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Differences of ability

Posted on February 14, 2021 by

Colette Walker is leader of the Independence for Scotland Party, and registered blind.

“There exists a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, ‘I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.’

To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: ‘If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.'” – GK Chesterton

I started writing this post two weeks ago, incensed at the behaviour of the SNP NEC and their proposals to introduce self-ID for disability. Then they sacked Joanna Cherry from the front bench.

Joanna Cherry is probably one of the few people left in the SNP exec that even knows what Chesterton’s Fence is, and its importance in lawmaking. As a gay woman, she understands on a practical level the issues round equality legislation.

It also means that she’s a particular target for certain groups. Ye shall know a genius by this sign; all the dunces of the world are in confederacy against her.

The SNP could do with a good course in jurisprudence, or maybe just one in common sense. Over the past year they have lurched from one piece of bad policy making to the next; self-ID, the Hate Crime bill and now the latest; self-identifying as disabled.

This latest move comes from an SNP NEC meeting last month, where it was decided, against legal advice, to allocate four of the top places on the eight regional lists for this May’s election to disabled people. Those applying for the places could self-identify as such; they did not need to provide proof of their disability.

This has come as no surprise to me. I first saw this concept introduced with regard to disability at the SNP conference in 2019. As someone who is registered blind with a son who is autistic and also blind, this infuriates me on several levels.

As a disabled person I can tell you that discrimination against the disabled is real. Disabled people are more likely to be unemployed, or if they are employed, in lower paid jobs. They are more vulnerable to being made redundant, something that COVID-19 is throwing into sharp relief as employers look around for easy targets for dismissal.

On a social level you have to fight to get noticed, or indeed to be visible at all. People in conversation are more likely to pass over your opinion or address questions through your carer, rather than directly to you.

Now I don’t wear my disability on my sleeve. It has shaped me as a person and made me care about others in a way that I probably wouldn’t have had I not been disabled. But nonetheless it’s there. It means that I have to always travel on public transport. It means frequent trips to hospital and specialist treatment. It means I need a guide dog to help me, and a house adapted to my needs.

All of this costs money, and a lot of it. And this is where disability being a protected characteristic comes in – I get special privileges to balance things out. I have a travel pass. I can apply for money to modify my house. I get disability-based benefits. My guide dog went through thousands of pounds worth of training, at no cost to me.

The flip side of these privileges is the gatekeeping. I had to go through assessments for my benefits. I had to register as blind. I needed a medical certificate from a doctor. And I’m absolutely fine with all of that. The process of assessment is a necessary hurdle. It keeps out people who would abuse the system and gives tangible legitimacy to those who need those privileges to have a good quality of life.

This is where Chesterton’s Fence comes in. The fence – gatekeeping for protected characteristics – is the process. Scrutiny, assessment by a qualified professional and the resulting public approval is the validation that legitimises your entitlement.

Take the fence away and what happens? It means that people who aren’t entitled to those privileges will come in and take them, and it will result in the eradication of the equality that you were trying to achieve.

Which brings me back to the SNP. On the face of it, it was a generous gesture to give four of the eight top spots on the regional list to the disabled – extravagantly so. But it was disproportionate; only one in five people in Scotland are disabled, so it really should have been one place or at the most two. And what was given with one hand was promptly taken away with the other.

Candidates were allowed to self-identify as disabled. That meant that anyone claiming to be disabled could take one of those places. They didn’t need to prove it. As the other four top places were going to BAME candidates, the only chance for a crack at the list was to game the system. Allowing self-ID was leaving the door wide open for people to do just that.

I don’t know what I’m angrier about here; the patronising virtue-signalling to people like myself, or the removal of the gatekeeping designed to keep impostors out. A normal disabled person would have no problem presenting proof of their disability, whether that would be a benefit letter or a medical certificate; we are regularly asked for proof and we understand its necessity. So what is the problem requesting this?

Joanna Cherry was almost a lone voice in pointing out the faults in removing similar gatekeeping in the case of self-ID for trans people.

Once the fences had been removed in one case, it was only going to be a matter of time before they were removed for another protected characteristic. At the moment this is confined to the SNP NEC. If this is also introduced into disability legislation, it will cause chaos.

Let me repeat. It is the process, the gatekeeping, that gives our status legitimacy. Take that away and we will be competing with people who are not genuinely disabled for resources. We already have to deal with the likes of the Daily Mail calling us benefit scroungers; self-ID is only going to exacerbate that. It will end in our rights been taken from us and appropriated by people who don’t need them.

So I would say this to the SNP; before you take down a fence, find out its purpose. The people that came before you put the fences there for a reason. Don’t presume to know better than them, and those it affects. And bring someone who understands the law back into your fold. Joanna Cherry is someone who would grace any cabinet. That you feel you can dispose of her, says far more about you than her.

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    121 to “Differences of ability”

    1. James says:

      hells teeth who is that person in the picture I cannot believe my eyes

    2. The SNP don’t have much credibility left but they somehow find a way to keep subtracting from it.

    3. Patsy Millar says:

      If only eejits in the upper echelons of the SNP would read this but I suspect even if they did they would just ignore it as it wouldn’t fit in with their blinkered stance.

    4. Bob Costello says:

      Excellent, simply excellent

    5. Captain Yossarian says:

      Get rid of Joanna Cherry as she can smell corruption and nepotism and will seek to root it out.

      I don’t think a single SNP Minister would be left standing after she was finished.

      It’s that simple really.

      We’ve all been talking about BAME and disabled representation for the past few days. That’dd really got nothing to do with it. This involves corruption at the heart of Holyrood.

    6. paul says:

      As an ISP member,

      I thank you for this clearly expressed denunciation of dilettante rights bothering.

      Always had a weakness for catholic mystics, and the ‘man who was thursday’ is as relevant today as it was when written.

