SEX AND GENDER: A REQUEST FOR CLARITY

I’ve just sent the following letter by email to SNP Councillor Mhairi Hunter who is, I understand, a close confidante of the First Minister. I’ll let readers of this blog know if I get a response, which I promise to publish here in full.

Dear Ms Hunter

I have been reading with interest your tweets about the terms “sex” and “gender” being interchangeable in Scots law. I have also been interested in your view that people with no qualifications in a subject should defer to those who have such qualifications.

I am a Scottish solicitor advocate and you, as far as I know, have no legal qualifications. However, I dislike the kind of “ex cathedra” arguments you have been making and so I won’t advance your own argument that you should defer to me on this subject.

Rather, I am genuinely curious to understand how you arrive at your conclusion about “sex” and “gender” being interchangeable in the laws currently being enacted or proposed by the Scottish Government. I am more than happy to have my legal education furthered by you on the subject.

For example, here is a very short passage from the Scottish Government’s own account of the legal issues arising in its proposed reforms of the Gender Reform Act 2004 (GRA):

“Trans people

“What does transgender or trans mean?

“These are terms used to describe people who find that their gender identity does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.

“A trans person feels, very strongly, that their day to day identity does not match what it says on their birth certificate. Since the Gender Recognition Act 2004 came into force, trans people have been able to obtain a gender recognition certificate by applying to the Gender Recognition Panel.

“These are terms used to describe people who find that their gender identity does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.

“A non-binary person does not identify as a man or a woman but has a gender identity.”

As I understand your proposition, and that of the Scottish Government, this passage would have identical meaning if the wording of both the legislative provisions and the commentary on them had substituted “sex” for “gender” throughout as follows:

“Trans people

“What does transsexual or trans mean?

“These are terms used to describe people who find that their sex identity does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.

“A trans person feels, very strongly, that their day to day identity does not match what it says on their birth certificate. Since the Sex Recognition Act 2004 came into force, trans people have been able to obtain a sex recognition certificate by applying to the Sex Recognition Panel.

“These are terms used to describe people who find that their sex identity does not correspond with the sex they were assigned at birth.

“A non-binary person does not identify as a man or a woman but has a sex identity.”

It seems to me that there are numerous ways in which these passages are not identical in meaning, either as a matter of law or as a matter of common sense. To take just the most obvious example, I am struggling to understand which of the two sexes — male or female — the “sex identity” of a “non-binary person” would be.

I’d be very grateful if you could enlighten me.

Kind regards

Gordon Dangerfield

UPDATE:

I’ve received the following reply pretty much straight away from Mhairi Hunter. I guess I’ll have to answer my own question — see the Further Update below. (Spoiler alert: the Cabinet Secretary is quite wrong in her advice to Ms Hunter.)

Dear Gordon

My point was that changing the word gender to sex in the amendment that was being discussed does not change the law and that was confirmed by the Cabinet Secretary.

Regards

Mhairi

Councillor Mhairi Hunter

FURTHER UPDATE:

The present law which is the subject of the Lamont amendment is set out in section 9(2) of the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014, which is in these terms:

“Before a medical examination of the person in relation to the complaint is carried out by a registered medical practitioner in pursuance of section 31 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, the constable must give the person an opportunity to request that any such medical examination be carried out by a registered medical practitioner of a gender specified by the person” (my emphasis).

Two amendments in the Bill prior to the Lamont amendment change section 9(2) to this:

“Before a medical examination of the person is carried out by a registered medical practitioner the person must be given an opportunity to request that any such medical examination be carried out by a registered medical practitioner of a gender specified by the person” (my emphasis).

If anyone reading this can’t see how that is a change in the present law, then I really can’t help them.

The Lamont amendment then changes the already amended section 9(2) to this:

“Before a medical examination of the person is carried out by a registered medical practitioner the person must be given an opportunity to request that any such medical examination be carried out by a registered medical practitioner of a sex specified by the person” (my emphasis).

If anyone reading this can’t see how that is a change in the present law, then I really, really can’t help them.

42 thoughts on “SEX AND GENDER: A REQUEST FOR CLARITY

    1. I wonder why Mhairi thinks that wee word ‘sex does not change anything? Up to a point she is right, the bill has passed & now there HAS to be a Self Referal Service provided by every LA. However it will be interesting to see if any Self IDing TW apply:
      ‘We also have 20 priority places on a new important postgraduate qualification in advanced forensic practice at Queen Margaret University. The course begins next month’
      https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=13005&i=117598

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many thanks, SNS.

