is actually the fair thing to do. In this way everyone is represented to some extent, trans and ‘straight’. What you have said on this issue has given me some pause for thought (which I didn’t have before) but I think the issue is too important to leave solely in the hands of politicians — that is not a good way to go on it.

    I think the same thing should also happen over assisted dying — put it to an assembly, to important to leave solely in the hands of politicians. But all that is another subject.

    P.S. Regarding the cartoon and my previous post. If you look at the very bottom right of the cartoon you can see that it is signed ‘Stella’.

  • Lorna Campbell

    “… Broadly similar issues, like gay marriage and abortion, were intensely controversial until carried into law, and then the matter was effectively settled as a matter of public debate… “

    Except, Mr Murray, they are not broadly similar at all. The 2004 GRA established the legal rights of trans people. That Act has been superseded by same-sex marriage. Reform of the 2004 GRA will wipe out all distinctions between trans people and people, in general, especially women and girls. That is, it will eliminate sex as a biological fact and reality. Why? Why do trans people want to eliminate others? Why do they need access to women’s safe spaces to exist? They don’t, do they? Gay people never, ever claimed to be anything other than men and women who prefer their own sex.

    That would never have been a threat to biological sex, but trans identity is precisely that because it is claiming to be what it can never be – ever. To validate, as a society, a condition that is cruel to live with is one thing – and, from the studies I have done on it, the original legislation appeared to take into account only a handful of people who are severely body dysphoric/dysmorphic and/or fully transitioned physically, and I believe the words chosen were: it wouldn’t have a huge impact on women/girls and their spaces. Aye, right!

    Since then, the trans umbrella has widened to shelter paraphiliac men. They are not even remotely women, and they divide into two main groups: homosexual and heterosexual paraphiliacs. Most of the heterosexual ones are autogynephiles, who are turned on by their female persona which is almost irredeemably submissive and stereotyped, but, hey, let’s celebrate men who are more stereotypically female than real women, something real women have been trying to overturn for the best part of a century. Women? What use are we except as sexual partners, willing or otherwise?

    Unfortunately, the trans male persona is often anything but submissive, but is frequently aggressive towards women and girls. It is time for psychologists, psychiatrists and genuinely body dysphoric/dysmorphic people to stand up and be counted, but the vicious and vocal trans lobby, led by Stonewall, threaten to destroy them. That is the reality, Mr Murray, and your twee take on it is astounding, as if we are silly women bleating about nothing. You are a kind and decent man, Mr Murray, but this lot have fooled even you. If this stuff goes through, there will be nowhere for women and girls to call their own, despite the fact that we are 51-52% of the entire population of the planet. The sex stuff, queer theory and paraphilias are the sweeteners for the small fry men who want to bring the very worst of extreme pornography blinking and slavering into the light, but something much darker lurks: corporate investment in the trans issue; legal profits from advice to the trans lobby on how to overturn democratic institutions; social upheaval, the loss of Western values of liberalism and free speech. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean that no one else can and that they must be wrong.

    • jomry

      I agree with all of this. I agree with Craig Murray’s perspective on almost everything, but I believe he has got, not only the optics, but the substance of this all wrong. It is all very well to say ” let everyone be what they want to be” – a rather empty plaudit that takes little account of the implications of this and the need to agree on sensible limits for everyone’s protection.

      • David

        Let everyone be what they want to be:) Here are some better known examples:

        Izzard is genderfluid and calls herself “somewhat boy-ish and somewhat girl-ish”. She uses “transgender” as an umbrella term. When asked in 2019 what pronouns she preferred, Izzard said, “either ‘he’ or ‘she'”, explaining, “If I am in boy mode, then ‘he’ or girl mode ‘she'”. In 2020, she requested she/her pronouns for an appearance on the TV show Portrait Artist of the Year.

        Six months ago, Sam Smith said they did not feel male or female, but “I flow somewhere in between”. “I’m not male or female, I think I flow somewhere in between. It’s all on the spectrum,” he says. He added that he had always resented being “feminine in many ways” and describes being non-binary as being “your own special creation”.

