Kate forbes

Why is it so hard to be a Christian in public life?

Is it any longer acceptable to be a Christian? News reaches me of a strange case involving the Liberal Democrat party. Ordinarily, I would pay no more attention to happenings within the Liberal Democrat party than I would to a golf tournament. But this case is a telling one. It involves somebody called David Campanale, who has been deselected from the Lib Dems’ parliamentary candidate list. You would have thought that is quite a difficult thing to do. First because it is extraordinary that anyone would want to join the Lib Dems – the party is hardly bursting with talent. Secondly, since the party and its predecessor have traditionally been

The SNP should have listened to Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes has called on the Scottish Government to accept Friday’s judgment on its controversial gender legislation. The Gender Recognition Reform Bill introduces ‘self-identification’, an approach which removes medical experts and other safeguards from the process, and lowers the age at which a person can change their legal sex to 16. It was passed overwhelmingly by the Scottish Parliament last December but blocked from becoming law by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack under a never-before-used power contained in the Scotland Act. Jack had received legal advice that the legislation would not only affect Scotland but equalities law across the UK. The SNP-Green Holyrood government petitioned for judicial review and yesterday the

The SNP leadership race has turned into the mother of all culture wars

Bring back Nicola Sturgeon. The race to replace her as SNP leader and first minister has turned into the mother of all culture wars. Who would have thought that the party of independence would start tearing itself apart over a law on same sex marriage that was passed nearly a decade ago? The early front runner, Kate Forbes, provoked fury among ‘progressive’ SNP supporters on Twitter by saying she opposes gay marriage – something everyone who knows her knew perfectly well. She is an evangelical Christian for heaven’s sake, a member of the Free Church of Scotland. Of course she opposes gay marriage. That along with having children out of wedlock and working

Kate Forbes: I’m against gay marriage and self-ID

It’s day one of Kate Forbes’ bid to be First Minister and she is certainly making headlines. The Finance Minister has done a round of media interviews today, with much media attention focusing on her stance on social issues. Forbes is a member of the Free Church of Scotland, a bastion of unrepentant Christianity. And she has suggested in several Q&As today that she is not exactly signed up to some of the SNP’s more liberal social policies. Asked if she would have voted for Nicola Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill, she replied: I have been on record saying that I had significant concerns about self-ID and I would have had

Why the Tories fear Kate Forbes

Whenever a governing party changes leader midway through a parliament, it’s interesting to note what the main opposition makes of the contest. Specifically, which candidate they would be more comfortable to see win — and which they dread the most.  So, as the SNP begins choosing Nicola Sturgeon’s replacement as party leader and first minister, I’ve been asking Scottish Tories what they think so far. Whomever the Scottish Nationalists pick will be staring down Douglas Ross every week at First Minister’s Questions, while the Scottish Tory leader will have to update his strategy and rhetoric for a post-Sturgeon era.  So far there are two declared candidates. Health secretary and continuity

Kate Forbes is the obvious successor to Nicola Sturgeon

The contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon really shouldn’t be a contest at all. The obvious successor is Kate Forbes, the Scottish finance secretary. She is young at 32 but she was even younger three years ago when she stepped in to deliver the Scottish budget just 12 hours after finance minister Derek Mackay was forced by scandal to resign. Her plaudit-winning performance showed her to be a woman of ability and nerve.   If you want to keep evangelical zeal out of politics, Kate Forbes is the least of your worries These are not her only qualities. Forbes is Cambridge-educated and a disciplined media performer. She is a true believer in the cause

Kate Forbes, Tartan Thatcher

The SNP’s political gifts know no bounds. Mr S has to take his bonnet off to Kate Forbes – Sturgeon’s finance secretary and heir apparent. For no Tory minister could have ever announced the spending cuts which she did yesterday without facing the wrath of the Scottish establishment. Couched in managerial jargon-ese, Forbes’ spending review statement promised a ‘reset’ in the country’s public services over the next five years. ‘Reset,’ of course, is simply a shorthand for ‘real term cuts’, with the funding axe set to fall on a swathe of different areas including local government, higher education, the courts service and cultural affairs. Despite all this, there is still

Sex, trans rights and the Scottish census

It takes some doing to make a census interesting. So congratulations to the National Records of Scotland (NRS). NRS, which administers the decennial survey, is facing a judicial review over its guidance on the document. On the question of sex, it states that ‘if you are transgender the answer you give can be different from what is on your birth certificate’. That is, something other than your legal sex. Feminist group Fair Play For Women will challenge this guidance at the Court of Session on 2 February. If this sounds familiar, it’s because similar guidance for last year’s census in England and Wales was challenged at the High Court and found to

In praise of Kate Forbes’s Christian faith

Politics tends to attract people who consider themselves and their every mundane word and deed an example of great bravery. Like journalism and entertainment, it is an industry constructed around the pleasing myth that, whatever level you’re working at, you are engaged in the business of saving the world. Yet few politicians say much today that is courageous, or even all that original. When every dissenting view, colourful remark, or provocative thought brings with it the threat of cancellation, you have to console yourself with the fiction that saying the same thing as everyone around you is a courageous feat. So when I say that Kate Forbes has done something