A FAVOURITE quote of mine: “Equality is the soul of liberty; there is in fact, no liberty without it.”

It was said by Scottish feminist Fanny Wright, a woman well ahead of her time, who with great courage added to the progression of society in the 1800s.

She was born in Dundee, and I have no doubt that foundation of north-east Scottish nature and nurture had much to do with her defiant and outspoken determination for social justice and liberty for all.

Fanny knew that we could not have true liberation without the advancement of equality for all. We have seen throughout history that when one group is oppressed, another is not far behind it.

Surely there should be no hierarchy, we cannot pit one equality against the other. For the sake of peace and liberty, we should instead work to support each other against any attempt to oppress us. The guiding principle should be freedom.

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The freedom to choose how we live without coercion, and with equal opportunity to exert that choice is vital for a fair society. Another’s liberty is as much our business as our own. Anyone using personal belief to inform and implement legislation over other people’s lives is exerting a form of control.

This may be a statement many disagree with, particularly if we deem it to be from a reasonable and just place, but we cannot force personal beliefs on another or favour one belief over another if we want our own to be respected.

Therefore, I value a free and independent Scotland, one will be inherently different from the subjugation and control of a UK Government which stands against a fair society.

The UK Government has historically forced its belief and will onto others, thriving off the inequality it subjects its so-called “partner nations” to. No more must we accept the master-servant relationship, a Union not of equals but of an unfair and unjust contract.

The National: Scottish Secretary Alister JackScottish Secretary Alister Jack

I wonder if the real moral test for those of us determined to see independence through is the thought of a future Scotland not politically aligned with our own beliefs. When we dig deep into our core, do we favour our own personal belief being the ideological driver in our society over a fairer and more democratic country for all?

Would our indy Scotland have equality for all and true liberation, or be a country no better than the one we left, which only values those who it deems worthy by some outdated societal code? I for one do not wish to repeat the mistakes of the past. If somebody must pay a cost to be a part of society, is it truly free?

I had held on to the hope that regardless of the worst policy that hit us due to us being in this unjust society enforced by the Tory UK Government that at least we had some respite in our – in part free – devolved parliament. Knowing we can have some mitigations against the worst of it – at least temporarily until we become independent.

This past week, however, has been a devastating blow to any safety I had placed in our devolution. The security of knowing that we could always rely on our settled will on devolved legislation in Scotland, regardless of outside interference, was shaken.

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I was driving to Edinburgh from my home in Aberdeenshire for a week of work ahead of me when I heard the news that the UK Government had enacted a Section 35 order. I pulled over half-way and sat searching through my phone in a Dundee car park, looking for all the news I could gather.

In the city of Fanny Wright’s birth, 200 years on from her political activism, I looked around me at the busy parking area, I suppose in a bit of a daze, just thinking of how huge a political move this was. An outright attack on devolution, a power move by our subjugators to assert authority. All of it on the backs of the trans community, to serve the purpose, to divide and rule. I was livid.

The political wedge was certainly deemed to have more life left in it, and my goodness they have taken full advantage. I do not believe for one second that the list of reasons that were given to block the Gender Recognition Reform Bill from royal assent were in any way a true motivational factor.

Since when has the Tory UK Government ever cared about public opinion? If they really cared, they would have respected the will of the Scottish people – which was done through fully competent legislation passed through the Scottish Parliament in a democratic way.

There have been many political takes this past week and many of them have given me a sense of relief to know that regardless of party affiliations and personal or political beliefs, the consensus is that democracy and our devolved parliament are to be protected. I must give some respect to those who disagreed with the legislation itself but will fight for the law to be passed as a matter of principle.

There are however those who seemed to fold like a house of cards when challenged on that point. To be asking for compromise or blaming the Scottish Government for passing legislation that may be challenged is a weak take which exposes true intentions and priorities.

The power move we have witnessed is a reason for us to reject the UK Government’s control over us and use it as an example to those we must convince of the merits of Scottish independence.

This is not a time to lick their boots for stroking an ideological ego. This is time for us to show our true intentions of what we are really fighting for, the liberty of the Scottish people equal in our freedoms to be who we choose, without fear, at no cost to anyone. The just society that Fanny stood for.

The measure of us is being taken. I hope we stand tall in our convictions.