Equality Politics Scotland Sex and sexuality The Church in Scotland

A Woke Coup in Scotland – and a Warning to the Rest of the world – CT

This weeks Christian Today column was inspired by a string of information I received from back home about what is happening in Scotland.  I wanted to call it The Night of the Long Sgian Dubhs or A Very Scottish Coup but I think the CT title sums it up well. It breaks my heart to see what is happening in my own country.

A Woke Coup in Scotland – and a Warning to the Rest of the world – CT

Why should anyone apart from Scots care about what is happening in Scotland’s governing party, the Scottish National Party (SNP? Others in the UK may be concerned about the potential breakup of the UK, but in a world of Covid, China, and climate change, this hardly appears to be a major issue for the population in general, or the Church in particular.

But bear with me and I will show you why what is going on in Scotland just now is a canary in the coal mine for the whole Western world. There is more than one way to have a coup. You can do it Burmese style with tanks on the street or you can do it ‘woke style’ using the institutions of democracy to circumvent democracy and ultimately destroy it.

A lot happened for the SNP over the weekend. It’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Murrell refused to appear before a parliamentary committee to answer questions about whether he had perjured himself at a previous appearance. Mr Murrell is the First Minister’s husband.There is growing criticism over the relatively slow administration of the Covid vaccine in Scotland, compared with the rest of the UK.

Transphobia Dog Whistle

And in the midst of all this Nicola Sturgeon issued an extraordinary video stating that she would deal with ‘transphobia’ in the party (after a number of younger members apparently left).

She declined to say what ‘transphobia’ is, leaving that to a future National Executive Committee (NEC) to determine. However, her comments were widely seen as a warning to feminist SNP politicians such as Joanna Cherry.

This ‘dog whistle’ was soon followed up by action. Joanna Cherry has now been sacked as shadow spokesperson on justice and home affairs by Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader. Interestingly, he put out a press release naming four new members of his ‘shadow’ cabinet but neglecting to mention Cherry’s firing. It was left to Cherry herself to inform the world. She tweeted:

“Despite hard work, results & a strong reputation I’ve been sacked today from @theSNP front bench.”

A Bizarre and Illegal Selection List

On January 31, the National Executive Committee of the SNP then passed an extraordinary motion for the Scottish elections this coming May. Members of the Scottish Parliament are elected through a combined constituency and list system. This means that each constituency has an MP, but the numbers are topped up to ensure equity in terms of the votes, through a regional list. There are eight such regions. The NEC voted that in four of these regions, the SNP person at the top of the list (and therefore likely to get elected) should be BAME, and in four they should be disabled. So far, so woke. But the story goes much deeper.

Firstly, the NEC were advised by a QC that this proposal would almost certainly be ruled illegal if challenged in court. Despite this they passed it by a casting vote of the chair. What is so disturbing about this proposal? There are two main reasons – firstly it is deeply discriminatory. In half of the regions, you are excluded unless you are BAME (even if you are disabled); in the other four you are excluded unless you are disabled (even if you are BAME). If you happen to be white and non-disabled, you are excluded from standing at all!

Self-Declaring Disability

But it is the second reason that is so astonishing. The SNP – following the Woke guide to self-declaration – have declared that disabled status will be granted by ‘self-declaration’ (one wonders if this will also apply to BAME?). It will include conditions such as asthma and depression.

Three candidates (who were unlikely to have been elected under normal circumstances) have suddenly declared themselves to be ‘disabled’. Apparently as well as putting your pronouns on your Twitter profile, it’s now the done thing to add your disability. Tourette’s syndrome, borderline personality disorder, and diabetes have already been listed by candidates wanting to get special recognition.


But the plot thickens. There is a war going on within the SNP between what is known as its ‘woke wing’ and the more traditional members and feminists such as Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine – who are disparagingly referred to as TERFS (Trans-Exclusionary Reactionary Feminists). One of the seats that is being set aside for a disabled person is that of the feminist Joan McAlpine. The person standing for it and now pronouncing herself disabled because of diabetes is Emma Harper. The new rules mean that McAlpine will be ousted. No election. No votes. Just ousted because a woke faction has taken over a political party which has now moved in such an authoritarian direction that it is able to do this without impunity.

The whole farce resembles more a surreal Monty Python sketch than it does the reality of a mature and rational democracy. It would be funny if it were not so serious. It is by such nonsense that a country is destroyed. If the self-identification process continues on its current trajectory I could legally self-identify as a disabled, BAME woman in order to get a job or political position and there would be nothing that anyone could do!

