A GUEST POST BY LORNA CAMPBELL

THE LEGAL FIGHT-BACK IN SCOTLAND BEGINS

IAIN Lawson’s blog is full of information and facts on many topics, not least independence, and it has also shown support for Scottish women’s plight under the onslaught of the GRA Reform legislation that has been put to one side for now, but which is certain to make its appearance again after the 2021 Scottish election, especially if there is a large win for the SNP.

As most people who are avid blog followers know, but, as much of the wider population of Scotland does not appear to know, there is now a serious threat to women’s very existence from the proposed GRA reform and ‘hate crime’ legislation, which may seem as if they have been set aside, but that is actually far from the case, and a big win for the SNP, in 2021, will almost certainly see them revived with a vengeance 

I have little doubt that many people will have read something about these issues but not joined up the dots, as it were.  Like many, I initially had the greatest sympathy with, and empathy for, trans people’s predicament, and I still do in so far as their being able to live their lives in peace and safety, as they choose, is concerned.  I cannot see how that is incompatible with women’s sex-based spaces and rights being preserved and respected; without opening up the debate, however,women will lose the ground they have gained over a hundred years of concerted campaigning and effort.

What is happening now does not simply involve trans people in gaining an extension to their pre-existing 2004 GRA Act rights, but can do no other than cancel out women’s sex-based spaces and rights if the erosion of the terms of the 2010 Equality Act continues apace.  Women’s sex-based spaces and rights rest on the undeniable fact of women’s historical oppression having been centred on their sex, precisely because they are biological women.  This fact is incompatible with a redefinition of ‘women’ to include biological males. 

The women’s website, forwomen.scot is carrying a Crowd Justicepage where members of the public and members of the group may pledge whatever they can afford to help pay for a court case to be held next month.  The mission statement is as follows:

“… We are challenging the Scottish Ministers over the redefinition of “woman” in the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 which we believe is outside the legislative competency of the Scottish Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998 and in contravention of the Scottish Ministers’ duties under equality legislation… The new definition includes some men, while, remarkably, excluding some women. This cannot be allowed to stand… The Equality Act 2010 states that a woman is “a female of any age” and maintaining this definition is key to maintaining women’s rights and protections in law… 

————————————

“… We are concerned about the consequences of these proposals to our sex based legal rights and protections.  Many organisations are acting as though it is already law, bringing in policies that encourage men to enter women’s and girls’ spaces.  Examples include hospital wards, refuges, toilets, changing rooms, school and girl guide overnight accommodation, hostels, university rooms, and prisons.  Medical treatment and research, crime statistics, programmes for women in politics and STEM subjects, and women’s sports are also adversely affected… We believe: – sex is immutable and is a protected characteristic;
– women are entitled to privacy, dignity, safety and fairness;
– women’s rights should be strengthened… “

……………………………………

Anyone who can pledge even a small and modest amount will be doing a great service to women in Scotland because this court case will open up the issue as never before and force debate in what is an extremely contentious area of law.  The website states:

“… Although disappointed the matter could not be resolved informally, For Women Scotland have instructed solicitors Balfour + Manson to lodge a petition to proceed with a judicial review. This has now been registered and accepted by the 

Court of Session… “

Lorna Campbell

IMPORTANT NOTICE

I am advised the links to the crowdfunding page is not working. Suggest you Google For Women crowdfunder and donate there.

20 thoughts on “A GUEST POST BY LORNA CAMPBELL

  1. I’ve “complained” out loud about this before but I don’t see links to forwomen.scot nearly often enough. I know publishing a blog is a lot of work, just ask Iain, but just reminding people on a regular basis that the organisation exists, that the crowdfunder exists is very important. I know this seems like a lot of repetition but you need to catch people when they are open and likely to take action on what you say. Even on Wings Over Scotland where the audience is pretty overwhelmingly in your favour the group does not seem to take advantage of that to spread the message.

    Anyways, thanks for all that you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That the GRA and Hate Crime Bill have been put on the back burner for the purpose of the election is duplicitous. The current coterie of power know fine well that public opinion is against them and it is an arrogance for those currently in control of policy to assume that once re-elected the currently sidelined unpopular legislation will then be brought back.

    But that is exactly what is being done. Abusing the selection system to stuff constituencies with Woke candidates, misleading the public as to intention. And then when re-elected, put the widely detested policies back in place.

    I suspect that were the general public, the voting public, to realise this, absolutely irreparable damage could be done to the SNPs election prospects. Yes there may now be a majority in favour of independence but the realisation of the currently disguised commitment to GRA and the Hate Crime Bill could engender the electoral prospect of ‘ anyone else than the SNP”

    Wokeism is the policy of the madhouse, and we ignore it’s electoral unpopularity at our peril. Jobs, the economy, prosperity, austerity, opportunity, independence, there is more, much more than the right of a man to go into the women or girls toilet.

    And so, as a relatively small band of SNP members from 12.00 noon onwards today get their opportunity to vote on who they want to stand in their constituencies at the next election they need to consider very carefully who they actually want that to be.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am in agreement with everything you say. Although I have been an SNP member for more years than I care to remember, I am not at all up on process and procedures. If, as I understand it, the NEC GRA contingent are making the running, the first thing to do is vote them out.

    To do this the rank and file need names and procedures to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We can be fairly certain , though the general public may not be aware of all this at the moment , come March/April there will be a MSM onslaught of negative headlines , front pages and articles on it timed to cause maximum damage . Let’s hope some much-needed sanity has been restored by then . Thanks for the article and your general good sense and intelligent commentary Lorna

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right, there is so much the press could publish right now and it is clear they are holding it back to undermine the SNP in the Holyrood election. It will a daily onslaught by the like of the Mail.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Yes, the GRA and Hate Crime positions are not electorally popular and unless we take steps now we’ll be sitting ducks come the lead up to the election.

