Dear Ms Donelan
I am sorry to trouble you again, and I hope that you managed get some time to relax over the holidays.
I am writing to request your help with a matter that I consider is serious. On the 14th December I wrote to the Scottish National Party, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Green Party in the terms set out below at Appendix 1.
Given the serious nature of the concerns I raised in this email, I asked for a response within two weeks or I would refer the matter on to you. I am very disappointed to note that only Mr Cole-Hamilton of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has had the courtesy to respond to me, and I was even more alarmed to find that his name had been added to a defamatory petition without his knowledge. I can only assume from the silence from both the SNP and the Green Party that they do not consider this to be a serious matter and are not even willing to acknowledge my email of 14th December.
I do not think this is acceptable. I think something very wrong is being permitted to happen, both to the nature and quality of our public debate about serious matters, but also with the surprising and shocking degree of misogynistic contempt that is now frequently displayed towards women who wish to discuss the reality and immutability of biological sex.
I am very sad to see serving Members of the Scottish Parliament engaging in such behaviour. If they will not reply to me, I hope they would reply to an email from you, to explain why they think this kind of behaviour is acceptable.
I would be grateful for any help you can give me in regards to this matter.
Appendix 1 – email of 14th December 2020.
I am sad, afraid and angry that as a woman in 2020 I feel compelled to write to a political party in these terms
On November 27th a number of people posted to the social media site Twitter a document headed a ‘Call to Action. This was written by
“a group of trans and/or non-binary people who have come together from across Scotland’s political spectrum to highlight the crisis of inaction on transphobic abuse in our parties.”
It asks for signatories which include:
Patrick Harvie MSP – the Scottish Green Party
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP – the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Stewart McDonald MP – the SNP
The ‘call to action’ went on to refer to:
Recent examples of social media posts allegedly undermining Trans Day of Remembrance from a councillor and revelations regarding an MP funding what is known as a hate group are more recent causes of concern.
This refers directly to a tweet by David Paisley who identifies as a Scottish actor with approximately 20k followers. He is referring to a donation made by Joanna Cherry QC to my crowdfunder where I am attempting to raise money to take action in judicial review against the College of Policing and Wiltshire Police against the decision to record my protected political speech around the immutability of sex as a ‘hate incident’.
I am a member of the campaigning organisation Fair Cop which is comprised of gender critical lawyers, former police officers, writers & professionals dedicated to upholding Articles 8-11 ECHR.
Fair Cop is manifestly not a ‘hate group’ and therefore I am not a member of ‘hate group’. Discussion of the laws of the UK are protected political speech as confirmed by Knowles J in Miller v College of Policing. Attempts to smear female politicians for donating to my legitimate crowd funding on the basis of my membership of Fair Cop is not merely absurd, it is dangerous.
I have been repeatedly named by Mr Paisley in a series of tweets to which I was offered no right of reply as Mr Paisley has blocked my Twitter account from interacting with his. His false and malicious assertions have then been embedded into this ‘Call to Action’ which has also been widely circulated. This puts me – and I assume Ms Cherry – at actual risk of harm, given the nature and extent of the messages I have now been receiving which threaten me with sexual and physical violence and make derogatory comments about my appearance and my age.
The signatories to this ‘Call for Action’ thus offer their unquestioning approval to a malicious and baseless attack upon a serving member of the Scottish National Party, Ms Joanna Cherry QC and a named individual in England – me.
To the extent that the signatories to this letter are members of your party, I trust you will take the necessary action to indicate your disapproval of such tactics which are in themselves hateful, have no place in any modern democracy and which put me and other women at direct risk of actual physical harm
I will continue to monitor the messages I receive. Should they continue or escalate, I consider this will be a matter for the police.
Given the nature of my concerns and my possible need to involve the police, I would be grateful for your urgent response.
Appendix 2 – Response from Alex Cole-Hamilton
On 15 Dec 2020, at 15:57, Cole-Hamilton A (Alex), MSP <Alex.Cole-Hamilton.email@example.com> wrote:
Your letter was passed to me yesterday afternoon and I’ve tried to call you a couple of times but was not able to leave a message.
Thank you for raising this with me, I’m glad you did as it gives me the opportunity to inform you that I didn’t sign this letter. My name was added without my knowledge or consent.
Had I been asked for my consent I wouldn’t have given it as I disagree fundamentally with several aspects of it, not least the individualised attacks.
I have issued a public statement to that end.
I hope this clears things up as far as I’m concerned and I’m sorry for any distress this has caused you.
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Western Constituency
The Scottish Parliament | Edinburgh | EH99 1SP and 151 St John’s Road I Edinburgh I EH12 7SD