        TenaciousV, you make a very important point. We should all be keeping the pressure up for recruitment of enough examiners of the female sex so that the legal right to request a same sex examination can become a legal right to demand one, just as soon as possible.

        I have to admit that I’d just assumed, as I’m sure many people did, that the right to a same sex examination for rape victims had been guaranteed long ago.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The problem is not the availability of training courses it is that the work of a forensic medical examiner is unpleasant and often involves working unsocial hours with no notice. This is very disruptive of family life and relationships the maintenance of which often falls on the women.

        If you work at this you don’t just assist persons who have been raped, you certify the wounds gained in violent assault, you attend murder scenes.

        Back in NZ one of my sisters is a nurse practitioner in adolescent sexual health which includes that role in adolescents who have been sexually assaulted or raped. I don’t understand the Scots Law on the subject to know if nurses could be qualified in this area in Scotland which might help the lack of females in such roles.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Again Gordon, well done. However, if I were you I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on an answer. Mhari Hunter keeps popping up when the leadership needs support or indeed a big hammer, She does not, however, strike me as being the sharpest tool in the box.
    If by some chance she does answer, it will be an interesting one indeed

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      1. This is what a “woman” is, according to the Scottish Government, in their guidance to the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act:

        “… it would be expected that there would be evidence that the person was continuously living as a woman, such as – always using female pronouns; using a female name on official documents such as a driving licence or passport, or on utility bills or bank accounts; using female titles; updating the gender marker to female on official documents such as a driving licence or passport; describing themselves and being described by others in written or other communication as a woman.”

        For Women Scotland are challenging this in an ongoing judicial review and we can only hope that they succeed or Nicola and her clique of reality-deniers will have taken us yet further down the rabbit hole.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I can’t believe they got that one passed, Gordon. By getting anything like this into law, they are setting a precedent – and so thinking the next will be easier? I can still hardly believe they are carrying on with all these things, not only sneaking insidious little changes into laws, but persisting in legislating for things that aren’t popular, and really are against the public’s interest.

        The Scottish government now appears to think it knows what is best for us and will impose it whichever way they can – if it’s not popular, make it a no-debate issue – if no one in their right mind would agree, try and sneak it in without telling anyone.

        They aren’t even trying to change minds, by persuasion or open debate. It’s bullying and telling people to shut up, and emotional blackmail. That just isn’t normal, and they can’t, if in their right minds, think it’s the right thing to do. They say the opposite of what they do all the time now (or did they always, but we never saw it?). Telling us we can’t debate issues that will have profound and lasting, and negative, effects on our lives and society as a whole – and lying about it! Telling us ‘nothing to see here, don’t worry your pretty little heads, it’ll all be fine’.

        The reality is, ‘popular opinion’ isn’t just a kind-of how we all feel nice-to-have, and something that may be taken into consideration if we are lucky: this is OUR country (or should be, rather), the public, the great unwashed, the plebs: this is our country and that is our government representing us, and that popular opinion needs to be the way the country is run – otherwise it’s a dictatorship. A new thing cannot, should not, just be imposed on us.

        I won’t start on the actual ‘gender’ issue – I have a very old degree in biology, and there, unlike law, the words were used interchangeably. But if they redefine the meaning of gender, well, then it doesn’t mean the same thing as sex anymore. One thing I’ll never do though is describe myself as ‘a female’ – mainly because female is an adjective and not a noun (I noticed MSM started using it incorrectly ten years ago or so, interestingly), but I also associate the word with animals and find it mildly derogatory (to be distinguished from putting ‘female’ as a designation on a form, though). Having a man’s ideal stereotyping of femininity imposed on me just because ,,, okay I said I wouldn’t start, I’ll just say I won’t finish then!

        Take it as read I’m absolutely furious about the whole thing. And I am not feminist in any way either.

        For Women Scotland luckily reached over their target funding – and I hope it’s enough, knowing that the Lord Advocate’s sole legal skill is to delay cases long enough to run up costs too high for his opposition (something *really* needs to be done about our legal systems!) – I backed the s.30 case right from the start too, and Martin Keating has been fairly open about the ways in which scotgov tried to run it down without presenting any argument for the case. Oh yes, the Lord Advocate is good at unlawful prosecutions, or something, too – can’t be spreading rumours he’s a one-trick pony.

