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Why the Tavistock won’t talk to me Ideology was more important than patient care

(Luis Soto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(Luis Soto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


August 9, 2022   7 mins

For my day job, I interview celebrities, and here’s what you do if you want to interview a celebrity: you call up their press officer and pitch the piece you have in mind. The press officer checks if you have ever written anything negative about that celebrity. If you have, you are firmly rejected, and usually given a telling off to boot. If you haven’t, you are granted an interview. This is because celebrity interviews are largely seen as a form of advertising: you are advertising the celebrity’s brand. (Although obviously, that is not how I do it. I write searing, incisive takes that will be studied by future generations. Pulitzer to the usual address, please.)

After more than 20 years of this, I’m pretty well-accustomed to the rigamarole. But even I was surprised last summer when I called up the Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) at the Tavistock & Portman Trust for research, and realised they expected to be treated like a celebrity. Because I’d once made a cheap crack about them on Twitter, they said, they would not talk to me. In other words, they didn’t want journalism; they wanted advertising. This is a line I can just about choke down from Angelina Jolie; it’s a little tougher to swallow from an NHS trust.

At the time, I was writing a non-fiction book about why adolescent girls have, for centuries, expressed their anxiety by harming their bodies. (Title to be announced, but that jolly little beach read will be available from all good bookshops early next year.) Several doctors I spoke to said that the disproportionate number of adolescent girl patients at Gids — 70% girls to 30% boys — suggested that, in some cases, adolescent female gender dysphoria was a new form of this peculiarly female form of self-hatred. It wasn’t that suddenly, out of the blue, so many girls were actually trans boys; rather, they’d found a new way to express a hatred of their bodies “This could be the new anorexia,” one doctor said to me.

These were all unbiased, non-ideological doctors I spoke to; in many cases, they had once worked at Gids. But I wanted an alternative perspective for balance, so I called multiple charities that work with LGBT youth — Stonewall, Mosaic, Mermaids — to ask if I could talk them. None called me back. I then left a message at Gids, explaining the book I was writing and why I wanted to talk. A few hours later, I received a message telling me that a man, who I’ll call James and who worked in the communications department of the Tavistock, was willing to speak with me that afternoon. Pleased, I called him at the set time and took notes, as I always do for work. The following is a summary of the conversation that ensued:

Me: I’m writing a book about unhappy teenage girls and I’d love to talk to someone at the Tavistock about it.
James: The thing is, quite a few of our clinicians saw a comment you made on 5 December where you mentioned the Nazis and our clinicians in the same tweet
Me: Really?
James: Yes, Jo Maugham said something, then [Times columnist] Janice Turner said something, then you replied to that. You said: “The Nazis performed medical experiments on children whereas the judges are trying to stop that.”

Brief interruption here for some context. This particular Twitter conversation was about the Keira Bell case, in which a young woman sued the Tavistock for prescribing her puberty blockers when she was 16. Bell has since detransitioned and says she should never have been given blockers so young. She won that case, but it was quashed on appeal. Jolyon Maugham is a lawyer who is probably best known for once boasting on Twitter about clubbing a fox to death while wearing his wife’s kimono. He is also a fervent gender ideologist.

I can’t quote him exactly because he long ago blocked me, but Jolyon had paraphrased the famous Pastor Niemoller poem: “First they came for the trans people, and I did not speak out, because I was not trans
” Implying, in other words, that the judges who had found in favour of Bell were analogous to Nazis. I responded pointing out that it wasn’t the judges who were giving children untested medical treatments, implying that Gids was.

James: I see that you did it within a context, and you have since deleted the tweet, but we have it.
Me: Do you often keep tweets?
James (laughing): We keep the ones that refer to us as Nazis!
Me: Fine, so shall I say “No comment” from you?
James: Yes, well, this obviously puts us in a bit of a pickle. We’re not interested in saying publicly: “You used these terms about our clinicians, who are incredibly hard-working, caring people.” The discourse around this subject is so toxic, and we do believe in transparency and want journalists to describe how we work. Would you be willing to
 well, you deleted the tweet.
Me: All my tweets delete automatically.
James: Well, you never apologised for that or said: “Maybe they shouldn’t be linked to Nazis.” So that’s your last word about clinicians.
Me: If you’re asking me to make a public apology in order to talk to one of your clinicians, I think that would just draw more attention to the tweet. I also don’t do things in return for an interview.
James: Sure. We’re not trying to extract a cost from you. But you have been quite outspoken about gender identity issues.
Me: So let’s talk. If you don’t talk to me, I can’t present your side.
James: But if this ugly thing that happened means we can’t work with you, then it feels unjust for you to be like: “I approached these guys and they said they couldn’t speak to me.”
Me: So what am I supposed to say? That you say it’s unfair for me to say you wouldn’t speak to me, but that’s what’s happening? If you don’t want to talk, that’s cool. I don’t think it’s healthy to have books that just present one side, but here we are.
James: I think this bridge is a little too burned. But I do think it’s a subject worth exploring.
Me: This whole argument is not going to get less toxic if the two sides don’t talk to each other. I’m still trying to learn more, but that is not going to happen if public services are keeping secret files of people’s tweets and we’re told “No, that bridge is burned.”
James: It’s an interesting point, but ummm

