Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Yesterday's Women's Convenor result was a moral victory, not a defeat - but only if people hold their nerve and don't walk away from the SNP

Here's what was slightly odd about the big showdown in the SNP's internal elections yesterday: it was the behaviour of Fiona Robertson on social media that convinced many people that there needed to be some kind of reckoning, and yet the most serious challenge was to Rhiannon Spear in the Women's Convenor election, rather than to Ms Robertson herself in the Equalities Convenor election.  That made it very likely that, whatever else happened, Ms Robertson would gain a renewed mandate and would be able to carry on as if nothing had changed.  I understand the argument that the most important thing was to ensure that the Women's position was held by someone committed to upholding women's rights, but nevertheless the fact that Ms Robertson chose to run for the Equalities brief suggests that she thought that was the one that would give her the platform she needed.

Nevertheless, I'm sure nobody would have been too worried about Ms Robertson's victory if a symbolic result had been achieved in the Women's vote - but instead Rhiannon Spear won by a narrow margin.  This double victory by supporters of self-ID, and the gloating that has followed it, has led a few people to conclude that the SNP is now completely and hopelessly in the grip of entryists and that there is no longer any place in the party for gender-critical feminists or for people who are opposed to self-ID for any other reason.  And that is a fundamental misreading of the situation.  I thought our old friend James Mackenzie unwittingly put his finger on something in his comment on the vote -

"Pleased to see the pro-equality slates won the SNP's internal elections.  The experience within the Greens is you need to win a couple of times in order to settle this issue - some bigots will leave the first time, but others will try to dig in.  Eventually they leave, though."

Obviously this is a repugnant comment, because it seems phenomenally unlikely that there were ever any "bigots" in the Green party in the first place, but it's clear that there was certainly a chilling intolerance towards those who dissented from the doctrine of the majority (a doctrine that is not central to the Greens' reasons for existence, any more than it is to the SNP's).

But think about what he's actually saying.  He's implying that the pro-self-ID lobby haven't really won, and won't do until and unless the other side actually walk away from the SNP.  And he's right, because even with their new mandate Fiona Robertson and Rhiannon Spear aren't going to decide the SNP's priorities.  The leadership will do that, and the main relevance of yesterday's vote was in guiding the leadership on whether the members will be solidly behind them if they push ahead with full-fat self-ID.  And the answer is clearly "no".  It would suit the pro-self-ID lobby down to the ground if their opponents left the stage, but it would not suit Nicola Sturgeon if a substantial minority of SNP members leave the party.  That would not be any kind of victory for her, and she's unlikely to take action that would drive members to that point.  But once those people leave, Ms Sturgeon would have nothing left to lose.  So if they just hold their nerve for now, they can avoid turning what was actually a moral victory yesterday into a defeat later on.

And needless to say that siren voices outside the party offering a counsel of despair should be treated with enormous scepticism, because they have their own agenda.

The other obvious point is that a 32 vote defeat is close enough to suggest that it could be fully reversed in future years if people just bide their time and remain within the party.  Jeremy Corbyn would not be leader of the Labour party now if he had given up the ghost when it was 'nuclear winter' for the Labour left under previous leaders.  In democratic parties, there's always another chance somewhere around the corner.

*  *  *

Some good news for the SNP from YouGov's latest Scottish subsample -

SNP 42%, Conservatives 23%, Labour 13%, Liberal Democrats 10%, Brexit Party 9%, Greens 2%

These figures are very much 'normal' by recent standards, and bolster the impression that the little run of bad results that the SNP had in YouGov subsamples a couple of weeks ago was probably caused by random sampling variation, rather than by real changes on the ground.  It's particularly encouraging to see another underwhelming result for the Lib Dems.

62 comments:

  1. A much greater danger is the SNP being viewed as an ally of the so-called 'radical feminists' (whom I believe have abandoned all feminist beliefs of equality) who hate trans people so much they even go so far as to deny their existence or that they are deserving of human rights at all. The SNP is not a party of bigots and I want to see it stay that way.

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    1. What human rights are trans people missing though?

      This is a genuine question as I can't see what rights they don't have. They have exactly the same rights as everyone else, so if trans people are lacking rights, everyone is lacking those too.

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    2. Note I recently found out I'm trans*, and I genuinely don't feel I'm missing any rights.


      ---
      *I don't believe in the concept of gender identity at all; I think it's a pile of dung. This and associated non-conformance with sexist stereotypes means I'm classed as 'non-binary' trans.
      Was kindae surprised to discover this as I'm just a regular enough male, but there you go.

