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Green Party’s trans court case is a sign of things to come

Former Green Party deputy leader, Shahrar Ali. Credit: Eddie Mulholland

August 22, 2023 - 10:00am

How did the Greens become so focused on trans rights that they’ve ended up in court? The question is at the heart of a landmark action brought by the party’s former deputy leader, Dr Shahrar Ali, which is being heard this week. In what is believed to be the first civil case of its kind, he is claiming he suffered discrimination, hostility and victimisation because of his belief in biological sex. 

Ali was sacked last year as the Greens’ spokesman on policing and domestic safety after he was accused of breaking the party’s code of conduct. He was told that his “decision to champion a highly controversial position in the trans rights debate” was incompatible with the role. His offence? Arguing that sex is immutable, an opinion shared by most human beings who have ever lived. 

He even believes — pause for gasps of horror — that a woman is an adult human female, and issued a statement to that effect when he ran for leader three years ago. That such statements can be characterised as “highly controversial” demonstrates how radically opinion within political parties — beyond just the Greens — has shifted in little more than a decade. 

Politicians now say ridiculous things with straight faces, such as denying that only women have a cervix (Sir Keir Starmer) and claiming that some women have a penis (Starmer and the Lib Dem leader, Sir Ed Davey). The Labour leader has backtracked, acknowledging that a woman is an adult female, but the Lib Dems are as heavily influenced by trans activists as ever. The party attracted widespread ridicule this week when it emerged that its annual conference will vote on a motion stating that “menstruation is not just a women’s issue”.

People can believe whatever they like, but Ali’s case highlights what he calls a “fanatical clampdown on legitimate debate”. There have always been factions and disagreements within political parties, but the hostility faced by members with gender-critical views is unprecedented. During the Labour leadership contest in 2020, most of the candidates signed a “pledge” threatening members who hold “transphobic” views with expulsion. 

Accusations of “transphobia” are now enough to damn a political career. People only have to “like” a mildly gender-critical social media post to face demands for a grovelling apology. The situation is all the more remarkable following the release of figures by the Office for National Statistics in January,  showing that fewer than 100,000 people identified as trans in the 2021 census. That is 0.2% of the population, yet the issue of trans rights is at the forefront of titanic battles in just about every political party.

Ali argues that his beliefs are protected in law following the successful outcome of Maya Forstater’s case in 2021, which established her right to express her gender-critical views. The Green Party says it will “vigorously” defend its position in court, insisting that it is proud of its support for the “trans community”. Labour and the Lib Dems will be watching with interest, not to mention anxiety, as the right to free speech in politics — something most of us thought was decided years ago — is debated in court.


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She was previously Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board. Her book Unfortunately, She Was A Nymphomaniac: A New History of Rome’s Imperial Women will be published in November 2024.

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Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago

It’s disgraceful how the Tory Party, despite being on the path to electoral oblivion, won’t intervene to stop the madness once and for all. Rather. they choose to sit on their hands and squander the final opportunity they have to pass legislation setting out unequivocally that all references to “woman” or “women” in legal texts and government documents shall be interpreted to mean adult human females exclusively.
Starmer’s precise words were: “Firstly, a woman is an adult female, so let’s clear that one up.” This statement does not preclude Starmer later claiming that, although adult females are women, so too are certain biological males who claim to be “trans women”. . Given that Starmer is a dishonest weasel who is temporarily dropping unpopular baggage until he picks it up again after the election, I don’t doubt that self ID will quickly be back on the agenda if he gets in to No.10.
But again, I’ll never forgive the Tories for how they have facilitated and nurtured the takeover of all our institutions by deranged and dangerous leftist ideologues, and how, even now, they won’t act to protect women, children and free expression.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marcus Leach
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Agreed. Do people remember when the accepted model was that political parties tried to gain power by adopting and developing policies which would appeal to the majority of the electorate? Reforming the NHS, free school meals for the poor, council house sales, etc.?
It seems now that parties are now motivated by a fear of the vocal minority rather than the electoral approval of the majority. They would sacrifice the welfare of ordinary people because they are frightened of a freakish alliance of cry-bullies.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

As Gareth Roberts recently wrote in the Spectator, the Tories had pioneered a new political philosophy: unpopulism.
This is going full pelt at things that their voters hate; Net Zero, tax hikes, continuing mass immigration, turning a blind eye to the wreckers trashing the cultural inheritance of the nation and fomenting racial division.
There is much commissioning of reports and assessments, much issuing of guidance, much piddling about with details.… but almost nothing is ever actually done. 

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

As Gareth Roberts recently wrote in the Spectator, the Tories had pioneered a new political philosophy: unpopulism.
This is going full pelt at things that their voters hate; Net Zero, tax hikes, continuing mass immigration, turning a blind eye to the wreckers trashing the cultural inheritance of the nation and fomenting racial division.
There is much commissioning of reports and assessments, much issuing of guidance, much piddling about with details.… but almost nothing is ever actually done. 

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I find the intolerance and aggressiveness of many trans activists as off-putting as many other UnHerd readers and welcome the growing rejection of their more extreme or asinine positions and the increasing revulsion at their pseudo McCarthyite tactics. 

It would, however, be regrettable if the reaction overshot and became unpleasantly intolerant of the 0.2% of the population who are genuinely trans and are usually – in my limited experience – far less abrasive, more dignified and quietly courageous than typical trans activists (who are often not trans themselves and have other agendas). 

I may be an old fashioned liberal who has wandered onto a conservative website in error but I must admit I am more comfortable with statements like e.g. “99% of the population are normal males or females” than e.g. “all legal references to women must refer exclusively to those born female ”. We should resist the intolerance of the trans activists but we should also leave some space for tolerance of those who are unusual through no choice of their own.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Depressing that your comment should have so many downvotes, yet nobody willing to debate it.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew D
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Yes. Disappointing. I fear the Culture Wars coarsen all sides and encourage everyone to adopt a all-or-nothing zero sum approach. One of the reasons the trans vs TERF war is so vicious is because neither side will compromise even one iota of their absolutist theologies. Since both spring from the same radical progressive world – with its unfortunate enthusiasm for “binaries”, cancellations and scorched earth tactics – perhaps that is unsurprising but it would be a pity if the majority of UnHerd readers are going the same way.