Blackford’s Betrayal

But we are not finished yet. This is where the Church comes in. The man who sacked Joanna Cherry is Ian Blackford. He is not just the leader of the SNP in parliament, he is also a member of the Free Church and the vice chair of ‘Christians in Parliament’. He is an open supporter of trans rights in Scotland and was partly responsible for the imposition of abortion and same-sex marriage on Northern Ireland – where the SNP broke its long-standing policy of not voting on issues involving only other countries in the UK.

In what has been called ‘the night of the long sgian dubhs’ (a sgian dubh is the small knife kept in the sock of a kilt wearer!) – Blackford has got rid of one of the most effective and intelligent politicians within his shadow cabinet. That, combined with the takeover of the NEC, by the woke wing, and the continuing domination of Scottish politics by Nicola Sturgeon (who in effect has her own all-stations TV show every day), means that this is a very dangerous time for those who do not buy into the woke agenda – and especially those in the Church. There are several fine politicians within the SNP – some of whom are Christians. Some like pro-life MP Dr Lisa Cameron have already felt the effects of the witch-hunt against them.

The Non-Prophet Voice and The People’s Republic of Woke

In all of this, the main Churches within Scotland seem to be remarkably silent. It appears as though they are more than happy to repeat and support government policies on a wide variety of issues (from Brexit to Covid) but have lost their prophetic voice when it comes to challenging the imposition of unbiblical and anti-Christian policies upon the whole nation.

It is beyond sad that the nation which was once known as ‘the land of the people of the Book’ (because of their reverence for the Word of God), is rapidly becoming the People’s Republic of the Woke.

Pray for Reformation, renewal and revival in Scotland. It happened before, to the benefit of the rest of the world, and it can happen again. And pray for those Christians who Daniel-like, have to survive in Babylon.

PS.  I have been asked about my sources.  Some of them I cannot reveal but most of this information is already in the public domain.  In particular the Wings Over Scotland blog is a mine of information.

PPS. I may have this wrong but I have not seen this story widely covered in the Scottish or UK media.  Why?

Dear Ian – An Open Letter to Ian Blackford

Enough of Presidents who Speak the Language of Christianity while Leaving out Christ


  1. Wise words, pastor. What is the world coming to?! I fear that it will only grow much worse unless we speak up…

  2. If there’s any logic to shoehorning “BAMES” and transgenders into positions of political influence, it is presumably to address some perceived imbalance in their respective identity groups. So it seems revealing to reflect on the shadow of falling life expectancy in Scotland, and the statistic that men in disadvantaged circumstances live nearly 7 years fewer than women. It’s difficult to imagine what hardship BAMEs and transgenders face that compares to, well, dying, and therefore to escape the logic that we might as easily advance them to preferred positions on candidate lists instead. But then again, it’s difficult for ordinary people to imagine an ideology that claims that you can only represent the political interests of people with whom you share an imagined burden of oppression.

  3. Hi David, do you think this will only be a temporary moment of insanity before the pendulum swings back the other way, or is this the beginning of a long, dark period for Scotland?

  4. Much to digest in that article, before any comment could be made. However, for the sake of accuracy, ought not “… ousted because a woke faction has taken over a political party which has now moved in such an authoritarian direction that it is able to do this without impunity.” be “… with impunity”?
    I apologise if the grammatical structure has confused me!

  5. Triggernometry has an excellent one hour interview with Dr Marcus Evans-‘Transgender Clinic Whistleblower Speaks Out’-which is very revealing at many levels. The transphobia sermon by-‘Woke Saint Nicola of Scotland’-was amusing. One of my favourite places is the old Temple Church ruin by Northton on the Isle of Harris. It is fascinating to imagine the Celtic Church missionaries washing up in places like that. If the vikings landed today, would the SNP government of Scotland be seeking to buy their swords as abortion tools? ‘A bit of pillage and partying never goes amiss, and might kick start hospitality or the economy’. But the Irish monks might get a shoe away, for being too traditional, and not ‘woke’ enough?

  6. I seem to recall I voiced much of the same a few months ago, but was “shot down in flames” when I dared to ask how a Christian could be an snp supporter.

  7. Hopefully we are witnessing the “Fall of the Sturgeon Empire”. Its been a catastrophe for Scotland – for our Educators, our Industries, our children and for Scottish Society at large. Rather than raise the international standing of Scotland, SNP’s NEC, under Sturgeon has been an embarrassment. These revelations from you, David, add to the clear message – the current SNP cabal is very bad for Scotland.

  8. It has already come to America. I could list 20 things right now. People who are Christians are being fired and cancelled right and left. Biden (or his puppet masters) are implementing crazy policies daily. They want censorship fo conservatives, and now have the LGBTQ flag flying at American embassies around the world. Pray and stand strong. Maranatha!

  9. Question from an Aussie who doesn’t know much about Scottish politics: Given what SNP rule has turned out to be like, do you think it is a blessing in disguise that the Scottish indy ref failed or would a stronger opposition to the SNP have emerged post-independence?