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    3. I think it is more the fear that some people want to take their human rights away. For example some people think that trans people should not be able to change their gender on their birth certificate / passport. This would, of course be a breach, of their human rights as per the ECHR.

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    4. The regular male humps women and does not take the favourite up his sewer.

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    5. Nobody should be able to change reality/history, which would include recorded sex at birth. Babies have no gender / identity, only a sex (M/F and very rarely with an IS condition).

      On my birth certificate and passport, only 'sex' is recorded, not 'gender' / identity. The original is paper too. Hand written. A moment in history recorded. Facts neatly written down for posterity.

      Are we to burn this in a Nazi fire? Change the past like Winston just because we decide we don't like it?

      That's utter madness. As a trans person, I cannot agree that.

      I have no issues with a new passport being issued with the sex reflecting the new sex of someone who's actually undergone a sex change (for all the limits of this). Nor the issuing of new updated certificate which confirms (new) sex to replace the original birth certificate where that's needed. You can even keep the originals confidential, but they should never be changes / erased from history. That's 1984 and we should be terrified of such a slippery slope. What's next?

      Can we change our age? Our parents? If I want someone else as my mother and to be 20 years younger, why can't I change that officially? If sex doesn't matter, then niether does the information about my parents. Nor does my DoB have any meaning...

      As a scientist, I'm horrified at the prospect of recorded facts being changed later when we don't like them.

      I really hope I'm misunderstanding the birth certificate thing.

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    6. The good thing about registering births, death and marriage is that plebs like us can trace history which was formerly in the domain of the ruling classes.

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    7. Then you need to campaign for the UK/Scotland to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, because all the time that the UK/Scotland subscribes to that convention and has to following the (unapealable) ECHR then trans people will be legally allowed to change their Birth Certificates/Passports.

      But this is really old news, the ruling was made in 2003, anyone with even a passing knowledge of trans issues would know this.

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    8. Eh? Why not just campaign to change the ECHR?

      And your are going to have to show me where the ECHR says original birth records must be destroyed. You are talking garbage here.

      Seems there a variety of approaches across the EU all of which are fine if they don't fall foul of standard ECHR law. Many transsexuals have lost cases here because rules didn't.

      Most rules merely involve amendments to the current record / issuing of amended certificates for transsexuals who've change sex legally. Some countries don't even do that.

      The UKGRA is pure UK law, not ECHR (or even EU) law, a common brexiter mistake. It is compatible with ECHR, but goes well beyond it.

      https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/trans_and_intersex_equality_rights.pdf

      All of the 31 EU and EFTA states considered in this report have allowed certain individuals to amend their legal gender. However, the conditions for doing this vary greatly...

      ...While, in general terms, legal gender recognition falls outside the scope of EU law, it is a matter which national law-makers and the European Court of Human Rights are increasingly addressing.


      And in the UK, there is no change to the original birth certificate, a (very obviously) new one is merely issued (ambiguously) stating current sex. That's something I'm absolutely fine with.

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    9. I honestly didn't think that people thought that the original records would be destroyed. Of course they just get locked away unable to be viewed. We are talking legally here, thought that would be obvious. Legally they don't exist.

      Yea i know the GRA is UK law, again thought it would be obvious to anyone with a passing interest in the subject. It was introduced so that the UK would comply with the ECHR ruling.

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    10. You are literally insane. Nobody denies that these mentalcase perverts exist. Just that they are anything but mentalcase perverts.

      What exact qualifications do you have to overturn the entire foundation of mammalian biology? I'd be delighted if you could offer one scintilla of proof that trannyfanny women are actually women, and not just men with extreme perversions.

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    11. "Legally they don't exist."

      You don't half talk some shite (me too).

      If it's locked away it legally exists lol, folks just cannae see it. If I, penis between legs, hand you a female 'birth' certificate not produced in the late 1970's, but printed off in the past few years, it's kind obvious it's not my birth certificate...

      The dug ate the original!

      But enough of the devil's advocate for now.

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    12. No skier, you are not 'trans', and trans cannot be summed up as being uncomfortable with sexist stereotypes.

      Be against self-ID, fine, but at least argue in good faith and don't wilfully misrepresent the other side.

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    13. I am M/F gender non-conforming (in a large number of areas when I think about it) and reject the whole concept of gender identity (particularly sexist gender roles). I am non-binary by the very definition. I couldn't fit the description better.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-binary_gender

      Unless you think you are the decider on trans definitions and who is/isn't? Certainly in a self-id world that's not the case.

      Obviously I am not non-binary in terms of sex (I am not intersex), but in terms of 'gender', absolutely. I'm as trans as pre-op transwoman, just a different type.