Me: Fine, you’re not available to comment. Bye.

I want to say a couple of things about this conversation. Like so many of the things I’ve tweeted in my life, I regret what I said to Janice Turner about medical treatments — but not because it was incorrect. In fact, it’s looking even more correct today than it did when I wrote it. In her letter last month to the NHS advocating for a complete overhaul in this country’s treatment of gender dysphoric children and young people, Dr Cass wrote that “there has been very limited research on the short, medium or longer-term impact of puberty blockers on neurocognitive development”. Blockers are medical unknowns, and I was right to say that the judges believed children shouldn’t be subjected to experiments. But I regret it because there’s no excuse for comparing anything, whether it’s judges or Gids, to the Nazis; I lowered myself to the level of Jolyon Maugham. For that — let the record show — I apologise.

But I want to say a couple of other things, too. First, I’d love to know how much money the Tavistock & Portman Trust allocated towards overseeing what people said about them on Twitter. Was it a one-person job? An entire call centre? And where did they file away the offending tweets? I’m picturing the final scene of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark, with a lone NHS worker, wearily pushing into the archive another giant box of incriminating tweets with “JULIE BINDEL” stamped across one side. I’d also like to know if all NHS trusts do this or just the Tavistock, or even just Gids. I have a very sexy foot operation booked in for next January. If I have a moan online afterwards about how crap the food is, will my doctors, like Gids, refuse to speak to me? Eject me from my bed?

I wasn’t surprised that people at the Tavistock & Portman didn’t like me. As John rightly said, I have been very open about my scepticism about gender ideology, particularly in its application to children and young people. But the only other time I’ve encountered an institution (as opposed to a celebrity) that expected to be able to control media coverage, it was the Church of Scientology, and that is not publicly funded.

I have had extensive experience of doctors in my life. Several close relatives are doctors and, more relevantly, I spent several years as an in-patient in multiple hospitals when I was a teenager. The first psychiatrist I had was arrogant, absolute in his opinions, certain that he always knew best. When I dared — as a deeply insecure and unwell 14-year-old — to question any of his treatment for me, he brushed me aside, as if I were as irrelevant as a moth. Well, I did not get better, and, in fact, he ended up getting struck off for serious misconduct. His refusal to question himself was, ultimately, his downfall, and it came at a serious cost to his patients, including me.

Then I had another doctor. She was very different. When I got angry at her and told her she was ruining my life, she didn’t agree, but she listened, trying to understand my thinking. When I recovered enough to speak logically, and tentatively suggested ways I thought my treatment needed to be tailored to me, she agreed. She genuinely wanted her patients to recover, so she was willing to listen to all sides, because it wasn’t about her — it was about what was best for those who were ill.

Good people worked at Gids. I know, because I’ve met some of them. But it does seem that too many inside it were more focused on validating a certain ideology instead of looking at what was right for its patients. Fine, don’t talk to the crappy journalist who made some cheap Nazi crack on social media, but why didn’t Gids do long-term tests on puberty blockers? Why did it take them so long to keep records on the long-term outcomes of its patients? Maybe it was for the same reason they refused to talk to gender-critical journalists: because they didn’t want to know.

When Gids shuts next year, treatment for gender dysphoric young people will be decentralised: instead of there being one place myopically focused on gender, there will instead be multiple regional hubs around the country. This is partly to reduce long waiting times. But it is also, Dr Cass stressed in her letter, so children and young people can have “competent local multi-disciplinary assessment and remain under active holistic local management until they are seen at a specialist centre”.

In other words, their gender dysphoria will first be seen within the context of multiple potential factors — eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc — instead of doctors hurriedly validating their gender identity. Some people from Gids will be involved at the regional specialist centres, but the young people will receive broader psychological assessments before they get there. It will also, I think and hope, be harder for anyone to operate without transparency because they’ll be coordinating with other NHS services. As Dr Cass wrote: “The support of wider services is vital.” Ideologues and fox-murderers can block out those they disagree with, but for healthcare services, that time is up.


