Readers' Letters: Political parties must protect women from abuse

I was very saddened. but also pleased. to see the recent article that highlights the abuse of Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon (your report, 11 March).

I started following Ms Lennon on Twitter/X after she successfully passed the period products bill, a groundbreaking piece of legislation for the well-being and equality of women and girls. She has also been a vocal advocate for buffer zones and abortion rights. Due to Ms Lennon’s intersectional feminism, she has faced a lot of abuse from transphobic men.

I am also vocal about both abortion rights and the rights of trans women to live freely and safely. If I were to quote the threats and abuse I receive from men on Twitter/X, The Scotsman would not be able to print it.

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I am a resilient person, but sometimes it becomes overwhelming. I should not need a thick skin simply for advocating gender equality and rejecting the promotion of hatred. It is understandable that women who witness the threats and abuse and are discouraged from entering politics or grassroots activism.

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon  this week urged her party to help rid politics of 'toxic' misogyny (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon  this week urged her party to help rid politics of 'toxic' misogyny (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon this week urged her party to help rid politics of 'toxic' misogyny (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

What have senior Labour leaders done to defend women in their party? Even the most senior women in politics face targeted hate.

Regardless of people's opinions on Nicola Sturgeon's politics, she endured constant misogynistic abuse not because of her political views, but because she is a high-profile woman in politics.

It is high time all political parties were held accountable and obligated to protect women from abuse. Little progress can be made when it is not even safe for us to have genuine advocacy and political representation.

Gemma Clark, Paisley, Renfrewshire

Attack dogs

During the passage of the SNP's disastrous Gender Bill in Holyrood, anyone voicing reservations, let alone outright hostility, was immediately set upon by the SNP's orchestrated dogs of war and labelled bigots or transphobes.

These attacks lingered for a spell, incredibly, even after a vicious double rapist had been sent to women's prison, before the bill was laughed out of every court where the matter was raised.

This DNA trait of the SNP – to mass attack the questioner and ignore the question – is again on full show.

No-one, it seems, can ask perfectly reasonable questions about the actions of the First Minister with regard to what on the surface looks like very large donations of Scottish taxpayers money to a UN agency whose credibility was being questioned at the highest level.

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If you do question, as with the Gender Reform Bill, there appear to be orchestrated attacks using key words like “Islamophobia” instead of transphobia and the now standard “far right”.

Does no one in the SNP realise that if honest and unspun answers were given to legitimate questions in the first place, none of this kind of furore would even arise.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh

Royal cult

So a photo of the Princess of Wales is at the very top news on the UK’s BBC platforms. Is that the most important world news for us?Maybe it’s time to go for Scottish independence, and stop this English royal cult nonsense!

Joe Moir, Aberdeen

Commercial break

Mother’s Day has become a commercial goldmine for businesses. Anna Jarvis, who founded Mother’s Day in 1908, became passionately opposed to its commercialisation, and eventually campaigned against the holiday.

She was right to so, because Mother’s Day is fundamentally a guilt inducing date on the calendar for everyone who has been born in western countries since then. Her opposition was unsuccessful, and she died in poverty in 1948 in a sanitarium in Philadelphia.

In the early 20th century, many mothers who were destitute needed food, and fuel for warmth, not pretty cards and boxes of chocolates, which have have now become the norm on this day. Apart from that, let’s be honest — some mothers are not the epitome of maternal warmth and love, yet they may expect their adult children to bestow gifts and cards upon them on the allotted day.

I’m a mother, and my message to anyone who feels guilty for not sending a card to their mother on Mother’s Day is simple: your mother gave birth to you and nurtured you because she loves you, not to be rewarded for so doing. Let’s face it, not all mothers are maternal angels, but most do the

best that they can.

Carolyn Taylor, Broughty Ferry

Needy, not greedy

I was around when the NHS was set up. My dad explained that “free at the point of use” meant poor people like us would be getting the medical help we needed paid for out of the pool of money to which we all would contribute.

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The emphasis was on the cash helping the needy, not the greedy. Rich people would respect their duty to help the less fortunate who, after all, had been dying in large numbers in a recent war defending everyone, the rich included. As the rich are not needy they can afford to pay their own way. Many Scots are already doing so now that the NHS is broke, if not yet broken. The well off, by going private, are relieving some of the burden from the NHS. They should be encouraged. The NHS was really set up to help the poor, and only the poor.

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

A suggestion

I read that suspected drug deaths in Scotland are rising again.

Perhaps our First Minister could find some way to apply minimum unit pricing to reduce consumption and thereby save lives? If it works for the demon drink...

Bruce Proctor, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Penny drops

Was there ever a more fitting metaphor for what this country has become than Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt wielding a plastic sword inside a charity shop, in the town where Ethelred the Unready spent his terminal illness as hostile invaders and traitors seized his kingdom unchallenged?

As Marx put it, history repeats itself, first as tragedy, secondly as farce.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone, Renfrewshire

Fatal error?

There was an error of judgment on the part of the Scottish Nationalist Party in assuming that the inauguration of regional parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland meant a break-up of the UK.

When one considers the disintegration of the SNP cause in recent times, with key figures disappearing like snow off a dyke, it is surely the SNP which faces extinction!

Robert I G Scott, Ceres, Fife

Unjust transition

News that the total number of offshore wind jobs in Scotland fell from 29,700 to 25,700 in the past year while profits have risen from almost £9 billion to £13bn are another nail in the coffin of the SNP-Greens’ “just transition”. They must find a way to tax these excess profits which are, after all, partly boosted by subsidies paid from “green levies" on our energy bllls”.

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And in the spirit of the circular economy and terminology re-useability, they could even call it the “windfall tax”.

Allan Sutherland, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Atypically tropical

“Pollutants” are not the cause of climate change (David Corcoran, Letters, 12 March), it is caused mainly by carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, neither of which are pollutants. CO2 can be captured at source but not from vehicles.

Moreover, CO2 has no practical use and is not a valuable resource. Capture and sequestration is difficult and expensive. As of May last year, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere was 421 parts/million (ppm) and rising. It needs to be back where it was before the industrial revolution: 280 ppm.Current attempts to reduce CO2 emissions are largely ineffective.

The only practical way to bring the Earth's temperature down is by some form of geoengineering to deflect some of the Sun's radiation back into space. I can't see anyone doing that until we are desperate in a sweltering world with a wild climate and mass migrations as people try to escape the tropics.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh

Angus on the go

So, Angus Robertson clocks some more air miles popping down to Westminster and venting his annoyance that UK Government ministers visiting Scotland snub requests for meetings, and even don’t turn up on the odd occasion they agree to do so (your report, 11 March). How rude!

Given his own government’s impeccable record keeping, oor Angus will of course be able to name and shame these villains by producing evidence to back all this up?

What are they afraid of anyway, it’s not like any minutes would be taken!

Andrew Kemp, Rosyth, Fife

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