The old idea that one should seek to balance conflicting claims pragmatically risks falling away. On this issue, pragmatism would suggest that most people could live with e.g. sports being normally split into three categories (as is beginning to happen), prisons ditto, the dividing line for communal changing rooms being whether the individual currently has a p***s and facial hair etc – but also a well mannered lack of inquisitiveness into those who “pass” successfully as women or men despite having been born otherwise. Or something along those lines.

The Nietzsche quote that “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster” is a bit overblown in this context but his basic point is correct.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Have you ever seen a debate between the two sides? What is there to say? There are so many assumptions in each side’s comments that go unexamined and prevent progress. By way of example, he says “who are unusual through no choice of their own.” This takes for granted an etiology of gender dysphoria that is unproven and contested – no, not that people choose gender dysphoria the way they choose their socks, but that choice, context, circumstance, social input, family, etc., play a role in all our psychological states. But to discuss something so complex and nuanced in the comments section with strangers? Not likely to go very far.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The trans debate has been exactly as you describe but am I alone in thinking the room for constructive debate has widened a little recently? that the Overton Window has got larger? I found the reactions to the podcast on the Witch Trials of J K Rowling interesting while the Tavistock’s setbacks have undermined claims of a monopoly of virtue or wisdom by one side or the other and the SNP’s difficulties have changed political calculations.
Maybe I am a compulsive optimist – as well as an old fashioned liberal – but I live in hope that a more sensible debate will emerge on this as well as other issues over the next few years.

philip kern
philip kern
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I can’t tell anymore if I’m conservative, old fashioned liberal, or libertarian. Surely I’m a N*zi to some because of my largely conservative Christian beliefs. That said, thanks for your contribution. I’m pleased that we can still have a conversation. Maybe it’s your mention of optimism that resonates.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Alex – I think we are in this mess because too many people try to take the high road in response to the take no prisoners, vicious behaviour of the social justice movement. I get tired of the ‘both sides are at fault’ – ‘the pendulum will swing back’ – ‘can’t we just all get along’ school of thought. The social justice activist class are vicious brutes who are successfully undermining all of our civic institutions with the goal of destroying our liberal democracy. I agree with you that many trans people just want to be left alone – but if they aren’t going to come out and push back on the activists who speak in their name I have no pity for them. I am much more concerned about the thousands of children whose lives and bodies are being destroyed by this movement and the destruction these people are causing to our society. Republican Governors in the US have the right idea. Defund universities – make transitioning children a criminal offence – pass legislation making promoting DEI in public institutions illegal – take public funds away from Blackrock and other ESG investment toadies, refuse to give student loans to people taking gender studies or similar nonsense degrees – basically take a scorched earth – take no prisoners approach. The goal is not to stop them where they are – the goal is to push them well back past their starting line and punish all the institutions that through their abject cowardice allowed this to happen in the first place.

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter Johnson
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I agree with you about the social justice movement. I am not as wishy-washy as you imply. But I think that the main way to defeat it is to force the SJWs to debate their ideas openly thus exposing their campaigns as the amoral and illogical assaults on Western values and institutions they are.

My main difference with you is that I believe the pendulum has already begun to swing against them (in the UK if not yet in the US) and we should seek – and can afford – to minimise collateral casualties.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I agree with the main substance of your points, but the fact is in ‘the real world’ people are tolerant, forgiving, not rules based, flexible and so on..with trans people, any other ism, and immigrants but across the board antifa style extremists, who are often basically the old SWP types now in black ski masks, get involved and create an unholy alliance in which they work to create division while the hand wringing types conduct the whataboutery.
I do feel the tide is turning as the real world implications become clearer and clearer to people in that real world, that does still exist.
The trans issue in Scotland shows that. Sturgeon finally found an issue bigger than independence and it destroyed her.
I put far more reliance on commonsense, which is the distilled essence of many such eras as ours down the years.
Which is commonly derided by types who commonly deride anti trans as bigoted.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I agree with the main substance of your points, but the fact is in ‘the real world’ people are tolerant, forgiving, not rules based, flexible and so on..with trans people, any other ism, and immigrants but across the board antifa style extremists, who are often basically the old SWP types now in black ski masks, get involved and create an unholy alliance in which they work to create division while the hand wringing types conduct the whataboutery.
I do feel the tide is turning as the real world implications become clearer and clearer to people in that real world, that does still exist.
The trans issue in Scotland shows that. Sturgeon finally found an issue bigger than independence and it destroyed her.
I put far more reliance on commonsense, which is the distilled essence of many such eras as ours down the years.
Which is commonly derided by types who commonly deride anti trans as bigoted.

Gary Howells
Gary Howells
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

A bit harsh don’t you think mein Fuhrer?

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Howells

What’s harsh is the mutilation of children, Dr Mengele.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

Thanks for dealing with the transnazi.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

My pleasure, friend.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

My pleasure, friend.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

Thanks for dealing with the transnartzi.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

Thanks for dealing with the transnazi.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

Thanks for dealing with the transnartzi.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Howells

No – not at all. Our government service providers, election officials, librarians, schoolteachers and universities are supposed to be politically neutral. The steps in my comment above are really just getting back to neutral. You only think I am harsh because we have all been conditioned to equate political debate and dissent with bigotry. You are not a bigot or extremist for thinking men shouldn’t be in female weight lifting competitions, or that shop lifters should be arrested, or that drag queens don’t belong in elementary schools.

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter Johnson
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Howells

What’s harsh is the mutilation of children, Dr Mengele.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Howells

No – not at all. Our government service providers, election officials, librarians, schoolteachers and universities are supposed to be politically neutral. The steps in my comment above are really just getting back to neutral. You only think I am harsh because we have all been conditioned to equate political debate and dissent with bigotry. You are not a bigot or extremist for thinking men shouldn’t be in female weight lifting competitions, or that shop lifters should be arrested, or that drag queens don’t belong in elementary schools.