      I am a male by birth, but I don't identify as male in any way. I a simply am biologically male. Putting aside those feelings associated with biology (e.g. getting kicked in the baws, being embarrassed by morning glory on occasion etc etc), I don't have any exclusively 'male' thoughts / feelings. All my thoughts / feelings are those that females can and do also have. This is scientifically proven:

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28582-scans-prove-theres-no-such-thing-as-a-male-or-female-brain/

      https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/whats-on/the-neuroscientist-shattering-the-myth-of-the-gendered-brain-9086242/

      I don't have some higher 'male' spirit inside of me which was lucky enough to be matched at birth with a male body. My brain is non-binary and that ties in perfectly with my (non-biology related) thoughts/feelings.

      As for 3rd person pronouns - which are ordinarily used in someone's absence - I require you to refer to me as 'that privileged prick' and 'who the fk does he think he is telling me what to call him when he's not even there' instead of 'him/his'.

      Thanks.

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    14. Note I do think people should be able to change sex medically (to the best extent possible with surgery and hormones) if they are deeply unhappy with their bodies (sad, but it happens), and that can / should be recognized on official documentation.

      But changing 'gender' is impossible as gender identity is all just a crock of sh*te IMO.

      As trans activists say, gender identity is 'a spectrum' (i.e. brains are not female or male), i.e. non-binary. If something is non-binary, you can't change from one side to the other.

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    15. To be gender non-conforming in some aspect is not the definition of trans: gender stereotypes being impossible to live up to, we are all non-conforming in some way or another. To pretend that makes us all trans simply vacates the word of all meaning.

      I feel like it's likely you identify as male in *some* ways. For example, if you have no dysphoria attached to secondary sex characteristics, genitalia, or associated activities such as shaving the face. Dysphoria is after all a feeling
      rather than a physical state.

      Incidentally, your stated position that individuals should be able to change sex medically, to have that change recorded on official documentation, and thus, presumably, to go on to use the bathrooms, etc, associated with their changed identity is not the gender-critical feminist/TERF position.

      I appreciate some of the concerns around self-ID, but pretending to adopt the identity of a marginalised group just so you can proceed to refuse on their behalf the rights they are claiming for themselves is a pretty despicable way to argue IMO.

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  2. Wings retweet says that Colette Walker came first of the six candidates on the first preference votes, 62 ahead of Ms Spear. So would the best system here be one where the candidate that stirs the least dislike is the eventual winner?

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    1. I believe that CW was the only "gender-critical" candidate, so it's very surprising to hear that her victory under FPTP would have been so narrow.

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    2. Not a member of the SNP but this seems like a very low % "turnout". Maybe just about any voting system can "go to Bulgaria" under such circumstances?

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    3. The voters for these elections are the delegates to annual conference. I have said in the past that these elections should be opened to all members.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. A birth certificate is fact at the time of birth and you have to accept the father's name on it unless yer maw comes clean later on.

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    1. I would say that a birth certificate is a historical document that's up for criticism and analysis. (Who knows what yer maw wes up for?) The original cannot be changed without Orwellian implications but it could be kept out of the public domain (except for specific purposes) for the lifetime of the "data subject".

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  5. Skier, looks like the remainers are going for another referendum rather than another general election. I think my Labour Party Mps are shittin themselves moreso in Engerland. Personal wealth takes precedence over the people. The voter will send Labour into the wilderness much longer than Jesus.

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    1. Tony Blair spoke, and so shall it be. I think the fact that Corbyn was about to become PM made Tony dirty his shorts. Corbyn understands that there are more of the many than of the few, but the Blairites represent Labour For The Few. The Blairites want to Remain in the EU, and meanwhile get more time to try to stomp Corbyn into the dust. It appears the Blairites prefer BoJoke as PM to Corbyn and the Many.

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    2. Corbyn has always been a leaver but is now playing silly buggers with the majority who voted Leave. He had his chance and blew it. Blair is not a threat to him. The majority of Mps voted to respect the outcome of the referendum.

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    3. Sorry for the delay. I know I said I'd keep everyone updated but I had to take Martin to A&E with his foot. Anyway, Michelle, Ange, June and Elena were in the garden Room chatting. Joanne, Agnes and Charlotte were in the dining room arranging the flowers and Esther and Catty were preparing the mousse in the kitchen. Sally was helping me move the rug from in front of the fire in the "parlour" (Agnes"s word). That's as far as we've got but I expect things to change.