        Now this is patent nonsense. Self-indulgent nonsense at that. The idea that these *** have any idea how it feels to be a woman is rubbish. They may an idea that they have an idea of how it feels to be a woman. But people have all manner of strange notions, it’s part of the human condition and usually they are indulged, ignored, treated or laughed at as appropriate. Where this modern debate becomes serious and dangerous is where these ideas are pushed to become law. And to disagree with them invites criminal prosecution. I’d have thought Craig of all people would be wary of that.

    • Laguerre

      Trans people are not paraphiliacs, except for a few. That’s a theory that was thought up, and has now entered the hate literature, from where you’ve got it. Being trans is far too consuming of one’s life and energy to do it just for a paraphilia; not surprisingly being trans takes over your whole life. But you think it’s just a male sexual eccentricity; it isn’t. And that’s without pointing out that these days there are more female-to-male trans than male to female. I see you fail to mention that fundamental point.

      • Lorna Campbell

        Female to male trans, Laguerre, are coming from a very different place as, if we were ever allowed to debate this issue, would become obvious. FtM trans people are also rarely mentioned, and they are no threat to men. I do not say that most MtF trans people today are paraphiliacs, the psychology literature, and personal testimony from psychologists, does. The testimony of hundreds of trans wives and girlfriends and children support that view, too. They have had to live with these men. I have never stated that genuine body dysphoric people should not receive help and compassion because I believe that they should, but they are a minuscule number. It is the fact that paraphiliacs now call themselves trans that is the problem, and the fact that the trans umbrella is so huge and goes way above and beyond body dysphoria/dysmorphia. How can they even claim, cross-dressers, that they are women? What a scam. They know perfectly well that they are men, but they have attendant paraphilias such as voyeurism, flashing, etc., as well as their main one, autogynephilia, that they will always pose a threat to women and girls – and that is before we start on the predatory males who will do anything to access women/girls. If you believe this is not true, but wrong, then open up this debate to everyone and allow people to take their own judgements without being cancelled/unplatformed/silenced, etc.

  • David

    “I have broadly supported lockdowns”

    Really? On what scientific basis? I’ve read a good portion of the literature and I can fin no supporting literature for lockdowns. I CAN find a lot of evidence of the massive harms.
    So, tell me, why do you support anti-democratic and human rights trashing lockdowns?
    I leave you with The Lancet on lockdowns:

    “Rapid border closures, full lockdowns, and wide-spread testing were not associated with COVID-19 mortality per million people”

    Disappointing, Craig. Very, very disappointing.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    For what it’s worth, I concluded (after long puzzlement) that GRA “reform” was primarily conjured up a cult loyalty test.
    GRA “reform” has been repeatedly tested in polling and found to be basically toxic.
    It does however make sense as a cult loyalty test. Those who support Nicola on GRA “reform” are IN and those who don’t are very definitely OUT. Those who repeat the “reform” mantra most often and lost loudly are rewarded. Those who reject the “reform” agenda are ousted from office.
    Talent, qualifications and ability are trounced by blind loyalty to the cult. Consider, Angela Crawley is promoted to Shadow Attorney General at Westminster before the ink on her Law degree is even dry. A Shadow Attorney General that’s never even practiced Law, truly a wonder to behold.
    It’s entirely possible that Nicola doesn’t even really believe in GRA “reform” as it’s posited. Charles Manson apparently didn’t believe a word of Helter Skelter. It only matters that the cult adherents “believe” the mantra and repeat often and loudly. Some of those who repeat the mantra may only be doing so in cynical pursuit of career progression. Others are undoubtedly thick enough to believe in the “reform” with all that passes for their thought process.
    Genius has its limitations stupidity is not thus encumbered.

    • jomry

      Discussion of this is often toxic, often as a result of the knee-jerk reaction of many to call raising of concern “transphobic” which is intellectually demeaning and unhelpful – the main reason I take issue with Craig Murray’s characterisation. And it is something actively encouraged by Nicola Sturgeon and those around her.