        Anyway, that act needs to be changed – it can’t be allowed to stand, not least because of the knock-on effect from it. Yes, we can only hope the judicial review succeeds.

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  2. Oh that is an excellent letter Gordon, quite brilliant in its simplicity and elegance.

    The reply you’ve received is just as, as, there is a word for it, as everything she seems to say these days. So, they are changing a law, but that won’t change the law? The words are interchangeable but they aren’t interchangeable except when we tell you they are interchangeable. Just as ‘1984’ as everything else she says? Is that the word?

    I was very relieved to hear Lamont’s amendment passed by a huge majority – and interesting that the Scottish government CAN be influenced by a solid block of rebellious SNP MSPs.

    I have started wondering though, how many other pieces of legislation have they managed to sneakily slip ‘gender’ into over the years? Everyone us alert to it now, but their legal advice doesn’t seem to pick up on it, so how many other laws have it sneakily slipped in?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Official guidance for serving Police Officers in Police Scotland have quietly removed the protected characteristic of ‘sex’ – this has happened sometime between 2014 and 2020.

      The guidance document, may well be written by Stonewall, or if not their name is throughout as number one influencer on the document.

      As a guidance document – it is, to put it politely – inconsistent.

      Advice on words and phrases which are now prohibited, frowned upon, or acceptable is within (this would be useful, if consistent).

      The term ‘biological sex’ is either prohibited or frowned upon (can’t recall which) – as it can lead to ‘dead naming’.

      The word ‘homosexual’ is frowned upon – as in years gone by the word was used in a derogatory manner sometimes towards gay men.

      The word ‘lesbian’ is fine – because gay women NEVER suffer any type of derogatory name calling or discrimination.

      From any type of legal perspective – it is unworkable bonkers.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Daisy, I so loved this statement from a woman on Twitter a while back that I copied it out and kept it:

        “I don’t think, act, or feel like a woman. I exist in a female body. I don’t assert, identify, or define myself as a woman. I exist in a female body. I don’t have womanly likes or dislikes. I exist in a female body. I don’t present myself as a woman. I exist in a female body.”

        Says it all, I think.

        Liked by 5 people

    2. Unworkable and bonkers about covers every aspect, Daisy. That they, all institutions, have been sneaking in guidelines, rules and laws that undermine nearly all rights women have worked and fought for, for years now,,, well, it’s depressing, it’s taking us backwards as a society, not forwards.

      Gordon – women are having to fight again just to keep what we already have, and that’s not progress, all because we have someone in charge that subscribes to a bonkers cult-like belief system – hah, and we thought ourselves a secular society – trying to convince everyone what they see isn’t real. But yes, people are becoming aware, and getting organised. Just wait until the majority of women realise the real threat this belief system poses to children – it will be carnage then. It’s still too theoretical for most people though.

      Do you remember the Moonies Gordon? What on earth happened to them? Were there prosecutions, or did it just peter out as a global phenomenon?

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I was very relieved to hear Lamont’s amendment passed by a huge majority – and interesting that the Scottish government CAN be influenced by a solid block of rebellious SNP MSPs…

      I believe it can be influenced Contrary, but not in the way that we would like or hope.

      My take on this is that the backlash showed the SNP leadership two things – one, that the amendment was certain to pass, and two, that a large and growing number of people are aware of and sick to death of their wokey freakery, to the extent that wokey freaks are now running a serious risk of losing their seats. And if the wokey freaks had voted against the amendment they would have been very clearly and publicly identifying themselves as such.

      The mass vote in favour of the amendment wasn’t any kind of signal that the leadership had had a change of heart. It was purely and simply a cynical ploy to conceal the identities of the wokey freaks, to make it more difficult for the rest of us to get rid of them. If you’ll pardon the expression, they’re thinking that the battle may be lost, but they will win the war…

      And I’m sorry to say that I believe I’m one hundred percent correct on this one.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Unfortunately I agree with you on this David.

        I should have maybe used ‘forced into doing something’ instead of ‘influenced’!

        I’m just looking for some tiny rays of sunshine or sources of mild hopefulness. They are hard to come by these days.

