Alex Massie (journalist)

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Alex Massie (born 1 July 1974) is a Scottish journalist commentator based in Edinburgh. He is Scotland editor for The Spectator, and writes a political column for The Times and The Sunday Times. He is also a regular contributor to ITV Border, BBC Television and BBC Radio.


  • There are not many trans prisoners in Scotland so statistics regarding them should be treated with a measure of caution. Nevertheless, it is well-established that trans women criminals fit a male pattern of offending, not a female one. Since they are biologically male this can only surprise those already stupefied by gender woo-woo. Moreover, some 50 per cent of Scottish inmates only discovered their new gender identity after they were charged by police.
  • But as this case – and its portents for the future – demonstrates, those concerns could scarcely be more pertinent or more valid. Ultimately, this is a disagreement between fantasists and realists and it is deplorable to realise that the majority of Scottish parliamentarians are signed-up members of the fantasy club. Well, they cannot pretend they have not been warned of the likely consequences which flow from their delusions. This is meagre comfort but in mad times such scraps of consolation are all that is available.
    • "Isla Bryson' and the madness of Scotland’s gender bill" The Spectator (25 January 2023)
    • An untransitioned trans women Isla Bryson (born Adam Graham) was convicted in Glasgow of raping two women (at the time of the crimes, the offender was unquestionably male), but began to identify as a woman after being charged. A Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish parliament but blocked from receiving the royal assent by the Westminster government in January 2023. The Scotland Act 1998 permitted a devolved Scottish government bar certain reserved powers which can be maintained under a Section 35 order; this was the first time the provision had been used.
  • Cherry is accused of "transphobia", a term now so broad it has become functionally meaningless. If Cherry is transphobic then so is reality. The expansive definition of transphobia favoured by trans activists now decrees that lesbians who do not wish to sleep with natal males are bigots. Suggesting that homosexuality means same-sex attraction is — apparently — a transphobic "dogwhistle". This is a very modern kind of madness but there we have it.
  • A choice must be made. Either you stand with the censors or you ally yourself with those who appreciate the importance of liberty. It is beyond depressing that so many of our parliamentarians are either explicitly or implicitly on the side of those hostile to liberalism and the foundational principles of a democratic society. That is the real test here and, dispiritingly, many of our MSPs utterly fail it.
  • Like other ministers, [Shirley-Anne] Somerville is keen that voters forget what the Scottish parliament's gender recognition reforms actually meant. They would rather you ignore the reality that the bill created a situation in which, as a legal matter, someone might be one sex in Dumfries but a different one in Carlisle. If Scotland were an independent state, a rump UK government's disinclination to recognise gender recognition certificates in Scotland might not matter much but — at the risk of saying something dangerous here — it does seem sensible for the definition of a "man" and a "woman" to be consistent within and throughout a single nation state.
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