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Pro-UK, pro-Bill.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and an advocate for the unity of the United Kingdom, I find myself in a bit of a twist, supporting the SNP's Hate Crime Bill with hardly any reservations. Sure, my usual political stance doesn't align with a lot of SNP policies and their whole pro-independence being a major thing for me, but this bill? It's different.


This legislation isn't about political divides—it's about protecting the basic rights and safety of marginalised communities, including people like me in the LGBTQ+ community. Plus, it adds a new crucial layer of protection for me in my life as someone who now identifies as disabled. That's a big deal, and it's why I'm fully backing this bill.


The Hate Crime Bill, introduced by the SNP, proposes to include new categories of hate crimes, including those motivated by prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Being discriminated against, especially in politics, has made me all the more determined to speak out.


That's why I believe these legal safeguards are crucial. Nobody deserves to face hate just because of who they are or identify as. And it gets to me that those with more political power think they can just get away with it, using their influence as a sort of get-out-of-jail-free card. I wish these protections had been in place years ago. Maybe then, I wouldn't have felt so vulnerable, and those with political clout wouldn't have been the ones getting all the protection.


Now, about those protests outside the Scottish Parliament last week? Sure, it might seem like a bunch of folks making a scene on April Fools' Day, but there's more to it. It's not just some odd fringe elements to be laughed off. Those people have a serious agenda, and it's not a good one. They're trying to drag Scotland's politics way over to the far right, and that's something none of us can afford to ignore.


You had all these different groups coming together, from Women Won't Wheesht supporters to the Scottish Family Party, A Force For Good, the Homeland Party, and Unionist Clubs of Scotland. Sure, they're all rallying against the Hate Crime Bill, but let's be real—deep down, their real anger is with anything even remotely related to the SNP at this point.


It's like they're using this bill as a way to keep their supporters fired up and motivated. It's all about advancing their own agendas and using each other to make that happen.


I was hoping (and still am, to be honest) that after all that chaos, some opposition politicians would step up and call out the madness for what it was—wrong, dangerous, and a total misrepresentation of what the Hate Crime Bill is all about. But instead, it was like a ghost town out there. They all seemed to vanish into thin air and run for the hills.


And remember this: the Hate Crime Bill had backing from Scottish Labour and the Scottish Liberal Democrats. You'd think they'd be out there defending their decision, explaining why they voted for it, but nope, not a word from them. It's like they just disappeared when things got heated.


I've seen this kind of situation play out before, back when I was the Culture Spokesperson for the Scottish Liberal Democrats. The whole  Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) debate and those UK constitutional legal issues that followed brought some internal thoughts, kind of giving off the impression of "it's their battle now, let's sit back and watch." And let me tell you when leading MSPs start sharing stuff in closed WhatsApp groups, to share back that attitude—it's demoralising.


The attitude of the MSP in the group chat, when it came to the GRR, was "I would suggest we don't need to be proactive on this as it is a fight for the SNP and Conservatives" and "It is important to recognise that it is having a negative impact on the SNP vote" seems to be the default stance for many opposition parties. It's like they're dodging the social issues and with it the culture war, hoping the SNP will take the hit and they'll be better off for it, of course.


The Scottish Conservatives used to be quite different from their colleagues down south, but now they're knee-deep in the culture wars and loving every minute of it. From the Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) debate to the Hate Crime Bill, they're all over it.


They're trying to seize up all those angry voices from the protest and paint themselves as the champions of common sense. But let's call a spade a spade—they're just cosying up to the right wing and playing along with their game.


And if you really look into it, especially at that protest, you'll see that the loudest voices aren't exactly the ones you want on your team. But somehow, on Twitter and in other media the Conservatives, portrayed them as some kind of freedom fighters.


Unfortunately, I've seen firsthand how the anything anti-SNP campaigns operate, both offline and online. And let me tell you, the Hate Crime Bill is going to be like throwing fuel on the fire for them. A lot of these groups and campaigns hide behind the mask of "free speech," but really, it's just a cover for spreading hate.


A go-to safe spot for a lot of people is those Facebook groups, especially the ones like United Against Separation (UAS). They've been at it since 2014, stirring up discussions where "free speech" is the name of their game. It's like a meme and graphics bonanza in there, making it easy for everyone to share and keeping the spotlight on the Bill.


Others might gravitate toward groups like The Majority, famous for their weekly podcast pushing to "Abolish Holyrood." And then there's A Force For Good, who may not have the most popular podcast, but they make up for it with a strong offline presence.


Already, within a day, we're seeing campaigns popping up left and right. Take the Unionist Clubs of Scotland, for example—they're urging people to register as voters for the upcoming general election and even capturing data to use for future campaigns and sharing.


I know the drill all too well from my own experience. It's all too easy that campaigns can manipulate ordinary non-political people into signing up, all under the guise of genuine concern about the Bill. They make it seem like all your worries will be sorted out with just a signature, but before you know it, you're being dragged down this path of misguided extremism in the debate.


You know what's so frustrating? Seeing all this debate dominated by trolls, fake news and celebrities calling the shots in the mainstream narrative. It's like the real issues are getting lost in the noise.


So, let me wrap this up by saying I'm fully on board with the Hate Crime Bill. It's been a long time coming, just like I felt about the Gender Recognition Reform for a more modern, inclusive, and progressive Scotland.


It's frustrating to see a small minority standing in opposition to this Bill, but you know what? My gut tells me it's just fine for the SNP to take a hit on this in the minds of the opposition. It's just another thing to add to their blunder list and, who knows, it might even give them a poll boost next time around.

1 comentário

08 de abr.

Good lad

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