Scottish Independence and Political Logic 152

Logic often appears in short supply in politics. This is because great decisions of state are not taken on the merits of the ostensible subject matter, but according to what best advances the career interest of the politicians with the power to decide.

Scotland has left the European Union against the will of a large majority of its voters, expressed in a referendum. The ridiculously “hard” Brexit has caused real economic damage to virtually everybody in Scotland.

Yet Brexit was not sufficient to motivate the SNP leadership to make any genuine move for Independence. Because any genuine move for Independence brings real risk to the political careers of the SNP leadership.

By contrast to Brexit, which affects everybody, gender reassignment affects only a very, very small proportion of the Scottish population. Unlike the EU, which remains very popular in Scotland, the measure to reform gender reassignment lately passed by the Scottish parliament is distinctly unpopular.

One sure sign of how unpopular gender self-ID is, is that Keir Starmer is rowing away from it at the speed of light. Starmer believes in nothing but power and wealth for himself. Having been told self-ID is not popular, Starmer has absolutely no care about throwing Anas Sarwar and Scottish Labour under a bus, and opposing a Scottish law that Scottish Labour voted for in Holyrood.

Starmer is simply following Starmer’s career interest.

My personal view, for what it is worth, is that the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill passed by the Scottish parliament is still better than the status quo ante, though I would have preferred some of the safeguarding amendments to have been passed.

But I realise I am not on the popular side of the argument.

So how can it be possible that, having failed to move for Independence over EU membership, which is popular and affects everybody, the SNP may move for Independence over self-ID, which is unpopular and affects a tiny number of people?

The answer is astonishing and, if you are not a very close follower of Scottish politics, I understand it may be difficult to believe.

The first and crucial point is that Nicola Sturgeon has always been much more interested in identity politics than in Scottish Independence.

I think that is generally accepted now. I claim the Cassandra Prize for reading the entrails way back in March 2015.

I had a counterbalancing doubt at the back of my mind about this enthusiasm for – as Nicola Sturgeon put it – “Improving” the UK. I don’t want to improve the Union, I want to end it. Power has a fatal attraction to politicians, and I think I detected that exercising power in the United Kingdom is today gleaming brighter in the dreams of some professional SNP politicians than is independence for Scotland.

The other thing I did not like was the machine politics and management of it all. The entire first day there was not a motion that was passed other than by acclaim, and there was not a single speech against anything, though there were a couple of attempts at referral back. The only item permitted on to the conference agenda, in closed session on day 2, that was in the least likely to cause controversy was the adoption of all women shortlists – and the only reason that was on the agenda was that the leader made it abundantly plain she wanted it. I incline to the view that as a short term measure it is justified, but I abstained because I did not like what I saw of the way it was managed.

It was the only debate the leader sat through, and it was very plain she was watching carefully how people were voting. There was a definite claque of paid party apparatchiks and organised feminists occupying front centre of the hall. There was a strong suspicion, voiced by Christine Graham, that deliberately weak and left field speakers had been chosen against women shortlists. And for the vote, party functionaries including Angus Robertson and Ian McCann stood at the side of the hall very ostensibly noting who voted which way and making sure that the payroll vote performed. I was right next to where Angus Robertson stood as he did this. He moved into position just before the vote, made it very obvious indeed what he was doing, and left immediately after. I found myself regarding the prospect of a whole raft of new MPs, their research assistants and secretaries providing 200 more payroll votes, as depressing.

All women shortlists of course became permanent, and other manifestations of identity politics followed. We have the SNP National Executive dominated by representatives of identity groups.

We also have the “gender balanced” cabinet, which is the only explanation for the idiot Shirley-Anne Somerville being a minister.

Actually I take that back, there is no possible explanation of Shirley-Anne Somerville being a minister. She would fail the interview for Deputy Manager of a branch of Superdry.

We have the appointment of a Lord Advocate on the basis that being the first female in this key role outweighs being a diehard unionist.

This deserves greater consideration in this discussion of politics and logicality.

It is a fascinating fact that Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain was prepared to certify the Gender Recognition Reform Bill as not in conflict with UK legislation and thus the Scotland Act, when it obviously is in conflict.

Yet Bain refused to certify a referendum bill.

The Lord Advocate was appointed by Sturgeon and sits in her cabinet. What is plain is that what is and what is not certified by Bain is, by happy coincidence, in line with Sturgeon’s political priorities.

Bain helped Sturgeon avoid the referendum she has been “promising” for seven years, and enabled the GRR legislation which is so very close to Sturgeon’s heart.

Is it not lucky that Bain’s entirely independent and sincere legal opinion always falls just as Nicola Sturgeon would wish?

Bain is also key to Sturgeon’s next gender identity moves which, together with GRR, Sturgeon believes will cement her legacy. They are the abolition of jury trials in sexual assault cases, openly pursued to increase the conviction rate rather than the just verdict rate, and the establishment of misogyny as a “hate crime”.

There have been many other defining “identity politics” features of Sturgeon’s rule, particularly “cutting edge” early age teaching on sexuality and gender in schools.

But the identity politics initiative which caused most publicity was of course the conspiracy of lies and liars, orchestrated from Nicola Sturgeon’s office, to harness the #MeToo movement to jail her heterosexual male predecessor, an inexorable proponent of Independence.

When that plot was foiled by an honest Edinburgh jury, the abolition of juries moved high up on Sturgeon’s agenda.

In using her position as First Minister to advance the identity politics agenda, the one thing causing stress to Sturgeon has been the existence of members of her own party who believed the party should rather be achieving Independence.

Sturgeon has famously kept party members following her for over eight years by continuing dangling the carrot of a referendum before them – a referendum she has never had the slightest intention of holding, and never will hold.

This extremely skilful feat of party management has been achieved by driving out of the SNP those members who were primarily interested in Independence. The tens of thousands who have left were the long serving backbone of the party.

For some reason I have never understood, there has been a peculiar alignment in Scottish Independence politics.

Those Independence supporters who support trans rights are strongly correlated with “gradualists”, those who are happy with devolution and see Independence as a distant aspiration.

Those Independence supporters who oppose self-ID on gender are strongly correlated with those who see Independence as an urgent need now. Hence the Alba Party.

By making support for trans rights, in the most uncompromising and ideological form, a flagship policy of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon drove out almost all the hardline Independence supporters from the SNP.

The remaining membership who are driven by anything resembling a belief, are driven by identity politics. But as the SNP has become firmly established as the font of political power and paid position in Scotland, it has also attracted a new membership, often ex-Labour, who are interested in money and career.

I have never understood why there was this correlation between trans rights and gradualism. I was one of the very few individuals you could point to who both supported trans rights and supported urgent Independence now.

Until now.

Suddenly Nicola’s shock troops, the trans activists who have dominated the SNP and Green parties, see Independence as urgent, following Westminster’s veto of Gender Recognition Reform.

In two months, the SNP will hold a special conference designed by Sturgeon and Murrell to vote to kick down the road for a few more years Nicola’s promise to hold a plebiscitary election should Westminster not allow the Independence referendum.

But since that conference was called, Nicola’s gender identity troops, who were happy with the devolution system that they believed had delivered what they wanted, suddenly find Independence is needed after the Westminster veto.

That fundamentally changes the equation. By a delicious irony, those people Nicola weaponised to get rid of the supporters of Independence, are now the ones pushing her to move on Independence.

This is hilarious.

Sturgeon is attempting to stave them off by her old trusty method of taking court action against Westminster; which as always she will lose when it finally reaches the Supreme Court in London.