Hadley Freeman is a staff writer at The Sunday Times. Her latest book, Good Girls: A Story and Study of Anorexia, was published in 2023.

HadleyFreeman

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polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“Good people worked at Gids. I know, because I’ve met some of them. But it does seem that too many inside it were more focused on validating a certain ideology instead of looking at what was right for its patients.”
Well, you can find good people in all sorts of unexpected places. It depends on your definition of good, I suppose.
My main fear is that these people might be allowed to continue their activities, out of sight, in other parts of the NHS. This is how the UK seems to operate these days – The pretence of inquiries, the pretence of reform, the lessons that will be learnt – But nothing changes.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Indeed. One must wonder whether these people will be just redeployed to do more of the same.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

That’s a very valid point. Will the ideology of Tavistock be just spread around the country?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

Of course it will. Evil, like rust, never sleeps.

Stefan Wilson
Stefan Wilson
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I don’t think it’s helpful to think of these things/people as evil. They really are trying to do good. The issue is not clear-cut and it would be a lot easier if people on both sides of the debate would acknowledge that.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan Wilson

By their light, Hitler and Stalin and Mao were just trying to do good. I am sick of seeing bad, even evil behavior excused by “good intentions.”

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan Wilson

Savile was always doing ‘good’. This is basically a child abuse scandal wrapped up in pseudo scientific dogma. it isn’t enough to shut this place, there needs to be an investigation into what was done and who did it. If necessary anyone found guilty of abuse or even reckless conduct should be barred from the medical profession.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan Wilson

I disagree. Any medical professional understands how experimental this was. They were either too afraid – or too indifferent – to speak up.

Leigh Collier
Leigh Collier
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan Wilson

They’re trying to do good but actually doing evil. So that’s all right then. As long as their motivation is good we ought to overlook the harm they’re doing. Seriously, is that what you think?
As to clear-cut issues, what is clear-cut is that individuals born female will remain female for all their lives and cannot change to be male. And individuals born male will remain male for all their lives and cannot change to be female. Their problem – and it is a genuine, serious problem – lies in their minds and emotions, not in their bodies. [Here I am NOT at all referring to those few individuals who have a genuine, physical intersex condition.] That much is clear-cut and needs to form the basis on which further debate and discussion takes place.

Persephone
Persephone
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan Wilson

Well, some of them might be “trying to do good,” but so were some of the Nazi’s. In their attempt to “do good” the Nazi’s did immeasurable harm and caused the death of millions of people, so we call that BAD or evil, because we judge them by their results.
And a lot of these clinicians aren’t really “trying to do good”; they’re trying to keep their practicing certificate, trying not to be criticized by the mob, trying to get published, trying to keep their job etc; and in trying to achieve these understandable but selfish goals they are willing to sacrifice your children and mine, which is a deeply unethical way for any health professional to behave (speaking as one).

Helen Murray
Helen Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Stefan Wilson

Agree with you Stefan, polarising the debate into good versus evil is childish.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Yes, the cancer should have been excised not allowed to metastasize.

Jane McCarthy
Jane McCarthy
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Good point!

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

And carrying over your reference, there were apparently good people who supported the Na**s too.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
1 year ago

I just don’t I understand why this is happening. If puberty is blocked the psychosexual development of puberty is blocked. How can it be moral to decide a child will be turned into a simulacrum of the opposite sex at the cost of the permanent loss of their future sexual and reproductive function? Even if the children who won’t desist could be accurately identified it would be immoral.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Melissa Martin

If you ‘just don’t understand why this is happening’ you really have been asleep for the last few decades. This is happening because the morality you refer to is now almost totally absent across the West, particularly in the public sector and large corporations. It is happening because the state pays people to do all sorts of bad and/or useless things. These people are happy to for the state to pay them to do these things, because these people would be completely unable to do anything productive.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I interpreted the poem – First they came for … – as being about not speaking out when you see people being treated badly because it doesn’t effect you or you fear becoming a victim if you do. I associate the poem with the Milgram experiments. I associate the poem with all the Germans who witnessed the persecution of the Jews and either stayed silent, colluded or participated in the persecution. I wonder if I had been born a German in Nazi Germany, what kind of person I would have been. I interpret it as poem intended to make the reader question themselves rather than judge others. Ironically (given that it is used to defend trans ideaology), to question whether one is in the grip of an ideaology.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

How about producing an argument rather than downvoting me. I have no interest in popularity. I know my views are contentious and would genuinely appreciate a well-argued repudiation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

I just noticed the author is a staff writer at the guardian so is probably well and truly in the grip of an ideaology, unless she just does it for the money.”