    1. I think we dodged a bullet. Although it could also be argued that the post referendum SNP was fundamentally changed by the surge in membership from progressives/greens who cuckoo like – took over.

      1. Now that I have learnt I have a dash of Scottish ancestry (as per my recent post), I intend to keep much more abreast of developments on this side of my family’s ancestral homeland!

        Seriously, I am genuinely deeply upset to hear how far “the land of the book” has fallen and I share in your grief, Pastor.

        I am also disturbed that Australia is rapidly heading down the same path and that Scotland under Nicola and the USA under the Democrats is giving us a forewarning of where we will be in five or ten years’ time. We have already headed quite a long way down that track and I don’t know what can turn us around at this stage but I am hopeful that ScoMo’s recent Australua Day speech is tge beginning of a concerted LNP campaign yo uproot identity politics. It needs to be tackled at yhe grassroots levrl too though and too many young peolle are inculcated in these leftist ideas from Unis and Hollywood now and then their peers and corporate workplace policies when they enter the workforce. We must turn to Jesus and pray hard about this, lest this generation of Australuans be poisoned by this toxicity and lost to Christ as well. If only we could cut off tge influence of US liberal culture for a while – it would make us a more indular culture but we would find ourselves and our own national identity again and be rid of these eccentric and crippling poliyical fads.

  10. It would be great to see more BAME and disabled folk in Scottish politics and the SNP to show people in these groups that politics isn’t off limits.That does need to follow a fair process and not exclude anyone unfairly. Felt like a long article for a short point but I may have missed some of it!

    1. I don’t accept the label BAME and have great difficulty with the label ‘disabled’. Why do we feel the need to ‘identify’ and label in this way? Why not just let people be elected on their own merit and be treated equally? Why play identarian politics?

      1. People were asking the same sort of questions after the demise of Apartheid. White people mostly.

      2. Modern notions of equality and fairness are sadly founded on the sand of the fallen world. They just simply cannot bear the weight, and all that happens, especially with intersectional philosophies, is that someone gets marginalised and told either to get in step or be an irrelevance/danger to progress. That is not to say the world is not unjust, but the ‘solutions’ will never work. Equality becomes an insatiable monster fed by more and more tragically confused thinking. Plus the seemingly inevitable violent threats, twitter abuse, blacklisting etc etc.

        It’s especially sad to see the church go down this route, either with more ‘conventional’ equality issues or liberal culture. The message seems to be ‘we just need to be seen to be doing it better than the other guy’ as a hopelessly inadequate stand in for the inability to declare in God’s Spirit ‘ we are the body of Christ’ . Where the church can make that declaration, it seems to have largely forgotten what it means.

        On a more mundane note, my wife and I spent 3 years in a church which had no wheelchair access (she is a user) because apparently no-one ever came that needed it. Hmmmmm.

  11. I am in almost total agreement with what David says in this article. Where will it stop? Special discrimination in favour of people with red hair? (Apparently, “Ireland, along with Scotland and Wales are the only three countries in Europe in which over 10% of the population have red hair”. https://ireland-calling.com/lifestyle/vikings-or-celts-who-is-responsible-for-the-red-hair-gene/)

    But there are a few things I would like to comment on.

    Firstly, David talks about “the relatively slow administration of the Covid vaccine in Scotland..” I’m not going to disagree with that. He may be right. But I’m “only” 73 and I had my first dose of the vaccine a few days ago. It seems that some areas are progressing more quickly than others.

    Secondly, David says that because of this BAME/disabled discrimination, “If you happen to be white and non-disabled, you are excluded from standing at all!” That’s not quite right. Each Region has 7 List MSPs. The SNP will put up more than one person on its list for each Region. So a white and non-disabled person could be second on a list. In 2016, there were three members of the SNP who were elected in the South of Scotland Region: Joan McAlpine, Emma Harper and Paul Wheelhouse. So if Joan McAlpine is second on the SNP list in 2021 and three members of the SNP are again elected, Joan McAlpine will be re-elected. It should, however, be pointed out that in none of the other 7 Regions did the SNP get more than one person elected on the List.

    Thirdly, David says, “The new rules mean that McAlpine will be ousted. No election. No votes.” As explained above, it is not guaranteed that Joan McAlpine will be ousted but the point about the lack of an election remains valid. It will not be the members of the SNP who demote Joan McAlpine to second place (or worse) and it certainly won’t be the members of the public who vote SNP.

    Incidentally, this discrimination is not confined to the SNP. Both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats practise it in General and Scottish Parliament elections. Ironically, the Liberal Democrats now have more women MPs than male MPs so they should, according to their own principles, have a male-only short list in their most winnable seat at the next election. That seat is Eat Dunbartonshire. I await with interest to see if the Lib Dems stick to their principles.

