The insidious input of UK Government officials in the conspiracy to destroy Alex Salmond -part 4 – LGBTI -Stonewall-Evans – Allison & Sturgeon

2014: Sturgeon’s first address to Holyrood

In her acceptance speech to the chamber she revealed her single most priority in government would be gender equality when she said:

“To become first minister is special and it is a big responsibility. To make history as the first woman first minister is even more so. I hope my election does indeed open the gate to greater opportunity for all women. I hope it sends a strong, positive message to all girls and young women across our land. There should be no limit to your ambition for what you can achieve, if you are good enough and you work hard enough, the sky is the limit to what you can achieve, and no glass ceiling should ever stop you from achieving your dreams.”

Thanking her husband, the SNP chief executive, Peter Murrell, and her family, who were watching the vote from the balcony, in gesture to her eight-year-old niece she said: “She doesn’t yet know about the gender pay gap or unequal representation or the barriers that make it so hard for so many women to pursue careers. My fervent hope is that she never will, that by the time she is a young woman she will have no need to know because they will have been consigned to history.” That there was no mention of the fight for independence surprised and disappointed many observers.

2014: Sturgeon’s first cabinet

Sturgeon confirmed her commitment to gender equality by recalibrating the gender balance of the cabinet with the announcement of a 50/50 split between men and women. Designed to send a strong positive message to girls and young women it instead confirmed her single minded determination to ignore political reality in pursuit of dogma since only 26% of the SNP MSP’s were female. A much smaller pool of female talent providing half the cabinet did not augur well for the future.

2015: Turning Scotland into a WOKE cultural institution

By the beginning of 2015 previously contained policy differences within the Con/Dem government began to surface and this coupled with the failure of the Smith Commission to fully deliver the much vaunted promises of “the Vow” polarised voting intentions in Scotland around the SNP. The Party’s surge in popularity continued unabated and Sturgeon was lauded by the UK and foreign press who were impressed by her leadership and publicly stated ideals. Invitations asking her to address foreign governments and women’s liberation groups poured into Holyrood. Exposing her inexperience in matters of state she succumbed to the false dawn and arranged a short speaking tour of Europe and the USA for herself and her special adviser Liz Lloyd, clearly believing the manufactured hype crediting her with the Party’s recently acquired popularity to be true.

The media hyped status as the “Boadicea of the North” also persuaded her to the view that her leadership of the Party and Scottish Government was absolute and with the support of her husband, the Party’s Chief Executive, she centralised control of all Party decisions on herself and a small team of trusted advisers including vetting and approving all candidates for the next UK General Election scheduled for May 2015.

The candidate list decided on proved to be controversial and unrepresentative of the Party membership since it included many who were new to the Party and the cause of independence and there appeared to be a much larger than previous group of LBGTI people.

Adding to the disquiet was the revelation that former UK ambassador Craig Murray, whose contribution to the “Yes” campaign had been immense and who had expressed an interest in being an SNP candidate in Airdrie and Shotts, had failed Sturgeon’s vetting procedure blocked from standing.

North Lanarkshire SNP councillors and rejected candidates Alan Beveridge and John Taggart both resigned giving voice that there was malignant practice within the party at HQ level following the refusal to reveal the breakdown for votes in candidate selection. In a press statement Beveridge said: There is a climate of fear and democracy and our party is under serious threat when HQ in Edinburgh decides to refuse to reveal the breakdown of the votes cast for each candidate.

2015: The Civil Service in Scotland – Diversity Champions

The current Director General of Learning and Justice, Irish born Leslie Evans, who joined the Scottish government in 2000 after a career in local government was appointed Scotland’s top Civil Servant on 1 July 2015, replacing Sir Peter Housden as Permanent Secretary.

Welcoming the new appointment Sturgeon said: “Leslie brings vast experience to the job an I look forward to working with her in her new role as Scotland’s most senior Civil Servant, to deliver outstanding public services and the very best for the people of Scotland.”

Evans was expected to introduce major changes in the Civil Service in Scotland actively supported by fellow “Stonewall Champion” Barbara Allison, who was promoted to a new greatly expanded role as Director of Communications, Ministerial Support & Facilities Services.

The recruitment and appointment process of the new Permanent Secretary was tasked to the offices of the “First Civil Service Commissioner” in Whitehall, so that the Westminster Government would be assured of the appointment of a “Stonewall Champion” who would be accountable to the UK Government Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood preventing a repeat of the “gone native” conduct of Sir Peter Housden. A key task for the new Permanent Secretary was to rebuild trust with Holyrood’s Unionist Parties and Whitehall mandarins.

2015: Sturgeon and Stonewall hit Scotland

The Scottish Government’s LGBTI Network Group was recognised as LGBTI inclusive by Stonewall Scotland whose Managing Director said: “LGBT inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to proudly support LGBTI people in their organisations. Our award winners are leading the way, championing lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality in the workplace.

Senior Civil Servant, Barbara Allison, responsible for Communications, Ministerial Support and Facilities in the Scottish Government and Group Leader, collected the award and said: “LGBTI equality and inclusion are at the heart of our ambition to be a world leading, diverse employer where people can be themselves at work. Our LGBTI Network is critical to building a supportive and inclusive workplace, providing a valuable space of empowerment, community and constructive challenge to our organisation. It has shown itself to be a powerful force for good in shifting perceptions and promoting understanding and we are delighted that the hard work of its members has been recognised by Stonewall.”

Afternote: Provides explanation to the Evans/Allison twice denied email exchange, “the battle may be lost but not the war” after Alex Salmond won his judicial review against the Scottish Government.