      I have found that the most reasoned and mature statement I have come across so far is from the ALBA women’s conference – broadly developed by the erstwhile Equalities Convenor and Women’s Convenor of the SNP who resigned this captured SNP organisation to join ALBA where reasoned discussion was at least possible. You will find their statement at it at and I think the page is well worth a read.

  • Soothmoother

    Splitting more and more into different entities.
    Man, Woman, Bi-Sexual, Lesbian, Gay, Black, White, Yellow, Transgender, Christian, Muslim, Hindi, Luciferian, Scientologist, Feminist, Agnostic, Non-Binary, Arabic, Asian, African, European, Antipodean and many more.
    Collect as many cards as possible and increase your victim points.
    Invent a new category.
    Lose your collective strength.
    Achieve nothing.

  • iain

    I suspect Nicola’s ostentatious mask wearing and posturing about the EU and wedge issues like trans rights are all of a piece. They are surrogates for the ideals of Scottish independence, socialism or anything meaningful. Such sanctimonious gestures were fundamental to the brand and popularity of that other great icon of centrist technocracy, Hillary Clinton.

  • Rosemary Hart

    I’m assuming, with relief that your court appearance on Friday delivered a verdict which means you haven’t been sentenced to a prison cell, unless you’re continuing your reportage from there Craig?

    Perhaps i missed any announcement you made around that.

      • Soothmoother

        For what it’s worth I’m not aligned so much with your politics, but I absolutely admire your conviction to expose lies, wrong doings and corruption.

        I think you are a decent man and it is shocking that your freedom is at risk when others, who have committed real crimes against humanity, walk among us and are lauded.

      • Goose

        I’d wish you ‘good luck’, but as Johnathan Cook puts it in his latest:

        “He has been prosecuted and found guilty in a patently nonsensical “jigsaw identification” case relating to the Alex Salmond trial.”

        Good luck kind of implies the process that put you there is somehow fair. You shouldn’t be facing this nonsense full stop.

  • Goose

    A man’s perspective on this issue carries less weight, because the physical power imbalance. A male self-identifying as a female – represents a different intimidatory level, because physical presence man is obviously much greater, more threatening, than vice-versa. There are well documented cases, admittedly rare, of men self-identifying in order to use that status as a means to gain access to private female quarters. The risks may be overstated, but a male dismissing them, is bad political optics. To be fair, Alba were damned either way. People would’ve have said this is just Salmond being inconsiderate and insensitive to female concerns if they’d chosen the alternative.

    Getting bogged down in this whole debate seems like a ridiculous distraction tbh. I mean, how many people does this issue concern in terms of self-identifying transgender people as a proportion of the Scottish population?

    • Lorna Campbell

      Goose: let the legislation pass and see. You will be shocked at the numbers. Hopefully, you will also be shocked at the real agenda, which is two-pronged: on the one hand, the opening up of all sexual practices (queer theory); and, on the other, the undermining of liberal society in favour of predatory capitalism. No corporation worth the name would invest in a dead loss, now would it? Nah, they see this as an opportunity to make mega bucks. The poor deluded ones will be in seventh sexual heaven, the old/new opiate of the masses with bells on – well, the adult male part of it, anyway. The very maleness of queer theory and all that stuff about individual freedom +++++++ to be whatever you want to be should be a warning bell to the rational. The history of humankind is such that when someone demands rights like a petulant child, you can bet your bottom dollar he doesn’t mean yours.

  • Paul Garrud

    Craig, you can find up to date Excess deaths figures on the EuroMoMo site The data for the UK nations is contributed by Public Health Scotland, Public Health England (inc. Wales), Public Health Agency – Northern Ireland. As of week 18 in 2021, the excess deaths in Scotland are below average, but still within the normal range.

    • np

      Here’s another source, which estimates that global deaths from Covid-19 are more than double the reported numbers, with the degree of under-statement varying by country.