  12. In a nutshell, the People’s Republic of Earth tries to reverse the fall of man. And no-one can understand why it’s not working.

  13. If you were to be faithful to the Bible you claim to follow you’d realise Jesus himself was woke! He favoured disabled, the marginalised, the women! For goodness sake wake up!

    1. The ‘woke’ are not remotely Christlike – nor do they ‘favour’ the disabled (who they want to abort), the marginalised (like Christians, those who choose to reject the sexual revolution and the poor), or women (they want to abolish biological women through their transgender ideology). You are right though – it is time for you to wake up…and smell the hypocrisy!

  14. Are you serious? This is a cliche of someone who is ignorant. I thought you are an educated and an intelligent person who goes deeper than to say ‘woke’ are aborting disable! You have undermined your own argument in this silly diatribe (post) in your response to my comment. If the woke SNP would want to abort the disable why would they insist to have them on the list? Wakey up David!

    1. If you are going to argue it’s better to explain where people are wrong, rather than just call them names. If you are going to call people uneducated and ignorant I would suggest you check your spelling!

      But you are correct. The SNP on the one hand have the disabled on the list – on the other hand they say that disability is a reason for killing the child in the womb. There is a contradiction in their policy. Just as when they say they are pro-women but then undermine womens sports, spaces and rights. As you say – it is time to wake up….

      1. Jesus wasn’t just a left wing champion of the poor and marginalised. He was and still is, the King of the Universe walking on the the planet and people that he spoke into being (John 1). He clearly identifies himself with the Lord of the Old Testament:’the son does what he sees the father doing’ , ‘I and the father are one’ , (… and other examples.)

        Jesus came to do two things, namely to show people what God was like and to repair the broken relationship between God and man/people/humans. People can self justify their degree of ‘love’ for others as much as they wish, but only God can enable people to love others the way he wants and crucially, expects. Anything less will not do. No conditions. Even a cursory appraisal of most people’s feelings toward their fellow humans would, I suspect, find huge numbers of caveats (e.g. high ranking republican women aren’t proper feminists/ if you want to have a different God from us then don’t come asking for our food aid/your feminism is 5 years out of date so therefore you are a horrible person) within seconds.

        Christians love because they have chosen to restore their relationship with God, which is the essential first step. Sure I know of churchgoers who wouldn’t put their noses out of joint for people dying in the street,or even for people in an awkward fix at a inconvenient time of day, tragically, but I also know people who have been shot through the head by violent gangs, survived and forgiven the gangsters. ‘He deserves to rot in hell’ isn’t something we wish on anyone, because we know what it really means.

  15. On February 2nd, David wrote:
    “There is growing criticism over the relatively slow administration of the Covid vaccine in Scotland, compared with the rest of the UK.”

    On February 9th, The Times reported:

    “The country is on course to hit a million vaccines this week even though only half as many people had the vaccine on Sunday compared with Saturday. Scotland is carrying out more jabs per head than England after the launch of mass vaccination centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.”

    Looks like that ‘growing criticism’ had some effect.

    1. Yes only because they are queueing outside in the snow in City Centre in Dundee
      Still many of us over 70 not even had invitation for vaccine People waiting 14 months for heart scans and oesophageal investigations for potential cancer diagnoses Shambles !

      1. Yes, I’m mighty glad I got my vaccine on Monday last week rather than this week. Monday this week would have been very cold having to queue outside the vaccination centre. But what’s the alternative? Cancel all vaccinations on days with snow? Perhaps the solution is to improve the organisation inside the centres so that people don’t have to queue outside. I got my vaccination 30 minutes after my appointment time. And there’s a big notice outside the centre telling people to turn up 10 minutes before their appointment time.

  16. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/09/gb-news-left-channel-fake-news

    An article that could be read as believing one has the right to decide under what terms dissenting opinions are allowed to be broadcast, or a grudging acceptance that they can do as long as they broadcast truth (with the definition of this no doubt to be decided by higher Guardian authority). Trump did not invent fake news, although he often seemed to be looking at a different world to the rest of us. But here the left leaning press is assumed to be a bastion of honesty whilst playing a somewhat different game. Whilst they will happy issue a wordy correction for saying that the battle of Hastings took place in 1076, they can never quite manage the distinction between opinions and fact.

  17. Pastor, I was just thinking of something… I was wondering if Christians in Scotland might be able to learn any lessons from the Netherlands, where Calvinism all but collapsed in the 2960s-1970s leading to the country becoming one of the most liberal in the world. If the Scottish Presbyterians could learn all the reasons why this happened, perhaps there is still time to save the church in Scotland from a similar fate. Please note I have never been to either Scotland or the Netherlands but I assume there are some analagous factors between the two situations.

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