    7. Grouser says:

      Is there any way of someone who is still a member of the SNP
      making sure that MPs and MSPs are given sight of this post? It is a powerful argument for taking a step back from the Hate Crime Bill and the Gender Recognition Act which are both capable of being mis-applied for bad purposes.

    8. Frances McKie says:

      Clearly explained and wise words. Thank you.

    9. Wulls says:

      I don’t know what makes me most angry.
      The utter clowns in the SNP that allowed this……..Or the avalanche of self centred arseholes that will try to take advantage.
      I can’t do anything about the NEC but I sure as shit can speak out when I see a self ID disability.
      TBH im just waiting to see if Rhiannon Al-Spear or Josh Aaaaaaaaaaaaaron Mennie self ID as disabled or find a distant great-great-great-great-great- grand uncle from the Caribbean to tick the BAME box.
      Andy Wightman will be fine……..being spineless is a recognised disability.

    10. paul says:

      Gk doing what he does best:

      “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

      “Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.”

      “There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.”

      “There is the great lesson of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”

      “There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”

      fucking hell, but my favorite (us autocorrect) today:

      “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

    11. Eileen Carson says:

      Fab! Thanks Colette really well put and explained.

    12. Cath says:

      Great article. I’ve been thinking about Colette a fair bit recently while reading about all the “equalities” shit the SNP are proposing, while pushing out people with genuine disabilities.

      I also saw one of the nasty young team had “suicide survivor” in his Twitter bio. Clever that, if you can manage it. If, as I presume, what he actually meant was that he’d lost someone to suicide, I lost my Dad that way. It’s not something I talk about much, far less would ever use to get on anywhere. There are things like disabilities and loss which make you stronger as a person, and maybe more empathetic as a person. They’re not baubles to be dangled, they’re personal things that you deal with. As others deal with poverty, loss, abuse and an endless number of other things which make them stronger or weaker or create problems for them, but are entirely invisible to others.

      There are some issues parties need to take into account to make sure everyone is able to participate and has an equal chance to represent people. Simply allowing people to “self ID” with issues which might make them unsuitable to represent people is not the way to gain representation from those who need it and deserve it.

    13. kapelmeister says:

      An excellent piece by Colette Walker. It’s reassuring that the ISP is led by someone who is so sensible and articulate.

    14. Helen Yates says:

      It’s quite difficult to comprehend how a party that was once the envy of all other parties could descend into such utter chaos, it must be deliberate sabotage from within because for the life of me there is nothing else that makes sense. I’ll be blown away if these clowns win the election in May.

    15. Jacqueline McMillan says:

      Grouser

      Nicla’s cabal are the one’s abusing the system for their own woo woo ends as we all know.

      Colette you have my List vote and I thank you and send you much love today xx

    16. somerled says:

      I’m not an ISP supporter but i am disabled and agree entirely with Collette. David Blunkett, Emma (Baroness) Nicholson and Jeremy Balfour MSP were all elected on their abilities not due to favouritism and that is how it should be. We need some more disabled people in Holyrood and other disadvantaged groups including working class but SNP idea isnt the way to do it. Good luck Collette.

    17. Astonished says:

      Great article explaining why we must fight self-id with every fibre of our being.

      The woke are still in charge of the SNP – hopefully for not much longer.

      I believe cracks are appearing in the murrell front.

    18. Ruaridh says:

      If you genuinely think it is straightforward for someone with a disability to be able to “prove” it you must never have met someone with a mental health related disability in your life or are just choosing to actively ignore them, especially given the atrocious state of mental health provision throughout the UK. Embarrassing.

    19. kapelmeister says:

      Even Charles Hawtrey had more leg muscles than yon Decaudin.

    20. Astonished says:

      Ruaridh – So you are suggesting anyone can self-id as mentally ill ? I agree with you, up to a point.

      I think everyone who employs self-id should undergo a psychiatric assessment.

      Hopefully with professional help to deal with their mental health problems – they will no longer self-id as something they ain’t.

    21. Meg says:

      it feels especially tasteless when just yesterday the guardian was reporting on DNR orders being placed on those with learning disabilities

    22. Ruaridh says:

      @ Astonished

      Given waiting times are anything from 6 months to a year, good luck with that. It also doesn’t mean anyone self IDing as mentally ill is not mentally ill before they have that assessment.

      I know people who have been trying for literally years to get diagnoses for e.g. adult ADHD. The provision simply doesn’t exist. But the conditions definitely do.

    23. Wee Chid says:

      Great post and I agree 100%. If people have to do contortions to the DWP to prove they are entitled to PIP then MSPs should have to face a similar test.

    24. Ruaridh says:

      @Wee Chid maybe disabled people shouldn’t have to do contortions to the DWP and that’s a shit way of doing things

    25. Wee Chid says:

      James says:
      14 February, 2021 at 5:30 pm
      “hells teeth who is that person in the picture I cannot believe my eyes”

      Comin’ tae a wumman’s lavvy near you anytime soon.

    26. Jimac says:

      @Ruaridh,the process that disabled people currently have to go through ,esp PIP is probably a topic all by itself but it doesn’t invalidate the point that Colette is making – that self id of disability is a road to chaos and will ultimately end in rights being taken away from the people who actually need them.

    27. Rob Smith says:

      I’ve been disabled more than half my life and had to work my arse off to get to where I am and be seen on a level playing field with peers. I’d gladly swap my disability and all the benefits it’s paid if one of them wanted. I’m not so sure they’d want to have been through my life, or that anyone else with a genuine disability. They don’t deserve to know what we’ve been through.

      It’s an affront to decency.

    28. Republicofscotland says:

      Well put Miss/Mrs Walker, I couldn’t agree more, read the article earlier but I wasn’t sure who it was attributed to, as the Rev’s name appeared under the heading, now I see its changed.

    29. Beaker says:

      Excellent article. I have relatives who are disabled, including one who is registered as blind. I know of the obstacles that are put in place.