Sturgeon held off parliamentary action on Gender Recognition Reform for years, while she used it as a wedge issue inside the party.

Now the legislation has finally passed, I very much doubt the committed activists into whose hands she placed her political future, will be prepared to wait for another couple of years while a doomed court case plays out.

The end for Roman Emperors generally came when their Praetorian Guards turned against them.


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152 thoughts on “Scottish Independence and Political Logic

1 2
        • Brianfujisan

          I am a Martial Arts Japanese Ways ..It is Becoming Harder in this world ..I have Many Friends on here all Warriors.. I Love them all .. X

      • Disgusted Onlooker

        Imagine if Nicola Sturgeon hadn’t grown up a closeted gay in Scotland in the homophobic, misogynistic 80s. She would now have no need for ‘conversion to my gay therapy’ revenge on the country, obsessively trying to ram sexual minority-obsessed legislation down our throats, i.e. protecting a teenage her in her own mind.

        She also gets to have the trendy young playmates (“Don’t leave me…eh…the party, gay and trans chums! I have abandonment issues!”) she never had when young, to gang up on the straight folk and bullying them/us like gays were genuinely and disgustingly bullied in this country 30-odd years ago.

        If she had grown up happy, feeling loved, in a community of gay peers, in a better country, she would not now be trying to (re)create this in Scotland for herself. She’s a now-gay-pride-rally-attending lonely and angry wee lassie pining for her lost teenage dating years, spent in the SNP youth wing she joined at 16.

        Imagine all the hassle that could have been avoided. She’s the perfect Scotland-hating divisive outsider element for her corporate handlers to use in service of trashing the independence movement. After all, Hell hath no fury like a teenage closeted lesbian scorned, with a (self) righteous cause to instill From On High into the nasty homophobic hetero masses…

    • Cynicus

      An outstanding analysis even by Craig’s high standards. But he has one small error: “We have the appointment of a Lord Advocate on the basis that being the first female in this key role…”

      Not so. The first was Eilish Angiolini, installed as Lord Advocate on 12 October 2006.

      Homer nodded.

  • Fazal Majid

    Saying the Gender bill is unpopular is not quite accurate. I would say the overwhelming majority of the population is apathetic, but there are small but passionate segments of the population for and against. Furthermore, your own acknowledgement that your position is controversial with your acquaintances suggests left-leaning politically active folks with opinions on the subject are mostly in favour.

    • craig Post author

      Opinion polls are pretty clear it is not popular, Fazal. But it is an issue with very low salience – most people, as you say, in practice are not bothered.

    • Iain McGlade

      Gender reform doesn’t fit at all well into the left right dichotomy. The Trans rights activists think they are the progressive ones and god are they vocal about it, but none of them have thought to question where all the funding for this is coming from. Big pharma are right behind the TRAs.
      To my mind, real left wing politicos see alleviating poverty as a real priority. In Scotland we need to do that, among a number of other things that will improve the lives of many more than tinkering with gender legislation.
      I’m sick of being told that I’m a bigot because I believe that changing sex is not biologically possible. Let me reword that, as it’s not a belief. It’s fact. Gender, on the other hand is made up and running a society on the basis of made up faith is borderline bonkers.

      • andyoldlabour

        Well said Iain, gender is a social construct and ideology. Biological sex is science and reality. I believe in people being what they want to be, but also believe that I and others are not forced or coerced into believing that which isn’t true.

      • SleepingDog

        @Iain McGlade, if you define progress as moving away from supernatural beliefs (religion/superstition) towards rational and scientific beliefs, and regress as moving in the reverse direction, then I would view the soullist gender identity theory (not a scientific theory as resistant to proof) as a regressive form of supernatural belief, perhaps a new religion, and (although left-right is a very limited ideological construct) typical of right-wing ego-dominance politics, the Individual over the Collective (because the goal is to legally enforce Collective compliance with the Individual’s stated unscientific view). So yes, I agree. It really is a low point in Scottish politics where the Green Party (ostensibly the voice of science in the Scottish Parliament) binds its governing partner on its absolute backing for such an anti-scientific policy.

        I think our host is muddling up equality (sometimes expressed in patriarchal societies as terms such as: women, their rights, and nothing less; men, their rights, and nothing more) with identity, as if biological sex was somehow part of identity politics.

  • Carl

    Imagine being a normal Scot who wants independence from English Tory rule .. perhaps a Church of Scotland Presbyterian, likes football etc .. and suddenly you’re forced to be a massive advocate for transgenderism.
    It’s just so mind-bogglingly strange. Yours is the first attempt I have seen to impose an understanding of it. I honestly cannot come up with alternative explanations.

    • Ultraviolet

      Nah. You don’t have to be an advocate for transgenderism. It’s simply a matter that whatever your view on the matter, it is for Scotland to decide, not for English Ministers to come in and decide that they know better.

      It’s like when you see a couple having a row, if you intervene, you may well find they turn on you together – whatever their own differences, they don’t want outsiders interfering.

  • DGP

    As usual you provide an interesting analysis of the recent politics of Scotland. While I follow the reasoning, I don’t think I quite accept 100% the correlation of gender activists=gradualists and gender reform rejectionists=referendistas (with urgency). My personal perspective is that I now favour a dismantling of Holyrood – it is doing exactly what Donal Dewar wanted it to do- mainly to divert the passion or call for independence into an echo chamber.
    As for the gender issue – I am a bit ‘meh’. It’s a genuinely complex and mostly unresolved issue driven by highly questionable intellectual origins. People are free to express themselves as they see fit and it provides piquancy to dabble at the edges of long established boundaries. I believe it to be a ‘non-issue’ receiving disproportionate attention in a time of wider intellectual stasis, largely attributable to the impossibility of a resolution of the climate change related economic crisis. The industrial/technological progress of the last 3 centuries is stuttering to an ignominious end. I have very little doubt now that the Ukraine situation will degenerate into some serious escalation as the ‘west’ tries to re-assert its global primacy.
    The ‘green new deal’ is almost certainly unachievable simply on the basis of thermodynamics. We are entering an ever tightening impasse where the energy required to establish the ‘sustainable economy’ exceeds the capacity of the planet to absorb the waste generated by it. In the process, Technology is failing – see the nonsense over the battery factory in Northumberland. We have not even perfected an economically viable way of effectively (ie. non lab scale) recovering/recycling resources from already existing batteries. For more detail on this general topic, see the pages on this web site, with the main contributions by Natasha and Clark: The Decline of Fossil Fuels and Limits of Renewable Energy.
    There is currently serious discussion going on about ‘lab’ meat where ‘hamburgers’ are made cultured from animal muscle cells supplied with the basic ingredients for growth from ‘alternative’ sources? From a thermodynamic perspective the sums do not add up. It is possible at lab scale, but not viable at the massive scale required to have any global effect. Both that and the ‘green energy’ technologies are Ponzi schemes. The natural world continues to be eroded by human activity. What will we do when the natural world is degraded into a sterile wasteland.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Whatever Clark & Natasha might tell you, DGP, I can assure you that it’s perfectly possible for the UK (and most other countries) to generate all of their current energy consumption (and more) from renewable sources without breaking any of the laws of thermodynamics*. All of which reminds me that I should probably get back on that forum thread – but, having said that, life really is too short for protracted arguments over well-established facts with people whose entrenched views are largely based on sentiment and emotion (and the blogposts of clueless fanatics). Enjoy the weekend.

