NO ONE has ever claimed that women cannot have vaginas – what a ridiculous headline to use (“It now seems that women are allowed to have vaginas after all", Iain Macwhirter, June 13).

The same goes for Mr Macwhirter's claim that the right to believe sex is clear and immutable from birth is banned. What is objected to is false claims such as these about the move to modernise Scotland’s approach to recognition of trans rights along with discriminatory and marginalising behaviour used to create a toxic, hostile atmosphere.

If some people insist that women can be reduced to their anatomy then of course they are entitled to hold what is in my opinion a deeply misogynistic view, a view shared with right-wing politicians opposed to women's rights.

Brian Dempsey, Lecturer, School of Law, University of Dundee.


MANY years ago, when the then all-powerful Labour Party was considering what form of voting system was best for its new devolved system of government, it decided to play it fair. At the time, Labour votes in Scotland were weighed rather than counted. When the system now in use was advocated, Labour agreed. They knew that they would win the vast majority of seats with first past the post, so a PR system was adopted that would allow no one party total control.

This system was not, as some on the paranoid nationalist fringes argue, to prevent the SNP ever taking over – at that time, when nationalist representatives could be counted on two hands that was a preposterous proposition – but it was an attempt to be fair.

I distinctly remember powerful arguments against. Many argued that a series of Israeli governments using a similar system had been controlled by extreme and unrepresentative small parties for years.

This is exactly the situation that exists in Scotland at the moment. The Greens are a small and numerically insignificant group with an extreme agenda. But for their 30 pieces of silver they are keeping the nationalists in a majority.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.