      Allowing people to self-identify as disabled without any formal medical assessment is an insult to those who are truly disabled.

    30. Ian says:

      Some clues about how the hell to make any sense of this –

      ‘Sociopaths and psychopaths achieve their objectives through the relentless, immoral pursuit of power and personal gain, leaving a trail of human suffering and societal damage in their wake’.

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201810/7-characteristics-the-modern-psychopath

    31. florian albert says:

      Totally agree with what Colette Walker has written.

      On a slightly wider front, what is happening goes beyond political dishonesty and opportunism. It also corrodes language in a way which makes political discussion more difficult.
      Another very noticeable example of this is the way in which the already overused word ‘victim’ is being replaced by ‘survivor.’

    32. Heaver says:

      Ms Walker, your thoughts on a plebiscite in May.

      Should I vote SNP first, given that my prospective SNP candidate appears to be worthless (ie is “woke”). Banff & Buchan.

      Or should I just write “what a parasitic pile of tossers you all are” on the first paper, before proceeding to a mature consideration of the options on the List list.

    33. Dave M says:

      Fabulous piece, Colette. Thank you.

    34. John says:

      ISP member, got to say this is a good article. Thank you to WoS for publishing this article by Colette.

    35. jomry says:

      An excellent article which I would like to send to others – but VIRGINMEDIA email server is still blocking any e-mail, IN or OUT, which has anywhere in the text a link to “wingsoverscotland.com” . Others are experiencing this too.

      When sharing Wings pages on iPad, email seems to send but never goes. On desktop, an alert says it cannot send as spam is detected. Any Wings link sent to me does not get through server to me. This is serious disruption to disseminate Wings material.

      Beyond reporting it to VM. I am not sure what else to do. Suggest that anyone disseminating Wings pages checks this and puts in complaint where this is found to be the case.

    36. Nally Anders says:

      Brilliant post and very well put.

    37. Eileen Carson says:

      Mental Health Disability? My question is this would some of the conditions listed make you unsuitable to be an MSP? I don’t know I’m asking.

      List includes
      dementia
      depression
      bipolar disorder
      obsessive compulsive disorder
      schizophrenia

      https://www.gov.uk/when-mental-health-condition-becomes-disability
      A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010.

      ‘Normal day-to-day activity’ is defined as something you do regularly in a normal day. This includes things like using a computer, working set times or interacting with people.

    38. Ruaridh says:

      @Jimac

      No, sorry, PIP assessments and DWP assessments of disability are exactly the same issue. It is the idea we should put barriers in front of all disabled people on the off chance a tiny number might abuse the system. It is how the Conservatives have gotten away with starving people to death to save a few £s a week. It is despicable.

    39. Alf Baird says:

      Surely a more pressing matter to debate than whatever the SNP might be getting up to with its NEC list policy or who sits on its Westminster front bench, is whether or not ISP will be offering in its manifesto a plebiscite on independence at this election?

      I also don’t quite follow the logic of ISP’s leader criticizing the SNP on this and that whilst at the same time arguing for folk to give the SNP their constituency vote. If you don’t like the SNP’s thinking on self-diagnosis why are you asking folks to vote SNP?

      Seems to me that a lot of folk like sitting on fences. Must be election time.

    40. Ian Mac says:

      Excellent, and thoughtful, article, Colette. Thankyou for sharing with us your experiences. It would be too much to expect the SNP secret decision committee to read and reflect on this. People are now using what I would call a condition, not a disability, to push themselves to the front of the queue. Somebody such as yourself would be worth far more to the parliament than the legions of SNP carpet baggers and freeloaders.

    41. A Person says:

      Absolutely vile “story” on BBC News this evening presenting Salmond as guilty and Fabiana “apologising to complainants”.

    42. Paul Garbett says:

      A very good piece that explains very well what a lot of folk are missing, Thank you Collette.

      Also – old an cynical as I am – it always gives me a real buzz to see a reference to John Kennedy Toole’s magnum opus.

    43. ahundredthidiot says:

      Thanks Colette,

      That this needs written is beyond belief.

      Sturgeon will go down as the worst SNP Leader, ever.

    44. Carol Neill says:

      Ive had two strokes so can I stand on the disabled platform
      Plus I’m a ginger so in a minority,

    45. @Ruaridh,

      do you advocate self id in all aspects of lived life,

      or do you see limits to self id like age or race.

    46. Black Joan says:

      Thank you Collette.

      It’s a fine state of affairs when a registered blind person has to point out that the ludicrous NewSNP Emperor has no clothes.

    47. Anon says:

      Why does the guy in the dress talking at the mic have a hard-on?

    48. Liz g says:

      Colette, is a Lady I think , Scotland would do well to put in our Parliament !
      I hope we hear more from her going into the elections.

    49. John says:

      Kicking of on twitter about this article, SNP reps are twisting every word, bitterness is just oozing out of them.

      https://twitter.com/jamieszymko/status/1361017377144659974

    50. Mac says:

      Agree with every word of this article. Thank you Colette for laying it out.

      It really is boak inducing seeing these woke freeloader grifters trying to get a free gig on the back of real disabled people.

      They are so used to sponging off people they now see real disabled as just another ‘mark’.

      They are so disgusting. So lost.

      These are the folks Nicola Sturgeon is entranced with. Self destructive madness as usual.

    51. Ruaridh says:

      @Scot Finlayson

      Uh, how exactly do you suggest we start assessing race other than self ID? Race boards? Skull calipers?

    52. Intractable Potsherd says:

      Thank you, Colette – a brilliant article that shows how intellectually corrupt self ID is, especially when it comes to disability.

