The SNP has a ‘Malevolent Tendency’ and it must be dealt with – Kenny MacAskill

The Scottish Government is right to review the Gender Recognition Act but the debate seems to have brought out the worst in some people, writes Kenny MacAskill.

Hatred directed at politicians like Joanna Cherry is getting out of hand (Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

I’m old enough to remember the Militant Tendency (MT), the Trotskyite grouping that sought to infiltrate Labour.

They were never particularly pleasant but the SNP, no doubt reflecting where power now lies in Scotland, has its own MT. There though it’s a Malevolent Tendency, who seem obsessed about identity and gender, rather than nationhood or class.

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The Gender Recognition Act seems to have brought out the worst in them. Abuse heaped upon some leading female representatives has been repugnant, as well as being patently malevolent.

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The animus suffered by Joan McAlpine or Joanna Cherry is worse than I’ve received from the most hard-line loyalist. It’s simply unacceptable. For some, there seems to be neither room for debate nor any reason for being in the SNP other than this issue.

Class or country are marginal, gender identity is it and doubts or questioning there must be none.

I recently had a very minor taste of it when I put a question to a UK minister on the effects of gender “self-identification” in prison. When even sex offenders are warning of the significant danger from predators within their number in institutions in England, then there’s an issue. I pointed out how I’d seen a former prison governor who I knew well speak out on it. That was met by a klaxon of party and political correctness from people who’ll have been lucky to have driven past, let alone run, a prison.

The Scottish Government are rightly reviewing the GRA but the SNP needs to deal with its malevolent tendency.