      * Of course, with the current levels of general ignorance that abound in this country and elsewhere, whether it is politically feasible is another matter.

      • Pigeon English

        You did not read “their arguments” and yet you assume what they are and call them “entrenched views largely based on sentiment and emotion (and the blogposts of clueless fanatics).
        Natasha and Clark mostly Disagree and argue Data/figures with occasional comment from others if I am not mistaken ET. I am looking forward to read your rational fact-based input and put Natasha and Clark in their place!

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply, PE. I’ve read more than enough of their arguments (and associated links) to get a good idea of where they’re coming from. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to reason with people who have developed fixed ideas about things – in their case, that fossil fuels will soon run out and that it is ‘thermodynamically impossible’ for current global energy requirements to be met through renewables – and refuse to entertain any evidence to the contrary, of which there is plenty, as I have repeatedly outlined in some detail to them.

          No promises, but as it’s you, if I’m in a good mood next week, I may step back into the fray – for all the good it will do me. Enjoy the weekend.

          • Natasha

            Lapsed Agnostic, Why not go the forum kindly hosted by Craig and lets debate this topic there?


            It is disingenuous to attack me (Natasha) here off topic by fatally misrepresenting the responses and links given by me in those forum posts: I have NOT “refuse[d] to entertain any evidence to the contrary, of which there is plenty, as I [Lapsed Agnostic] have repeatedly outlined in some detail to them.” Your assertions were repeatedly shown in the forum to have been wrong and exposed as groundless.

            Then you further demean your magical thinking with insults on comments here: “Sorry, but I don’t eat BS because I’m allergic to it.”

            Instead – for the benefit of readers who want a quick third party widely cited summary of how and on what grounds Lapsed Agnostic has previously failed to evidence their assertions in the ‘limits to renewables’ forum posts – if Lapsed Agnostic’s arguments and references are so certain (that windmills 2% and solar panels 1% of global energy can scale up to replace 85% supplied by fossils without the global population crashing to half a billion by end of century whilst the ecosphere is trashed mining it for metals and rocks needed to build ultra low energy density solar energy flow harvesting processing and distribution infrastructure) Lapsed Agnostic can do it in half a paragraph and we can all shut up and think about something else.

            Like this one for example:-

            Please Lapsed Agnostic, tell us how Associate Professor of Geometallurgy at the Geological Survey of Finland, Simon Michaux – Assessment of the Extra Capacity Required of Alternative Energy Electrical Power Systems to Completely Replace Fossil Fuels – has got it wrong? He writes:-

            “In conclusion, this report suggests that replacing the existing fossil fuel powered system (oil, gas, and coal), using renewable technologies, such as solar panels or wind turbines, will not be possible for the entire global human population. There is simply just not enough time, nor resources to do this by the current target set by the World’s most influential nations. What may be required, therefore, is a significant reduction of societal demand for all resources, of all kinds.”


        • Pigeon English

          It is around us but how much of metals, minerals, Rare Earth Elements etc. and energy and at what cost we have to use
          to produce, we will hear soon on the Forum “Decline of the fossil fuels………” when LA joins. Looking forward!
          BTW China is on top of everything else(renewables and Gas) investing 100’s of Billions in Nuclear in the next 10-15 years!

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply DGP. In answer to your question: it’s currently about 93 million miles away from us but don’t worry, it’ll only take about eight minutes to get here.

          • Stevie Boy

            Not at night, it won’t, and at our latitude it’s as much use as SNP policy, and there’s no battery system in existence that can power the grid for 8-12 hours. At least we have wind, except when we don’t. Most of our future reliable energy needs will come via cables from Europe when they can spare it and we can afford it. Isn’t strategic energy independence grand ? Let’s all feast out on the BS, yum, yum !

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply Stevie. Almost all of the energy that powers the winds on our planet also has its origins in what is, on balance, my favourite G-type main-sequence star. Believe it or not, not only can you run a Nissan Leaf on an average commute 8-9 months of the year in southern Scotland using solar panels on a south-facing roof, with petrol at £1.50 a litre, you can now do so for considerably less overall cost than running a Ford Focus. Can run you through the maths sometime if you want.

            Rather than using batteries, materials-wise it’s much better to store energy from renewables as hydrogen via the electrolysis of water*, and then use some of it to regenerate electricity in combined-cycle power stations, when there’s little or no supply coming from wind turbines and solar PVs.

            I make no comment on whether there is the political will to switch fully to renewables (or more likely a mixture of renewables and nuclear) to supply the total energy requirements of both the UK and the world in the next few decades, just that it is physically possible for us to do so and not forbidden in any way by the laws of thermodynamics. Sorry, I don’t eat BS because I’m allergic to it.

            * Plus you also get free oxygen as a by-product which can be piped to hospitals for all those people whose immune systems have been battered by a few rounds of Covid – not looking too good what’s happening in Sweden right now, even with better treatments (steroids, heparin, less intubation, etc) and bivalent boosters. It’s beginning to look a lot like #LeonardiWasRight.

          • DGP

            I expect you are deeply impressed by your supercilious reply. It is revealing,for sure, but not in any way you’d be happy with.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply DGP. I really need to stop replying to this off-topic thread, like I said I would, but can’t resist the bait. If you think that comment was supercilious – it’s mostly just facts – then it’s just as well you’ve never seen me in supercilious mode. I don’t think I’m that old, but I’m old enough not to give a shit what people I’ve never met think about me. Anyway, if I was in your position, I would save my ire for the people who’ve needlessly exposed you and your family to what may well turn out to be a highly immuno-destructive (lab-made) pathogen. I wasn’t one of them. There’s not much data for the Omicron strains, but ivermectin should still work, provided you take it early. Take care.

      • Bayard

        ” I can assure you that it’s perfectly possible for the UK (and most other countries) to generate all of their current energy consumption (and more) from renewable sources without breaking any of the laws of thermodynamics*. ”
        but only when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing or both. The problem is not generation, but storage. In any case, DGP wasn’t talking about generation but waste: ” We are entering an ever tightening impasse where the energy required to establish the ‘sustainable economy’ exceeds the capacity of the planet to absorb the waste generated by it. “

        • Lapsed Agnostic

          Thanks for your reply Bayard. As I outlined above, the best approach to energy storage is hydrogen from electrolysis. DGP’s words: ‘The green new deal is almost certainly unachievable simply on the basis of thermodynamics.’ In fact, the energy required to establish a global energy economy based entirely on renewables is less than the energy currently derived from fossil fuels in a year. The waste issue is a separate one: e.g. you can use either fossil fuels or renewable energy to make the plastic microbeads that end up in the sea and/or the food chain, and make people like Jim Ratcliffe rich – or alternatively, countries can ban them like most of them do with heroin.

          Note: I won’t be replying to any more comments about this topic as I’m sure the mods feel it’s distracting from the original blogpost.

          • dgp

            You speak with the authority of a true believer.I must assume your chosen blog identifier denotes some kind of return to the true faith, after a period of indifference.
            It’s slightly out of date but the basic principles still apply.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            As it’s you, DPG, I’ll make an exception to what I stated in my previous comment. I don’t believe anything that: a) I haven’t worked out for myself, usually using maths; b) hasn’t come from multiple reputable independent sources; or c) hasn’t been officially denied (see Nadhim Zahawi). My moniker comes from something I read in the Graun over 20 years ago that as a callow youth I found vaguely amusing. I may be wrong, but I would imagine that I’d read the sadly-departed Prof MacKay’s book (which I heartily recommend to people, even though he made one or two school-boy errors that still hadn’t been picked up last time I checked) in full before you’d even heard of it. There is nothing in it that contradicts anything I’ve written here. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

          • Bayard

            ” As I outlined above, the best approach to energy storage is hydrogen from electrolysis.”

