The SNP's short-term people pleasing

By Ollie Campbell 

Sturgeon is attempting to grab easy votes through woke agenda Bills


At this current time, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP look almost unstoppable. Having held government for the last fourteen years, Sturgeon has been First Minister for over six, and only Alex Salmond has held the position for longer. In May, the SNP had its fourth national victory in devolved administration elections, only one seat of a total Holyrood majority. Despite several scandals and crises over the last few years, Sturgeon’s support remains at about 50% - something most politicians could only dream of after multiple claims of breaking ministerial code.


In coalition with the Scottish Greens, the SNP has the potential to pass new legislation pretty much unopposed. This includes a hopeful Bill that will enable IndyRef2. However, recent proposals seem to have received a lot of backlash, and for good reason. 


Contained within the co-operation agreement between the SNP and Scottish Greens is the pledge to introduce a gender reform Bill “in the first year of the parliamentary session,” so before May 2022. The reform will include the requirement for applicants to live in their acquired gender for 3 months prior to submitting an application and for a three month reflection period after the application before legal gender recognition is granted. Furthermore, the age required to legally change age will be reduced from eighteen to sixteen.


Since 2004, anyone has been able to change their sex on their birth certificate to match the gender that they choose to define themselves as. These reforms to the Gender Reform Act (GRA) would make it much easier for individuals to change the sex stated on their birth certificate. But is this really necessary?


Currently, a transgender person requires to have lived full time for at least two years in their preferred gender before it is changed formally. The reduction of this to three months doesn’t give the full scope of how life is like living as the opposing sex. A lot of trans people do spend multiple years unsure of their gender identity, however until they transform fully, they can’t understand what it is like, especially the potential criticism they may face. Henceforth, a trial period will prevent rushed mistakes made in which people transform before they comprehend the consequences.


It is clear that Sturgeon is attempting to win over the LGBT community by implementing Bills that will please them over a short period. This will also gain support from various groups like Stonewall and Unison which could potentially create the swing required to enforce a second independence referendum.


A more important swing vote that the SNP requires is that of the Scottish youth. Should a second independence referendum be on the cards in the next decade, current teenagers will play a dramatic part in the outcome. Changing the curriculum in schools will help the SNP maintain power over the young people of Scotland. At the moment, the changes in the school’s syllabus objectively reinforce subjective stances on social issues, reducing the individual input possible by the younger generation.


Anti-discrimination and decolonisation policies are also being embedded into the curriculum.  Anti-racist lessons are hugely important for schools and encouraging diversity can only increase inclusion and social justice across the future. However, promoting decolonisation is directly indoctrinating children into potentially joining the independence campaign. By all means, the SNP have every right to campaign in whichever they deem most effective, however, this shouldn’t have to be inflicted upon children.


Consequently, there has been evidence of large backlash towards these proposals by Sturgeon, but with the majority gained from the Scottish Greens it is likely the current Bill suggestions will make it through Holyrood very easily. It is good to see more innovation and evolution of laws and Bills, especially if they intend to help minorities. But these are clearly politically fuelled and with little evidence to show they will have any long-term gain for Scotland.


Image credit: The CBI

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