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter Johnson
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Absolutely correct.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

100% right. When the Overton window has been dragged so far to the left that Eurosceptic Tony Benn who knew what a woman is, would now be construed as a ‘literal Nazi’ – the time for compromise and swinging pendulums is over. Scorched earth all the way and long long prison sentences for dissenters who break the new laws.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

I agree with you about the social justice movement. I am not as wishy-washy as you imply. But I think that the main way to defeat it is to force the SJWs to debate their ideas openly thus exposing their campaigns as the amoral and illogical assaults on Western values and institutions they are.

My main difference with you is that I believe the pendulum has already begun to swing against them (in the UK if not yet in the US) and we should seek – and can afford – to minimise collateral casualties.

Gary Howells
Gary Howells
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

A bit harsh don’t you think mein Fuhrer?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

Absolutely correct.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter Johnson

100% right. When the Overton window has been dragged so far to the left that Eurosceptic Tony Benn who knew what a woman is, would now be construed as a ‘literal Nazi’ – the time for compromise and swinging pendulums is over. Scorched earth all the way and long long prison sentences for dissenters who break the new laws.

philip kern
philip kern
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I can’t tell anymore if I’m conservative, old fashioned liberal, or libertarian. Surely I’m a N*zi to some because of my largely conservative Christian beliefs. That said, thanks for your contribution. I’m pleased that we can still have a conversation. Maybe it’s your mention of optimism that resonates.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Alex – I think we are in this mess because too many people try to take the high road in response to the take no prisoners, vicious behaviour of the social justice movement. I get tired of the ‘both sides are at fault’ – ‘the pendulum will swing back’ – ‘can’t we just all get along’ school of thought. The social justice activist class are vicious brutes who are successfully undermining all of our civic institutions with the goal of destroying our liberal democracy. I agree with you that many trans people just want to be left alone – but if they aren’t going to come out and push back on the activists who speak in their name I have no pity for them. I am much more concerned about the thousands of children whose lives and bodies are being destroyed by this movement and the destruction these people are causing to our society. Republican Governors in the US have the right idea. Defund universities – make transitioning children a criminal offence – pass legislation making promoting DEI in public institutions illegal – take public funds away from Blackrock and other ESG investment toadies, refuse to give student loans to people taking gender studies or similar nonsense degrees – basically take a scorched earth – take no prisoners approach. The goal is not to stop them where they are – the goal is to push them well back past their starting line and punish all the institutions that through their abject cowardice allowed this to happen in the first place.

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter Johnson
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

The trans debate has been exactly as you describe but am I alone in thinking the room for constructive debate has widened a little recently? that the Overton Window has got larger? I found the reactions to the podcast on the Witch Trials of J K Rowling interesting while the Tavistock’s setbacks have undermined claims of a monopoly of virtue or wisdom by one side or the other and the SNP’s difficulties have changed political calculations.
Maybe I am a compulsive optimist – as well as an old fashioned liberal – but I live in hope that a more sensible debate will emerge on this as well as other issues over the next few years.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I just did.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Yes. Disappointing. I fear the Culture Wars coarsen all sides and encourage everyone to adopt a all-or-nothing zero sum approach. One of the reasons the trans vs TERF war is so vicious is because neither side will compromise even one iota of their absolutist theologies. Since both spring from the same radical progressive world – with its unfortunate enthusiasm for “binaries”, cancellations and scorched earth tactics – perhaps that is unsurprising but it would be a pity if the majority of UnHerd readers are going the same way.

The old idea that one should seek to balance conflicting claims pragmatically risks falling away. On this issue, pragmatism would suggest that most people could live with e.g. sports being normally split into three categories (as is beginning to happen), prisons ditto, the dividing line for communal changing rooms being whether the individual currently has a p***s and facial hair etc – but also a well mannered lack of inquisitiveness into those who “pass” successfully as women or men despite having been born otherwise. Or something along those lines.

The Nietzsche quote that “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster” is a bit overblown in this context but his basic point is correct.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Have you ever seen a debate between the two sides? What is there to say? There are so many assumptions in each side’s comments that go unexamined and prevent progress. By way of example, he says “who are unusual through no choice of their own.” This takes for granted an etiology of gender dysphoria that is unproven and contested – no, not that people choose gender dysphoria the way they choose their socks, but that choice, context, circumstance, social input, family, etc., play a role in all our psychological states. But to discuss something so complex and nuanced in the comments section with strangers? Not likely to go very far.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I just did.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I would not down vote it, but I would point out that some slopes are slippery.

Richard M
Richard M
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“We should resist the intolerance of the trans activists but we should also leave some space for tolerance of those who are unusual through no choice of their own.”

Yes, old fashioned liberalism has a lot to say for it. Adults should be able to live as they wish right up to the point where their wishes come into conflict with those rights of others which have legitimate claim to protection.

I feel about the few trans people I know much as i feel about the few buddhists I know. I’m completely fine that a buddhist practices their religion and happy to treat that practice with respect. But I dont believe that the Dalai Lama is literally the 14th incarnation of Avalokiteśvara.

Equally, I’m completely fine if you want to live your life as a gender that does not correspond with your sex and will treat you with the same courtesy and respect as anyone else. But I don’t believe you have literally changed sex and are entitled to be treated in every respect as if you are that sex.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

Totally agree.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

I used to agree with the “live and let live” position, Richard. I was 100% Mill all the way. The last 40 years have cured me of that.
A society requires a shared commitment to something. Our only shared belief today is “everyone gets to do whatever he wants until someone else’s nose intervenes” (Mill’s harm principle), and look where it’s gotten us. Society exists to take moral stands: “this is good and this is not”. But we’re afraid to do that today. We can no longer do anything “for the common good” since we can’t agree on “good”. On top of that, “my rights only end at your nose” appears to end up with an ever larger state policing an ever growing number of conflicts between rights and noses.
I wish I thought there was a broadly tolerant, stable equilibrium here, but alas, I no longer think it exists. I am a post-liberal looking a governance solution.