            No, it isn’t, it’s to use that hydrogen to make synthetic hydrocarbons, which can then be stored, distributed and burnt using the storage, distribution and power trains that we already have now. However, currently we have neither any large-scale synthetic hydrocarbon plants, not any means of storing hydrogen. Why invest billions in new storage, distribution and power trains for a fuel with very low energy density when we could invest in in hydrocarbon manufacture and use the ones we already have for fuels with very high energy density?

          • DGP

            hi Mr Agnostic
            Again I must bow to your self-announced mathematical mastery and self proclaimed intellect. It must also be comforting to be an extremely important ‘off grid’ immunologist. Indeed you are also a chemical engineer of great repute who can proclaim on the effectiveness of energy storage by the use of hydrogen as the most obvious solution for a problem that continues to vex other mortals. Perhaps you can turn your skills to the thrmodynamic intricacies of Carbon Capture and Storage.Indeed I must bow deeply to your messianic powers. I am awestruck by your awesomeness.
            You are doubtful that you have read Prof Mackay’s book ,but then I imagine you scarcely need to, as you are magically equipped to provide a critique without actually reading it.I suppose that is the great benefit of your gnosticism.

            [ Mod: Heavy sarcasm is insulting and tends to inflame online debates. Kindly express your points in a more direct and sincere way. ]

          • Natasha

            Lapsed Agnostic falsely claims that : “In fact, the energy required to establish a global energy economy based entirely on renewables is less than the energy currently derived from fossil fuels in a year.”

            Nonsense: Renewable harvesting infrastructure can NOT be built WITHOUT fossil fuels, which supplied 77% of global energy in 2021 (c/w 87% in 1980) i.e. mining & refining raw materials, transport, process heat etc. that can’t be electrified.


            Unless you mean a return to half a billion people when the first efficient heat engine was invented in 1776 in Scotland?

            If Renewable harvesting infrastructure could be built, then why haven’t global corporations rushed to build it all out so they reap huge profits? The laws of physics haven’t changed since 1980, why only a 10% reduction in fossil fuels’ share in 40 years?

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your reply DGP. Even though I said I wouldn’t be making any more replies, here I go again. Firstly, at no point in this thread have I proclaimed my intellect. Secondly, I am not an immunologist – be it an extremely important ‘off grid’ one or otherwise. What I am is someone who’s been taking a keen interest in what may turn out to be the biggest public health issue of this century, not least because I would prefer to die in a few decades’ time in reasonable health at a time of my choosing (ideally in Scotland). In that regard, inter alia, I have been following someone on Twitter who is a PhD immunologist (if he was making his qualifications up he’d have been called out months ago), but who holds slightly heterodox opinions about the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the human immune system that I’m hoping are mostly wrong, but increasingly appear to be being borne out:


            I’m also not a chemical engineer by trade, but I do have a PhD in synthetic chemistry from a Russell group university, and did spend a year working for Johnson Matthey, trying to improve processes for biodiesel synthesis. Producing hydrogen from the electrolysis of water and then storing it doesn’t appear to vex people working in the field. It’s based on technology that was established many decades ago, and of late considerable increases appear to have been made in its efficiency:


            I can’t be bothered thinking much about carbon capture & storage as I believe it’s largely a road to nowhere that would only be suitable for CO2 generated from natural gas, with the depleted reservoirs being able to be refilled without causing too much overpressure. Anyway it won’t be required if most of our energy is being provided by renewables and nuclear.

            I am not doubtful that I’ve read Prof Mackay’s book as I distinctly recall reading it in 2008 (and then again during the first lockdown in 2020) which was probably before you read it, but possibly not.

            P.S. How do you know I’m a ‘Mr’? Technically I’m a ‘Dr’.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Hello again Natasha. Thank you for your reply. No matter how many times you write the word ‘not’ in capital letters, it still doesn’t change the fact that mining, high-temperature heating, and transportation equipment can be powered by electricity – and even in a parallel universe where it cannot, biofuels can be used.

            Global energy corporations haven’t abandoned fossil fuels and switched to renewables because, without subsidies, the costs of renewables are higher and also more front-loaded. However, due to economies of scale, in recent years those costs have been coming down dramatically, hence more interest from corporations.

            Might be willing to brave the energy forum again later in the week. Take care.

    • Republicofscotland

      “As for the gender issue – I am a bit ‘meh’.

      I believe it to be a ‘non-issue’ receiving disproportionate attention”

      The unamended GRRB, allows rapists and paedos into women and children’s safe spaces dressed up as pretendy women, still think its a bit meh?

      • Laguerre

        As the vast majority of trans people being seen in clinics are now trans men rather than trans women, your views are not “protecting” women, in the typical ancient patriarchal style, but rather restricting women’s rights to live their lives as they wish.

        • Bayard

          “but rather restricting women’s rights to live their lives as they wish.”

          I would expect that most women would wish to live their lives having somewhere where they can perform private functions in peace without having biological men intruding.

          • Laguerre

            They are not having that problem; it’s pretty much hypothetical. But you insist on preventing a far greater number of women from living their lives as they wish to just to assuage your hypothetical fears about the acts of one or two non-transwomen who put a dress on to harass women.

          • Bayard

            “They are not having that problem; ”

            I see, it’s important to give the right for biological men to enter spaces set aside for biological women, but this won’t be a problem for the biological women, because the biological men won’t actually be entering those spaces. If they won’t actually be entering those spaces, why do they need the right to do so?

            “But you insist on preventing a far greater number of women from living their lives as they wish…”

            Whereas you insist on preventing a far greater still number of biological women from living their lives as they wish, being able to access spaces free from the presence of biological men, or, in your mind, do the wishes of a very few biological men who are psychological women trump the needs of the many biological women who are also psychological women?

      • Ultraviolet

        Ah, yes. “We must deny rights to trans people because if we don’t, predatory men will abuse women.”

        I’ve got news for you. predatory men will abuse women. Full stop. They don’t need trans people to have rights to do so, and denying trans people rights won’t stop them.

        Do you seriously think that if a man wants to dress up as a woman to enter a women-only space, he needs a gender recognition certificate to do so?

        • Bayard

          Why should any male have the right to enter spaces set aside for females?
          Places are set aside for reasons of biology, not psychology, therefore persons who are biologically male but psychologically female should not be entering them.

          • Ultraviolet

            Why do you think it is about men entering spaces set aside for females? It is about being treated in law as the gender you live as.

          • Bayard

            If that’s all it was, almost no-one would have any beef with it, but it isn’t. It’s perfectly possible for people to be different but equal under the eyes of the law. The objection is to the idea that a biological man who identifies as a woman should be considered the same as a biological woman when they are quite obviously physically different.

          • SleepingDog

            @Bayard, yes, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences was concerned with self-exclusion for entirely valid reasons, and the extremely problematic position (reportedly) of the Scottish Government leadership that trans women should be considered women for all state purposes would mean that there would be no legal basis for recording and researching trans women interactions with the state, and therefore no obvious way of monitoring their own trans policies. That is, as Bad Science will tell you, the very opposite of what good governance should be, putting ideology above all else and wrecking evidence-based policy-making/evaluating.