The problem with this comment is that it is both incorrect and mean; and it kicks back on you. Of course the Guardian is ‘right-on’, but you made a sweeping generalisation, without nuance or knowledge (HF has often criticised the excesses of left-wing media). All of which makes it look as though you are the one in the grip of a rigid ideology – of course, we are all in the grip of ideologies, to a lesser or greater extent.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Is she not in the grip of feminism? Are you claiming the Guardian is not ideaologically driven?

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

Word of the day: Nuance. Look it up

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

This will probably come as a complete shock to you but I do understand the meaning of nuance. Being idealogically driven doesn’t preclude nuance.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
William Adams
William Adams
1 year ago

It’s ‘ideology’.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

She’s almost been driven out of the Guardian by trans activist bullies like Owen Jones.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Owen Jones
 euch. What a rabid little creature. I watched the Sky press preview after that American shooting in a gay bar. He was ranting that it was a homophobic hate crime and stormed off when the presenter said ‘well, we don’t yet know
’ Turned out the shooter was also gay and a regular at the bar. But he was like a spoilt toddler having a tantrum. It was absolutely going to be exactly as he said. Do not dare to contradict me. The presenter got sacked but is now on GBN.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

What does that imply about the Guardian?

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

The irony is that the first wave revolutionaries are the ones being lined up against the wall by the second and subsequent waves of revolutionaries.
Though history shows that is usually how it works.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roger Ledodger
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Okay. So I am a mean girl. Name calling. Just another way of silencing.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

The problem here is that generalisations are usually correct.

It’s very easy to find a comprehensive list of this author’s articles on Guardian. And you will find she is every bit a “feminist” as a typical Guardian contributor, with the sneering tone towards men, female supremacism, hatred towards institutions like marriage etc

She is only here because she fell foul of the Guardian police, because she deviated slightly from the rulebook.

And as that poem goes – until that happened, this author was one of those who not just kept quiet, but very happy when her set covered up Rotherham, blamed everything on “white men” or pushed extreme misandry.
And then they came for her.

Steve Jerome
Steve Jerome
1 year ago

Boo.
There you go.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
1 year ago

I agree with your interpretation of the poem but it seems paradoxical to then stereotype the author of the article because she works at the Guardian. Would you have realised that had the article not said so?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Not in this case, but the Guardian is in the grip of feminism and socialism which are ideaologies. Even those in the grip of an ideaology can recognise the flaws in a competing ideaolog: In fact are probably more sensitive to the flaws in a competing ideaology. The term projection springs to mind.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Jacqui Lewis
Jacqui Lewis
1 year ago

The Guardian’s content in my assessment (I read it most days) is more on the gender-ideology side than gender critical. Are you aware of the Suzanne Moore case? Hadley F is something of an outlier/minority among Guardian writers.
PS this may post twice as I’m not sure whether or not I logged in properly earlier; apologies if so.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacqui Lewis

I thought Suzanne Moore left the Guardian because her colleagues made the work environment extremely unpleasant for her to punish her for her gender critical views in exactly the same way gender critical staff at the Tavistock were punished. Why has the author chosen to publish here rather than in the Guardian? By even using the term gender critical, I feel I and others are submitting to trans ideaology.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Jacqui Lewis
Jacqui Lewis
1 year ago

Yes, she did. Hadley F often publishes here; I don’t know why in this case. I agree, the term gender critical does feel like using language from a context I don’t really agree with/enjoy.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

The Guardian would never publish the article that HF has written here. It does not align with their ideology.

Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
1 year ago

What is an “ideaology”?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

Snarky. An old habit, I think the a and the e used to be combined ĂŠ to created the ee sound. I hope that helps.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago

You really need to learn the spelling of ideology. Anyway most people are subject to some ideology or other and in this case HF is fighting against her tribe, which is harder to do than just along with it, and may cost her her pay check someday. It’s precisely because she’s a guardian writer and trans critical that she’s important.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

I have a lifetime of fighting against those who wish to impose their ideaologies on others and I have paid dearly, but I consider it worth it. I admire those who are willing to sacrifice money, fame and reputation to truth immensely. I believe they are a rarity and I seriously doubt the author is one of them but would be very happy to be corrected. Graham Greene is a hero of mine because he wrote novels that sell to fund the novels he really wanted to write.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Sam Charles
Sam Charles
1 year ago

I love Graham Green, was introduced to him in H School in the states. Please tell me the books he preferred to write.
Thanks

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam Charles
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Charles

The Power and The Glory, A Burnt Out Case, Monsignor Quixote are three of them.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago

I doubt she ‘really’ needs to , but it would be nice as this misspelling does grate when reading. Tho’ are editors not employed for these articles?

