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Not Valid by Caroline McAllister

Guest Blog by Caroline McAllister the ALBA Party Women's Convener

My life has revolved around party campaigns, events, and fundraising. Like many others, I believed the SNP could and would be better. I was wrong and yes, they have let many of us down so don’t dare tell me to 'wheesht for Indy' because the whole time the government insults women we will not secure Independence.

Most folk want intelligent-based, fair policies that address many of society’s ills. We want open and honest debate and we need to trust our government to make the difficult decisions, not abrogate their responsibilities to lobby groups.

What have we got?

We have elected officials sneering at us, dismissing our concerns as ‘not valid’, calling the electorate ‘trash, neds, and bigots’. We have senior party members smearing women who object to having their rights taken from them, with the intent to destroy them.

We have a government that views #hatefulhaberdashery as threatening and a government that scorns legitimate protest. We have a First Minister happy to deliver emergency broom cupboard broadcasts misleading the nation to avert our attention from her failings while refusing to engage across civic society.

We have government-funded women’s services, top-heavy with ‘professional’ feminists all too willing to sell out the needs of the very women they’re supposed to represent and ignoring those women’s objections while eroding best practice.

We have grassroots women’s groups funded by ordinary people challenging the government's unlawful actions, the erosion of women’s rights, our language, and our very existence. And, yet again it is women who are left to do the heavy lifting.

We have a corrupt, anti-science ideology being embedded in our schools, masquerading as ‘progressive’ when it’s actually deeply regressive, misogynistic, and homophobic. An ideology designed to dismantle our boundaries and discard safeguarding.

Our services and institutions have been captured. Our police force is prioritising violent sexual offenders' wishes over women’s needs. These criminals are then placed in prison with vulnerable women who are further terrorised by their presence and behaviours.

We have a male running women’s services telling us ‘women must reframe their trauma’. They insult the many women who built these services by stating they will cleanse women’s history of their (the women who actually built the services) bigotry and the services who do not capitulate to the ideology and admit males are being defunded.

The result of this is women dealing with the trauma of sexual violence who desperately need these services to assist their recovery are self-excluding. Of particular concern are working-class women who often don’t have the necessary funds to seek alternative professional support.

Three recent polls confirm Scots overwhelmingly oppose self Id – giving the right to any man to simply declare they are a woman and they must be accepted as a woman. Where is the promised publication of the last consultation on Gender Recognition Act Reform Self-Id? And I mean all the responses, not just the cherry-picked ones that agree with government proposals.

Many of us have lost trust and confidence in the government as a result of their underhanded and pig-headed actions. Labeling us ‘the enemy’ because we see the injustice & dangers of government proposals of self ID sums up the totalitarianism rife at SNP leadership level.

On the eve of a new year my message to the government is we are no longer accepting your failure to engage with our VALID concerns. We will not succumb to the bullying of your Fly Lords.

We will be heard! #WomenWontWheesht

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