      For example, it says the number of deaths in the UK is just under 210,000 or 28% higher than the reported 150,519, as of May 3.
      (The 150,519 figure refers to death certificates which mention Covid-19, according to the ONS. The UK government’s daily reported figure of less than 128,000 refers to deaths within 28 days of a positive test result).

      According to this source, the US has by far the worst absolute death toll – over 905,000 or 36% higher than the reported 574,000.

  • N_

    Together with the Greens there is a substantial pro-Independence majority in the Parliament, so that matter is settled.

    Except that unionist candidates got more votes than candidates who supported a second referendum.
    Perhaps a second referendum could be held but at SNP and Green MSPs’ personal expense if they lose a second time.
    The “clean up Scotland” anti-corruption squad could be established right away.
    How about having it under international control, just to make sure it’s squeaky clean? 🙂

    • Goose


      Many Labour supporters are open to the idea of independence. It looks, on their current trajectory, like Labour has a political death wish , veering ever more rightwards. Starmer seems intent on losing the youth vote ‘youthquake’ that Corbyn made their demographic bedrock of support with no replacement voters. If you’re a Scottish Labour supporter, looking at 10-20 more years of the UK under the Tories, independence suddenly looks a whole lot more attractive.

      • Goose

        On the subject of identity.

        “An illiberal solution in pursuit of a non-existent problem”…. David Davis’ take on the govt’s new Photo ID requirements to vote. The Tories know full well this will disproportionately impact Labour voters (less likely to possess driving licence and/or passport). Wouldn’t expect much objection from Starmer however, he’s seemingly incapable of anything that looks like opposition.

        As mentioned, the potential for postal vote fraud is far more concerning.

      • Cubby


        Not a concern for the British Labour voters who voted Tory in the Scottish election. Remaining a colony of England seems to be more important to these so called socialists than worrying about Tory policies being inflicted on the poor.

    • Cubby


      Parties supporting independence got more votes than parties against independence.

      Is it an accident that people who support retaining Scotland as a colonial possession of England are prone to telling only part of the truth.

  • Scozzie

    I don’t agree with your argument of “independence now supporters and trans exclusion” I don’t think voters can be categorised in that way. But to take your point – trans exclusion to what? Women as a sex based class? Then yes, transwomen should be excluded as women as they are not the same sex and likewise transmen are not the sex class of men.
    What makes a transwoman a woman? How do we define the female category of sex? If we don’t base it on biology what do we base it on?

    Do we base it on what people believe in their head or what we observe in science – XX chromosomes, reproductive system etc etc.
    People should have the right to identify in which ever way makes them happy; but we absolutely must not say they are the opposite sex as people cannot change sex. If we go down that rabbit hole then why not transracial, transage, transspecies, transhuman etc etc.

    Sex is diamorphic in mammals. If we blur the lines then biology is compromised as a science.
    Trans people already have human rights – what rights do they not have? If it’s the right for everyone to indulge in their delusion, to compelled speech , to access women’s safe spaces the absolutely fucking NO. Trans people should accept themselves as trans – that would be more empowering – but they absolutely are not the opposite sex.

    I think you’re on the wrong side of science and the wrong side of women’s rights. Self ID to the opposite sex is a can of worms and will impact women in our rightful sex based class. We are losing our language to describe ourselves, our safe spaces and the biological / legal definition of our sex. We will not stand for our 100 years of hard won rights to be trampled on by woke queer theory.

    I wish you well on your sentencing tomorrow as I firmly believe you provided impeccable journalistic truth to the Scottish people and put yourself in the firing line of the Establishment. And you deserve to have the freedom to do this and not be criminalised for it.

    • craig Post author

      I am not talkng about voters at all. I am talking of a sharp division along these lines among activists.

      To state that people have a right to be treated as they wish to be treated, has nothing to do with the science. It is not in any sense a science based claim. You obsession with physical dfferences between people is at best silly and at worst on a level with racial theory and eugenics, which also claim to be science.