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  3. I have very little in common with Johann Lamont politically – practically nothing – but by heavens she was magnificent in Parliament yesterday. The last time I was that impressed with a Labour MSP’s speech, it was Kezia Dugdale ripping apart Ruth Davidson on the #RapeClause

    Ironically

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you except she gained a modicum of respect from me with her ‘branch office’ jibe on being forced out of the leadership. Surveying the SLAB leaders since none of them come up to her stature.

      I think Ms Lamont would be an asset to IScotland and I hope she stays on and contributes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Muscleguy, the woman who said on TV that Scots are not genetically designed to govern themselves can pissoff as far as I am am concerned. She said that as a party leader in the Scottish Parliament supposedly wanting to be FM of Scotland.

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  4. All the troubles in Scotland right now and those coming our way soon and the Scottish Parliament is having to vote on stuff like changing the word gender to sex in legislation. The SNP have lost the plot under the current leadership.

    Each day the SNP and the Greens make it harder to vote for them – deliberate or just the end result of their silly actions? Hate Bill – yuch. The Salmond persecution shows the slippy road to authoritarianism this gov is on if it is not stopped in its tracks.

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    1. Or as I like to call it, The Everything Humza Hates Bill

      We are being conned into fighting bin fires while blazing away in the background we are about to be torn out EU against our will

      Meanwhile the MSM feed their loyal masses warships and Dame Barbara’s bra pinging off in Carry on Camping

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    2. Agreed Cubby, it’s crazy – it’s a bit like a unionist plot to keep us off-kilter and not give us space and time to organise ourselves on independence issues. But we’ve reminded ourselves of multitasking now, I think.

      When you ask if it’s deliberate or just the consequences of silly actions – maybe it’s a bit of both – no foresight, so no understanding of what the consequences will be, priorities deliberately misstated so they can bring about weirdo social change, subscribing to beliefs that take a priority over the thing they get voted in on, extreme ego inflation from popularity (don’t ask me where the Scottish Greens get their inflated sense of self worth from though) but no awareness that that popularity comes with a cost – and that’s being the thing they pretend to be. Deliberately using and abusing their position, being silly about how they go about it.

      I’m thinking we need a plebiscite at the Holyrood election – I don’t believe a ‘promise’ of a referendum will be good enough now, whoever is in charge (and that would be the only circumstance in which I’d vote for them with NS in charge)( and it wouldn’t be for the SNP, it would be directly for independence).

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      1. Contrary you are spot on with your comment about what the consequences will be. This whole issue boils down to people who are too stupid to understand the law of unforeseen consequences.

        I have seen the argument put forward that fears of allowing trans people into women’s spaces are exaggerated out of all proportion because there are so few trans people that most women are unlikely to ever encounter one.

        That is true as far as it goes. I haven’t the slightest doubt that if you stripped out the cross-dressers, fetishists, attention seekers and people who have something wrong with them, actual trans people in Scotland wouldn’t number more than a few dozen.

        However, there are thousands of perverts – men who get their kicks from frightening women, abusing women, assaulting women or worse. Like me and my mate. We’re at the bottom end of the scale (at least for the time being). If the wokeys get their way, we plan to be constantly popping in and out of women’s toilets and changing rooms, looking for women on their own. When we find one, we’ll leer at her in an unpleasant way, and say “It’s awright hen. Ye’ve absolutely nothin tae worry about. We’re trans, eh no…”

        And what makes it so rewarding is her fear. She has no idea whether we’re actual trans, common or garden perverts, or Fred West and Peter Sutcliffe…

        Anybody who thinks that GRC is the solution to this particular problem is an utter fool. I don’t know what kind of imbecile you would have to be to imagine that a lone woman, confronted by two frightening men in a toilet, is going to start demanding to see their Gender Reassignment Certificates. She’ll just be happy and relieved to get out alive.

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  5. Gordon,

    To let you know; I have bought your book (A Thousand Hearts for anyone that has missed previous references!), diligently πŸ™‚ , but I’m immediately giving it away as a Christmas present to someone more likely to read it sometime soon – I have a stack of books here that are not my usual genre that I still need to read, so it might be years before I get to it – and I trust her judgement on books so can give feedback via her πŸ™‚ . She doesn’t do Amazon, so I can filter out any critical feedback before any review goes on there too πŸ˜‰

    I hope you figure out a way to have a nice relaxed Christmas and new year – everything is so uncertain at the moment it seems like there is awkwardness all round anyway (my family are used to mix and match awkward Christmases so there isn’t that much change for me mind you!), so I reckon it’s about taking a break more than anything. I look forward to your War and Peace-sized article in the new year – I always love the start of a new year, to begin afresh, and we can get laid into sorting out all the woes of the world then πŸ˜€

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  6. Be good to see the Scottish legal system adopting this law….

