Trans Politics Casualty? Woke-Pushing First Minister Sturgeon Resigns as Support Evaporates

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 15: Nicola Sturgeon speaking during a press conference at B
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The political leader of Scotland who made pushing transgender issues a key plank of her political programme has resigned in the wake of discovering support for that, and other radical moves, are not as widespread as she thought.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland — a position roughly analogous to that of a State Governor in the United States — announced her resignation on Wednesday morning, ending a tumultuous run of months which saw shifting political sand combined with a series of unforced errors and unpopular policies damage the position of a politician who has sat at the top of Scottish politics for a remarkable eight years.

Speaking from her office in Edinburgh, Sturgeon said the “time is right to make way for someone else” and that she would officially resign as leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) and First Minister of Scotland once her successor had been elected. Addressing her voters, the veteran politician asked the public to believe that the announcement, which comes after weeks of bad polling and mounting controversy about her political decisions is “not a reaction to short-term pressures”.

Pushing this point of view, Sturgeon obliquely referenced those developments — including a major poll this past weekend which found both her popularity and support for the central purpose of the SNP, Scottish sepratism, to be cratering — and insisted: “individual polls come and go but I’m firmly of the view there is now majority support for independence in Scotland”. The outgoing First Minister also made a bid for sympathy, remarking “I’m not expecting violins here, but I am a human being”, and blamed others for the polarising tone of debate in Scotland, brushing over her own role.

Sturgeon leads, for now, the Scottish Nationalists, a left-separatist group that has come to occupy a powerful position in UK politics as well as near-totally dominate local politics in North Britain itself. The party is defined by a shared desire to see Scotland as an independent country, yet a 2014 ‘once in a lifetime’ referendum in Scotland saw that notion defeated.

Apparent impatience at the top of the SNP to deliver their key goal at any cost — even by stepping outside the UK constitution and going it alone unilaterally to call more referendums so soon after the last — has alienated many.

Alongside the unofficial or de-facto referendums proposed by Sturgeon were financial irregularities and her pushing, at a rate not seen in any other Western country, of transgender politics. Her passing of a law — then blocked by London — allowing trans-self-identification was deeply controversial but became a lightning-rod for dissent after the case of ‘trans’ rapist ‘Isla Bryson‘ hit the headlines in Scotland.

Bryson only decided to identify as female after being arrested, leading some to suspect doing so was a cynical ploy from an individual who — given they had been convicted of rape — may not be the most honest and upstanding of individuals. Sturgeon repeatedly tripped over the question of whether Bryson was a woman or not, and therefore should be locked up in a prison of women, rather than men, despite having functional male genitals.

Sturgeon’s difficulty with articulating her own position on the highly controversial transgender issue, which she forced in Scottish politics, quickly became an object of ridicule, damaging her credibility. Given Sturgeon’s long political experience and general reputation as a suave media operator, her sudden inability to defend a flagship policy eloquently without becoming flustered or confused has been regarded as particularly striking.

These problems were manifested in a major poll released at the weekend by Lord Ashcroft, which found support for not just Sturgeon and her plans, but the founding purpose of her party — Scottish separatism — are all falling. As reported by The Times on Monday, half of her own SNP voters disagreed with her plan to treat the next UK general election as a defacto independence referendum, and found a considerable 12-point lead for unionism over separatism in Scotland.

Sturgeon made no reference to the trans politics which has seen her hit the headlines negatively so often in recent months in her resignation speech.

The timing of the resignation is key. The SNP was to hold a special conference next month to discuss their strategy for next UK general election in 18 months, and the next Scotland elections in three years, so a change of leadership now would give the maximum time for Sturgeon’s replacement to bed in and build a reputation.

Attention will now, inevitably, turn to who will replace Sturgeon. Rising star Kate Forbes, who portrays herself as a faithful and strict Christian, is from — as far as these things go — the right-wing of the SNP, but who is presently on maternity leave is widely discussed. Perhaps likely is Sturgeon’s own deputy leader John Swinney, given Sturgeon herself stepped into the leader role from deputy to one-time Scottish seprtatist frontman Alex Salmond.

On the other end of the scale, perhaps, is left-wing culture warrior Humza Yousaf, who was Scotland’s justice secretary. Promoting the hate crime bill during his tenure, Yousaf got attention for insisting that free speech was not an “unfettered” right, and also grabbed headlines for claiming racism was the cause when his children couldn’t get a place at the nursery school he wanted. His legal case against the school was dropped last week.


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