Ragged Clown
Ragged Clown
1 year ago

I’ve been reading Hadley for years. She is certainly not in the grip of an ideology whether she is writing for the Guardian or Unherd.
The writers at the Guardian are a diverse bunch. They are much more tolerant of writers that don’t follow the corporate line than most publications. That’s one reason why I read Unherd: to get a diversity of views. Same with the Guardian.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Ragged Clown

I am going to mix my metaphors now. I think she has jumped on the bandwagon now the ship has sunk, effectively.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Ragged Clown

I was once a Guardian reader and still bought the physical newspaper regularly until 2010. I still, sometimes, glance the Opinion section. I see no evidence of any diversity of thought. Most of them are still churning out the same articles they were churning out years ago.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I think whoever cannot see the Guardian is ideaologically driven is in the grip of the Guardian’s ideaology and reads it to have their beliefs reinforced- a nice cosy feeling. There is an old saying- whoever pays the piper calls the tune . I believe – ignore the wisdom of the ages at your peril.

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Ragged Clown
Ragged Clown
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You can, for example, find articles in The Guardian in favour of trans ideology or identity politics and articles against them. That would be rare in, say, the Daily Mail or the Telegraph. They are more likely to assert an editorial policy that does not allow writing about the ‘other side’.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ragged Clown

“The writers at the Guardian are a diverse bunch. They are much more tolerant of writers that don’t follow the corporate line than most publications”
That’s one of the most nonsensical things I have read.
The Guardian makes Pravda look like free press. Forget contributors, they don’t tolerate dissent even in their comments. I know, I was there for several years until they just stamped out comments completely on articles where they expected us heathens to go against the script.

And this lady was fully on board with that script. Her articles are still there, have a look at the headlines.

William Adams
William Adams
1 year ago

I also tend to shudder when I see The Guardian in a writer’s CV but judge not as (theoretically) there can be exceptions to the groupthink at that woke factory. I think this article proves the point.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
1 year ago

Nobody from GIDS who was not a whistleblower should be involved in these regional centres – neither as a practitioner nor an advisor.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

GIDS has been pandering for sadistic paedophiles. They should be treated as sex offenders.

Mary McFarlane
Mary McFarlane
1 year ago

The quoted exchange with the spokesman is quite outrageous, who on earth does he think he is? As Kathleen Stock has referred elsewhere, the Tavistock has for a long time thought it was rather special and this article confirms that it still does.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

“But it does seem that too many inside it were more focused on validating a certain ideology instead of looking at what was right for its patients.”
Swap the word patients for readers and you could be talking about The Guardian, Hadley.

Chaconia 0
Chaconia 0
1 year ago

The idea that the closure of the Tavistock with the simultaneous opening of a lot of mini Tavistocks up and down the country is something to be celebrated is very premature. I believe that a number of the clinicians from the Tavistock are to be consulted on the new services. And the writer suggests that a lot of them were “good people.” How could good people go along with what was happening there –which was in effect, causing irreversible and serious mental and physical harm to vulnerable children and young people — and not do anything about it? And the idea that somehow these regional centres will not be influenced by this radical leftist gender ideology is for the birds. As a London based NHS worker myself, I am shocked by the number of emails that appear in my in box several times a week which embrace and promote this new gender ideology. They are sent by people with titles like Project Manager from the Improvement and Transformation Office or Equality and Diversity Programme Manager and always stating pronouns – inviting me to equality and diversity seminars, and sharing the trusts Trans Improvement Policy, and inviting me to register and borrow from the trust’s diversity and inclusion book, film and music club. Our own medical director has encouraged all staff to share their pronouns with colleagues and patients, and recommended we educate ourselves by reading certain books including A Guide to Gender by Sam Killermann and The end of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society by Debra Soh.  And as we all know this false and dangerous gender ideology has permeated every public institution – schools, local councils, social services, police etc. I really do feel that until legislation is passed banning all medical treatment bar psychological counselling for gender confused children and young people, this madness will just continue and probably just be better disguised. After all, they will have learnt a lot from the Tavistock’s mistakes and now have a chance to continue its work on a much wider scale. 

Ian Ryder
Ian Ryder
1 year ago

Re girls at GIDS “rather, they’d found a new way to express a hatred of their bodies”
Am I the only one to find it quite disturbing that medical professionals have been aiding and abetting bilateral mastectomies and permanent sterility? Surely only a blinkered ideologue could believe that affirming mutilating surgery is really any different to self inflicted mutilation?
I also question whether those who stood by and watched colleagues actively participating in such practices could really be classified as good people?