      @Ruaridh – people with disabilities want to be rid of them, not embrace them. Every single addition to my list of *diagnosed* disabilities (three at the moment) has been a blow to everything I am. Even now, I take only the minimum assistance for my conditions – hearing aids and medication for the two that I can mitigate. Self-ID is a sign of someone taking something they are not entitled to. As Colette says, if you can’t clear the hurdles, you don’t get to walk around the edge.

    53. Ruaridh says:

      Self ID is about removing hurdles faced by all disabled people so that they do not suffer because a tiny minority might abuse the system. That’s the point of it. The alternative is systems where people are left to starve in case one person out of a million abuses it.

    54. Tom Halliday says:

      Well that just lobbed a hand grenade into the YSI and their equalities agenda.

    55. Sheepshagger says:

      James @5:30 summed it up for me.
      Thon lad is dressing like a hipster girl at art college, very stereotypical.

    56. winifred mccartney says:

      I know that PIP assessments etc are not good but surely medical evidence has to be sought for those claiming to be disabled in some way – they certainly should not have to go through multiple assessments but neither can there be a situation when a person themselves decides wether or not they are disabled or you just make a mockery of the whole system especially as now when some would use the word disabled for an ulterior purpose or motive. It is just like the woman who cries rape when it did not happen it just makes it so much harder for rape victims.

      Then this morning the BBC interviewed an ‘accuser’ in the Alex Salmond case on their morning TV show and the women said going through this committee investigation was worse than the high court trial and said ‘it is utterly absurd that 9 women could have been persuaded to lie to the police’ to ‘perjure themselves in court’. Their claim was that we had heard from Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon but not from the women. How did they manage to come to that conclusion. Not content with that it has been on the BBC news webpage all day and then repeated on Reporting Scotland tonight with the accusers remarks in full and an apology from Linda Fabiani. It is not only the SNP that has lost the plot it is also the BBC – you have to question their motives – being found innocent in a court of law is not longer enough and the BBC is happy to oblige with anonymous accusers remarks.

    57. willie says:

      An excellent piece by Collette Walker and a million miles away from the trans lobby that currently infect the SNP thinking.

      As Somerled said earlier, David Blunkett et al were elected and selected because of their abilities not their disabilities.

      Maybe the picture that Wings has posted in this article sums up the difference between people like Collette Walker, David Blunkett, Baroness Nicholson and Jeremy Balfour and the Josh Aaron Mennies who want to use the ladies toilet whilst there mother cries that they are disabled.

      The difference could not be more stark and the self certification is just the absolute icing on the lunacy that is now the SNP.

      Keep up the good work Collette. Having a disability is not easy. But with support the underlying person can shine through to deliver.

      Creeps that want to use women’s toilets, invade women’s spaces. self certify for special treatment to the exclusion of others, will never ever form the basis of a sound and safe society.

      Thanks again for a very sensible and well considered piece. And a piece that our current SNP coterie of control could not in their widest dreams support.

    58. Beaker says:

      @Ruaridh says:
      14 February, 2021 at 7:19 pm
      “Self ID is about removing hurdles faced by all disabled people so that they do not suffer because a tiny minority might abuse the system.”

      It is not a “tiny minority” that abuses the system. In 2000 I had to go on incapacity benefit due to a lung injury. Never claimed before in my life. The form was 40 fucking pages. I don’t agree with the current assessment process, but you need something in place.

      Go and research what support is available for disabled people. Then try to convince me that if Self-ID was brought into general legislation, it would not be abused. I’m 40% deaf and get hearing aids from the NHS. Under your plan, I could self-id as disabled and get a bus pass. I wouldn’t, but others will.

    59. Liz says:

      The SNP attack mob are distorting what Collette has said over on twitter.

      I’m glad I resigned they are becoming more unelectable by the day.

      PS ISP really worry them

    60. velofello says:

      Credit to Wings for providing the platform for this informative article.

    61. Graham says:

      Thank you Colette for such an articulate description of the issues facing disabled people. As an able bodied person, I am appalled at the self ID road the SNP are following and you have enlightened me as to where this will end up. I had been thinking about second vote ISP, your article has just made my mind up for me, you have my vote.

    62. steelewires says:

      Ian says:
      “Some clues about how the hell to make any sense of this –

      ‘Sociopaths and psychopaths achieve their objectives through the relentless, immoral pursuit of power and personal gain, leaving a trail of human suffering and societal damage in their wake’.”

      This reads like a description of the Tory English Government of the UK!

    63. Hamerdoon says:

      Ruaridh says:
      14 February, 2021 at 6:50 pm
      @Jimac

      “No, sorry, PIP assessments and DWP assessments of disability are exactly the same issue. It is the idea we should put barriers in front of all disabled people on the off chance a tiny number might abuse the system. It is how the Conservatives have…….”.

      I pondered on your posts for some time: I have some experience. And this one above clarified for me. I think there might be cross-purposes.

      1. Medical diagnosis
      2. Administrative processes around the issue

      I think you are thinking about point 2, whereas, I suspect, most people would consider point 1 as the relevant ‘gate’. I accept the two might be related for overall management purposes. There’s a process of psychiatric diagnoses for a very large number of mental disorders (ADHD being considered a neurodevelopmental disorder) – https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm.

      Should someone be allowed to self-ID when there are diagnostic tools and qualified professionals to help in that process? No, I don’t believe so. We just need to look at what’s happening in the USA and the SNP itself to suggest that ‘gates’ are required to prevent exploitation by unscrupulous people.

    64. Hugh Jarse says:

      Labeling is intended other.
      ‘Victim’s’ are created as ideological weapons.
      ‘Equality ‘ acts as the medium to further divide.

      And all to the benefit of the same minuscule minority that imposed Thatcher & Reagan upon the world.

      A society of selfishness, created to order,to suit the economic interests of those who would control us.

      Stu knows who the gatekeepers are.
      😉

    65. Muscleguy says:

      Thanks Colette, cogently argued as always. As an ISP member whose offices mean I have the pleasure of your Zoom company on a regular basis my regard for you is immense. Our party is in excellent hands with you and Julie leading us.

