IT has been a dark week for Scottish democracy as this UK Government continues to outdo itself time and time again.

We started the week off with the Tories’ anti-strike legislation, a direct attack on the rights of working people.

I have previously spoken about the dangers of the United Kingdom sleepwalking into fascism if we’re not careful. History is undeniable – the slide into authoritarian and anti-democratic politics has always been underpinned by an anti-trade union sentiment. The Tories crashed the economy and have had people resorting to food banks for well over a decade now. We now have a generation or two of food bank users in this country.

We have a cost of living crisis that is only predicted to get worse for families and in-work poverty continues to rise. Workers are struggling to feed their families and need more pay.

READ MORE: The Tories are emboldened and won’t hesitate to wield Section 35 again

Rather than sit around the table negotiating with trade unions, as the Scottish Government does, this UK Government would rather continue the work of Thatcher and try to destroy those unions.

Doctors, nurses, supermarket and travel workers were the very people that kept our society functioning during a global pandemic but rather than pay them a living wage, the Tories will happily throw them under the bus. While Scotland’s workers remain under the control of Westminster, the very rights we all take for granted will always be up for grabs.

The Tories are the party that want to get rid of the Humans Right Act. They want to take us out of the European Convention on Human Rights. They are the party that gave us the rape clause, the party that refuses to give women their pensions and the party that continues to put families across Scotland into poverty.

If you haven’t read the implications of the Bill of Rights, I urge you to do so.

It isn’t just workers’ rights they’re after, as proven by the blocking of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. Back in December, the Scottish Parliament passed the GRR Bill overwhelmingly with cross-party support from MSPs.

The National: People take part in a demonstration for trans rights outside the UK Government Office at Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh. The UK Government made the decision on Monday to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, passed by the Scottish

After years of debate, scrutiny and study, it was finally done. The SNP’s manifesto commitment to Scotland’s trans community was fulfilled. It was a proud day of progress.

The UK Government has, however, chosen to take that progress away, to stoke the fire and continue with this populist divide-and-conquer tactic via a culture war because it has clearly run out of ideas.

The use of a Section 35 order is the UK Government spitting directly in the face of the devolution process. This is a power that has never been used in nearly 25 years of devolution in Scotland. It is being used now against a bill that was passed by the Scottish Parliament, by members of all parties, even Conservatives.

It is indeed a dark day when someone can genuinely believe that this Conservative UK Government has the best intentions of women and girls at the forefront of its political decision-making in contrast to the SNP Scottish Government.

The UK Government has had years to work with the Scottish Government on this legislation and has not. It had years to raise any concerns and didn’t. Instead, it chose the nuclear option of a Section 35.

The excuses it gives for blocking the bill are as empty as the promises it makes. This bill has no impact on the Equality Act or single-sex spaces.

Scotland is trying to bring itself into line with best international practice. The World Health Organisation has stated that no medical diagnosis should be needed for a person to transition. They are not ill, they are trans. Countries throughout Europe and beyond have long had self-ID in place. Yet the government has never claimed any clash with the Equality Act in those years, so why now? This is about politics instead of the actual legislation.

It makes me nauseous that one of the most vulnerable minority groups in our society is being used and abused as a political pawn for this Tory government. The hope the Scottish Parliament gave has been abruptly shattered by the UK Tories.

Perhaps you got caught up in the Twitter storm about the GRR Bill, or perhaps you feel it is a niche issue as it doesn’t directly impact you. But make no mistake, the decision to deny a bill that has been through the democratic process of our elected Scottish Parliament absolutely does impact you and everyone around you.

If they get away with overruling the Scottish Parliament this time, who knows what else they will do.

The only way forward for Scotland is independence because otherwise, we are heading from 2023 straight towards 1984.