    From Dimitry Orlov

    Russia just put up another firewall against the madness gripping the West. A new law will effectively block #MeToo by making it #MeTooInJailForLying. It reads:

    “Libel connected with accusing a person of committing a crime against sexual inviolability and sexual freedom of a person or a serious or very serious crime shall be fined up to 5 million rubles or imprisoned for up to 5 years.”

    Recently in the West numerous careers, reputations and lives have been ruined using unproved accusations of sexual impropriety. In Russia such accusations will now bring on an automatic criminal investigation and if the accusations cannot be proven to evidentiary standards used in criminal law then a large fine or a jail term will be imposed.

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  7. Unjustified attempted character assassination needs to be punished. Unless and until there is sanction against this behaviour it will continue as a legalised blood sport. Similarly, the attempts by a micro minority to intimidate the majority is equally unacceptable.

    The law as it stands at present is horrendously imbalanced. The Salmond affair more than shows that. But he is not alone.

    But we live in a country where the rule of law is corrupt and where corruption goes unchecked and unpunished. And yes, the legal fraternity, or at least many, but not all of them , play their part in feeding at the trough.

    Many thanks Mr Dangerfield for the time and effort spent in producing a good and informative blog. Such blogs are a credit to those who do have political and moral decency about them. They also help us all to better understand what is going on around us.

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  8. Harassment committee stuff:

    Well well, apparently Alex Salmond has directly accused Nicola Sturgeon of lying to parliament – this is an archived version of a Herald article saying in a ‘submission to the committee’ he has effectively said she misled parliament – I’m still trying to find the evidence on the committee website (it doesn’t state written submission, but how has the Herald got hold of it if it isn’t published?)

    https://archive.is/b7ZPi

    Hopefully Gordon will have finished re-writing War and Peace soon and we can get some snippets of it to give us insight on the myriad of things that have been happening – and lots of legal actions this month! I guessed at the meaning of ‘intra vires’ btw when I was reading the submission on the s.30 case (yes, I was feeling rather proud of myself) – as in, its the opposite of ‘ultra vires’,,, probably? That’s a constitutional matter though, will be heard on the 21st I think, sounds like a slam dunk. I know that ForWomen.scot are taking the Scottish government to court over the definition of ‘woman’ on the 12th Jan I think, but I haven’t seen any submissions for that. Aiden O’Neill QC must be raking it in these days – as long as he wins the cases, I’ll forgive him.

    Then in criminal court, we had Mark Hirst up on charges, fully aquitted with ‘no case to answer’ – so why was he charged in the first place? We next have Craig Murray in his perjury case for article(s) written ,,, before the Alex Salmond trial? He’s still battling to get the very same elusive evidence that no one is allowed to know exists, or anyone to mention it exists, that Alex Salmond collected before his trial, that the committee would like to see (except they don’t know they’d like to see it, because no one is allowed to mention it exists,,,). It points to a conspiracy allegedly. Thing is, Moorov would surely only apply if there had been no collusion between accusers, and if there was collusion as seems apparent, along with what we know to be SNP heid yins sitting on complaints to be used later, alongside a targeted procedure and investigation, then there must have been a conspiracy – I don’t know what parts of these aren’t a conspiracy when taken together, surely it’s just about how far reaching it is?

    We are supposed to be getting Alex Salmond as witness before the committee before Nicola Sturgeon, I guess they had to have her last on maybe, or is the order of their appearances political? Hm. And I’ve lost the comment by Stuart Campbell now, but he said that Aberdein would not be appearing and he couldn’t say why for legal reasons – but will be getting a FOI on Friday – ah that’s now today- I dunno where the time goes honestly – that should clarify matters. Mysterious.