      • Scozzie

        Are you for real – sex based differences are silly?
        Are you comparing biology with racial theory and eugenics? FFS Craig – do you know how offended women of colour were when Patrick Harvey said transwomen were just like black women and Jewish women. Women are not a sub-set of each other – we are female and that can be defined in biology. You are coming across as a bit of a woke nutter here.

        You sound like you’re advocating the ‘women just be kind’ trope. Absolutely no way, when it impacts on my rights to my biological and legal status. I have no problem whatsoever for transsexuals who have undergone sexual re-assignment surgery to have protected status (and most transsexuals accept they are not women, they define themselves as transsexual), but self ID is wrong.

        Jeez, you come across as so uninformed on women’s rights, and as a historian I urge you to do more reading on self-ID and how it impacts on women.

      • Matt


        I am generally in favour of treating people how they wish to be treated, but there are obvious limits to this in any society. I may feel that, by treating you as you wish to be treated, my rights are being undermined, and so we need ways of resolving these kinds of conflict. What we have instead, at least when it comes to gender ideology, is a shouting down of discussion, and the shrill insistence that there can be no conflict between the rights claimed by different people.

        I have been a bit taken aback to see you adopting this latter position. You do not seem to have addressed or even acknowledged a number of the detriments that have been identified, preferring instead to voice slogans. Forgive my clumsy analogy, but I couldn’t help imagining you turning up in Jersey in the early 90s and proclaiming “fishing rights are human rights, my work here is done”. Of course that’s not what you did – you took the time to listen to different arguments, to understand the situation. I don’t think you have considered many of the arguments that people of good faith (supporters of “gay marriage and abortion”) are putting forward.

        Do you think tranches of feminists, lefties, lesbians, gay rights activists etc. have suddenly become bigots? Are you not open to the possibility that, instead, many of us are seeing things about the way this is developing that you have not? Are feminists obsessive to recognise the millennia of oppression visited upon women due to “the physical differences between people”?

        One last point. By talking about “elite sport” (and why should it just be elite sport?) you have firmly put yourself in the “transphobe” camp. Have you listened to the twists and turns of logic and the mangling of science that supporters of transwomen in womens’ sport resort to? If the denial of reality, the shouting down and cowing of opposition, and the ability of lobby groups to capture policy is troubling in this instance, might there perhaps be more to it in many other situations as well?

        • Cara3

          Craig, I was fit and healthy 55 year old that looked fifteen years younger. I got the virus last March I had nontest no access to hosoital treatment and now am so damaged I don’t know which of the things I am trying to survive will take my life prematurely as they try to do even now, will it be a heart attack or stroke will it be aggressive early onset dementia from the brain damage caused by inflammation last year and this? Or the sudden paralysis from the inflammation of the spinal cold demylelination that stops the signals to my muscles include those that control my breathing. It will be the lack of care and belief that pervades in my local NHS and the ignorance that people can be youngish and die or be continually battling a terminal loop without that being identified and so some sort of treatment. It is like having all organ failure dementia and aggressive end stage MS all at the same time. Nobody wants to hear me as that is counter to the narrative that you are now repeating. I cannit even see a specialist on the nhs or privately in Scotland without the nhs acknowledging the problem, in doing so in my health region that might also acknowledge that blocking access to care in the initialmstages last year and even simple drugs might have changed the outcome for me. Instead people assume that if you are still ill then that must be post viral fatigue or that you had some sort of comorbidity in the first place. Yet anyone with mild allergies is just as at risk of total systemic damage or death. Thisnis known and documented but you would never hear of it in the UK, people like myself are being gaslighted into being profiled as mentally ill instead. Yet the vaccines show that anaphylaxis and clotting is a real danger. So to is having your immune sytem permanently turn on you until you die without treatment. There is no acknowledgement that this can take longer than two weeks.

          • craig Post author

            Cara, I am very sorry to hear of your health problems and hope you see some improvement soon.