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    4. You need to keep up, Daily Mail reports that SNP leader Ian Blackford is now running the Labour party and he and Jeremy Corbyn are in constant meetings deciding the strategy with Blackford leading the way

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    5. Ronald Costigan (Man-bitch)October 17, 2019 at 9:20 AM

      Dot - if all that's true, you lied to me in a private message. You told me it was June and Catty who were working on the mousse in the kitchen. And I believed you. Shame on you.

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    6. Why am I being kept out of the loop? Yes, my brother saw you on your 'little outing' in Pitlochry.
      I'll be working on the village kedgeree this afternoon so there's no need to break off from what you're doing and reply.

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    7. Ronald Costigan (Man-bitch)October 17, 2019 at 4:56 PM

      Did your brother notice my outfit? Was he envious of my louche style? Did he covet my sailor cap?

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  6. Sometimes its not a good idea to push a policy based on a small majority. Yeah, you can win a 50% + 1 vote. But wisdom should be saying to continue to represent both sides and take compromise positions. That has the advantage of keeping a party together rather than splintering it.

    Brexit is of of course the modern poster child for taking a small majority and using it to destroy parties, a society and a kingdom. But notions like compromise and wisdom are so old fashioned these days.

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    1. And if the vote is for a Convener then that Scots term has the implication of bringing people together. Whereas the English "Chair" has more of the feel of "Baggsie me! (ya ****)".

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  7. The trouble is, young james, that if you remain a member of the party then your money is going to fund the odious robertson and spear. Alongside that disgusting excuse for a human being, councillor MH.

    Did you see the fragrant Douglas Daniel and Yoon troll Neabd having a good old laugh at Chris McEleny and sharing a picture with his face pasted over that picture of AleX Salmond the morning after the referendum? There's your reason for leaving the SNP when they protect, support and condone such filth in their ranks.

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    1. Well, Naebd can do what he likes, but Doug Daniel is a member of the SNP's NEC, so if he really did what you described then it's totally inappropriate.

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    2. "The trouble is, young james, that if you remain a member of the party then your money is going to fund the odious robertson and spear."

      They aren't in paid roles, thick lad.

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    3. Oh well it looks as though, by your way of thinking, we'll just have to vote for some of the filth in the Labour, Tory and Libdem parties. Loads of filth to choose from there.

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    4. Impeccable logic.

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    5. Nothing much seems to be happening, so I'm off for a quick round of golf with Audrey. Basil can look after reception.

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  8. There may be thick Jocko devotes who love Knickerless but there are British Scottish devotes who detest her and her selling Scotland out as a nation to the EU corrupt regime. Better in the UK Union and out of the EU. Up yer kilts Jocko traitors. Looking forward to the Civil War.

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  9. I campaigned for gay rights and women's rights in Ireland in the 1970's - not an easy task. But the need for men to avail of women's facilities leaves me cold. And the need to make this the main issue in any political party looks does like entryism to me too.

    However calm heads and focus on the big prize is what is required now and not the hysteria found in some airbourne blogs

    Thought this was good https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/arguing-from-a-position-of-strength/comment-page-1/#comment-89690

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    1. The whole idea for gays is entryism, oops sore bum.

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    2. At least that's how I remember it. Happy days!

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    3. I took it last night. Young Polish guy.

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  10. James did you ever consider the wording of Question 20 of Campbell's last poll?


    Campbell was misinforming (lying) and whipping up resentment against the SNP when he outlined that, “The SNP has announced its intention to implement “self-ID” legislation, whereby physically-male people will have unrestricted access to all female-only spaces and service”.

    First of all this relates to the Scottish Government, not solely the SNP. It's been kicked into the long grass and will probably never reach legislation stage in the next couple of years and no decision has been taken in relation to ''female only spaces and services'' yet. In fact a number of agencies have stated that they have the right to ban a particular individual if they see fit to do so. Not unrestricted at all even at this moment in time. Never a mention either of how Self ID is working in countries that have already adopted it. What a manipulative man.



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  11. This whole debate around the self I'd transgender issue reminds me of the debate in the house of parliament around lowering the age of homosexual consent where one Tory MP claimed gay men would cluster around schools waiting for young 16 year old boys. That was an attempt to create a moral panic just as the debate is trying to do now. Transgender individuals are being bothered by feminists and other groups in attempt by these groups to privilege themselves above transgender women as real women, the implication being that transgender women are 'fake' of course this comes from an ignorance that sex and gender are not the same, and where most people identify with their birth sex many others do not. The debate has so many parallels with gay rights and law reform we should really learn that we have nothing to fear from extending civil rights to transgender individuals and denying those rights to protect the privilege or moral decency of women (an argued used against black rights in the USA around equal marriage laws) lessens the rights of all citizens to live in a free fair and equitable society

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    1. People should not be clustering outside school gates unless they are there to collect their children. Men or whatever they choose to call themselves and they have a boaby should not be allowed in a women's lavvie or prisons.

