Sunday 12 February 2023

The Sturgeon sacrifice


Why has Nicola Sturgeon apparently sacrificed Scottish independence on the alter of trans rights as if the cause dearest to her heart was her Isaac and she was willing to prove to the God of woke that she would obey his command. Only this time there was no ram at the last minute to save the day.

The importance of Isaac in Biblical history would hardly have been the same if he were originally born a girl and only later decided he was a man. In that case he could hardly have been the grandfather of the twelve tribes of Israel. Abraham’s failure to sacrifice him turns crucially on Isaac’s having a male body that could father children. God knew this, but apparently Nicola Sturgeon did not.

It is too early to know what damage to the SNP’s cause will be done by putting rapists in women’s prisons. Scots have forgiven her in the past for apparently attempting to put her predecessor in prison and for lying about it. We vote according to whether we support independence or are Pro UK. Nothing else matters. But perhaps this time things are different.

Outside the walls of Holyrood, certain newspapers and academic establishments it would be hard to meet anyone who literally believes that trans women are women. We would play along if we had a trans colleague or met a trans person socially. No one wants to be rude. But most ordinary people think that sex and gender are the same thing and that it is something you are born with and cannot change. Until a few years ago this was simply common sense.

In John Steinbeck’s East of Eden there is a little girl who wants to be a boy. She is commiserated with but told clearly and distinctly that this is simply impossible. No doubt she grew up to be a wife and mother and in time forgot her tomboy ways. Now she may well have been put on pills and given surgery and if her parents objected, they would have their child taken away. This is how far we have come since 1952. It is like we live far east of Eden in the land of Nod.

It is not merely Nicola Sturgeon who has been tempted by the idea that women can become men, but it is she that has pushed the idea furthest in Britain. The UK Government has allowed people to change gender and even change the sex on their birth certificates, but it was relatively hard to do, you needed a doctor to agree and only a few thousand took advantage of the legislation.

We could all live with the odd case of a man getting surgery to become a woman and dressing in women’s clothes. Such people were few and it was necessary to be kind.

But then the issue exploded. Suddenly large numbers of girls were saying they were really boys. Boys who called themselves girls were winning swimming races. Male anatomy was appearing in changing rooms, and you could no longer find a women’s loo because they had all been made available to people with male anatomy. But it was not this that did for Sturgeon.

Even a few weeks ago it looked as if the trans rights side of the argument was winning. J.K. Rowling was fighting a heroic battle for common sense, but she was being attacked from all sides. Someone less famous than her working in a university or a publishing house or a newspaper would keep silent rather than risk the woke backlash.

But the logic of Sturgeon’s argument is that being a woman, or a man is subjective and anyone at any time can say I am now a woman and that person at this point really becomes a woman in just the same way as any other women. Sturgeon thought there needed to be no checks nor balances, no doctors, no anything, just sign a form and three months later you are a woman.

But what then are the trans rapists in women’s prisons in Scotland? Were they really women, in which case it must be wrong to send them to a prison for men, alternatively they were not really women because they had the anatomy to rape their fellow inmates. But if that is the case then Sturgeon’s whole mantra that trans women are women turns out to be false and her whole idea that people should be able to become women just by saying they want to look like dangerous nonsense. Most Scots think it is just that. Did you notice the tide turning? Not just here, but perhaps everywhere.

Women don’t want male anatomy in their changing rooms. They don’t want their daughters going to a guide camp in order to share a tent with someone with the body of a boy. It matters not one little bit if he/she thinks that he is a girl.

Above all else Scots do not want male criminals who are really chancers to be allowed into women’s prison’s just because they discover on conviction that if they say they are women they will get somewhere a bit more cushy. With regard to single sex spaces the vast majority of Scots think that what matters is anatomy, male or female, rather than subjective opinion, “I am a woman, because I feel like one” whether that opinion is sincere or not.

Sturgeon suffers from hubris. She thought she was politically invincible. She kept winning no matter the scandals, no matter the failed policies. But there is a deeper reason for Sturgeon going for broke on the trans issue.

Sturgeon wants Scottish independence, which by definition makes her a nationalist, but she is ashamed of being a nationalist because it has regressive connotations. She dislikes the name Scottish National Party. She would like to be an internationalist, but she can hardly be that while wanting to put an international border between Gretna and Berwick. If the parts of the UK cannot bear to live together how can international groupings like the EU or the UN?

To compensate for the regressive aspect at the heart of Scottish nationalism, let’s go back to 1707 or even 1314 when we beat the English at Bannockburn, Sturgeon has become ultra-woke on certain issues. She wants to follow those Democrats in the United States who were at the forefront of promoting the rather odd and very recent idea that men could become women just by wishing to.

Sturgeon thought it would be easy to make Scotland the most progressive part of the UK on trans rights. But the logical consequence of her view is that rapists ought to go to a woman’s prison because they really are women. It may not be enough to completely derail the SNP and its central cause, but it is a major setback. If Sturgeon goes, there is no one obvious to replace her nor lead the campaign for independence.

In time it may be seen that she has sacrificed that campaign on the issue of trans rights which is a trivial issue to most Scots including most Scottish nationalists. She thought she was invincible she was desperate to prove her progressive credentials precisely because she knows nationalism is not progressive. When she wielded the knife there was no God to rescue her and the knife cut deep into what she loved most, because instead of a ram in a thicket she found a nemesis instead.