How extreme trans ideology captured Scottish public sector

Feb 1, 2023

The recent scandal of the transgender rapist sent to a Scottish women’s prison has shone a light on the underhand way controversial agendas are pushed by governments via supposedly independent organisations.

When Isla Bryson – who was known as Adam Graham until 2020 – was found guilty of two counts of rape, the warrant issued by Glasgow’s High Court recommended that he be sent to HMP Barlinnie, a male-only jail.

But the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) thought otherwise and sent him to an isolation unit at HMP Cornton Vale, the country’s only women’s jail.

This sparked a predictable outcry, leading Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – who has just forced a highly controversial gender self-ID bill through the Scottish Parliament – to insist she played no role in the decision. Be that as it may, there can be no doubt that it was squarely in line with the policy introduced by the SNP Government in 2014 of accommodating transgender prisoners according to their chosen gender.

The 2014 policy change was heavily influenced by the Scottish Trans Alliance, a vocal cheerleader of the SNP self-ID policy and an offshoot of the Equality Network, a charity that is almost entirely reliant on Nicola Sturgeon’s Government for funding.

Of almost £600,000 in public funds given to the Equality Network last year, £100,000 was ring-fenced for the Scottish Trans Alliance.

The group deliberately targeted prisons as a means of persuading other public bodies to follow its agenda, the then Director of the Alliance, James Morton, wrote in the 2018 book Trans Britain.

“The SPS policy was shaped by a small group of influential activists, without consideration for female prisoners or staff,” observed Kath Murray, a member of the Edinburgh-based MurrayBlackburnMackenzie policy analysis group, which has investigated the development of the SPS policy.

“The wholesale removal of sex-based protections, including sex separated services such as prisons, are proving disastrous for women and girls, as the Bryson case clearly illustrates,” she added.

People often wonder where all the nonsense on gender and marriage comes from. This story gives a glimpse into this circular, self-reinforcing world. Very often, behind the vocal, supposedly independent groups pushing for radical change you’ll find a big pile of taxpayers’ money, sent by government to give the false impression of a spontaneous movement for change.

This latest debacle only shows it’s high time that governments stopped bankrolling small groups of activists to help them foist unpopular and damaging policies on the rest of us.