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Tory government doesn't like human rights - unless it can choose who gets them

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 10th Feb 2022

The political temperature continues to rise north and south of the border. And as we move out of the Covid crisis I predict this will continue.  The time has now come for a relentless light to be shone on the Tories project of minimising scrutiny of their actions by parliament and the courts and their undermining of the powers of our devolved parliament. Likewise in Scotland we can already see a more searching analysis of the case for independence. The row over who will pay your pension after independence and the issues raised in a raft of new policy publications on Scotland and Europe emphasise how important it is that the Scottish Government gets its ducks in a row for the referendum which has been promised next year.   

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We must not shy away from hard questions ahead of indyref2

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 04th Feb 2022

Amidst all the sound and fury of the unveiling of Sue Gray’s report this week the 2-year anniversary of Brexit passed with little fanfare. 

But 31st January 2020 was quite a momentous day in Scotland with grassroots demonstrations across the country, including outside Holyrood, and a major speech from the First Minister setting out the next steps on the road to independence. 

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Twitter must act or risk failing to protect free speech

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 21st Jan 2022

It is tempting to write about the Tories’ troubles for a second week running. Instead, I will simply reiterate my warning that independence supporters should not get too fixated on who leads the Tory party or indeed the Government of the UK. It is arguments and policies that will win independence, not personalities. And much as Boris Johnson is described as the best recruiting sergeant our cause has, John Curtice sounded an important caveat this week when he pointed out that this has not, as yet, been borne out in the polls, so far as support for independence is concerned. There is no substitute for the hard work required to put the meat on the bones of the case for indy and to devise a delivery strategy that will work.  

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Turning point has been reached in debate on sex and gender identity

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 28th Jan 2022

On Wednesday the Equality and Human Rights Commission released two important documents signalling a turning point in the debate on sex and gender identity in Scotland and across the UK. The first was a letter from the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the cross bench former Lib Dem peer, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, commenting on the Scottish Government’s plan to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and to adopt a policy of self-identification. The second was the EHRC response to the UK Government’s consultation on its plan to ban conversion therapy. 

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As part of the UK, Scotland will not be any better off if Boris Johnson goes

  • First published in : Visit Website
  • First published on: 14th Jan 2022

This week, as we reached the high-water mark of Tory sleaze, corruption and contempt for ordinary citizens, what was perhaps most instructive to voters in Scotland was the contempt displayed towards the Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross by senior figures in his own party. Jacob Rees Mogg said “he’s not a big figure in the Conservative party” – well, that much we knew. But worse was to come from fellow Scot Michael Gove whose withering put-down for the proles who haven’t managed to escape the far north for betterment in London was very revealing - “my instant response is he's in Elgin and the national Tory leader is in London”. With that the pompous and insecure Scot in London, desperately trying to ape his acquired social set, amplified and reflected back the derision for Scotland and the Scots which abounds at the heart of the British establishment. 

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Joanna Cherry QC MP

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