  • terence callachan

    Interesting points made; however, I think climate change and its effects are far more important, the housing stock across Europe is poor and the worst is in U.K. We urgently need to improve insulation and heating systems. The weather we are experiencing right now which has lingered longer than expected and caused great difficulty and discomfort to so many could well be worse next year or any year ahead. Weather patterns are changing because of climate change. The weather we have just had is because of the wind from the arctic coming down as far as U.K. It could become worse with temperatures of minus 30C or minus 40C which would kill many more people than the minus 7 or 8 we have just had.
    Private enterprise cannot plan for or solve this problem.
    A right-wing government like Tory, and now Labour too, is hell bent on reducing government, reducing government spending and introducing a total everyone-for-themselves policy with no nationalised provision whatsoever. It’s like turning the clock back a hundred years to a time when there was no NHS, no state education, no state anything.
    People will die.
    Crime will increase as desperation increases.

    • Bayard

      “the housing stock across Europe is poor and the worst is in U.K. We urgently need to improve insulation and heating systems.”

      No we don’t, we just need to stop heating our houses so hot. It’s no wonder that the UK’s older houses leak heat like sieves, they were built when 15C was considered a comfortable internal temperature, now it’s 23C. The average external temperature of the six coldest months is 6C, so the temperature difference between inside and out, which is directly proportional to heat loss, has gone up from 9C to 17C, that’s almost doubled.

      • Iron Ic

        You should see the housing stock in the Austrian Alps, which maintains comfortable temperatures across a range from -20*C to +30*C…

        • Bayard

          That’s because it gets a lot colder in the Austrian Alps in winter than it does in England. When the oil companies started selling oil-fired central heating in the 60s, lots of people said they were on a hiding to nothing because it just wasn’t cold enough in England in the winter for people to spend that sort of money.

    • Stevie Boy

      Eh, weather ! you don’t know you’re born. Remember the 60s when we had proper cold and it lasted for months. It wasn’t this climate nonsense then it was, you know, WINTER ! Comes every year about this time. Faux attribution, more BS for the gullible.

  • 100%Yes

    Sturgeon took over the SNP for selfish reasons and this is a path she’ll continue on, until she’s stopped. We the voters thought we’d see Independence in our lifetimes. we’d just had a referendum and it was too close for the British state and we all look to Sturgreon to be the champion of the Scottish people I never ever thought for a single minute that our jailer was going to be the one person who we had given faith and trust to deliver independence.

    She takes great satisfaction knowing that we are all waiting and hoping she’s going to do something to fight our cause only to be disappointed. It’s this disapointment that brings her out every single day to do her job.

    • Ultraviolet

      Very much how many of us in England feel about Keir Starmer. He has destroyed the hope I had for any sort of improvement in society in my lifetime. British politics really is in a shocking state right now.

  • Goose

    Focusing on an issue of concern to a minuscule minority (0.02%), to the exclusion of far more populist or pressing concerns is a fast route to making yourself or your political party irrelevant. It’s just plain bad politics. Irrespective of the legislation’s merits, of all the hills to die on…Seriously? Got to wonder if a unionist in the Scottish civil service hasn’t pushed them into pursuing this woke, divisive nonsense, knowing full well it’ll be unpopular and make them look woke-obsessed?

    “What Do We Want? The GRR! When Do We Want It? NOW!”

    Hardly a rallying cry for those SNP supporters with the ‘Braveheart’ William Wallace face paint, is it?

    • Goose


      A Survation survey, carried out between January 10-12, found 54 per cent of Scots would vote “No” in an independence referendum. 
      Meanwhile, backing for a “Yes” vote was at 46 per cent when “don’t knows” were removed. 

      Phew! Sturgeon and co can breathe a sigh of relief as support falls back again. Polls were starting to show consistent ‘Yes’ leads, this GRR controversy and division therein, seems to have done the trick.

      • Jimmeh

        > this GRR controversy and division therein, seems to have done the trick

        Your suggesting that the SNPs GRR thing has put Scots off supporting independence. That sounds plausible to me, but I don’t know what evidence would look like.

        You seem to be suggesting further that GRR was adopted as a policy specifically to stymie independence. That seems far-fetched, given that Westminster’s blocking of the GRR Bill was immediately followed by Sturgeon ramping up independence rhetoric.

        • Goose

          Probably only a temporary blip given the rolling series of scandals coming out of Westminster. But the polls were moving in the right direction prior to these last few weeks.

          If it was chosen as a ‘wedge’ issue, with the full knowledge it’d provoke a constitutional struggle, its guile lies in how it exploits the huge sympathy for LGBTQIA+ people among the UK establishment. With so many of those definitions represented in the upper-echelons of the UK political, judicial and security establishment. Had Sturgeon chosen a different issue, the full weight of the British establishment could have come down upon the SNP. Its genius is in how it divides the SNP’s opponents too. Or is that me being too cynical?

  • Roger

    Starmer believes in nothing but power and wealth for himself.

    It’s not unusual for politicians to put personal power and wealth ahead of everything else, but Starmer is unusual in that those seem to be his only goals.

    • Goose

      Starmer is uniquely atrocious.

      The SNP could win independence simply by spelling out the likely course of UK politics over the next 30 years.

      At the next election, likely held in late 2024, Labour look set to win a huge, wholly undeserved majority. It won’t be about their policy appeal, or enthusiasm they’ve created, it’ll be thanks to disgust with the wretched Tories, Starmer, aided by a fawning media, the kind Emily Maitlis displayed at Davos. Labour have stated they intend to produce a bare-bones manifesto, that’s thin on policy detail, allowing them maximum freedom in office. In other words a tabula rasa with a sprinkling of platitudinal guff, from which nobody knows what the hell it is they’re voting for.

      Within months of winning, it’s likely there will be a collective gasp by those who have given the establishment’s golem Starmer, plus Reeves and Steeeting their huge mandate to play with. Reeves will produce reheated workfare proposals and Streeting will be courting private healthcare providers. Starmer meanwhile, will lead this new govt, a govt that is more hawkish on foreign policy, and more socially illiberal domestically than the reactionary right of the Tory party! Diane Abbott suggested recently that Labour are possibly planning to drop the party’s support for the official recognition of Palestine, is anyone surprised? Starmer’s govt will be a living nightmare for anyone remotely left, dovish or socially liberal. And worse, it’ll be a failure on every metric economically, because he’s pro-Brexit and Britain doesn’t have an industrial base or compelling IPs.
      But it’ll still win a second term, albeit narrowly, because the Tories will have been so comprehensively beaten in 2024. Much like how Blair got across the line in 2005, after Iraq. That takes things from 2029-2034. after that, Starmer, Reeves and Streeting will retire to claim their bounties from the establishment: the corporate world and banking. And folks will be settling down to another 20 years under the Tories.

      Is that the future Scots are desperate to be part of?

      • U Watt

        Well spelled out, Goose. I have no doubt that is Britain’s future. Everyone can see at a glance that Starmer is unlikeable and most likely useless but all we are going to hear is that Labour are finally ready and responsible enough for government. (Meaning of course they will not meaningfully increase govt spending let alone by means of increasing taxes on the rich.) Even many leftists will be conned with former Corbyn era advisors already engaged in leftwashing Starmer. Many Scots too will be made to feel they have been through the worst with the Tories and life is now going to be good again within the Union.

        • Ultraviolet

          I don’t think there are many people from the Corbyn era who don’t despise Starmer.

