I grew up in 1980s County Durham; it felt at the time like a People’s Democratic Republic. When the miners went on strike in 1984, Labour held 53 of the 72 seats on the county council. But whatever impression southerners might get from watching Billy Elliot, boys like me did not engage in ballet. Labour may have been in charge, but attitudes were socially conservative. We played football and supported the Toon, or Newcastle United to give them their official name. Allegiance to Sunderland raised eyebrows — in my town at least — while Manchester United was beyond the pale.
This piece was written on the morning of Wednesday 2 June 2021
It’s been a bad night for Stonewall. Yesterday, the Labour MP Dawn Butler created a Twitter Poll. ‘Who do you trust more?’ she asked her 150,000 followers, Stonewall or Liz Truss?
LGBT+ Labour might be a fringe group in the minds of traditional Labour voters but they have the power to extract a grovelling apology from Keir Starmer.
We are in dangerous times when adults who should know better allow student politicians to play the trans card so they can act with impunity. On campuses across the country, the pink and blue flag is being used to excuse the bullying and harassment of anyone who does not adhere to gender identity ideology, and its catechism, “trans women are women”.
The Tories may have taken self-identification of legal gender off the table, but the transgender thought police have certainly not gone away. Their latest victim is Kevin Price who, until last Thursday, was a Labour member of Cambridge City council, in a seat he had held for ten years.
August is the traditional silly season, but the Labour party risks descending into a farce from which it might struggle to recover when real politics resumes in September. In the absence of any direction from the party leadership, the transgender thought police have led the party down a rabbit hole. Last week, Spectator readers may recall the appalling attack on Rosie Duffield MP for claiming – quite rightly – that ‘only women have a cervix’. Now, the madness has continued.
It’s summer but the war on women continues. The latest person to fall victim to the transgender thought police is Labour MP Rosie Duffield after she liked a tweet by Piers Morgan where he harrumphed CNN’s reference to ‘individuals with a cervix’. Duffield later angered her critics more by asking: ‘I’m a ‘transphobe’ for knowing that only women have a cervix….?!’
Morgan is a man, of course, so he escaped censure. But Duffield was not so lucky. This modern witch hunt tends to target women, specifically those who have the audacity to reclaim the word ‘woman’ to describe their sex.
The event had been called to support Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance. Both organisations had been denounced as transphobic and trans-exclusionist by the self-styled Labour Campaign for Trans Rights (LCTR). Shockingly the LCTR had been supported by Labour Members of Parliament, including contenders for the leadership of the party.
The last day of March marks the International Transgender Day of Visibility, which must be in contention for most redundant event in the calendar. Some readers might be of the opinion that a few days of transgender invisibility might be more timely.
As a transgender person, I am tempted to agree. When I transitioned eight years ago the goal was to assimilate back into society, and with the minimum of fuss. Occasional stories did reach the press but, while there was passing interest, they were never high up the news agenda.
While the increased visibility cannot be denied, some people are now claiming that transphobia is taking over the nation. In an astonishing opinion piece for the New York Times earlier this week, Juliet Jacques announced that Transphobia is Everywhere in Britain.
The transgender crisis that has engulfed the Labour Party has now lurched into a new and previously unimaginable phase. When the hitherto unknown group, the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights (LCTR) launched its egregious manifesto last week, peak-lunacy seemed to have been reached.
Following demands for compliance — including “pledge 4: Accept that trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non-binary” — they condemned what they considered to be transphobic organisations, naming Woman’s Place UK and the LGB Alliance and calling for transphobes to be expelled from the party.