Bruni Schling
Bruni Schling
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

I couldn’t agree more.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

Totally agree.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

I used to agree with the “live and let live” position, Richard. I was 100% Mill all the way. The last 40 years have cured me of that.
A society requires a shared commitment to something. Our only shared belief today is “everyone gets to do whatever he wants until someone else’s nose intervenes” (Mill’s harm principle), and look where it’s gotten us. Society exists to take moral stands: “this is good and this is not”. But we’re afraid to do that today. We can no longer do anything “for the common good” since we can’t agree on “good”. On top of that, “my rights only end at your nose” appears to end up with an ever larger state policing an ever growing number of conflicts between rights and noses.
I wish I thought there was a broadly tolerant, stable equilibrium here, but alas, I no longer think it exists. I am a post-liberal looking a governance solution.

Bruni Schling
Bruni Schling
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

I couldn’t agree more.

Tracy Cook
Tracy Cook
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Having tolerance for “those who are unusual” should not have to mean agreeing to the falsehood that 1% of women were not born female. Many of the people who are “genuinely trans” agree that it is not possible to actually change their sex with hormones and surgery even if that may (or may not) provide some relief for their gender dysphoria.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I actually agree with much of what you said, Alex (and I upvoted you). I worked in theatre for several years and got to know a man who was a transvestite (comically enough, working the show La Cage aux Folles). This was 25 years ago, long before the trans lunacy of today, and what he wanted most in the world was to “pass” as a woman. He didn’t want parades for his sexual identity; he didn’t even want anyone to know. But he was never going to pass — he was physically built like a man — which made his life hard on a daily basis. He would never have considered himself to “be” a woman though. He knew he was (and would always be) a man playing a role he desperately desired to have. I remember thinking of the story of Pinocchio, although I would never have said that to him since it would have been rude.
What’s going on now isn’t that.
Firstly, it t just isn’t accurate to say that “only 99% of the population is male or female” because it implies the existence of a third option. Are there people who have weird genital characteristics? Yes. But the very fact that we recognize these are unusual birth defects implies that they are not some kind of “third sex” as the trans activists say.
A friend’s son was born with 11 fingers — 2 thumbs on 1 hand. Doctors surgically sliced off the extra one when he was a baby. They didn’t write up a case study and alter their medical textbooks to declare that “human hand sizes now come in a continuum and we have no idea what a ‘normal’ set of fingers looks like.” This is actually one of the most common birth defects and is routinely corrected in infancy. It’s multiple orders of magnitude more common than genital ambiguity.
While I agree that we must be wary “if the reaction overshot and became unpleasantly intolerant”, this isn’t the problem we face today. Our problem today is that every major institution in the Anglo world now pushes genital mutilation of teenagers (mostly girls) as a form of liberation and seeks to destroy the personal and professional lives of anyone who opposes this practice. Worry about discrimination against a tiny percentage of the population while that is happening is a failure to recgnize “what time it is”. Our problem is a war on sexual normalcy (and fertility, since these treatments automatically sterilize people) which requires using the democratic process to root out the insanity that has seized Western elites. After that, we can talk about how to treat the truly trans with compassion and dignity. And I’m pretty sure my friend from 25 years ago would feel the same way today.
To that end, this is THE issue I am voting on in the American 2024 election. I may disagree with my candidate on EVERYTHING else, but if he’s the strongest on stopping the castration of teenagers, he’s got my vote.
(The very fact that “let’s not castrate teenagers” is a political position at all in a modern, Western democracy is appalling though.)

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

Brilliant post.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago

I am not 100% clear on this but I think the situation in the UK is different to that prevailing in the US. Here the reaction against trans activist excess is well underway while in America I believe it has hardly started. There have been a series of court decisions in favour of “gender critical” individuals, the most powerful trans lobby, Stonewall, is being repudiated by an increasing number of public sector employers and, most importantly, the largest trans medical facility, the Tavistock Institute, is being disbanded for pushing too many teenagers down a route starting with puberty blockers but heading towards mastectomy or castration. I suspect if I lived in the States, I would feel – as you do – that it is premature to debate tolerance. Since, however, I live in the UK it is perhaps more timely here.

I have always seen many parallels between McCarthyism and the oppressive intolerance of trans – and other woke – activists (right down to the use of HR departments to enforce guilt by association). In the 1950s the refusal of the British establishment to go along with McCarthyism was one of the factors that helped persuade elements of the American east coast establishment to fight back (not least after some blunt exchanges at the first Bilderberg conference). It would be great if the growing spirit of resistance to trans excess in the UK could encourage similar developments on your side of the Atlantic. Meanwhile “Let’s not castrate teenagers” is an admirable principle.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

..

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Craven
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I would like to see McCarthyism inflicted on the woke. Fashists don’t belong in public life.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

..

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Craven
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I would like to see McCarthyism inflicted on the woke. Fashists don’t belong in public life.

Mike Keohane
Mike Keohane
10 months ago

Thanks for a great post but in particular for making a point about trans fanaticism that is I think (at least, currently) under-appreciated ie. that one of its drivers is a hatred or fear of fertility. A society is literally on the path to self-extinction when its elites side with those who happily destroy the fertility of its youth.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago

Brilliant post.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago

I am not 100% clear on this but I think the situation in the UK is different to that prevailing in the US. Here the reaction against trans activist excess is well underway while in America I believe it has hardly started. There have been a series of court decisions in favour of “gender critical” individuals, the most powerful trans lobby, Stonewall, is being repudiated by an increasing number of public sector employers and, most importantly, the largest trans medical facility, the Tavistock Institute, is being disbanded for pushing too many teenagers down a route starting with puberty blockers but heading towards mastectomy or castration. I suspect if I lived in the States, I would feel – as you do – that it is premature to debate tolerance. Since, however, I live in the UK it is perhaps more timely here.

I have always seen many parallels between McCarthyism and the oppressive intolerance of trans – and other woke – activists (right down to the use of HR departments to enforce guilt by association). In the 1950s the refusal of the British establishment to go along with McCarthyism was one of the factors that helped persuade elements of the American east coast establishment to fight back (not least after some blunt exchanges at the first Bilderberg conference). It would be great if the growing spirit of resistance to trans excess in the UK could encourage similar developments on your side of the Atlantic. Meanwhile “Let’s not castrate teenagers” is an admirable principle.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Mike Keohane
Mike Keohane
10 months ago

Thanks for a great post but in particular for making a point about trans fanaticism that is I think (at least, currently) under-appreciated ie. that one of its drivers is a hatred or fear of fertility. A society is literally on the path to self-extinction when its elites side with those who happily destroy the fertility of its youth.