      I’d like to see the SNP justify this in the debating chamber at Holyrood. Put by a genuine disabled person no less. Can and sophistry would be my expectation of a response.

      The next in person SNP conference needs a proper disabled people’s protest outside. Make the delegates walk in past you.

    66. Sarah says:

      May I remind everyone of ISP’s change.org petition aimed at finding out the strength of support for May being a plebiscite election. So far only 2600 signatures.

      Also ISP’s crowdfunder.co.uk for election costs – currently £6841.

    67. cynicalHighlander says:

      @ Ruaridh says:
      14 February, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      You prove that you don’t have to self id as an idiot.

    68. Mac says:

      People with real disabilities aren’t interested in making anything out of it all (IMHO), quite the opposite. They go out of their way to show it does not define them one little bit.

      In complete contrast the woke-o-fake-o want to exploit a nose bleed to make out they are a paraplegic to grift benefits. Oh sorry not benefits, an SNP MP salary.

    69. @Ruaridh,

      `Uh, how exactly do you suggest we start assessing race other than self ID?`

      are you saying a white person can self id as a black person if they feel that is what they id as (Transracial identity).

    70. Strathy says:

      The individuals shouting loudest in support of self-ID are those with plans to abuse it for their own selfish benefit – at the cost of those who do have a disability.

    71. Bob Mack says:

      You are course absolutely right Colette. Everybody and their aunty used to ask me to sign their DLA forms for them.

      I always signed for those with genuine disability in my view,
      It used to cause a lot of friction from those I declined, but in truth I knew that it was correct to refuse.

      When DLA was becoming mainstream I was asked around 30 times a week and only a fraction of those I felt were those in genuine need of extra support measures.

      Strange to say, but DLA created disability where none existed before in some cases

    72. AdamH says:

      Wulls says:
      14 February, 2021 at 5:44 pm

      TBH im just waiting to see if … Josh Aaaaaaaaaaaaaron Mennie self ID as disabled

      Has already done so citing Tourette’s syndrome.

      Hey, I swear a lot too. Is that it?

    73. Jack Murphy says:

      ” Credit to Wings for providing the platform for this informative article. ”

      I second that, and a big Thankyou to Colette Walker.

    74. Hamerdoon says:

      It should also be pointed out that gates, and in this I mean medical diagnoses, are necessary to identify the extent of disability, as this may have an effect on treatment, e.g., titration of medication for best effect.

    75. Eileen Carson says:

      Thanks that’s very useful, I asked earlier but reply came there none. Not sure I’d want to see a dementia sufferer or a schizophrenic struggle to cope in the position of MSP tbh.

      Hamerdoon says:
      14 February, 2021 at 8:00 pm
      There’s a process of psychiatric diagnoses for a very large number of mental disorders (ADHD being considered a neurodevelopmental disorder) – https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm.

      Should someone be allowed to self-ID when there are diagnostic tools and qualified professionals to help in that process? No, I don’t believe so. We just need to look at what’s happening in the USA and the SNP itself to suggest that ‘gates’ are required to prevent exploitation by unscrupulous people.

    76. Liz g says:

      Velofello @ 7.43
      Well said , but I think also credit to Colette Walker for submitting an article that’s clearly from the heart and gives us a glimpse of the calibr of the person asking us for our vote.

      It’s long been a bug bear of mine that since 2014 our fledgling media has been ignored by the Scottish politicians.
      The SNP in particular could have led the way.

      Everyone seemed to agree we needed a Scottish and not a British media back then and we did what we could to make one.
      We funded it we supported it and we’ve done no bad with it too.
      But every single big story or event …and there they go in Holyrood …running to the British media.

      The BBC and the rest should have had to look to our home grown media to catch up had the Scottish government played fair and supported an emerging industry.
      And I want to know WHY.
      Andrew Neil can get interviews while accepted as hostile…. Ian Blackford walked out the commons to speak to the BBC , why did he not make them stand and watch while he gave Indy Live the interview… it’s Indy Live his base watch for balance ??

      I wish Colette and her team every success in their efforts and I will be supporting them.
      I also dearly hope that on the journey to Holyrood while they must make good use of the British media they will also blaze the trail in putting the Indy media first to get their message out.

    77. This one’s a slam dunk and needs professional help
      https://twitter.com/i/status/1360591349792260100

    78. witchy says:

      I am self-id-ing as a six feet blonde Swedish model…(Is it ok to appropriate another nationality?) But argue with me at your peril and I will have you butt in court for a hate crime. It’s my fantasy, how dare you disavow me of it!
      Seriously though, how can you self-id as disabled, or want to without a medical diagnosis? If you think you are, please see a doctor. Don’t suffer. There’s help available.
      Unfortunately, those who do have a disability affecting their daily life and leaving them unable to work, have to jump through (or crawl through) DWP rules in order get financial and assisted aid. This is demeaning, often to challenging their first ruling, by going to court, and, as you see a long process. Self-id-ing wont work on its own.
      The self-id-ing we now see in Scotland is derogatory and discriminatory towards women and disabled people.
      You do know that men, no matter how they id, are not allowed into women’s sex-based spaces….but they don’t mind, because we women don’t matter
      Unless….I can self-id as a MSP….

