James Kirkup James Kirkup

How self-ID helped bring down Nicola Sturgeon

(Photo: Getty)

In the years when I wrote a lot about sex and gender and politics and law, I made the same observations many times. One, that politicians weren’t talking fully and openly about the implications of self-identified gender, and the policies and practices related to it. Second, that as a result, such policies would never be politically sustainable: no policy made in the shadows can survive in sunlight.

Over several years, and not just in the UK, policymakers of many sorts began to subscribe to the doctrine of self-ID, but very few ever sought or won public consent for the associated policies. I don’t think you need to be a conspiracy theorist to think that there was an element of deliberate strategy behind that lack of public debate. After all, several of the campaigning and lobbying groups involved in pushing the self-ID agenda admitted in a document that they had deliberately avoided public debate about their preferred policies, not least by cloaking them under the ‘veil of protection’ offered by association with gay rights advocacy. Adding ‘T’ to ‘LGB’ is a deliberate and very political decision, one that too often escapes scrutiny and debate.

This is a slightly laboured way of saying that when the general public come to see what ‘transwomen are women’ means in the context of, say, a rapist who says he’s trans and is therefore sent to a female jail, that public will start to question the policies that arise from self-ID – and question the politicians who supported that agenda.

How did the most astute and sure-footed politician in Britain manage to trip over on self-ID and end up stammering over the rights of a rapist such as Isla Bryson?

This is a significant part of the downfall of Nicola Sturgeon.

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