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    2. Your response proves you don't understand the debate, having male genitalia does not make your gender male, yes your biological sex is male, however biological sex and gender are not the same thing, this is the issue that is difficult for many to comprehend because their sex and gender align. Gays used to be classed as sissies and called girls because their sexual orientation did not align with hetero-normative ideals of masculinity, however gays are lesbians are orientation queer and not gender queer. Trans individuals are gender queer and may or not be orientation queer, what they are not though is the gender or their sex.

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  12. This is what I find most (depressingly)hilarious about the whole thing: so many professed supporters of gay rights who will happily reheat the anti-gay arguments of the 70's-90's - they're all perverts or if not all then enough of them that they're a danger to children; they're not real just mentally ill weirdos; but what happens if I run into one in a toilet, everyone knows they're uncontrollable beasts they might *flirt* with me or summink! - without even a hint of self awareness.

    Honestly the way some folk can only seem to conceive of the issue in terms of sexual assault or abusing kids makes me wonder if there's not some underlying issues they themselves are subject to...

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    1. You are absolutely right here. A transwoman is statistically just as likely to commit a rape as cis man. They are, after all, just the same deep down. Transwomen and cis men present the same risk to women. We should never discriminate here.

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    2. " A transwoman is statistically just as likely to commit a rape as cis man."

      Source for this statement?

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    3. Lots of usernames todayOctober 17, 2019 at 4:49 PM

      re: anon's comment: yes, it's the deeply unpleasant demonisation of trans people (really, of trans women - trans men being generally regarded by the TERF crowd as just deluded) that tends to nudge me over to the other side of the argument. it absolutely is a moral panic.

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    4. Studogan has unleashed a torrent of refugees into the democratic world.

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    5. A transwoman is statistically just as likely to commit a rape as cis man, this statement proves my point about this issue being ignited into a moral panic. There are no empirical studies that I am aware of that prove what you are saying. I could just as easily transwoman are just as likely to rape a women as cis gendered women I have no facts to back it up but I have anecdotal evidence it happens, however this is an argument designed to elicit an emotional response and not a critical argument which had been careful considered, and the problem with the transgender self ID argument is it is largely based on emotion and not facts

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  13. Meanwhile, as we continue to debate the pros and cons of which toilet to use, there is the small matter that a Hard Brexit has just been signed and agreed in Brussels with a special status for Northern Ireland... can we move on now please to the big picture?

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    1. Great news indeed. Wonder what the wine sipping EU bourgeoisie do with our 1 billion British taxpayers money every month. Oh sorry they throw some scraps back. Let the fools eat cake.

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    2. The DUP are complaining they didn't get enough backhanders to support the deal so negotiations are continuing.
      Foster wants a framed photo of Winston Churchill mounting Queen Victoria.
      Sammy Wilson wants 24 Heineken and 200 Regal.
      Paisley wants a holiday in Ibiza.
      Nigel Dodds wants to sit on a park bench in Galway with Iris Robinson again.

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  14. So that's it. England utterly betrays the unionists in N. Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, just like I said it would.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-50079385

    "Mr Barnier told a press conference in Brussels that the final point - allowing for votes in the Northern Ireland Assembly - was "a cornerstone of our newly agreed approach".

    The decision would be based on a simple majority, rather than requiring a majority of both unionists and nationalists to support the rules in order for them to pass."


    We also now have official confirmation that the UK is anti-Scottish / racist towards Scots, and is openly persecuting them by not offering the same as people in N. Ireland are getting. Unless that is, the Scots can freely vote on a referendum on indy with the UK government's blessing (Section 30).

    And it doesn't matter if they deal won't pass. The unionists are already betrayed.

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  15. The English nationalists just 'surrendered' N. Ireland.

    If I was the DUP, I'd be setting the UVF on the 'traitor' Johnson.

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  16. England = gets what it voted for
    N. Ireland = gets what it voted for
    Wales = gets what it voted for
    Scotland = "Shut the fk up jock scum. You do what England says"

    Is what's going through the minds of Scots right now.

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    1. Skier is speaking for the minds of Scots but not mine.

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  17. Wings over Scotland admits he agrees with the methods of Nigel Farage
    Oh gosh what a surprise (not) I guess there must be money in this for Campbell

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