If anyone from Labour happens to be passing, you might be able to help with a question that's been nagging away at me. As I understand it, your party believes that the more abortion rights that women have, the better. Yvette Cooper said the other day that Labour (alone among all major political parties) thinks that the Scottish Parliament can't be trusted to assume control over abortion law because Nicola Sturgeon isn't able to bind her successors. In other words, Westminster might decide to keep the law in England and Wales as it is, while the Scottish Parliament might eventually restrict access to abortion. That's possible, but there are of course are at least three other possible outcomes of devolving abortion law -
1) Westminster (which after all has far more social conservatives in it than Holyrood) might restrict access to abortion in England and Wales, while the Scottish Parliament keeps the Abortion Act 1967 unchanged in Scotland.
2) Westminster might keep the law unchanged in England and Wales, while the Scottish Parliament liberalises the law to grant greater abortion rights in Scotland.
3) Both jurisdictions might grant greater abortion rights, with one following the example set by the other.
Two of these three scenarios would lead (from the perspective that Labour claims to take) to improved rights for women in Scotland, while the other would mean that devolution of abortion law had directly prevented women's rights in Scotland from being eroded. If that came to pass, is it something that Labour would welcome? Or would they continue to insist on "equality" across Great Britain even when that amounts to an equal lack of rights for women?
If the latter, it seems to me there's a fairly obvious British nationalist agenda at play here, rather than a feminist one.
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There was an interesting exchange on Twitter the other day between RevStu and Jamie Ross of BuzzFeed. RevStu asked Ross if he was comfortable with the "sneering protective wall" that the media had constructed around J K Rowling's abusive and misogynistic friend "Brian Spanner". Ross replied that he didn't think there was any protection, merely a "realisation that no one outside Twitter knows or cares about Brian Spanner". That's something of a circular argument, because there's one reason and one reason only why no-one outside Twitter knows or cares about Brian Spanner, which is that the media haven't told anyone about him. In fact, they went to extraordinary lengths to edit him out of their extensive coverage of Rowling v McGarry, even though that story made no sense whatever without him. Contrast that with their eagerness last year to out SNP candidate Neil Hay as "Paco McSheepie" - a Twitter troll account that was far, far less abusive than Brian Spanner, and that, again, nobody would have known or cared about unless journalists had told them.
It's not as if the media aren't in a position to out Spanner. After my two recent blogposts pointing out the astonishing and totally coincidental links between Spanner and popular journalist Euan McColm, I was struck by the large number of people who came out with a close variation on the following theme : "I have been told by someone I trust that it's not McColm." To state the bleedin' obvious, it's not possible to know for a fact that Spanner is not McColm (or Deerin, or Daisley, or even Rowling herself) unless you already know the guy's real identity. That means there are an awful lot of people out there protecting him. My strong impression is that many of those people are journalists, but even if that isn't the case, it would surely be pretty easy for the media to find out who he is and break the story. So why don't they? Was it really in the public interest to out McSheepie, but to protect Spanner? If so, why? Or would it be closer to the mark to say that Spanner is a mate of several leading right-wing journalists, and that they're happy to let him act with impunity?
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I was at Murrayfield yesterday for my first ever Scotland-England game, and I fear I must report that triumphalist England supporters murdering what was once a perfectly respectable Christian song aren't any more lovable in the flesh than they are on TV. You might also be amused to hear that I was sitting next to a kilt-wearing, Scotland-supporting Brit Nat who was incensed that the announcer referred to God Save the Queen as "our visitors' anthem", and got his revenge by belting it out with the England supporters. He then proceeded to sing Flower of Scotland, but not quite as lustily. I suppose I've always known that people like that existed, but it was educational to come across one for real.