The full name of the party that is in Government in Westminster is the Conservative and Unionist Party. However, today that took a shocking step that may well rock or even split up that union.
It is being announced that the Scottish Secretary will this evening inform the Scottish First Minister that tomorrow he will take the legal steps to invoke a Section 35 which allows Westminster to overturn a piece of legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament. This is something that has never been done in the 25 years of the Socttish Parliament.
The piece of legislation that it is seeking to overturn is the Gender Recognition Bill that was passed with an overwhelming vote of 67% of MSPs voting in favour. The breakdown by party was
- All 4 Lib Dem MSPs in favour (100%)
- All 7 Green MSPs in favour (100%)
- 21 out of 22 Labour MSPs in favour (95%)
- 54 out of 64 SNP MSPs in favour (84%)
- 2 out of 31 Conservative MSPs in favour (6%)
The worse thing is that the Scottish Government's Gender Recognition Bill has no actual impact on UK-wide equality legislation, this was pointed out in the wording of the Bill itself. It is only impacting the right to change your gender on your birth certificate and only impacts those who wish to do so not anyone else. We in the UK do not currently* need to carry our birth certificates around with us.
The Secretary of State of Scotland also calls for there to be more consideration of this. However, there was already 6 years of public consultion into this bill it was not rushed, what is rushed in the UK Government's response.
By saying currently the more right wing, authoritarian and dare I say facist the Conservative Party are becoming me may well start to single out individuals and groups of individuals may not be far off.