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Ryder

No, and it is about time we stopped pandering to this ideology. This was child abuse, treat it as such and investigate and prosecute.

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago

Who says regional microGids will be any better?

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago

The whole Tavistock thing hasn’t blown up the way it should have, has it? Imagine if it were a Catholic run organisation running these kind of experiments. Or even Anglican. Or something associated with the right wing.

There’s two much left establishment involved in this. The outcry about the Catholic Church in Ireland needed the collapse of the church and it losing its influence first, and only then did the kicking commence. I don’t see that happening here.

James Rowlands
James Rowlands
1 year ago

This is about scapegoating. The Clinic was bringing the NHS under scrutiny and this had to be stopped, before it got out of hand and other skeletons fell out of cupboards.
To my mind the outcome is worse. Regional centres will keep different data if they keep data at all and failings will be attributed to one or two centres (lessons will be learned etc) rather than the ideology as a whole.
The problem is socialism. We have socialist healthcare, education, police, civil service, local government all created and crept in via the back door. All of them have good people working for them, but in failing systems that are fundamentally the same socialist top down model.
The entire NHS and social services needs to go, not just one clinic.

Last edited 1 year ago by James Rowlands
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  James Rowlands

So private healthcare in the US is strongly resisting this, is it?

Socialism isn’t the same as wokeness. Woke is largely driven by a corporate America.

Persephone
Persephone
1 year ago

Exactly. Woke is the opposite of socialism, because it functions to actively prop up neoliberalism and the establishment.

sue boatswain
sue boatswain
1 year ago

I make it a rule never to bring in the Nazis in any argument/debate. They aren’t good allies and can always be turned against one. However, there is unquestionably something very disquieting about the common current refusal to enage in debate in all areas of life.What happend to “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can nver hurt me”? All progress whether material or social comes out of honest debate

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  sue boatswain

The Nazis existed, and the real horror was their scientific rationalisation of the horrors they inflcted. IF that weren’t so, but it was only numbers of dead that count, then the Nazis don’t even come close to Stalin and Mao. Or, if in terms of % of population, Pol Pot.
I see no reason why one can’t point out that Dr Mengele was a doctor or what he did to people in the name of ‘science’ whether he was a Nazi or not.
The irony is here, that it was the Soviets & CCP who were once being slated for using puberty blockers on their gymnasts, yet it seems no one saw a problem with the Tavistock doing it.

Charles Lewis
Charles Lewis
1 year ago

Focussing on the language mutilations of Stonewall and its barbaric accomplices and their refusal to debate is fine as far as it goes but the wider picture must be understood, too. These activists who have taken over Stonewall are a political force of critical theorists based on postmodernist neo-Marxism. Quite a mouthful, but what it signifies is a globally financed (e.g. by Soros) movement using trans as a front , neither helping nor interested in helping trans people. Their aim is to confuse and destabilise our society, by trashing our history and our traditions, denigrating white people, upsetting and indoctrinating our children — all this prior to engineering the overthrow of capitalism and ushering in the joys of totalitarianism.

Maureen Finucane
Maureen Finucane
1 year ago

As an NHS facility, they are subject to inquiry and scrutiny by members of the public and journalists alike.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago

and then those members of the public and journalists are blacklisted and censored because the Sacred Cow the NHS must be protected at all costs. No concept of it being a vehicle for delivery, the means to and end, because the end has long been forgotten by the left.
Not only that but the very subject, ‘Trans’ is a core foundation pillar for Wokery so add that to the NHS and it strikes me it is a miracle the Tavistock was closed. As I’ve said before, closure isn’t enough. This is a chld abuse scandal, it needs an enquiry, an open enquiry and anyone found guilty (and there clearly are guilty people to various degrees) must be punished, possibly jailed but never again put in a position of power over any vulnerable children or even adults.

Alison Tyler
Alison Tyler
1 year ago

I have always been sceptical about what I have read and heard about the treatment of gender dysphoria and wondered if it might be a form child abuse to encourage any irreversible treaments at a young age?