    Time is short for getting a political,,, refresh, a bit of a clear-out of those too feeble to see us through to independence. The SNP have an assembly thing happening this month too – nicely siloed so they don’t have to make it policy or anything distasteful like that – on routes to independence. Unfortunately I’ve now lost all patience with their dithering – this should have already been done, and I’m not interested in anything except positive outcomes now. Less dithering, more certainty, or they can take a hike.

    Happy New Year everyone by the way, 2021 is going to be an interesting one I reckon, we should keep up the pressure for social, electoral, political and legal justice, any which way we can.

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    1. Nope, that wasn’t it – though an interesting submission, it contained nothing about the ministerial code, but Wings has now published the ‘leaked’ submission that was made to the other inquiry being made by Hamilton on breaches of the Ministerial Code by the First Minister, which is what the newspapers are reporting on apparently:

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/hiroshima-non-amour/

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  9. In the papers listed for the Committee meeting next Tuesday there is a written submission by Alex Salmond. This paper, even though parts of it have been redacted, clearly demonstrates the fact that there was a deliberate plot to get Salmond. The only remaining question is why? What was the motivation of the people involved?

    The Britnat media reporting of Salmond attacking Sturgeon relates to a written submission by Salmond to Hamilton who has been tasked as an independent investigator to investigate whether Sturgeon broke the Ministerial code. She clearly did and just like all the others involved in the persecution of Salmond lied.

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    1. Most blogs/ Britnat media have concentrated on the leaked submission of Salmond to Hamilton.

      Of course as Contrary rightly details the paper by Salmond made public by the Committee is damning to Evans and the Scotgov.

      It is also worth noting the following ” I am happy to do so and will repeat these comments in summary form in my FULL submission” (my bold). This is stated by Salmond at the beginning of the submission.

      It is clear from this sentence that a fuller submission from Salmond will be on its way (if not already ) to the Committee. I wonder how much of this submission the Committee will redact and indeed if it is made public. I would be surprised if a redacted version is not made available prior to Salmonds planned appearance before the Committee on Tuesday 19th Jan.

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    2. Oh yes – I’d forgotten about that (in the kerfuffle of many different things all happening at once), Salmond says there will be a FULL submission,,, so this one is only part of the story, which we know, but we never seem to get to know how much anyone is going to tell us at any stage. I hope, but don’t necessarily expect (because of various legal, and possibly political, restrictions), that Alex Salmond reveals everything. Including any evidence of collusion and conspiracy – that wasn’t allowed in the criminal court, would it be allowed in this committee? Possibly only parts,,,

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  10. Aye it took me a while to figure out the committee papers were wholly separate from the leaked submission to James Hamilton, Cubby – the fact that Alex Salmond has outlined, in the latter document, when and why meetings took place and named witnesses for most of them, shows that it will be verifiable & shows without doubt Nicola Sturgeon breached the ministerial code. I’m guessing some politics will now play out on that matter (and is playing out), but NS’s response seems quite absurd – claiming that Alex Samond is trying to deflect from the complaints by answering the question he was asked regarding the ministerial code?!

    NS seems to be unaware that the complaints have been very thoroughly and publicly addressed already. She certainly seems to lack the political wherewithal to weather any kind of storm, let alone this one.

    While that storm plays out, most people have ignored the committee papers for the 12th of Jan, when we will hear from Leslie Evans herself. I can only assume that they published Alex Salmond’s submission there on purpose, because of the claims that the government withheld evidence from two court orders (Judicial Review and the criminal trial), and that these show Leslie Evans and team were very aware they were acting unlawfully and knew they’d lose a judicial review. Leslie Evans has now been shown to have misled (lied to) the committee on quite a few matters, the most recent revelations were that she’d met with the complainers and knew who they were before writing her decision report, and that she’d directly instructed the police (the crown office really) to be contacted – she had initially claimed she didn’t know who would have done it and it wasn’t her job to get involved in such mundane matters.

    Certainly the claims by Evans et al that they only had the complainers interests at heart are utter nonsense – the offer of mediation from Alex Salmond was refused by Leslie Evans before consulting the complainers, the offer of arbitration likewise, then Leslie Evans contacted the Crown Office AGAINST the wishes of the complainers. Very obviously no fairness was even attempted towards Alex Salmond.