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

You must live in some parallel universe.
No one is going on any hate campaigns against trans people.
It is them and their supporters in MSM and politics who try to shut down legitimate debate and force unscientific and plainly ridiculous views on the rest of population, especially children.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Good comment, but not quite right in my opinion. Here’s my version of your final paragraph:-
*It is not them but their predators and the latters’ useful idiots in the MSM and politics, who try to shut down legitimate debate and force unscientific and plainly ridiculous views on the rest of population, and inflict sadistic paedophilia on children.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Good comment, but not quite right in my opinion. Here’s my version of your final paragraph:-
*It is not them but their predators and the latters’ useful idiots in the MSM and politics, who try to shut down legitimate debate and force unscientific and plainly ridiculous views on the rest of population, and inflict sadistic paedophilia on children.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

It is reasonable that those who wish to present as the sex opposite to that of their birth should not face harassment or abuse and are entitled to live as they please. I’m afraid, however, I am ill-informed and cannot see why the law should recognise something that is not true.
Perhaps, you can explain why GRC are necessary because, I cannot see the need.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago

I find I never get an answer when I ask a question which requires non-waffle.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago

A belated attempt at non waffle. I think the GRC was originally introduced so that the very few trans individuals then around could deal with practical issues like getting passports. Not 100% sure so if there is a better informed non-waffler around feel free to correct me.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago

A belated attempt at non waffle. I think the GRC was originally introduced so that the very few trans individuals then around could deal with practical issues like getting passports. Not 100% sure so if there is a better informed non-waffler around feel free to correct me.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago

I find I never get an answer when I ask a question which requires non-waffle.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

But it isn’t a matter of tolerance, is it? It is a demand that reasonable people engage in an absurd fiction, under threat of social and legal punishments if they refuse to comply. I am not being asked to tolerate men in women’s lavatories, prisons, changing rooms, sporting contests. I am being told that I must accept it or be regarded as a transphobic bigot. Hardly the position a “traditional liberal” would consider legitimate.
Before the linguistic confection of “transgenderism” was constructed, we had the longstanding accepted position of recognising the clinical mental illness of Gender Identity Dysphoria (GID), in which those afflicted suffered a profound sense of alienation from their bodies, and resultant mental distress. Acute sufferers, to abate their distress, took the drastic step of amputating and refashioning parts of their body to better resemble the opposite sex.
Mental health professionals don’t affirm and encourage the delusions of their patients. A psychiatrist whose patient tells them he is possessed by the Devil, and the Devil told him he must pluck out his eyes, would not affirm the delusions and encourage the patient to gouge out their eyes. So it was the case with GID. Rightly or wrongly the law permitted a person to undergo surgery to alleviate their mental distress. But it was never clinically accepted that patients actually had changed sex. or that they should be encouraged in that belief As a result there was no wider social conflict and “transsexuals”, as they were called, just went on with their lives and people generally approached them with sympathy and curiosity.
Then came the transgender ideology nonsense that attached itself to the LGB movement and genuine GID sufferers, and used them to lend unwarranted legitimacy to an entirely irrational, unscientific ideology, based on post modernist philosophical guff. And along with it came the demand for everyone to accept it and consent to having society radically restructured to accommodate it. In doing so it has caused damage to both LGB people and genuine GID sufferers.
Obviously the trans movement deserves no tolerance, It is intellectually ridiculous, dangerous to women and children and. as its adherents show no tolerance to those who challenge them, they deserve none in return.
The tolerance and acceptance you speak of was what we had before the trans ideologues parasitically attached themselves on to genuine GID sufferers, It is they and their infantile ideas and behaviour that have hardened people against genuine GID sufferers. This is another important reason why the ideas of the trans ideologues should receive no toleration.
I. and I would think, would be quite content to go back to the settled, tolerated situation we had before the trans ideologues turned up. Obviously that can’t happen until they and their idiotic nonsense is driven back in to intellectual backwoods of academia from where they sprang

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I left the BACP, which is the leading membership group for counsellors because they subtly changed their terms and conditions for membership to include that therapists must ‘affirm’ transgender clients. I refuse to comply so I resigned.
BTW they sneaked it into the small print and I only discovered it on my membership renewal as I decided to read through all the exhaustive paragraphs on policy and ethics etc., – many of my colleagues remain unaware of this being slipped into a form which people routinely just click to accept and pay their membership fee. Fewer seem to be bothered by it, saying to me privately that they doubt they’d ever come across a real-life trans client anyway so it wasn’t worth worrying about.
Given that BACP membership is virtually a prerequisite for being able to work in any statutory or voluntary organisation offering therapy, failure to comply means that one has no chance of being employed as a counsellor, so the only route is private practice – which, I am glad to say, I have successfully charted over the past five years. I found a lesser-known professional body to join in order to have a validation but I think it’s only a matter of time before they, too, become infected by this madness and I will be professionally homeless and – possibly – unable to practice my craft.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Thank you for backing your beliefs with concrete action. More like you are needed.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Thank you for backing your beliefs with concrete action. More like you are needed.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“Obviously that can’t happen until they and their idiotic nonsense is driven back in to intellectual backwoods of academia from where they sprang”
Trans ideologues should not be driven back into academia. They should be incarcerated on the sex offenders wings of high security prisons.
Excellent comment otherwise.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Thanks for your response. I agree with much of what you say but I make a clear distinction between trans activists and “genuine” trans individuals. I deplore most of the former but respect the courage of most of the latter. I suspect me views date me since the few trans in the 1980s were clearly individuals who felt they had no choice (given the opprobrium they attracted). The new category is this wave of teenage girls who appear to be deluded (usually) into thinking they should swop sex because of social media / contagion. “Affirming” their views seems dumb (usually).