          It is really, really striking that nobody, even his most passionate supporters, seems able to come out with a positive case for Starmer. On the Guardian, if you dare do anything other than provide 100% support, then the very people who worked so hard for Corbyn’s defeat will call you a Tory enabler, and tell you that you have to vote for Starmer, whatever your views, in order to get rid of the Tories.

          In the same breath, they will tell you that the country will never vote for the policies you want to see implemented, and that they will never deliver them.

          They also have this bizarre cognitive dissonance where 2019, an election decided predominantly around Brexit, means we can never ever be offered left wing policies again. But 2015, which was a straight verdict on right wing Labour in some of the most favourable circumstances imaginable – including many of the same people we are currently being offered – does not mean we can never be offered centre right Labour again.

          We saw in 2015 how popular that was with the electorate. As at today, the Tories’ unpopularity is sufficient to overcome that loathing of a right wing Labour offering. But when it comes to actually voting, I could see millions of former Labour voters thinking “what’s the point?” and just not bothering to vote.

          I really hope that the outcome of the next election is a hung Parliament. It’s the least worst option. If Labour wins a majority, we get five years of terrible policies while the country gets rapidly worse, followed by a choice of more of the same or something even more awful.

          • U Watt


            The most influential of them is the ubiquitous James Meadway, promoted by Novara, New Statesman etc as the preeminent economic thinker of the Left. He is claiming a Starmer govt would be economically to the left of Corbyn-McDonnell, despite Starmer’s candidate selection excluding anyone to the left of Lord Mandelson. James is well known to be employed by a thinktank owned by a Starmer-Owen Smith donor yet has regardless convinced many of the usual suspects in the media left. Talking of whom, Owen Jones and Michael Walker are already suggesting anything but a vote for Starmer would constitute a callous abandonment of the poorest in society. Ash Sarkar has gone so far as to call people out onto the streets to demand a general election. Paul Mason I hardly need mention and once you get beyond that lot who else is there?

        • U Watt

          Momentum founder Jon Lansman says left wingers who don’t vote for Starmer are “batsh*t crazy” and have “no place in serious politics”. A few days ago he praised the rightwing Jewish Labour Movement as “non-factional” and told them that Corbyn “has a blind spot” on antisemitism and that the oh Jeremy Corbyn chant made him “cringe”.

          • Ultraviolet

            Lansman had jumped the shark before Corbyn stood down. Paul Mason was also long regarded as a fairweather friend. Owen Jones turned against Corbyn before 2019.

            Those who say a vote for anything other than Labour, letting the Tories in, would be bad for the poorest in the country, I get that. I strongly disagree. Endorsing Labour’s shift to the right would simply postpone indefinitely the prospect of ever getting the policies the poorest in this country need. But I understand why they argue that, given just how bad the blue Tories are.

          • U Watt

            Aaron Bastani is another who claimed antisemitism was absolutely “endemic” among Corbyn-supporting Labour members and regularly praises Starmer as a very able, clever politician. Like Owen, Ash & the gang he dismisses anybody to his left as “cranks”.

            The so-called Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs are silent on every abuse and libel by Sir Keir and his media outriders.

            Think I’ve now gone through virtually all the most prominent and influential figures of the Corbyn era.

  • d w

    Given the state of the movement and in particular Sturgeon and her cronies isn’t it time for Alex to start talking? He must know where the bodies are buried. (Though perhaps not their gender..)

    • Goose

      Gender dysphoria is real and no doubt a source of great anxiety for some.

      But it’s hard to escape the feeling the SNP have chosen this particular issue, because the woke agenda and virtue signalling are relatively safe political ground for a Holyrood – Westminster standoff, at least from the SNP’s perspective. All UK political parties, the UK civil service and agencies have adopted stringent anti-discrimination measures. Woke royals are desperate to be seen eschewing all discrimination too. So this artificial, deliberately created confrontation on such safe ground, is actually quite cowardly really.
      The SNP could have become a much more problematic thorn in the side of the UK govt, if they had a genuinely brave leader. For example, over nonstop escalation – seemingly without end – in Ukraine. It’s hard to believe that were Alex Salmond still leading the SNP at Westminster, he wouldn’t be standing up at PMQs demanding a proper answers and a full debate. The cross-party pro-war consensus at Westminster, eschewing diplomacy, is how we could find ourselves in WW3, with everyone wondering how we’ve arrived there.

      This from a German left-wing MP, Sevim Dagdelen, who is a Member of the German Bundestag since 2005. She is the spokeswoman for the Left Party parliamentary group on the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and a deputy member of the Defence Committee:

      “…those now promoting the path to war with ever more, ever heavier weapons, sparing no thought for the costs, are the expression of a veritably apocalyptic mood in our society which no longer believes in real social progress and is being swept along by a destructive oligarchisation in the economic and political spheres while masses of people slip into poverty.

      But anyone who is really interested in defending democracy in Germany cannot leave the stage to the mouthpieces of a bored bourgeoisie just because they are afraid to be derided as stooges of the enemy. That is what happened in the First World War, and it must not happen again. We must do all we can to put a spanner in the works for Germany’s warmongers.”

      • Goose

        This is from an article in the independent newspaper, deployed in 2014, arguing against Scottish independence in the then upcoming referendum:

        “Ukraine’s divisions still run as deep as the Dnieper. If you credit a range of polls, support for the anti-government demonstrations since the abrogation of an EU co-operation deal on 21 November has stayed at or just under 50 per cent. Backing for the Yanukovych camp has hovered around, or just above, 40 per cent. In some parts of the west, fewer than 15 per cent wish to toe the Russian line; in the east, it’s a mirror image – with comparable figures.”

        Compare this honesty to the level of suppression now about Ukraine’s divisions in the same newspaper (online). Then they wonder why folks don’t trust the MSM.

  • Brian Watson

    Delicious irony indeed, if trans activists get seriously behind the push to independence . Keep throwing light on contradiction and non sequitur.

  • Great Boo

    If it wasn’t for your article there is no scientifically possible way that I would ever get to hear about any of this story. So thanks for that.

  • Republicofscotland

    The unamended GRRB wasn’t in the SNPs most recent Holyrood election manifesto, nor was it in their leaflets for that election, many polls have shown that a majority of the Scottish public don’t want the unamended GRRB, yet Sturgeon persisted with it, as you rightly say she had the die-hard unionist Lord Advocate refer the indy bill (whether or not Holyrood had the competence to hold an indyref) to the 2009 UKSC, yet she would never do that with her precious unamended GRRB.

    I think Sturgeon may start dangling the indy carrot again not because she wants Scottish independence but to make sure she gets as many SNP MP bums on seats in the HoC as possible come the next GE, as she will use the grievance of the S35 and Alister Jack as a clarion call to the indy masses.

    Many indy minded folk are now aware of what Sturgeon is up to on the indyfront, and whilst she is the FM they will not vote for the SNP, others have already pledged to never vote SNP again, citing the spineless and gutless MSPs who’ve in the most part gone along with what Sturgeon is pushing, a kind of Three Wise Monkeys approach.

    The likes of Pete Wishart who has had twenty-years in the HoC, and he has accomplished very little bar announcing that he wanted to be Speaker, the rest of the SNP MPs have settled in for the long haul to further their careers, the likes of Stewart McDonald are active Whitehall puppets of the worst kind.

    This leaves the Alba party and we can only hope they pick up seats at Westminster and if Sturgeon has destroyed Scotland by then, seats at the 2026 Holyrood elections.