    I’m anticipating that the 12th Jan committee interview could be fairly pivotal – I’m sure Evans will continue with her evasions, but inadvertently misremembering anything at this stage is going to be very difficult. Hopefully the committee can stick to pointed questions instead of some of the inanities they are prone to,

    Cubby, you ask what was the motivation – at this stage, and maybe forever, for the civil servants, who knows? I don’t believe they’d invent this whole thing off their own bat, unless they are a weird cult of Salmond-haters (or just man haters and they thought to sacrifice Salmond in particular in their desire for a public scandal,,,), and so would seem to be politically motivated, as in driven by the FM. Power, destroying any potential opposition to that power for the FM, and money, and other rewards?, for the civil servants, the Crown Office, Lord Advocate and police because it benefits the union to destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation. All that is speculation of course – but I think it will be motivations plural – different people and groups will have different reasons.

    Also interesting in the committee papers for the 12th Jan, is Linda Fabiani asking Swinney to have legal advice paraphrased – this sounds weird to me, they won’t publish legal advice but they’ll tell us what it said in so many words. Whatever though. The committee want another wee gander at the oh so secret legal advice too. I think we all know at this stage, particularly after Alex Salmond’s two submissions, that legal advice told the Scottish government that their procedure was illegal and they’d lose any judicial review, throughout, and not just at the witching hour before the turn of the year into 2019.

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    1. Of course, it could be that Leslie Evans is just totally bonkers and we shouldn’t try and ascribe any normal motivation to her. She does have all the appearances of being a bit unhinged. Drunk on delusions of power maybe, but then, she was rewarded by the crown while under a dark cloud of possibly having broken every civil service code of conduct; maybe not that delusional after all,,,

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    2. Is there not a criminal charge for withholding evidence when ordered to by a court? Who would be liable when it was the Scottish Government doing the withholding?

      Groan, not another inquiry to find out, please. And how would it get prosecuted when we can’t trust COPFS? And when is the Lord Advocate getting hauled up on any charges?

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  11. Thanks for that hilarious letter. German also has only word for sex and gender (Geschlecht), so translations of transgender literature often reads similarly funny. For what it is worth, if necessarily you could distinguish between ‘soziales Geschlecht’ (gender) and ‘biologisches Geschlecht’ (sex), but when you use these words then little confusion of the meaning (and implications) is possible.

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    1. Thanks, Christian. It sounds like it should be much harder then to sneak in “gender” when people think you mean “sex” in Germany.

      Does that mean things are clearer and more sensible there?

      I can’t help thinking that if the trans cult had been obliged by our language to refer to something like “your cultural sex” rather than “your gender”, people like me might have gotten wise to them a lot earlier than we have.

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  12. I think there may well be a strong link between the intransigence shown by the SNPG on various issues (bulldoze though regardless) and the pseudo ‘woke’ faction. Stonewall, the self-appointed champion of trans issues, has a wing called Stonewall Diversity Champions and this network is to be found on most government bodies, public bodies, schools, universities, colleges, local government, NHS, private legal firms, businesses, et al. It shows how to approach trans issues, in particular, but other issues of interest to the ‘woke’ faction. Its “do not address any questioning of the trans agenda” spills over into other areas.

    It should be noted that the 2004 GRA was passed in order to circumvent same sex marriage. It is now, largely redundant, with the 2010 Equality Act affording human rights protections to various groups, including trans people, and same sex marriage having been introduced. However, repeal is not what has happened. Quite the contrary. Stonewall is now demanding, via its trans activists, and its infiltration into all aspects of administration, that the 2004 GRA be reformed to allow self-ID and all men who claim to be women, and access to women’s safe spaces, sports, representation, etc. Why anyone would imagine that the present SNPG is pro women needs his or her head examined. That is why I’m not at all sure the Salmond debacle was instigated by the #MeToo crowd. The Mhairi Hunter reply, apart from showing a lack of understanding of the difference between sex and under in law, is reminiscent of the refusal to engage with anyone who questions the orthodoxy.

    This has been happening at all levels in all areas of governance for several years now. In fact, it stand out. It would be interesting to know just when Stonewall became entrenched in the Scottish government because Stonewall is the vanguard of a new kind of predatory capitalism in that it is funded (apart from when, and in addition to, it is funded by government) it is backed by rich businessmen in American Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Medicine, Big Business. Independence would be anathema to these people whose tentacles stretch into health care, plastic surgery, robotic limbs, prosthetics, and much, much more if independence meant that our NHS and other related areas were not open to predation – sorry, privatization.

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