    79. LaingB French says:

      SNP IS STARTING TO LOOK AND SOUND LIKE THE SCOTTISH LOONEY PARTY.
      AS FOR DISABLED, THE CRITERIA SHOULD BE, HAVE CLAIMED ALL 4 BENEFITS NAMELY, SEVERE DISABILITY BENEFIT/INVALIDITY BENEFIT,,,, INCOME SUPPORT ( THE LARGE PAYMENT APPROX £75 P/W),,,, MOBILITY ALLOWANCE,,,, CARE ALLOWANCE. THAT IS PROOF THAT YOU ARE DISABLED OR IN MY CASE BENT FORWARD WITH KYPHOSIS. SOME DISABILITIES ARE PHYSICAL AND CAN BE SEEN OTHERS ARE HIDDEN.TO ARTICULATE A GENUINE DISABILITY IS ONE THAT DENYS YOU THE FREEDOM OF NORMAL LIFE, I HARDLY THINK A MILD TICK IS GONNA CUT IT UNLESS YOUR IN THE SNP.I HAVE EXPERIENCED DISCRIMINATION WITH M.I. TECHNOLOGIES/ TONY BLAIRS NEW DEAL , WHICH WAS A NATIONAL SCAM INVOLVING SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE BACK THEN AND NO REGULATORY BODY TO GOVERN PEOPLE WITH DISBILITIES. AS FOR THE DISABLILITY RIGHTS COMMISION, IM NOT ACTUALLY SURE WHAT THEIR JOB REALLY IS . I SPENT MORE TIME IN THE CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU. I TRIED ONCE TO SET UP THE DISABLED PERSONS HOUSING SERVICE IN ANGUS , LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT DUNDEE COUNCIL WERE REAPING MILLIONS FROM THE EU TO DO THE SAME JOB AND WE NIAVELY ASKED THEM FOR HELP. YOU CAN GUESS WHAT THE ANSWER WAS. DISABILITY IS EXPLOITED AS A HIDDEN MONEY EARNER FOR CORPORATIONS ETC. DOESNT SURPRISE ME SNP HAVE JUMPED ON THAT BANDWAGON TOO.

    80. Strathy says:

      With regard to accusations levelled at Alex Salmond; this from today’s Sunday Post:-

      ‘She [Sue Ruddick] said her messages were private and revealed that she had reported “an act of physical aggression” by Mr Salmond to police after an incident on the campaign trail 10 years before.

      However, Anne Harvey, an assistant to the chief whip for the SNP at Westminster, then claimed she was the sole witness to the alleged incident and Mr Salmond had only “brushed past” Ms Ruddick on a stairwell of a block of flats while campaigning in a by-election in Glenrothes in 2008.

      Subsequently, Ms Ruddick insisted Ms Harvey was not present but The Sunday Post understands Ms Harvey’s name was given to the police as a witness by Ms Ruddick. She was subsequently questioned by police officers for nine and a half hours over two interviews.’

      https://archive.is/A6Wfk

    81. Alf Baird says:

      Alf Baird @ 6:51

      “Surely a more pressing matter to debate than whatever the SNP might be getting up to with its NEC list policy or who sits on its Westminster front bench, is whether or not ISP will be offering in its manifesto a plebiscite on independence at this election?

      I also don’t quite follow the logic of ISP’s leader criticizing the SNP on this and that whilst at the same time arguing for folk to give the SNP their constituency vote. If you don’t like the SNP’s thinking on self-diagnosis why are you asking folks to vote SNP?”

      This is essentially an ISP article and the above seem to me valid questions to ISP which merit a response. So any response would be appreciated. Thanks.

    82. holymacmoses says:

      This is such a clear and logical argument, cogently written, thank you so much Ms Walker. I look forward to your success in a free Scotland

    83. Mike says:

      Wonderfully written article that exposes the dark reality of removing the fence and allowing self ID.

    84. Andy Ellis says:

      @Witchy 8.31pm

      A long read, but the Foreign Policy article below on issues in Brazil with defining blackness and people being expelled from university for not being black enough (!) is worth examination.

      This kind of thing was discussed a fair bit when the TRA extremist madness first started raising its head a few years ago, when the case of Rachel Dolezal was also being discussed. There was another good article I’ve lost the link to that traced the beginnings of the whole bourach to cancel culture in US college campuses, its foundation in and linkage to the alt-right and “liberal” cowardice and failure to tackle the unreason of self-ID and *feelz*.

      https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/04/05/brazils-new-problem-with-blackness-affirmative-action/

    85. McDuff says:

      A powerful piece Colette thank you.
      With each day you realise the SNP has descended into madness.

    86. Eileen Carson says:

      Alf go to their site and sign the petition for a plebiscite (top rh corner ye cannae miss it) https://www.isp.scot/

    87. Hugh Jarse says:

      Signed Eileen
      Will everyone else please.
      Heads above the parapet time.

    88. ahundredthidiot says:

      go easy on Ruaridh folks – Clearly struggling with a mental illness.

      either that, or is a fucking moron.

    89. Liz g says:

      Alf Baird @ 8.45 & 6.51
      While I can only speak as a supporter… To me the logic is quite clear.
      We cannot allow Boris Johnston and Westminster to be able to claim that Scotland did not vote for a route to independence in the May election.
      That is, I think, beyond dispute.

      The ISP are a list party, focused on independence and removing the British list MPs.
      As a list party they surely have to take a view on whichever party would advance their aims.
      All things considered the SNP are that party.
      It’s beautifully simple when ye unpack it all from an independence point of view.
      As to their other policies… well like every other party …give them the numbers and the power to implement them becomes possible.
      This is surely the fastest way to undo the Yes movements mistake of getting behind the SNP in 2014 and not forming a force to stand beside them.
      If yev a better plan I’m more than interested… and as I understand it, Wings will give ye the space to explore it……the floor is yours my friend…

    90. susanXX says:

      Let’s face it, the SNPs discriminatory list is not to foster equality it is to shoehorn in their pet wokies and sideline more competent potential candidates. Disgusting.

    91. Mark Young says:

      Jeezo what’s that bulge in his skirt ?????????????

    92. Jacqueline McMillan says:

      LaingBFrench

      Spot on

      Nicla’s cabal.

      Playing the DWP game. Well done nic

      Disgusting

    93. solarflare says:

      However you break it down, it’s just yet more time and energy that the SNP is spent not focusing on independence.