      • Lorna Campbell

        Mr Murray: the trans movement infiltrated The SNP way back in early 2015, and in order to advance its cause. It was the trans lobby which ensured that independence was out of the window for at least a generation (maybe forever) by causing such division. They did not appear out of the blue in the SNP as a result of the SNP supporting trans reform immediately after 2014. They were already there, but grew in influence from early 2015 onwards. There was never any other intention but to hi-jack the party because it was in the ascendancy in Scotland.

        The deliberate infiltration of every local government and government institution by Stonewall Diversity Champions was also used to push this agenda, with an eye on the big prize of self-ID. Do you really believe they will stop there? Queer theory enables by attacking and knocking down prohibitive laws. There is a long way to go before their agenda is fulfilled. Do you really believe that, if the SNP fell tomorrow, they would not latch on to the next main chance? Do you really believe that if we regained our independence tomorrow, this stuff would just blow away in the wind like thistledown? I never thought you naive before, Mr Murray.

        If anyone is to blame for the feet-dragging, it is the trans lobby because they need the time to get this stuff pushed through, and they will try to push it through early this next term. The pseudo ‘woke’ Greens are also latching on to The SNP as allies (very lukewarm on independence) for the same reason, and others. The captures ones are in every part of government, including the civil service and the legal system, and they are in every party. These people are toxic for independence and toxic for any kind of rational governance.

        • The Master

          “Queer theory enables by attacking and knocking down prohibitive laws.”

          Quite so. Germaine Greer hailed liberation as ‘transcending transgressivity’. And can now see exactly where that leads.

          There must be change. To be progressive we must push on. To hold back is to be reactionary. To withhold consent is anti-social. Sisters’ needs must be met, in generous solidarity with those who for so long have been oppressed. All coming to a place of ‘education’ near you. Very soon.

      • elkern

        Mr. Murray – Your phrase “people have a right to be treated as they wish to be treated” is a very clear distillation of the core philosophical issue. However, that makes no sense as a “Right”, because it can only mean that all people are obligated to treat each person they meet as that person wishes to be treated. This is patently impossible (we can’t know what strangers want); far worse, it implies that as soon as someone tells you how they want you to treat them, you are automatically obliged to – essentially – obey.

        Aren’t most Human Rights implemented as prohibitions against certain behaviors (“Thou Shalt Not”), rather than obligations (“Thou Shall”)?

  • Coldish

    Craig: you mention not having recent Scottish data on excess (and so possibly Covid-19-related) deaths. According to the most recent week with above zero excess deaths from all causes in Scotland was week 9 (1 to7 March). The equivalent week for England was 22 to 28 Feb, for N.Ireland 1 to 7 Feb and Wales 18 to 24 Jan. euromomo advises caution with regard to the most recent 3 or 4 weeks as the data may not be complete. Today (10 May) is the first day of week 19.

  • A C Bruce

    An article very dismissive of women and girls’ concerns regarding predatory, self-IDing males achieving rights to enter women/girls’ safe spaces – backed up by the law. Women already face horrific violence – and often death – at the hands of male strangers and, even sadder, those males closest to them.

    As for the cartoon, that’s not Chris Cairns’ work. It’s not his style nor is it signed by him but someone called “Stella”.

    • Laguerre

      Males in women’s toilets are not trans, something I should have thought obvious, but male predators. Do you actually know of any cases (I presume not)?

      • porkpie

        He did not mention toilets, he said ‘safe spaces’, for example prisons and refuges.

        “Do you actually know of any cases (I presume not)?”

        And I presume you mentioned toilets specifically because you know there have not been any high-profile cases.

        Males in women’s prisons, are they trans? Or are some of them just male predators also? (notice how the offender has to referred to as ‘she’ in the article and in court, and this will have been recorded as a female sex crime).

        For what it’s worth, I have no doubt that there is a very small percentage of the male-born population who are truly gender-dysphoric and pose no risk whatsoever to women, but if you do not also acknowledge that self id comes with risks to women from autogynephiles claiming to be trans it is incredibly dishonest.

        Oh and you forgot to shoehorn alleged ‘hate’ into your comment.

  • Twirlip

    “The current proposal is ridiculously over-simplified, as demonstrated by Gordon Dangerfield.”