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Hear, hear!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I left the BACP, which is the leading membership group for counsellors because they subtly changed their terms and conditions for membership to include that therapists must ‘affirm’ transgender clients. I refuse to comply so I resigned.
BTW they sneaked it into the small print and I only discovered it on my membership renewal as I decided to read through all the exhaustive paragraphs on policy and ethics etc., – many of my colleagues remain unaware of this being slipped into a form which people routinely just click to accept and pay their membership fee. Fewer seem to be bothered by it, saying to me privately that they doubt they’d ever come across a real-life trans client anyway so it wasn’t worth worrying about.
Given that BACP membership is virtually a prerequisite for being able to work in any statutory or voluntary organisation offering therapy, failure to comply means that one has no chance of being employed as a counsellor, so the only route is private practice – which, I am glad to say, I have successfully charted over the past five years. I found a lesser-known professional body to join in order to have a validation but I think it’s only a matter of time before they, too, become infected by this madness and I will be professionally homeless and – possibly – unable to practice my craft.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“Obviously that can’t happen until they and their idiotic nonsense is driven back in to intellectual backwoods of academia from where they sprang”
Trans ideologues should not be driven back into academia. They should be incarcerated on the sex offenders wings of high security prisons.
Excellent comment otherwise.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Thanks for your response. I agree with much of what you say but I make a clear distinction between trans activists and “genuine” trans individuals. I deplore most of the former but respect the courage of most of the latter. I suspect me views date me since the few trans in the 1980s were clearly individuals who felt they had no choice (given the opprobrium they attracted). The new category is this wave of teenage girls who appear to be deluded (usually) into thinking they should swop sex because of social media / contagion. “Affirming” their views seems dumb (usually).

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Hear, hear!

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I had a very dear friend and colleague who was Linda when we met and for the next 10+ yrs. He had been married (to a woman) and took oestrogen but had no surgery. He detransitioned back to Steve for the last 10 yrs of his life.

He was 6ft 3in, calm and kind and not remotely flamboyant. He would have been mortified by the aggressive in your face trans identifying individuals we now see, particularly that some of them seem to be woman-haters.

He also decided that transitioning had been no solution to his problems, but had given him a different set of problems. One of these was health complications caused by large doses of female hormones. Another was that he spent the 10 yrs living as Linda unable to attract a female partner, which he dearly wanted. He died alone.

Maybe there’s something to be said for intolerance? When tolerance becomes encouragement, maybe we are condemning some ‘unusual’ people to chase a fantasy that can never be.

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Human’s cannot change sex. Previously I was indifferent to the Gender Recognition Act, viewing it as one of those hand-waving Liberal compromises that ultimately only matters to a tiny proportion of the population. With the explosion of this movement, however, I now see it as a massive error to inscribe in Law what is in truth a mental disorder, and expect institutions to conspire with the psychologically impaired in their delusions. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and now it’s time to reassert strong boundaries. Any society that does not defend basic categories through which the majority of their population orientate their lives is doomed to collapse.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I assume you’re talking about hermaphrodites, who collectively are a miniscule percent of the population. People imagining themselves to be something that they are clearly not need to start participating in actual life and stop hiding on the internet.

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Depressing that your comment should have so many downvotes, yet nobody willing to debate it.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew D
Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I would not down vote it, but I would point out that some slopes are slippery.

Richard M
Richard M
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“We should resist the intolerance of the trans activists but we should also leave some space for tolerance of those who are unusual through no choice of their own.”

Yes, old fashioned liberalism has a lot to say for it. Adults should be able to live as they wish right up to the point where their wishes come into conflict with those rights of others which have legitimate claim to protection.

I feel about the few trans people I know much as i feel about the few buddhists I know. I’m completely fine that a buddhist practices their religion and happy to treat that practice with respect. But I dont believe that the Dalai Lama is literally the 14th incarnation of Avalokiteśvara.

Equally, I’m completely fine if you want to live your life as a gender that does not correspond with your sex and will treat you with the same courtesy and respect as anyone else. But I don’t believe you have literally changed sex and are entitled to be treated in every respect as if you are that sex.

Tracy Cook
Tracy Cook
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Having tolerance for “those who are unusual” should not have to mean agreeing to the falsehood that 1% of women were not born female. Many of the people who are “genuinely trans” agree that it is not possible to actually change their sex with hormones and surgery even if that may (or may not) provide some relief for their gender dysphoria.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I actually agree with much of what you said, Alex (and I upvoted you). I worked in theatre for several years and got to know a man who was a transvestite (comically enough, working the show La Cage aux Folles). This was 25 years ago, long before the trans lunacy of today, and what he wanted most in the world was to “pass” as a woman. He didn’t want parades for his sexual identity; he didn’t even want anyone to know. But he was never going to pass — he was physically built like a man — which made his life hard on a daily basis. He would never have considered himself to “be” a woman though. He knew he was (and would always be) a man playing a role he desperately desired to have. I remember thinking of the story of Pinocchio, although I would never have said that to him since it would have been rude.
What’s going on now isn’t that.
Firstly, it t just isn’t accurate to say that “only 99% of the population is male or female” because it implies the existence of a third option. Are there people who have weird genital characteristics? Yes. But the very fact that we recognize these are unusual birth defects implies that they are not some kind of “third sex” as the trans activists say.
A friend’s son was born with 11 fingers — 2 thumbs on 1 hand. Doctors surgically sliced off the extra one when he was a baby. They didn’t write up a case study and alter their medical textbooks to declare that “human hand sizes now come in a continuum and we have no idea what a ‘normal’ set of fingers looks like.” This is actually one of the most common birth defects and is routinely corrected in infancy. It’s multiple orders of magnitude more common than genital ambiguity.
While I agree that we must be wary “if the reaction overshot and became unpleasantly intolerant”, this isn’t the problem we face today. Our problem today is that every major institution in the Anglo world now pushes genital mutilation of teenagers (mostly girls) as a form of liberation and seeks to destroy the personal and professional lives of anyone who opposes this practice. Worry about discrimination against a tiny percentage of the population while that is happening is a failure to recgnize “what time it is”. Our problem is a war on sexual normalcy (and fertility, since these treatments automatically sterilize people) which requires using the democratic process to root out the insanity that has seized Western elites. After that, we can talk about how to treat the truly trans with compassion and dignity. And I’m pretty sure my friend from 25 years ago would feel the same way today.
To that end, this is THE issue I am voting on in the American 2024 election. I may disagree with my candidate on EVERYTHING else, but if he’s the strongest on stopping the castration of teenagers, he’s got my vote.
(The very fact that “let’s not castrate teenagers” is a political position at all in a modern, Western democracy is appalling though.)