Last edited 1 year ago by Alison Tyler
Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 year ago
Reply to  Alison Tyler

It is child abuse and should be dealt with as such. An open enquiry and punishment of those found guilty.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Alison Tyler

Of course it’s child abuse. GIDS has been pandering to sadistic paedophiles.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

John: I see that you did it within a context, and you have since deleted the tweet, but we have it.
Me: Do you often keep tweets?
John (laughing): We keep the ones that refer to us as Nazis!
Me: Fine, so shall I say “No comment” from you?
John: Yes, well, this obviously puts us in a bit of a pickle. We’re not interested in saying publicly: “You used these terms about our clinicians, who are incredibly hard-working, caring people.” The discourse around this subject is so toxic, and we do believe in transparency and want journalists to describe how we work. Would you be willing to
 well, you deleted the tweet.
Me: All my tweets delete automatically.
John: Well, you never apologised for that or said: “Maybe they shouldn’t be linked to Nazis.” So that’s your last word about clinicians.
Me: If you’re asking me to make a public apology in order to talk to one of your clinicians, I think that would just draw more attention to the tweet. I also don’t do things in return for an interview.
John: Sure. We’re not trying to extract a cost from you. But you have been quite outspoken about gender identity issues.
Me: So let’s talk. If you don’t talk to me, I can’t present your side.
John: But if this ugly thing that happened means we can’t work with you, then it feels unjust for you to be like: “I approached these guys and they said they couldn’t speak to me.”
Me: So what am I supposed to say? That you say it’s unfair for me to say you wouldn’t speak to me, but that’s what’s happening? If you don’t want to talk, that’s cool. I don’t think it’s healthy to have books that just present one side, but here we are.
John: I think this bridge is a little too burned. But I do think it’s a subject worth exploring.
Me: This whole argument is not going to get less toxic if the two sides don’t talk to each other. I’m still trying to learn more, but that is not going to happen if public services are keeping secret files of people’s tweets and we’re told “No, that bridge is burned.”
John: It’s an interesting point, but ummm

Me: Fine, you’re not available to comment. Bye.
Well, Hadley, I hope you enjoyed your trip through the Looking Glass. 🙂

Last edited 1 year ago by J Bryant
Jacqui Lewis
Jacqui Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Could you expand on why you repost the exchange here, John, and the ‘Looking Glass’ comment? I don’t think I understand your point(s).

PS this may post twice as I’m not sure whether or not I logged in properly earlier; apologies if so.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacqui Lewis

Yes, pointless to repost that whole section. It clogs up the comment section with something nobody needs to read. We’ve just seen it in the article above!

eric james
eric james
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

This comment is a waste of time and space

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

The Nazi comparison was entirely apt. Stop apologising to these paedos.

Konstantinos Stavropoulos
Konstantinos Stavropoulos
1 year ago

You needn’t apologize for comparing Gids to the Nazis. “Top” nazi scientists were admired by many at their pick time, while belonging to the than prevailing elite cult. And they similarly acted for the greater good of humanity as they thought and believed..!

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
1 year ago

“Good people worked at GIDS…” In what sense were they good: in the sense that they gave to charity and loved their family, or in the sense that, within GIDS, they raised questions that ran counter to the pervading, ‘trans for God’s sake,’ ideology?

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago

Why was your “Fox murderer” wearing his wife’s kimono – why couldn’t he wear his own?

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Reasons best known to himself. On one level it’s unfair that Jolyon Maugham is now infamous for the one action in his life that may have been undertaken for truly humane motives – killing a hopelessly trapped and injured animal relatively painlessly. On the other hand, the virtue-signalling bully has never hesitated to treat others unfairly so it’s well and truly the biter bit.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
1 year ago

It was just a bit tangled up in the chicken wire. He killed it because he was frightened to engage more closely ie cover it and free it. Agreed it was trying to kill his chickens I suspect that’s why he clubbed it to death as well as being scared it would bite him.

Ruth Dixon
Ruth Dixon
1 year ago

Your question about how much time the NHS spends surveying the media put me in mind of the NHS National Media Evaluation – monthly surveys of NHS press coverage which were made public from 2004 to 2006 (I don’t know if they continued after that).
Articles were coded as “positive” “negative” and “neutral” and stratified by issue, by newspaper and – most pertinent to your question – by named journalist.
Now archived: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/+/www.dh.gov.uk/en/FreedomOfInformation/Freedomofinformationpublicationschemefeedback/Classesofinformation/Communicationsresearch/DH_4130120

Last edited 1 year ago by Ruth Dixon
Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
1 year ago

You don’t owe anyone an apology over the Nazi business—Maugham started it with the allusion to Niemoller.

Joe Wein
Joe Wein
1 year ago

The biggest difference between Tavistock and the Nazis is that the Nazis had bad intentions and the Tavistock docs had good intentions.
We all know how that famous road is paved.

0 0
0 0
1 year ago

Anyone working for a regime that sets out to mutilate children is not a good person

Stephen Moriarty
Stephen Moriarty
1 year ago

Is a “certain ideology” like “une certaine idee de la France”?