  • El Dee

    Maybe you could explain, because no one else has, how the act is in conflict with UK law. Despite all the reporting on this no one has actually said WHY this is the case. Please, this is a genuine question, I’d like to understand the issue and I can’t be the only one..

    • Ultraviolet

      Apparently the argument is that a Scottish gender recognition certificate would put the recipient in a different position in the rest of the UK under our Equalities Act from a trans person from outside Scotland.

      The flaw with this argument is that the UK accepts gender recognition certificates on the same basis from numerous other countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Switzerland and Uruguay, with Spain to be shortly added, then Germany.

      I don’t see how you can accept GRCs from such a wide range of other countries, but have a problem with one from Scotland.

      • Sidewinder

        You’re joking right? The difference is that none of those other countries are part of the UK. Of course were Scotland to be independent then this wouldn’t apply, and that is precisely what Craig has written about, and why the trans supporters around the leadership of the SNP are now desperate, apparently, for an independent Scotland. It’s in the article. For the others: there are many places on the web for the in-depth argument about non-compatibility. Some – I’m sure not you – refuse to look at them because they regard them as not supportive and therefore “transphobic”. Unfortunately for them slinging these insults around during a law case is not going to help.

      • Jimmeh

        I suppose the fear is that perverted biological men from England might go to Scotland, get a certificate, then start demanding access to places that in England are reserved for biological women.

  • DiggerUK

    “Logic often appears in short supply in politics” sez our host. And then shows how especially true that is in the world of historians, former ambassadors and human rights activists.

    An acknowledgement that gender poppycock is not popular doesn’t even try to reveal why that is so.
    The answer to that is simple, The Gender Recognition Act is a Baker Bill of bad legislation that makes gender and sex into homogenised gobbledygook.
    Sex and gender don’t even come under the same academic disciplines; one is subject to Social Science, the other comes under the umbrella of the Biological Sciences. Anybody accepting that sex is synonymous with gender denies scientific understanding; it’s beyond parody.

    To further claim that the gender wars are hindering progress on independence is clutching at straws: the simple truth is that there is no discernible majority in support for independence among SCOTTISH CITIZENS…_

      • DiggerUK

        Iron Ic,
        Most Indyref polls swing either side of 50%. Legally, a simple majority is enough.

        But only a fool would ignore the possible consequences of a nationalist 50% + 1. Whereas the consequences of a substantial majority would be entirely different. There is no overwhelming majority of citizens in Scotland for independence.
        Not what Scotnats want to here, but there it is.

        There are unionists in the UK to take into consideration as well as unionists in Scotland, you will not get a beneficial and peaceful independent Scotland if you turn round and just say “tough, fuck off if you don’t like the Indy ballot result”.
        Like it or lump it, It’s called the United Kingdom for historical reasons. Kingdoms come and go, for now live with that fact.
        Any half decent ex ambassador could, and should, tell you that…_

  • Chris Downie

    The old adage that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” rings true here, but many of us (Craig included) were saying this as far back as 2016. The moment the EEA/EFTA option was rejected in Parliament, the SNP leadership should have exercised their cast-iron mandate to pursue a second referendum. Instead, it was left to honest grassroots independence supporters like Martin Keating to do what Sturgeon never did – despite multiple subsequent mandates – and pursue the matter legally.

    The years since 2016 have only served to demoralise a huge grassroots campaign with insulting Krankie Karrots when an election looms, while Scotland is no closer to independence now than in 2014. That this is true, despite every open goal conceivable and every perfect storm imaginable, amidst a backdrop of the most unpopular and inept Tory governments ever, says it all about her legacy. Unbelievable.

    • Great Boo

      Lord Acton’s famous statement is false, and it’s important to recognise this. It simply isn’t true that everyone is nice until they attain power, at which point the power corrupts them.
      Tony Blair was and is a deeply evil man. I personally remember watching TV footage of him sitting in jeans and a jumper at an iron table in his garden in Islington in 1997 writing out with pen on paper his promises to the British people. Was he a nice man then, only to turn evil because power corrupted him? What nonsense. It’s also nonsense to claim that Nicola Sturgeon was a sweetheart until power corrupted her.
      In fact, the Anglo Saxons got it right, where Lord Acton got it wrong. They had a proverb, which said:
      Man deþ swá hé buþ þonne hé mót swá hé wile.
      Literal translation: Man does what he is when he may what he wills.
      Or: You show who you really are when you can do what you like and get away with it.
      This is the point: Power exposes. It doesn’t corrupt.

      • Roger

        Lord Acton’s famous statement is false, and it’s important to recognise this. It simply isn’t true that everyone is nice until they attain power, at which point the power corrupts them.

        Straw-man argument. The saying does not assert that “everyone is nice until they attain power”. Obviously there are people who are nasty from the start. The saying asserts that those people who are nice at the start tend to get corrupted. From my observation (including of myself) over a long career before retirement, I think it is true. (Also, as Bayard pointed out, it’s “tends to corrupt” – some people resist corruption.)

  • FranzB

    CM – “The end for Roman Emperors generally came when their Praetorian Guards turned against them”

    Not to worry, Nicola is making new friends:-

    According to the article, “SNP members have also voted overwhelmingly against freeports at their own conference”. Surely, it can’t be true that Nicola is ignoring a conference resolution.

    The author’s blog is at

  • Cynicus

    An outstanding analysis even by Craig’s high standards. But he has one small error: “We have the appointment of a Lord Advocate on the basis that being the first female in this key role…”

    Not so. The first was Eilish Angiolini, installed as Lord Advocate on 12 October 2006.

    Homer nodded.

  • Iron Ic

    “I have never understood why there was this correlation between trans rights and gradualism. I was one of the very few individuals you could point to who both supported trans rights and supported urgent Independence now.

    Until now.

    Suddenly Nicola’s shock troops, the trans activists who have dominated the SNP and Green parties, see Independence as urgent, following Westminster’s veto of Gender Recognition Reform.”

    I have reread everything after “Until now.” and whilst I understand the irony, I still fail to see how its content explains “why there was this correlation between trans rights and gradualism”. Perhaps you might elaborate further here?

    • Stevie Boy

      It’s probably the case that all this fuss over the ginger whingers lady boys is just distraction techniques – and it’s working !

    • Ultraviolet

      I think you have misread what Craig was saying there.

      He has said he does not understand the correlation.

      And then, separately, he says he was one of the very few who supported both trans rights and immediate independence, until now.

      “Until now” does not refer to understanding the correlation.

  • Big Jock

    Incredibly insightful Craig! Sturgeon cast adrift the indy supporters some time ago. Her clique of gender obsessed followers, were all she had left. Beware the ides of March. Once they go, she will have nothing.

  • Gerard Coyle

    So in your personal view, allowing males on the sex offenders list access to women’s spaces, contrary to the wishes of the majority of the Scottish people, is “an improvement on the status quo” and “only affects a handful of people”.

    In my personal view you are unfit to be a human rights advocate, or an advocate for how any country should be run. And spare me your “I would have preferred safeguards”, if safeguards were any use, women wouldn’t need women only spaces.

    This article is the last in a series of god-awful excrement which I have been holding my nose against due to some appreciation of your previous work. I am now no longer willing to waste either my time or money on supporting this site, have cancelled my subscription and will not be visiting it again for any reason.

    • Susan

      Well said Gerald Coyle. Gender ideology us absolute nonsense on a par with flat Earth. 2 sexes, male and female, sex is immutable in humans and no-one is born inthe wrong body. That’s basic biological FACT.