    “I support self-ID and I extremely strongly uphold the principle that people should be who they want to be, and unlike Gordon I really don’t care about their genitalia and don’t see why anybody else should either. Mind your own business.”

    It’s hard to know where to begin with this. Even ignoring bigoted ideology, there are good reasons why simple biological sex remains an important – and largely binary – physical reality, even for transgendered people, even transsexuals in the strictest sense, i.e., those who have had surgery and hormone treatment.

    This article deals with some of the reasons:
    Zaria Gorvett, Why transgender people are ignored by modern medicine, BBC Future [Mon 17 Aug 2020].

  • N_

    If we take things at face value, rather than supposing that Johnson and Sturgeon both work for the Kremlin, then the cleverest thing Johnson could do would be to set up a constitutional convention and say

    • we’ll thrash out two options, Option 1 being independence and what kind of relationship an independent Scotland would have with Rump Britain (an issue the SNP aiming at its utterly moronic market has never once dared TOUCH), and Option 2 being a reform of the union;
    • and then we will have a three-way referendum in Scotland on Option 1, Option 2, or the status quo (Option 3).

    Cue a crash in support for the SNP as the rug is totally pulled from under them. They couldn’t discuss Option 1 in any serious way because as soon as they start talking about friendly relations with Rump Britain their brand will be busted, but on the other hand nobody except a few complete maniacs wants a hard border; and they couldn’t discuss Option 2 for similar brand-destroying reasons.

    Any serious plan for reforming the union busts the SNP.

      • N_

        So let’s talk about the tiny minority of men who think they’re women instead.

    • Cubby


      Option 2 was already tried by the Britnats in 2014 – it was called the VOW; it broke the Edinburgh Agreement and it was reneged on anyway. Typical lying deceitful Britnats – Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg.

  • Ian

    Pretty good summary, Craig. Of course the trans issue is a controversial one, and particularly because it is used by a lot of people who have no genuine interest or stake in the subject as a political wedge, mainly in order to abuse the ‘other’ side. Politics is the art of compromise in many fields, and it would surely not take a Solomon to settle the issue in a non-controversial way which acknowledges the rights of both sides. It should never have become the heated and hateful, divisive headline issue it has, had politicians and campaigners acted thoughtfully and responsibly. I well understand your frustration at the way it has been hijacked as a proxy for virtue signalling, by many people who dutifully repeat slogans with little understanding or sympathy for others.

    As far as Sturgeon goes, I agree with your gut feeling. She has had five years, in the most propitious of circumstances – brexit and Boris – to campaign and argue for independence, in a way which would have led up to this election as the last step of the process. But not only did she fail to do that, she actively prevented debate in her own party, as you know only too well, and vilified cross party, independent campaigns to keep it on the agenda. At the same time she prioritised the trans as a wedge issue and spent millions of persecuting Salmond. None of that indicates a person for whom independence is the overriding priority. It was noticeable that only when the election was imminent did she suddenly rediscover the core raison d’etre of the SNP.

    Surely she has shown that for her the overriding goal is power, and she has achieved that more than any modern constitution should allow. Power over a feeble parliament, the media and the legal apparatus. Which begs the question, why should she go for broke on independene when she has all the trappings of a despot in a one party state? And she can use that power to eliminate enemies and challengers as well as implementing policies which are barely, if at all, mentioned in her Brigadoon manifesto, and even less debated. She has hollowed out the SNP so the members are merely supporters, without any traction in policy or who represents them. She will likely, if we have proper independence and not just just the transfer of absolute power to her regime (a real danger), never have the power she has now. So why rush? As long as the carrot can be dangled to hoover up votes, and dramatise a staged conflict with Boris, there is no pressure to actually act. Besides she has shown she still, after seven years to think about it and develop policy, has no idea about core issues around independence, and has done no policy work on that goal.

