LIKE it or not, the independence movement is tied to the campaign for trans liberation in Scotland, and not just because a loud minority within our own ranks holds some pretty backward views about the LGBT+ community.

Since the beginning of the Conservative Party leadership campaign, the debate has been littered with jibes and threats toward both transgender people living in Scotland and the UK and the authority of the Scottish Parliament; an institution that, in the eyes of many of the Conservative Party faithful, stands in the way of true Tory rule of these islands.

Reforms proposed in Scotland, whereby the Government is moving toward a system that makes self-ID simpler and less dehumanising for transgender people to be legally recognised, are a hot target in the culture war.

The Conservatives have concocted an unholy recipe to ferment the nectar of the toffs – an opportunity to attack the LGBT+ community that sings of the sweet glory days of Thatcherism, and a chance to take a political swing at the SNP and devolution itself. When she isn’t cosplaying as Margaret Thatcher or awkwardly gawping at the thought of pork markets in Beijing, our likely prime-minister-to-be Liz Truss has appeared intent on founding a spiritual successor to Boris Johnson’s government – and that means taking the disgraced PM’s disdain for devolution and the Scottish Parliament and turning it up to 11.

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Far from being an exception, I would argue these are two facets of Conservatism that run deep in the party’s political identity – a nationalist expectation of deference to the supposed superiority of Westminster’s crumbling hallways, and a convenient culture war target to stoke a moral panic against that keeps the puritans onside.

When Thatcher announced during a Conservative Party conference in 1987 – just a few months before Section 28 was introduced – that “children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay”, she was rewarded with an 11-minute standing ovation from party members.

During her speech she also railed against “extremist teachers” and warned that children were being taught anti-racist mathematics (whatever that means … ), which really goes to show that one generation’s manufactured “woke nonsense” is just another’s “political correctness gone mad”.

These kind of culture war talking points could have been lifted from any right-wing rag in contemporary Britain, rather than the speech of a dead prime minister from 35 years ago.

And as with Thatcher, Truss’s facile statement that “a woman is a woman” at the leadership hustings in Perth last week drew enthusiastic applause from the various party members and right-wingers present.

Truss’s reasoning for her hostility to transgender identities, she claims, is because she believes people should be valued on the basis of their character rather than their identity – which, for someone who continues to serve under Boris Johnson in his Cabinet, is a bit like claiming to support rigorous editorial standards in news reporting while hacking into a dead child’s phone.

Of course, the idea that transgender people believe their trans status is a “get out of jail free card” to be judged on our identity rather than our actions is patently nonsense. But it’s just another part of the mythos being built around trans people that lets shameless politicians use us to advance their own interests.

To have spoken in Scotland and made a promise to “protect” spaces from trans people and the SNP-Green government’s plan to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) is to have made a promise to undermine the democratically elected government of Scotland.

The power to make these reforms lies with our elected leaders and it shocks me to see anyone who claims to support devolution, never mind the case for independence, oppose such proposals.

It isn’t so different from politicians who claim to support Scotland’s right to rule itself using the closure of the Tavistock clinic in London as a springboard to call for the closure of our own gender identity services.

Despite falling under the remit of the English NHS – an entirely separate healthcare system from Scotland’s with its own policies – politicians like the SNP’s Joanna Cherry have essentially said we should follow suit, allowing the failings of a neighbouring nation to dictate our own policy.

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The closure was in part due to a review that didn’t even apply to clinics in Scotland, instead being solely focused on healthcare provisions at the London location.

This is a fight Westminster wants to bring to our doorstep and, more than ever, our Parliament must stand up to the bullies in the Conservative Party who want to undermine progressive reforms to appease the baying wants of their mob – and to delegitimise the Scottish Parliament while doing so.

The SNP have been repeatedly elected with a mandate to pass GRA reform, and neither the threats of Liz Truss nor comments from Scotland’s own MPs should stand in the way of delivering for Scotland’s LGBT+ community as promised.

The Conservatives think they can force our government into submission. To back down now on this issue would be to let Westminster walk over the Scottish Parliament – and it certainly wouldn’t stop there.