Readers' Letters: First Minister’s secret agenda now uncovered

The shameful scenes in the Scottish Parliament during the debate on the hugely controversial Gender Recognition Bill on Tuesday 20 December are likely to be remembered for a very long time and for all the wrong reasons.

When MSPs voted down an amendment on the Gender Recognition Bill to exclude sex offenders from self-identifying to gain a gender recognition certificate, this became a moment when the Parliament itself and its MSPs reached a new low in their priorities and their representation of the people they serve.

This Gender Bill is a clearly a personal mission for the First Minister, ignoring public opinion polls and attempting to shut down all criticism of the bill by describing such criticisms as “not valid”.

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However one needs to think a little more as to Nicola Sturgeon’s real intentions. It is abundantly clear that she wishes to curry favour with 16-18 year olds at every opportunity, a cohort she believes is “independence positive”. Hence the further “bait” cast out recently around whether 16-year-olds should be able to stand for election to the Scottish Parliament?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill debate on 20 December (Picture: Andrew Cowan - Pool/Getty Images)First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill debate on 20 December (Picture: Andrew Cowan - Pool/Getty Images)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill debate on 20 December (Picture: Andrew Cowan - Pool/Getty Images)

Ms Sturgeon’s hidden agenda has been uncovered showing that nothing, nobody and their safety is off limits in her destructive drive for independence.

Richard Allison, Edinburgh

Step forward

I find the present debate over gender in Scotland very interesting. The main point arising is the attempt to ignore scientific fact, which is that we cannot change our gender – sex, if you prefer – but that we can alter our appearance to mimic the change which is being discussed.

If people want to dress up as the opposite sex, so what? People have done that for millennia. When they opt for drastic surgical intervention and for the administration of hormones to increase or reduce testosterone or oestrogen, then things become much more serious. Again, if people want to do that, be it upon their own heads.

I would be very much more impressed with the Holyrood Assembly if those MSPs who vote for the gender bill were to append their name to a legally binding document to be held financially responsible for future claims resulting from the deaths that will, inevitably, occur from the hormones and the damage they are wreaking on mentally fragile people whose main need is psychiatric, not surgical, but I am not holding my breath.

Peter Hopkins, Edinburgh

Missing a trick

With the Gender Recognition Bill, you get the impression that the Labour Party, which is broadly in favour, is missing a trick here in reconnecting with it's traditional working class base, which is broadly socially conservative. This bill is widely seen as an irrelevance!

William Ballantine, Bo'ness, West Lothian


With all the problems the world is facing – wars, famine, suppression of Afghan women by the Taliban, incarceration of the Uyghurs in China, protesters being executed in Iran and the world economy in freefall, what is it that exercises the minds of Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP government? Whether a woman has or does not have a penis or a vagina!

Sturgeon and her cronies are incompetent nutcases whose raison d'etre (now that Indyref2 is on the backburner) is to raise controversial issues to distract everyone from their useless, inept attempt at governing our country.

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Surely 50 per cent of my fellow Scots won't continue voting for these bungling fools. I have yet to meet a diehard SNP voter… do they populate a parallel universe, the door to which is opened by a secret key at polling times?

Stan Hogarth, Strathaven, South Lanarkshire

Sad indictment

I sympathise with the concern your reporter Stephen McIlkenny expresses about a threat to Gourock pool (“Gourock Pool: The latest tax move should be used to save facilities”, 21 December).

There will be many other such local facilities and services under a similar shadow as the proposed Scottish budget with an inadequate local government settlement works out across all 32 councils.

It is, however, a sad indictment of our sense of local democracy that he can describe the removal of constraints on council tax decisions as a “privilege” for local councils.

Governments and councils across Europe would be stunned at such a debased sense of democratic balance.

If our government (or any likely alternative) really aspires to emulate Scandinavia it will have to swallow a lot more local democracy than it has proved comfortable with to date.

(Prof) Richard Kerley, Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Public service?

Too many people have disregarded the definition of “service” in our public services.

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For the unions to deliberately stage strikes over the Christmas period, severely affecting tens of thousands of our citizenry, is disgraceful.

It is no good for union bosses to remind us all every single day that the public health workers were, not so long ago, being applauded for their devotion to the public.

But these same union bosses are demanding a 19 per cent pay rise for their members, irrespective of the cost to the economy that would invariably have to be paid for by increased taxes on the rest of us. They deliberately ignore the fact that today's inflation rates are not forever

The GBP>USD rate is recovering now from its recent lows and that will feed through to the economy more generally.

As for the rail unions, we are seeing in Mick Lynch the reincarnation of Arthur Scargill, a similar belligerence and selfish disregard for the effects on the lives of thousands of his fellow citizens caused by his deliberate actions. Let's remember, it was precisely this selfish approach to the rest of our society that led to Thatcher's crackdown on unions and, ultimately, to the demise of the industries in which their members were employed.

It's a fundamental human right that applies to all employees everywhere, that if they don't like their job or feel undervalued and underpaid, they can seek employment elsewhere.

Members of public service unions who voted for their immensely destructive strike actions seem to have forgotten that,

Derek Farmer, Anstruther, Fife

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