      At best it’s fourth or fifth down their list these days.

    94. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird 8.45pm

      You keep coming out with this line Alf, and it becomes no more convincing for the constant repetition, sorry. There simply isn’t the time to deliver a plebiscitary vote in May 2021’s elections for Holyrood without converting the SNP. If the movement as a whole had been serious about doing this, the push needed to start a few years ago.

      Many of us, including Rev Stu have been pushing for change for some time. Most have ignored it, or even shot the messenger. Presumably you aren’t dense enough to believe the SNP is just going to collapse in the next 3 months, and all its supporters will suddenly all vote Green, ISP, RISE/SSP or Alliance Fro Indy?

      The whole purpose of the ISP – explicitly stated from the get go – was to convert “wasted” SNP list votes in to pro-indy MSPs, to deprive the britnats of those MSPs, to deliver a super majority of pro-indy MSPs and to hold the SNPs feet to the fire and prevent them backsliding on indy.

      I’m at a loss why you either don’t understand that, or refuse to accept it?

      Many of us are desperate for plebiscitary elections to happen, because the alternative is at least 5 years of stasis. Are you really trying to argue such elections will happen in 3 months without the SNP?

    95. holymacmoses says:

      Mark Young says:
      14 February, 2021 at 9:15 pm
      Jeezo what’s that bulge in his skirt ?????????????

      It’s a deliberate codpiece put there by a would be codfish

    96. Kelpie says:

      jomry says:
      14 February, 2021 at 6:49 pm

      VIRGINMEDIA email server is still blocking any e-mail, IN or OUT, which has anywhere in the text a link to “wingsoverscotland.com” . …

      Beyond reporting it to VM. I am not sure what else to do.

      Jomry, a workaround is to insert a space before the .com and include in your email an instruction to delete the space when pasting to the address bar.

      My email is via Virgin and having just tried (and got the SPAM block with the normal link) the mail went and was delivered with the space in.

    97. ELewis says:

      bravo

    98. I actually talked a while back aboot pimping yer mental and emotional problems (a disgusting and deranged practice) for political credibility in the SNP:

      https://whorattledyourcage.blogspot.com/2019/08/fuck-american-sickness-part-2.html

    99. paul says:

      Gk doing what he does best:

      “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

    100. Alf Baird says:

      Alf Baird @ 8:45
      Alf Baird @ 6:51

      “Surely a more pressing matter to debate than whatever the SNP might be getting up to with its NEC list policy or who sits on its Westminster front bench, is whether or not ISP will be offering in its manifesto a plebiscite on independence at this election?

      I also don’t quite follow the logic of ISP’s leader criticizing the SNP on this and that whilst at the same time arguing for folk to give the SNP their constituency vote. If you don’t like the SNP’s thinking on self-diagnosis why are you asking folks to vote SNP?”

      So, no real answers from ISP to the above questions then. Are independence supporters so devoid of strategic thinking? Is a dubious SNP really the only game in town? Vote them back in, plus a few ISP’s on the list, and hope for the best? That’s the strategy for independence?

    101. GlenIslay says:

      And so the SNP continue to keep ripping entire plot lines from South Park and presenting it as policy.

      We have a party full of grifting little Cartmans looking to screw genuine disabled people, genuine racial minorities and genuine trans people for their own selfish benefit.

      It’s extraordinarily difficult to see how much further the once great party can fall.

    102. Alf Baird says:

      GlenIslay @ 11:23

      “It’s extraordinarily difficult to see how much further the once great party can fall.”

      Quite. And some people here including ISP are asking us to vote for them in the constituencies.

    103. Morgatron says:

      He really does have such a wee cock peaking through his nylon mini dress. Now tell me that’s not a sexual bent! Tranny my arse,deviant.

    104. Glenislay says:

      To be fair, they have neither the time or money to stand in constituencies. Unless you can find a billionaire to bankroll them, its not likely to be sensible.

      However, it is something they should build towards at subsequent elections.

    105. Aquarius says:

      @Alf Baird at 6.51 and 8.45

      I am not an expert, as some in ISP are, about the reason for a supermajority but my understanding is that a 66% vote for independence is internationally recogised.

      You have asked on a number of occasions about the ISP policy on first vote SNP and you or others have asked about a plebiscite election.

      As for the former, the reason for the List vote SNP recommendation is to ensure that a supermajority be created thus entitling us to argue that a s30 agreement is unnecessary.

      Voting for a unionist party on the list would effectively redue the likelihood of obtaining a supermajority.

      These questions are addressed on the ISP website and on this one:

      https://www.plebiscite.scot/blogger-gb-about/

      Please also bear in mind that manifestos have yet to be issued.

    106. Stuart says:

      His fanny’s got a stauner!!

    107. twathater says:

      I am sure Alf Baird and Daisy Walker can speak for themselves but I am another one that questions why the ISP won’t put front and centre the STATEMENT OF FACT that a vote for ISP is a permanent vote for a plebiscite election to be held when and if they form a majority in the SP, and will continue to pursue that avenue with every other indy party elected

      We all know that is highly unlikely and they are currently only standing in the regional vote BUT that does not stop them from making it an unambiguous tenet of the party

      As Daisy has alluded to a few times I find it suspicious that they will not make that unequivocal statement, what is holding them back , if Tommy Sheridan and Solidarity can make that bold statement in their manifesto why can’t ISP , I and others have asked this question on several occasions to Muscleguy and others with no explanation, surely Collette as head of the party can answer and BTW a reference to the petition which I signed is NOT an answer to my and others question

    108. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Collette,

      Thank you for taking the time and extra effort it must have taken to put your article together.

      I very much agree with your objection about these Wokeists abusing the system to “self-ID” themselves as people with disabilities so they can dishonestly leapfrog into parliament.