      • Ultraviolet

        It’s also “basic biological fact” that men can only have sex with women, and that therefore homosexuality doesn’t exist.

        Except that’s bollocks.

        People can’t be born hermaphrodite. Except for those that are. People cannot be born with three nipples. Except for those that are. Every single day we see people born with all sorts of differences from the norm. Why is this particular difference so difficult for you to believe in?

        • Bayard

          “It’s also “basic biological fact” that men can only have sex with women”
          No it isn’t, therefore the rest of your argument is false. It is true that men can only have heterosexual sex with women, but that is a tautology.

    • Ultraviolet

      Why do you think that predatory men need a gender recognition certificate to dress up as a woman and enter women-only spaces?

      • Pears Morgaine

        If Scotlands GRB becomes law they won’t have to dress up. Currently a man loitering in a women only space can be legally ejected, if this law is passed that will no longer be possible if he ‘self-identifies’ as a woman. There are, sadly, many more sex offenders than genuine trans people so statistically any bloke wandering around a female changing room is more likely to be a pervert.

        • craig Post author

          But it depends what they are doing in the changing room. All of the behaviours people are afraid of would remain illegal with a GRC. It doesn’t entitle you to molest, assault, harass or deliberately flaunt yourself, including in a changing room.

          • Roger

            But Craig, the law doesn’t protect anybody; it merely enables punishment after the fact. Of course a GRC is not a permit to molest, but it does facilitate illegal behaviours. Just as a law that prohibited door locks wouldn’t de-criminalise burglary, but would make it easier to burgle.

            I’m not a woman but I’m old enough to understand that some women want to be assured that a changing-room is for biological women only. They feel it would be an unacceptable invasion of their privacy if a biological male, a stranger, came into the women’s changing-room and saw them undressing. I think their feeling should be respected.

          • Pears Morgaine

            I see you have four children Craig are any of them girls? Come to that how would you feel if Nadira had to share the female changing room at the local sports centre with a naked man who walked around with a erection? Then when she and others complained was told there was nothing anyone could do because he self-identified as a woman and they were made to feel at fault for being trans-phobic and bigots… Right up until the time the man was arrested and discovered to be a serial sex offender who was already on the register. This is not a hypothetical situation it happened in the US not so long ago and there are probably many similar cases going undetected.

          • craig Post author

            Pears Morgaine a person wandering around a women’s changing room flaunting an erection would be committing a criminal offence whether or not they had a GRC. It does not magic away the criminal law.

            And since you ask, my daughter like most of her generation is entirely in support of trans rights, much more vociferously than I am.

    • craig Post author

      You should discuss it with Kimpatsu above who thinks this article shows me to be a transphobe. The fanatic obsessives on both sides of this debate are impossible to speak to.

    • Vivian O’Blivion

      By taking this position, you’re doing exactly what the Permanent State wants you to do.
      Identity Politics in the Permanent State’s preferred instrument of Distraction, Diversion & Division.
      Allow for differences of opinion. By all means, reject the true extremes at either end of the spectrum.
      Avoid being played by the elitist cnuts.

  • ET

    Ireland has had a similar gender rocognition act since 2015. Above is a link to the annual report from 2021 (the latest I can find).
    If you go the section 4 on Eligibility and Applications you will see various tables breaking down the numbers and age ranges of people registered. The total number of people who registered SINCE 2015 is 549, a little more than 78 people per year, approx half female and half male registrations. By far the largest number are in the 18-30 age group with 9 total in the 16-17 age group over the seven years since the legislation was enacted. The population of Ireland being 5.5 million, roughly comparable to Scotland (ish). Both are relatively small populations.

    In my opinion, the very small numbers seen in Ireland would be reflected in the Scottish case also. Mountains and mole hills come to mind. I think it’s pertinent to draw attention to the fact that half of the people seeking gender recognition are people wishing to be recognised as male. It’s not just about males wishing to be recognised as female. And the proportion of 16-17 years olds is very small.

  • Johnny Conspiranoid

    If different genders can occur naturally and healthily in different types of body how can you say that a certain gender belongs in a certain type of body? If you alter the body to another type how do you know that the new type is the right type?
    Then there is the question of whether surgery can alter a body to another sex with any more success than it would have altering a body to another species.

  • Jules Orr

    Thanks. I’d been baffled at what she thought she gained from this politically. I do find compelling your explanation that she introduced it as a cynical wedge issue to drive independence supporters out of the SNP.. Checks out based on everything we know.

  • Ewan McTeagle

    Check out the latest thread – A Better Offer – on WingsOverScotland. It’s dominated by comments about Craig Murray and his views of trans rights. Most commenters disagree with him on trans rights (hardly a surprise given Stu Campbell’s stance), with some saying they don’t trust him any more for that reason. But many comments express respect and admiration for his contribution to the independence cause and his courage. Worth a read.

  • Alf Baird

    A very reasoned analysis, Craig.

    Gender identity ideology clearly comes from somewhere other than Scotland and some appear to point to the USA as source. It is being imposed here much as it is in numerous other western countries governed it seems mainly by woke (naïve?) political leadership taken in by dubious ‘science’.

    Postcolonial theory highlights the critical importance of the national identity of a people (and their national languages) in seeking to maintain or recover national sovereignty. One way to remove a peoples sovereignty, or diminish their desire to secure it, is to alter their identity. In colonialism the change in national identity was/is achieved through the processes of ‘cultural imperialism’ and ‘cultural assimilation’, and especially the imposition of another language and with that the marginalisation/removal of the native tongue.

    This creates in a people what Prof Tom Devine called a confused ‘dual persona’ (e.g. British and Scottish), whilst the language expert Dr. David Purves referred to it as a ‘false persona’ applying to Scots language speakers; the great Scots folk singer Dick Gaughan described a British identity (which is dependent on the English language/culture) for Scots as ‘a cultural illusion’.

    Interestingly, one of the academics appointed to the Scottish Governments Expert Group on Gender identity ideology appears to be an expert on genocide. In that regard there may be a possible linkage between enforcement of gender identity ideology and the removal or weakening of national identity. Gender identity ideology therefore appears to add an ‘innovative’ new potential dimension to neocolonialism and with that the weakening or even removal of national identity/national sovereignty.

    Reference is made to gender ideology as ‘a new culture war’ (or another ‘cultural illusion’?), but its real purpose may not be as some think, i.e. to protect the rights of a minority. As Frantz Fanon said: “Independence is a fight for a national culture” in which national identity and national consciousness is paramount, whereas gender identity ideology appears to be a diversion and may represent a potential threat to national identity/national sovereignty, its real aim being to strengthen the neocolonial order.

    • Iron Ic

      Oh yes, because Wastemonster isn’t transphobic in the slightest…
      Never mind that those in the UK with the closest legitimate claim to the identity of “British” are not the English but the Welsh…

  • Crispa

    Scotland has often been ahead of the game in progressive law making – juvenile offending, mental incapacity come to mind. My bet is that this law will be adopted sooner or later more or less by the rest of the UK, and might even be a better piece of legislation for having to go through a bicameral process. This of course will not help the cause of Scottish independence, but will only go to show how well the UK works together.

    • zoot

      so in the week sunak and starmer demand scottish legislation be ignored or overturned you’re celebrating the opposite of reality
      ….. ” look! westminster has embraced this legislation too! that proves how great the UK is, so shut up about independence will ya! “

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