    We need to choose our candidates, our policies wisely.

    And below, article about Cunninghame North now in Special Measures following complaint by leadership favourite cousin of Humza Yousaf who as Osama Butta and previously called Osama Bhutta, is challenging the sitting long term MSP Kenny Gibson.

    https://www.ardrossanherald.com/news/18811259.local-snp-special-measures-accusations/

    Liked by 2 people

  6. To the relief of tens of thousands of children across Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has declared Santa to be a key worker!

    Speaking directly at the daily briefing Surgeon reassured children that despite National Clinical Director advising Scots to prepare for a digital Christmas, Santa was not going to be locked down from delivering presents.

    Now some may say that the daily briefing on the Coronavirus is political spin but this announcement, shows that it is no spin at all.

    Flying from house to house, on a sled pulled by reindeers and elves,
    climbing down chimneys, delivering presents, partaking of the drink left for him, I too am reassured. You’d have to be very brave to shut down Santa.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Lorna. I was heartened to read about the legal challenge by forwomen.scot at Wings Over Scotland and donated this morning. They are fighting the good fight and the very best of luck to them. The SNP are playing some very dangerous and stupid games, silencing all and any serious legitimate concerns about this and everything else being revealed by Ian’s blog and Wings Over Scotland.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I hope that some readers of Iain’s blog will put this on Facebook and get it out there, and that many will pledge whatever they can. This case will be a test case, and it will have implications and ramifications for all areas of women’s lives that will gradually come under threat if these legislative policies are allowed to pass unchallenged.

    Women are now just as likely as men to vote for independence, but a set-back to their lives, as threatened by this stuff, could affect their decision about where to place their cross in 2021. It is not hysteria. There has been no widespread public debate on these issues, and branches have not been given anything but a one-sided interpretation of what this will mean.

    The implications for all areas of women’s lives – women like you out there, women like me, old and young, all colours and creeds, will be enormous and could, in a worst-case scenario, lead to women disappearing from sport, from boards, from women’s prize lists, from business awards, from hitherto female, sex-based jobs…

    No one wants to see genuine trans people being discriminated against and hurt, and there is no reason why they should be: destroying women’s spaces and rights is not the answer. It is the wholesale redefinition of ‘woman’ that is the ultimate problem, and the legal implications of self-ID without restriction. Please donate, if you can. ForWomen Scotland are working for you, your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters…and they are determined to halt the onward march of legislation that is damaging to them, and the men in our lives are part of this challenge, too. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Lorna,

    Everything you are saying here is true. It would also be great if you could obtain a guest spot regarding having the treaty of union sounded in the International court of justice in order to get that out to others. We need to push for the quickest route out of this union and we can’t risk another referendum with a wide-open franchise and constant interference from England.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not a constitutional lawyer or international lawyer, Bailey, although I have done a lot of research on the Treaty and its implications. I have always said I’d be happy to do the donkey work if a constitutional lawyer would undertake to make a case, in international law, out of its breaching, and, preferably, pro bono. That would have to be a constitutional lawyer who also believes in independence, of course, or would be neutral. I think that it would need a constitutional lawyer to talk about it deftly, honestly and in sound international legal terms. Often, the best place to start is the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, where many interesting and sound articles on Scotland’s laws are to be found. It is a while ago now, but two very eminent constitutional/international lawyers – the late Professor David Walker and Professor Ian Campbell – absolutely wiped the floor with the Crawford and Boyle Report, commissioned by David Cameron in 2013, just prior to the 2014 referendum, and in order to destroy our hopes of remaining in the EU on independence. Both of them were of the opinion that the Treaty was wrongly interpreted by the English MPs of 1707, and that any renegotiation (lately proffered by the HoL) of the Treaty should be a matter of great concern and carefulness by Scotland. If they were/are correct, that would mean that much of what we take for law is actually ultra vires (unlawful) because Scotland proper, legal position as a partner in the Union has not been acknowledged adequately by England and her representatives in any age up to, and including, the present. Neither man was/is a nationalist, I think, but that does not matter. I am sure there must be someone in one of our universities who would undertake such a task for the sheer pleasure of it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. All of which makes the current SNP’s monomaniacal insistence of the S30 route even more baffling – there are clearly other options and , as you have argued previously , the numerous instances of UK State’s bad faith regarding the actual requirements of ToU – Brexit being the most glaring , are sufficient grounds in themselves . I do think to have unquestionable legitamacy to proceed on such a basis would require an electoral Pro-Independence majority , as , if that can’t be demonstrated the accusation would follow of a minority imposing it’s will on the majority . This is why it’s probably no exagerration to consider the next H.E the most important in our history

        Like

  10. I think it is appropriate to repeat Barrhead boys comment – of the following 3 policies which do you think will be dropped by the SNP after the 2021 election – GRA, Hate Crime, Independence Referendum.

    I know what I think and it ain’t the first two.

    Like

  11. Does it seem a reasonable bet that the SNP are pushing GRA and Hate Crime in order to make sure they don’t get an absolute majority at the next election? It would then save them from pushing for independence. They are certainly losing votes. I feel they are no longer interested in independence, or that when we do get it the Scottish Govt. will be run by the London establishment – maybe via the “Scottish” Civil Service. Anybody remember “Yes, Minister”?

    Like

  12. Hi Lorna,

    Thank you for promoting this – I had forgotten to contribute when I first saw it, so it was a good reminder.

    The links in your article don’t work though – the website goes to email, and the crowdjustice link goes to page not found.

    Here is the link for their website – and the link to the crowdjustice page is there on the main page:

    https://forwomen.scot

    Liked by 1 person

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