Caroline Galwey
Caroline Galwey
1 year ago

Always agreeable to see a Guardianista personally confronted with the inevitable consequences of their chosen ideological outlook.

Wendy Tyrrell
Wendy Tyrrell
1 year ago

What are you talking about? Hadley has consistently argued against the goings on at the Tavi. It exposes her professionally to do this and just serves to underline her courage.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Wendy Tyrrell

The Tavistock is merely the outcome of her ideology – the ideology she has followed for years while at the Guardian.

And as Caroline puts it, she is merely squealing now because she is faced with the consequences of her ideology, not because she has any regrets or second thoughts.

Jacqui Lewis
Jacqui Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Hadley F has long been gender-critical, which is the opposite to the prevailing thinking at the Guardian. I think that makes her NOT a follower of this ideology. Am I misunderstanding you? Please correct me and explain, if so.

Graeme Jones
Graeme Jones
1 year ago

I would say Hadley that it would have been better if on the call you’d just owned the mistake of being drawn into the Nazi parallels. But fair play for mentioning here.
The problem with the trans debate, is that the discourse taking place is polarizing the respective sides, to take more hardline defensive positions.
So if someone says, transgenderism isn’t real, then trans advocates involved in institutions like Gids, take a more full throttle approach to any presenting candidate, where grey areas and complex presentations are glossed over.
Likewise, some of the unsound hyper-liberal trans-advocacy positions stir up a righteous anger from the other side.
The issues around transgenderism do need a synthesis of sorts, but for this to happen, journalists and people in the public sphere do need to de-escalate, take the heat out, and work towards a sustainable settlement, where transgenderism has a protected place, but where complex cases involving young people are given a more accurate diagnosis, and more accurately targeted care.
Hadley I do think you could do better to have improved the discourse than you have in this piece.
Edit; read the comments on here if you want to know whether you’ve shone light, or just more heat

Last edited 1 year ago by Graeme Jones
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Jones

Not everyone knows that the Rockefeller Foundation funded Dr Mengele until Hitler declared war on the US. I owe this reference to Paul Weindling, of the Wellcome Institute. He wrote a scholarly book about Nazi Medicine, but I dont have it to hand.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anna Bramwell
Sam Charles
Sam Charles
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Did they continue funding it after the declaration of war? Did they actually know specifically what he was doing? Were the Rockefellers Pro Fascists? Anti Semitics?

Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
1 year ago

Excellent piece spoiled by too many silly self-promoting and puerile attempts at being flip or hip or both. Great shame.

Jane Jones
Jane Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Mashie Niblick

I agree.
BTW, Hadley should not have apologized for using the word “Nazis.” The usage of the word as a metaphor or shorthand for people who, following their own convictions and buttressing them with woke or other sanctionious narratives, elect themselves to police the behavior and utterances of other people is well established (cf. smoking Nazis). Absurdly, Hadley gave way to John’s interpretation that she was referring to the actual Nazis of the Third Reich and comparing the Gids people to them.
Hadley should have explained to John that his literalism and lack of awareness of contemporary idiomatic usages had led him and his organization to show the extent to which they are out of touch with modern life and language.

Weirdly, by accepting John’s interpretation and backing down on her word choice, Hadley validates the original Nazis—and in a sense, protects them. She acts as though the original Third Reich Nazis were a protected group whose label can’t be used for the purposes of humor or as metaphor or shorthand for “those who police others’ behaviors and thoughts.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Jane Jones
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Jones

Normally, I would agree with you, but the idea of grown adults permanently removing sexual organs from children going through a turbulent period of adolescence strikes a deep chord in me. Who are they to play G*d over children’s lives? There is something decidedly Mengelian about these procedures, especially while they’re happening during a time when it’s illegal for parents or teachers to talk children out of it.

Jane Jones
Jane Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Hi, Julian,
Not sure why you don’t agree with me, on the basis of what you then write. I guess you are saying that the Gids people are indeed Mengelians, hence comparable to the original Nazis, if you put Mengel in the middle of the syllogism. I think that is a stretch, and I don’t think that is what Hadley meant. it certainly is not what she wrote.
My point stands.As used, the term “Nazi” was a metaphor. Hadley treated “Nazi” as a protected word such as “Jew.” That is, “Jew” as a colleciton of stereotypes is no longer acceptable. Same of many other groups. But Nazis are not so rhetorically protected. Hadley should have defended her use of the term—and explained it.
(Of course, it is hard to include much nuance in a Tweet, which is why this whole Twitter battlefield is kind of absurd. I don’t understand why intelligent people conytinue to choose Twitterstan as their terrain for intellectual or even polemical battle.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Jane Jones