      Then you kind of shoot yourself in the foot, or at best leave yourself open to some fierce criticism about accepting the need for “tests” (without some SERIOUS qualification about tests being fair and of impeccable credentials).

      Both you and I are disabled and we are well aware of the despised, LETHAL DWP welfare reforms brought in by New Labour and over which the Tories MR Ian Duncan Smith had orgassms over as he killed off thousands of people with disabilities. Fact…

      http://www.calumslist.org

      In the gentlest way possible, might I ask you acknowledge the problem of the DWP brown envelopes of death and the gerrymandered DWP disability assessment system makes the current SNP McWokeist implosion look like a Christmas tea party.

    109. Kiwilassie says:

      Oh Dear God! That photo is horrendous. His wee penis is showing through the frock.
      Pathetic wee Tranny, doesn’t know if he’s a prick, or a fanny

    110. HeehawBaws says:

      The best piece I’ve read on here for a long, long time.

    111. Gina Burton says:

      Virgin Media email problems.
      I live in South Wales and had no problem sending and receiving Wings over Scotland articles. It may just be happening in Scotland.

    112. Andy Ellis says:

      @Aquarius 11.53pm

      There is no recognised requirement for a supermajority to be obtained for independence. The default position is 50% + 1. In some instances there have been turnout requirements, and in the case of Montenegro there was a 55% threshold (which they only just achieved).

      In general, the international community is interested in a clear question in a referendum, or a clear proposition/platform in plebiscitary elections. It will then expect a decent turnout (although, again there is no defined specific number for that: most people seem to assume that a turnout of 50% + 1 being the hurdle to cross.

      In the end 50% + 1 is and should be the required level in the actual vote. No true democrat should find himself in the position of insisting that the minority should win. There IS a potential case for insisting on a minimum turnout requirement, although even that is arguable, as those who can’t be bothered to turn out and vote can’t really complain at the result.

      Boycotts by one side in a debate are only really effective if they render the result questionable because those voting represent a minority, which hardly seems likely in the case of a Scottish indyref given the previous turnout: it also strengthens the argument for using plebiscitary elections as a mandate, rather than single issue referendums if Britnats threaten to boycott or frustrate a referendum being held.

    113. Alf Baird says:

      Aquarius @ 11:53

      “I am not an expert, as some in ISP are, about the reason for a supermajority but my understanding is that a 66% vote for independence is internationally recogised.”

      Where in international law does it say that ‘a 66% vote for independence is internationally recognised’? Independence in New Caledonia was rejected in 2020 on 53% of the vote. Had the vote for independence been over 50% then New Caledonia would be independent now. (They also have a different franchise (see below) and a commitment to a further referendum.)

      Does this mean that the ISP and SNP will declare independence and take a 66% ‘supermajority’ to the UN for recognition? Can we have a commitment to that?

      By this ‘understanding’, 48 MP’s is a ‘supermajority’ of 82%. 56 MP’s was a ‘supermajority’ of 95%. What have the SNP done with these ‘supermajorities’? Are these ‘supermajorities’ not internationally recognised?

      Is a Holyrood ‘supermajority’ going to be just another ‘mandate’ to plead for a S.30? And for the daeless SNP to have another 5 years on the gravy train, plenty time for quite a few more oppressive laws to come our way.

      Folks might wish to consider the UN agreed New Caledonia referendum franchise which differs markedly from the Scottish franchise, the latter unique in using a local government election franchise for a national election and referendum:

      “Franchise (New Caledonia)
      The referendum was held using a special electoral roll. Potential voters had to be registered on the general electoral roll, and also meet one of the secondary criteria:[10]

      Was on the electoral roll for the 1998 referendum on the Nouméa Accord;
      Qualified to be on the electoral roll for the 1998 referendum, but were not enrolled;
      Failed to meet the requirements to be on the 1998 electoral roll solely due to absence related to family, medical or professional reasons;
      Having civil customary status, or born in New Caledonia and have their material interests in the territory;
      At least one parent born in New Caledonia and have their material interests in the territory;
      At least 20 years of continuous residence in New Caledonia by 31 December 2014;
      Born before 1 January 1989 and have had their residence in New Caledonia between 1988 and 1998
      Born after 31 December 1988 and reached voting age before the referendum, with at least one parent who was on the electoral roll (or qualified to do so) for the 1998 referendum.

      As a consequence of these restrictions, in the 2018 referendum 35,948 registered voters on the general list were thus excluded from the vote, equating to 17.11% out of a total of 210,105 registered voters on the general electoral roll.[11][12][13] Vote restriction restricts the voting power of recent inhabitants….”

    114. Graham says:

      To be honest I had no idea it was one in five. If asked to guess I’d have said one in twenty. Thanks for educating me!

      I’m curious to know if the author believes that any of the list places ought be reserved for specific groups at all, or if she believes in barrier free meritocracy? (Notwithstanding that barriers currently exist.)

      Is it really true that a Scot with Asian appearance can’t be well represented by a Scot with European appearance? Wouldn’t both be best represented by the person most determined to represent all people regardless of anyone’s appearance? I expect there are plenty of people who look like me that would do (and indeed do) a shit job of representing me, and plenty of (what the SNP would have me believe are) ‘others’ who would do better. Why must I be represented by my category? I want the best gay black blind woman for the job, or the best straight white man, but I want neither just because of their category.

      When I grew up they taught me to DISREGARD characteristics that differentiate us, and treat everyone equally and fairly. It’s a shame that’s no longer the goal.

    115. cathryn reilly says:

      Great read and sensible points made.

    116. DW says:

      A very good piece. Thank you Collette.

    117. Kevin Brown says:

      I’m in total agreement with this article.

      I am unclear on one bit though.
      “only one in five people in Scotland are disabled, so it really should have been one place or at the most two.”

      Is there a typo there?
      Surely not 20% of the country are disabled?
      Or if that is correct, surely far more than one or two MSPs is required?



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