Above is another incredibly revealing tweet, which presumably refers in part to Wings blogger Stuart Campbell's announcement two days ago that he no longer supports independence (or, to use his careful euphemisms, that he "is the least Yes he has ever been" and that his "conscience" would now prevent him from campaigning for independence - and presumably from voting for it). It's not just Mr Campbell, of course, but many of the others in the same category are people he's led along like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It was absolutely fine to give voice to the concerns about the GRR Bill - it was a terrible piece of legislation and I opposed it myself. But there is nothing inevitable, or even logical, about opposition to the Bill morphing into hostility towards Scottish independence or Scottish self-government. What is unforgivable about Mr Campbell's role in this drama is that he's brainwashed a number of people - albeit mercifully only a tiny minority - into believing that cheering on the Tories as they trash devolution is somehow the only stance that is consistent with support for women's sex-based rights.
Which I think in turn has led to others with an anti-independence agenda (ie. "you can only be a 'decent' person if you oppose independence"), such as Dennis Noel Kavanagh, to overplay their hand massively. They looked at Mr Campbell's passionate embrace of the Westminster veto, leaped to the conclusion that everybody else in Scotland must be reacting in the same way, and were emboldened to imagine they could suddenly say things out loud that they were previously too cautious to say, in case they alienated independence supporters who otherwise agreed with them on the GRR issue. But the reality is that nothing has changed. "Decent nationalists" still have no intention whatever of making a false choice between independence and women's rights, and thus they still passionately support independence - the clue is in the word "nationalist". Mr Campbell - of all people - is not representative of "decent nationalists", because he no longer supports independence and is therefore not a Scottish nationalist of either the decent or indecent persuasion. I understand that Mr Kavanagh is London-based and may not be well-versed with the vocabulary of the constitutional debate here, but surely if he'd taken a step back before posting his tweet, he'd have realised that a nationalist Unionist is a contradiction in terms (unless the nationalism in question is British nationalism).
Presumably with a name like Kavanagh, he's either originally from Ireland or has an Irish family background. Which is somewhat ironic, because the Republic of Ireland introduced gender self-ID several years ago, and yet I doubt if even a single opponent of that law in Ireland reacted by saying "oh well, that's it, then, we'll have to let the Brits take over so they can overrule our democratically-elected parliament". No, what they do instead is organise and campaign in Ireland with the hope of reaching a tipping point where at least one major Irish political party supports repeal - and once they get that far, they'll campaign to get that party into power. That's how it works in a self-governing country. That's the democratic process you support if you truly believe in self-government for your own country - if you're not, in short, what Jim Sillars called a "ninety-minute nationalist", who crumples and reverts to the comfort blanket of "UKOK" at the first sign of any discomfort or difficulty. And good luck to anyone in either Ireland or Scotland who is daft and naive enough to think London rule is the answer to this problem, because in all likelihood we're only a year-and-a-bit away from a Starmer government which will impose self-ID across the whole UK anyway. It'll be with a minimum age of 18 rather than 16, but it'll still be self-ID.
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I raised an eyebrow at some of the BBC's reporting of the veto. They called the GRR Bill a "draft Bill", which is an incredibly odd way to describe a Bill that actually completed the entire legislative process with the sole exception of Royal Assent. Presumably they did that to play down the significance of the veto. And both James Cook and Chris Mason suggested the SNP's opposition to the Section 35 order was "complicated" by the fact that they voted in the Commons to pass the Scotland Act in 1998, knowing that Section 35 was in it. I mean, what? By the time the whole Act was being voted on, it was a take it or leave it package. By voting against that package, the SNP would have been voting to uphold direct London rule in Scotland. And yet if you buy into Cook's and Mason's logic, the SNP should have voted in favour of direct London rule in order to defeat Section 35. It's a complete nonsense even by BBC standards.
I think what's going on here is that Cook spotted that the Tories had raised serious concerns about Section 35 in 1998, when they described it as a "Governor-General clause". They also tried unsuccessfully to amend it to address those concerns. Cook quite rightly pointed out that this potentially gives rise to a charge of Tory double-standards now, but seemingly he felt he could only get away with saying that by manufacturing a "false balance", which he did by suggesting that the SNP's position is also somehow contradicted by what they did in 1998. It really, really isn't.