    You are right to be suspicious. Her track record is there – something she successfully avoids all the time by sloganising about independence and particularly ‘the Tories’. She has managed to portray herself as the opposition (to the Westminster Tories) as well as the queen of Scotland, thus avoiding any real discussion on her mishandling of the economy, education, land reform and the other bread and butter issues. She has, thought, devoted huge chunks of time to what she thinks of as ‘socially progressive’ issues which she is clearly invested far more in than anything else, including independence. It is a tragedy that Alba were denied the opportunity to discuss and debate exactly these issues, which is precisely the point of an election and its hustings. Once again the compliant and feeble media played right into her hands once she had continued to smear Salmond on spurious grounds and decreed that she wouldn’t talk to him. The media should have said that is up to the electorate, not you, and we will have debate. Instead they folded meekly and cowardly. So now we had a coronation, not an election.

    • Cara4

      IAN ,
      I agree looking at recent history the other way why would anybody jeopardise independence by going after Salmond the way they did? No matter what the facts or sentiments behind supposedly for championing women it seemed far more using a current activist movement with genuine concerns to instead decapitate the most articulate politician for independence and possibly to keep elbows permanently out to preveny him from encroaching in project Murrell gravy train. SNP might be a broad church but you would never have known as there was no inclusivity towards the party membership who joined after 2014 referendum. ALBA does hold a mirror up to any hollow pretence at independence and also a more clear brave sensible nuanced stance on the much muddied law on gender rather than pander to a bunch of hysterical bullies dressed as what they think women are. Scotland was always outward looking not metropolitan weegie smugness that doesn’t include me that doesn’t protect the things I think Scotland has that needs protecting and I’ve seen nothing positive for Scots and Scotland in the last five years just rampant neo liberalism. The bug issue is not the electorate. Who overwhelmingly voted for independence again with far more proprtion votes than the english electorate who got Brexit there way allowing the Tories to asset strip in a frenzy as they continued to do during the Pandemic. As for Borders…and the pandemic people live relatively normally lives in Australia and New Zealand they are no permanrntly damaged and spending each day wondering if this is their last day on Earth from lack of treatment, or part of statistics of people who have had their lives shortened by the virus. The Scottish Govt even decided nit to fund any diagnostic or treatment clinics in Scotland for the still damaged in the population who were forced to deal with the worst of the virus at home with no access to drugs or transfusions, that cohort of people who got ill last March are consigned to a death sentence when kniw drug treatments were given to others who were less fit or eho cintracted the virus just a fortnight later. Nobody is speaking for us and normally I am too ill to type anything, much less highlight this.Research is missing a whole section of people they could study and treat and learn more about what systems the virus attacks..which would also help inform those researching a genuine vaccine. I am totally trapped unabke to even shop for myself now and a jag would be risking instant death because of the similarities to the damage ongoing with the virus to my immune system and circulatory system. Zero covid should have been a strategy given it had not inly devastated the populatiin it has also devasted the economy in a way that people will pay for a century like my great grandparents in the 1920s and so later I was born jnto poverty and as adult saw myself move backwards jn society despite the best education of anyone. Now I see the wastage again of educated and skilled being swept aside as they were in the early 19th century. We need independence to change that tragectory and should be aiming for our own style Iceland had managed it and they jaiked the bankers. We are instead heading for the Philipines style of society . The pandemic under Johnson has shown me what they think of ordinary people, life is cheap. It’s not why I wanted to be an active part in a different way for Scots….time we looked Eastwards not South.

      • Ian

        Cara, it is a little acknowledged fact that Sturgeon and her small crew have dragged the SNP into the neoliberal mainstream, as you say. They get away with it by constantly telling us how awful the tories are, blaming them for everything, while taking the credit for policies or finance which we would have got regardless of them. They are very clever at the blame and avoidance game. The smokescreen is choking genuine debate about their policy and record, hiding behind confected outrage about trans issues or former leaders. Anything but the stuff of people’s daily lives and real change.

      • Steve

        At least in the Philippines Duterte is going to produce the Ivermectin for his people that we in the enlightened west have denied ours. Have a look for research linking ivermectin use with Long Covid cure and prevention, it is a thing apparently.

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