Humza Yousaf's adherence to trans ideology played a part in his political demise. Will next SNP leader stand up for reality? – Susan Dalgety

Humza Yousaf could have reached out to groups like For Women Scotland on becoming First Minister. Instead he treated them with contempt

In an emotional mea culpa worthy of any soap opera, Humza Yousaf said he had underestimated the level of hurt he had inflicted on his erstwhile partners in government, former Scottish Green ministers Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, when he threw them out of Bute House, and government, last week.

But as he was preparing his resignation speech, a man pled guilty to threatening women’s rights campaigner and author JK Rowling, and was warned he faces jail when he is sentenced in June. He sent an audio message to Rowling in Gaelic saying: “I am going to kill JK Rowling with a big hammer. JK Rowling is very horrible and I hate her so much.” Sadly, this is just one example of the hatred that women like Rowling have endured in recent years for standing up for their rights.

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Yet Yousaf did not mention women in his speech. He spoke about Gaza, the toll on his physical and mental health, his family. He referred to “toxic” culture wars, but did not mention the one issue that has divided his party, divided the parliament, and led, in part, to his downfall, just as it contributed to Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation only last year: women’s rights and the SNP’s stubborn adherence to trans ideology.

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Humza Yousaf's extraordinary miscalculation will go down in Holyrood history

For six years now, women’s rights campaigners from across Scotland, including JK Rowling, have begged SNP ministers to listen to them, sometimes tearfully, occasionally with a flash of frustration if not downright anger, but always politely. Their argument is that the SNP’s policy of embedding trans ideology in schools, the NHS and justice system, is not ‘progressive’, endangers women’s sex-based rights, and risks the mental and physical well-being of young people. They did not embark on a “toxic culture war” as Yousaf alluded to, but instead simply pointed out the science – human beings cannot change their sex at will.

‘Ignore us at your peril’

Humza Yousaf should have listened to those who protested against gender self-identification (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Humza Yousaf should have listened to those who protested against gender self-identification (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Humza Yousaf should have listened to those who protested against gender self-identification (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

When Yousaf took over from Sturgeon last March, he had a chance to repair the damage done by his mentor. He could have reached out to women’s groups such as For Women Scotland, and listened to women’s concerns. Instead he doubled down, recently describing women as “cis”, a term favoured by transgender activists to suggest there are two types of women – those of us born female and those men who decide they are women. Yousaf treated Scotland’s women with contempt, and his protestations of inclusivity in his resignation speech are empty words, likely drafted by special advisers to rescue what they can from another political catastrophe.

For Women Scotland have a campaign poster that reads "women are angry, ignore us at your peril". As Susan Smith of FWS pointed out today, two First Ministers have now chosen to ignore, dismiss or demonise the voices of many women. “Doing the same thing in expectation of a different outcome is, of course, the very definition of insanity,” she says.

But common sense is beginning to prevail. The Cass Review has exposed the dangers of medical and social transitioning for young people. Self-ID will not happen in Scotland, despite the SNP’s best efforts. More and more politicians are willing to stand up and say, “a woman does not have a penis”. The question must now be: will the next First Minister have the courage to stand up for reality?



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