Andrew F
Andrew F
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

You must live in some parallel universe.
No one is going on any hate campaigns against trans people.
It is them and their supporters in MSM and politics who try to shut down legitimate debate and force unscientific and plainly ridiculous views on the rest of population, especially children.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

It is reasonable that those who wish to present as the sex opposite to that of their birth should not face harassment or abuse and are entitled to live as they please. I’m afraid, however, I am ill-informed and cannot see why the law should recognise something that is not true.
Perhaps, you can explain why GRC are necessary because, I cannot see the need.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

But it isn’t a matter of tolerance, is it? It is a demand that reasonable people engage in an absurd fiction, under threat of social and legal punishments if they refuse to comply. I am not being asked to tolerate men in women’s lavatories, prisons, changing rooms, sporting contests. I am being told that I must accept it or be regarded as a transphobic bigot. Hardly the position a “traditional liberal” would consider legitimate.
Before the linguistic confection of “transgenderism” was constructed, we had the longstanding accepted position of recognising the clinical mental illness of Gender Identity Dysphoria (GID), in which those afflicted suffered a profound sense of alienation from their bodies, and resultant mental distress. Acute sufferers, to abate their distress, took the drastic step of amputating and refashioning parts of their body to better resemble the opposite sex.
Mental health professionals don’t affirm and encourage the delusions of their patients. A psychiatrist whose patient tells them he is possessed by the Devil, and the Devil told him he must pluck out his eyes, would not affirm the delusions and encourage the patient to gouge out their eyes. So it was the case with GID. Rightly or wrongly the law permitted a person to undergo surgery to alleviate their mental distress. But it was never clinically accepted that patients actually had changed sex. or that they should be encouraged in that belief As a result there was no wider social conflict and “transsexuals”, as they were called, just went on with their lives and people generally approached them with sympathy and curiosity.
Then came the transgender ideology nonsense that attached itself to the LGB movement and genuine GID sufferers, and used them to lend unwarranted legitimacy to an entirely irrational, unscientific ideology, based on post modernist philosophical guff. And along with it came the demand for everyone to accept it and consent to having society radically restructured to accommodate it. In doing so it has caused damage to both LGB people and genuine GID sufferers.
Obviously the trans movement deserves no tolerance, It is intellectually ridiculous, dangerous to women and children and. as its adherents show no tolerance to those who challenge them, they deserve none in return.
The tolerance and acceptance you speak of was what we had before the trans ideologues parasitically attached themselves on to genuine GID sufferers, It is they and their infantile ideas and behaviour that have hardened people against genuine GID sufferers. This is another important reason why the ideas of the trans ideologues should receive no toleration.
I. and I would think, would be quite content to go back to the settled, tolerated situation we had before the trans ideologues turned up. Obviously that can’t happen until they and their idiotic nonsense is driven back in to intellectual backwoods of academia from where they sprang

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I had a very dear friend and colleague who was Linda when we met and for the next 10+ yrs. He had been married (to a woman) and took oestrogen but had no surgery. He detransitioned back to Steve for the last 10 yrs of his life.

He was 6ft 3in, calm and kind and not remotely flamboyant. He would have been mortified by the aggressive in your face trans identifying individuals we now see, particularly that some of them seem to be woman-haters.

He also decided that transitioning had been no solution to his problems, but had given him a different set of problems. One of these was health complications caused by large doses of female hormones. Another was that he spent the 10 yrs living as Linda unable to attract a female partner, which he dearly wanted. He died alone.

Maybe there’s something to be said for intolerance? When tolerance becomes encouragement, maybe we are condemning some ‘unusual’ people to chase a fantasy that can never be.

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Human’s cannot change sex. Previously I was indifferent to the Gender Recognition Act, viewing it as one of those hand-waving Liberal compromises that ultimately only matters to a tiny proportion of the population. With the explosion of this movement, however, I now see it as a massive error to inscribe in Law what is in truth a mental disorder, and expect institutions to conspire with the psychologically impaired in their delusions. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and now it’s time to reassert strong boundaries. Any society that does not defend basic categories through which the majority of their population orientate their lives is doomed to collapse.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I assume you’re talking about hermaphrodites, who collectively are a miniscule percent of the population. People imagining themselves to be something that they are clearly not need to start participating in actual life and stop hiding on the internet.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Starmer is absolutely not to be trusted here.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Exactly. WTF are the Tories for?

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Agreed. Do people remember when the accepted model was that political parties tried to gain power by adopting and developing policies which would appeal to the majority of the electorate? Reforming the NHS, free school meals for the poor, council house sales, etc.?
It seems now that parties are now motivated by a fear of the vocal minority rather than the electoral approval of the majority. They would sacrifice the welfare of ordinary people because they are frightened of a freakish alliance of cry-bullies.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I find the intolerance and aggressiveness of many trans activists as off-putting as many other UnHerd readers and welcome the growing rejection of their more extreme or asinine positions and the increasing revulsion at their pseudo McCarthyite tactics. 

It would, however, be regrettable if the reaction overshot and became unpleasantly intolerant of the 0.2% of the population who are genuinely trans and are usually – in my limited experience – far less abrasive, more dignified and quietly courageous than typical trans activists (who are often not trans themselves and have other agendas). 

I may be an old fashioned liberal who has wandered onto a conservative website in error but I must admit I am more comfortable with statements like e.g. “99% of the population are normal males or females” than e.g. “all legal references to women must refer exclusively to those born female ”. We should resist the intolerance of the trans activists but we should also leave some space for tolerance of those who are unusual through no choice of their own.

Last edited 10 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Starmer is absolutely not to be trusted here.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Exactly. WTF are the Tories for?

