Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Rishi Sunak’s Westminster Parliament Blocks Scottish Parliament Transgender Law Reform – British Labour Leader Keir Starmer Surrenders to the Union-Jack Far-Right

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Rishi Sunak’s governing Tories at Westminster have blocked a minor administrative human rights reform adopted by the Scottish Parliament which protects the rights of a very small minority, transgender people. It is an easy-peasy issue for all people on the liberal/social-democratic spectrum in Ireland – ranging from the entire left into significant sectors of the big right wing parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

In Scotland a similar liberal/social-democratic spectrum includes the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), the SNP’s government coalition partner the Greens, and the Scottish Labour Party.
The Scottish Parliament voted for this minor reform – which is less favourable to transgender people than the existing law in the 26 county bit of Ireland – by 86 votes to 39. This huge majority followed a very long drawn-out debate.

Minor human rights reforms like this magnetically attract opposition from the super-looney far-right in England, and similar outfits in other parts of the British kingdom such as the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The struggling deeply unpopular Mr Sunak has thrown stinking red meat 🥩 to these “anti-woke” Brexit-loving wolves 🐺, which dominate the ruling Conservative Party. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the British Labour Party, surrendered to these reactionaries :

Wes Ferry reports that Starmer’s intervention has provoked a row with prominent members of the Scottish Labour Party :

Starmer’s intervention has annoyed Scottish Labour MSP supporters and voters of the GRR Bill (no friends of Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP or Scottish Greens).

One observer noted: “Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon has just appeared on Drivetime and skewered her party leader Keir Starmer and Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray over GRR. We’ve never heard anything like this. She accused Starmer of being “ill informed” and “unhelpful” and Murray’s attack on the Scottish Govt “disingenuous”.”

This comes from SNP Westminster MP John Nicholson :

“Labour MSP Monica Lennon accused Keir Starmer of undermining Scot Labour after he criticised #GRR passed at Holyrood. She said she was “very disappointed” with the UK leader & urged him to be “better briefed” on areas debated in the Scottish Parliament.”

Irish Times correspondent Mark Paul was unimpressed by the Westminster debate, noting in particular the incompetent performance of Tory Scottish Secretary Mr Alister Jack, supported by a gaggle of ignorant British Labour MP’s :

The Scottish Parliament in Holyrood recently passed a Bill simplifying the rules and lowering the age for a person to get a gender recognition certificate, a piece of paper that officially changes one’s gender in the eyes of the law. Across Britain the age is 18, but Holyrood cut it to 16.

Scottish transgender people also would no longer need a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria for a certificate and could decide for themselves.

The Scots also voted to cut the time it would take to obtain a certificate from two years to just a few months.

The changes are broadly similar to moves introduced in Ireland more than seven years ago. Yet the decision to allow people who want to legally change their gender by “self-certifying” is more controversial in Britain, where the kettle on transgender issues boils at a far higher temperature.

Irish Times January 18 2022

The death agony of the British State continues. Brexit lit a dormant time-bomb. National Questions in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are coming to the forefront of day-today political struggles.

John Meehan January 18 2023

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