2015-2024: Stonewall gifted £1million by the Scottish Government

Questions have been asked about the Scottish Government’s major funding to LGBT charity Stonewall who recently stated: “Research suggests that children as young as two recognise their trans identity. LGBTQ inclusive and affirming education is crucial for the wellbeing of all young people. Yet, many nurseries and schools teach a binary understanding of pre-assigned gender.” The statement was criticised by the LGB Alliance as an “extreme ideological belief.”

The payments do not include the Scottish Government awarding Stonewall £25k to be part of its diversity champions programme. A scheme that “advises employers how to bring their policies in line” with Stonewall’s best practice to make workplaces better and fairer for LGBT staff. Critics claim that the programme is a lobbying enterprise and not impartial.

A spokeswoman for “Women of Scotland” criticised the money spent stating: “Stonewall are a lobbying group and we are concerned about the Scottish Government giving large amounts of taxpayers money to the Scottish branch of an international pseudo charity. Many Scots are volunteering to give their free time to help feed the homeless in Glasgow and Edinburgh and these lobbying groups are getting all this money chucked at them to do what exactly? They charge the Scottish Government for going on courses and have the cheek to go down to councils and charge them and try that at local schools, and it’s not training as such.”

Stonewall previously came under-fire for trying to instruct public bodies to remove gendered words such as “mother” from their HR policies. A change which Leslie Evans agreed to by amending the Civil Service maternity leave policy so that the organisation could improve its standing on Stonewall’s controversial Workplace Equality Index.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We work with a wide range of third sector organisations, including registered charity Stonewall Scotland, to help shape policy and practice to improve outcomes for LGBTI communities across Scotland. Grant funding is awarded to Stonewall to tackle issues of LGBTI discrimination in public life in Scotland, including in workplaces, health services and communities, and to better equip public service providers to meet the public sector equality duty. In 2021/22 we provided around £3million to third sector organisations in the homelessness sector.”

2015: Staff recruitment influenced by Stonewall

Stonewalls extensive input into the Scottish Government’s 2018 campaign to recruit 150 senior “band 2” officials was revealed under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act confirming concerns about the extent of Stonewalls influence over the recruitment of Scottish senior Civil Service officials and Special Advisers witnessed by the Scottish government’s contravention of the rules governing the impartiality of the civil service through the application of pressure encouraging Civil Service recruitment panels to communicate with Stonewall as part of their recruitment campaigns. In addition to the recruitment and promotion of senior civil servants Stonewall is also routinely contracted to train officials who go on to endorse support for contentious changes to gender identity law.

2015: The Stonewall Workplace Equality Index

The index is promoted by Stonewall as being a celebration of the fairest employers in the country and their efforts to eliminate discrimination in the workplace.

Taking a contrary view the chairwoman of Sex Matters said: “Stonewall sells its Workplace Equality Index as a scheme to help organisations comply with equality law – but what it offers is lobbying. It also presents its own highly contentious understanding of what the law should be, presented as ‘training’ on what the law is and tells organisations to treat anyone who identifies as the opposite sex as if they have changed sex, and are therefore automatically entitled to use spaces such as toilets, changing rooms and showers that others rely on for privacy – that’s not the law. But Stonewall presents it as if it is and encourages organisations to treat any objections as a disciplinary matter.

The Scottish government participates in the scheme at an annual cost of £2500.

In one 31 page annual return, Leslie Evans offered up screenshots of its social media activities for Stonewall’s approval including details of every “Pride” event attended by Sturgeon, together with examples of “LGBT champions” censuring dissenting colleagues on internal forums as proof of the Scottish Government’s commitment to “equality”.

The return also contained a commitment to consult on changing the laws of the country when in a section “worth 10% of the total score” of the 2017 application, it pledged to “consult on reforming gender recognition legislation in line with international best practice for transgender people.”

Questioned in the 2018 application form, “has your organisation done any further work in the past year to promote LGBT equality in the wider community?”, Evans responded that it “has consulted on potential reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to introduce a self declaratory system”.

Stonewall lobbied for people to have access to single-sex spaces, on the basis of their self-declared “gender identity” instead of biological sex. A controversial proposal opposed by many women, who fear it will open up spaces such as changing rooms, prisons, refuges and women-only shortlists to any biological male who says they are a woman.

In an effort to win points, the government also described how it was “consulting on the detail of what should be included in a new hate crime bill”.

The recently passed “hate crime bill” legislation, created a new offence of “stirring up hatred” on grounds such as transgender identity, and attracted criticism for excluding women as a protected group.

But its implementation also won the Government a pat on the back from Stonewall who stated: “The sponsorship and support the Scottish Government provides is highly valuable and impactful, and together with the consultations towards reforming gender recognition legislation it has an influential and powerful role in improving the lives of LGBT people across Scotland.” The reward was 18 out of 20 points.

In another application, Stonewall awarded the Scottish Government 11 out 17 points: “for its “influence on the 2021 census”.

Despite all the many commitments to change the legal landscape not only within its own workplace but across the whole country, the Scottish Government missed out on a Top 100 ranking by just one place — it came 101st.

Responding to the setback Leslie Evans declared in a blog: “We can and must do better than this.” And her exortions bore fruit, in the following year, the Scottish Government was placed 72nd.

And Stonewall demanded more saying: “Some key areas to focus on before the next submission. Ensure that Mothers, Pregnant Women and Fathers gender terminology is removed from your Maternity and Paternity policies.”

It failed to do so and the year after it sunk down to 127th.

Stonewall commented: “We have identified the following areas as priorities for the year ahead. Remove any remaining gendered terms such as ‘mother’ from your maternity policy, and replace them with gender neutral equivalents. Please refer to Stonewall’s Inclusive Policy Toolkit for further information.”

Critics say Stonewall uses the scheme to impose its own language and beliefs, with which not all gay and transgender people agree.