Women must not be silenced in the debate on gender identity

When it comes to the current consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, it is women who MSPs are finding easy to ignore. Specifically, women who believe that if the state decides the word “woman” has no objective meaning, then statistics will be skewed, protections will be lost and children risk being seriously harmed.

Let’s ring in a new year of kindness to strangers

I consider myself to have a very particular set of skills – skills I have acquired over a long career in finding-and-not-keeping. I once phoned a chap to arrange collection of his wallet before he’d even realised he’d lost it, despite neither his landline nor mobile number being listed within it.

Is the law really the best way to deal with incest?

As technology allows family relationships to become ever more complicated, such as in the strange case of the 24-year-old frozen embryo, it’s worth pausing to consider what problems might be stored up for the future.

Cat Person shows it’s not just elderly folk who are desperate to connect

In real life, as in quality fiction, we’re all flawed. Algorithm-based dating technology may give the impression The One is out there, just waiting to be discovered by a diligent box-ticker, but what if a much better match is just a couple of years older, or lives five miles further away, or can’t be faffed with internet dating?

More red tape is a price worth paying if it protects kids

With hindsight it might seem obvious that coaches should never have been allowed to be alone behind closed doors with the boys in their care, and that any form of touching was inappropriate. But a blanket ban on physical contact between adults and children in sport is neither practical nor desirable.

Where’s the line between volunteering and exploitation?

Some might say it’s wrong to clamp down on unpaid work when many people – particularly young people – are keen to do it. But where do we draw the line? How many weeks, months or years of volunteering might end up being required before a job applicant can outshine their rivals and bag a paid post?

The best way to tackle domestic abuse is to fight sexism – starting in schools

School discipline may have moved on from the dunce’s cap and the tawse, but that doesn’t mean punishments are always fair and never have an element of shaming. The arbitrary enforcement of rules is one of the hallmarks of coercive control.

There’s no point attracting tourists if local infrastructure isn’t up to it

It’s simply not possible to please all of the people all the time. But if we’re to keep attracting more and more visitors, and in the process boost our economy, we need to be honest about where we let ourselves down.

Knowledge is power, so let’s talk honestly about abortion

YOU’VE only read the headline, but your hackles might already be up. What knowledge, exactly? What power? And how many paragraphs before the big reveal? For or against, “foetus” or “baby”, right or wrong. I don’t blame you. When people start talking about the reality of abortion, I get suspicious too. It took a showContinue reading “Knowledge is power, so let’s talk honestly about abortion”

Those who boast about tax-dodging should be shunned

The question many are now asking is whether the majority of Scottish workers are willing to pay a little more for well-resourced public services and universal benefits. But this is not, in fact, the key question. We need to ask how effective a rate rise would be.