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago

It’s disgraceful how the Tory Party, despite being on the path to electoral oblivion, won’t intervene to stop the madness once and for all. Rather. they choose to sit on their hands and squander the final opportunity they have to pass legislation setting out unequivocally that all references to “woman” or “women” in legal texts and government documents shall be interpreted to mean adult human females exclusively.
Starmer’s precise words were: “Firstly, a woman is an adult female, so let’s clear that one up.” This statement does not preclude Starmer later claiming that, although adult females are women, so too are certain biological males who claim to be “trans women”. . Given that Starmer is a dishonest weasel who is temporarily dropping unpopular baggage until he picks it up again after the election, I don’t doubt that self ID will quickly be back on the agenda if he gets in to No.10.
But again, I’ll never forgive the Tories for how they have facilitated and nurtured the takeover of all our institutions by deranged and dangerous leftist ideologues, and how, even now, they won’t act to protect women, children and free expression.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marcus Leach
Richard M
Richard M
10 months ago

“Labour and the Lib Dems will be watching with interest, not to mention anxiety, as the right to free speech in politics — something most of us thought was decided years ago — is debated in court.”

I hope one day we will be able to look back on this current period of McCarthyism-in-the-guise-of-inclusion as an aberration and a salutary lesson that free speech is never “decided”. It must always be defended with vigilance.

I support women’s right to protected single-sex spaces for legitimate purposes such as safety, dignity and fairness.

Richard M
Richard M
10 months ago

“Labour and the Lib Dems will be watching with interest, not to mention anxiety, as the right to free speech in politics — something most of us thought was decided years ago — is debated in court.”

I hope one day we will be able to look back on this current period of McCarthyism-in-the-guise-of-inclusion as an aberration and a salutary lesson that free speech is never “decided”. It must always be defended with vigilance.

I support women’s right to protected single-sex spaces for legitimate purposes such as safety, dignity and fairness.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
10 months ago

Will Dr Sharar Ali also make a legal stand against the use of claims of Islamaphobia to shut down any discussion let alone criticism of Islam (see recent SNP leadership campaign and reaction to one candidate’s ‘problematic’ Christianity’) ?

Last edited 10 months ago by Mike Downing
Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

He’s a green…hypocrisy comes with the territory

Sue Williams
Sue Williams
10 months ago

He’s an intelligent, honest man who is standing up for free speech. He is far from a hypocrite.

Sue Williams
Sue Williams
10 months ago

He’s an intelligent, honest man who is standing up for free speech. He is far from a hypocrite.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

He’s a green…hypocrisy comes with the territory

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
10 months ago

Will Dr Sharar Ali also make a legal stand against the use of claims of Islamaphobia to shut down any discussion let alone criticism of Islam (see recent SNP leadership campaign and reaction to one candidate’s ‘problematic’ Christianity’) ?

Last edited 10 months ago by Mike Downing
Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

I can’t imagine going to a political party convention and discussing menstrual issues as they relate to trans men. You know you have become completely unserious when . . .

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

I can’t imagine going to a political party convention and discussing menstrual issues as they relate to trans men. You know you have become completely unserious when . . .

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago

What is the Conservative Party for? If not to stop this particular kind of lunacy?

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
10 months ago

What is the Conservative Party for? If not to stop this particular kind of lunacy?

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

‘How many fingers, Winston?’ ‘Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!’ ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ ‘Five! Five! Five!’ ‘No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?’ ‘Four! five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

That’s the reason even the tiniest error cannot be recovered from. It is not enough that one controls what one says, one must *believe* and if one does, then there will be no mistakes because one is not hiding anything.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

That’s the reason even the tiniest error cannot be recovered from. It is not enough that one controls what one says, one must *believe* and if one does, then there will be no mistakes because one is not hiding anything.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago

‘How many fingers, Winston?’ ‘Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!’ ‘How many fingers, Winston?’ ‘Five! Five! Five!’ ‘No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?’ ‘Four! five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago

annual conference will vote on a motion stating that “menstruation is not just a women’s issue”.

I assume that this is not making reference to the male suffering caused by PMT

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

I was originally going to make that point, but stopped myself from doing so!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yeah – I was a right b***h before the menopause!

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

I was originally going to make that point, but stopped myself from doing so!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yeah – I was a right b***h before the menopause!

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago

annual conference will vote on a motion stating that “menstruation is not just a women’s issue”.

I assume that this is not making reference to the male suffering caused by PMT

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
10 months ago

A woman is an adult human female

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
10 months ago

A woman is an adult human female

Chris Amies
Chris Amies
10 months ago

Like there really aren’t major environmental issues, including what looks like deliberate pollution of our waterways and backtracking on green energy policies! Clearly they have nothing better to discuss.

Chris Amies
Chris Amies
10 months ago

Like there really aren’t major environmental issues, including what looks like deliberate pollution of our waterways and backtracking on green energy policies! Clearly they have nothing better to discuss.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
10 months ago

Disappointed in Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman – thought they were going to grasp this nettle firmly.

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
10 months ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Sadly they’ve shown themselves to be all mouth and no trousers.

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
10 months ago
Reply to  Miriam Cotton

Sadly they’ve shown themselves to be all mouth and no trousers.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
10 months ago

Disappointed in Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman – thought they were going to grasp this nettle firmly.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

Here’s a thought – join a different political party. And if they’re all too cookoo for trans pops, start another another party. I get suing an employer for discrimination, but it’s a political party. You’re supposed to support the party’s position on issues. Maybe I should join the Greens and sue because of my critiques of net zero.

Richard M
Richard M
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Political parties are subject to the Equalities Act and must not discriminate against members on the basis of protected characteristics.

As was established by the Forstater case, so called “gender critical” beliefs can fall under the category of a protected belief.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

He wasn’t canned for that reason. He was canned for making statements contrary to party position. I might think the trans agenda is nonsense, but surely we can all see the danger in allowing the courts to determine what can and can’t be said by people representing a political party.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard M

He wasn’t canned for that reason. He was canned for making statements contrary to party position. I might think the trans agenda is nonsense, but surely we can all see the danger in allowing the courts to determine what can and can’t be said by people representing a political party.

Richard M
Richard M
10 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Political parties are subject to the Equalities Act and must not discriminate against members on the basis of protected characteristics.

As was established by the Forstater case, so called “gender critical” beliefs can fall under the category of a protected belief.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
10 months ago

Here’s a thought – join a different political party. And if they’re all too cookoo for trans pops, start another another party. I get suing an employer for discrimination, but it’s a political party. You’re supposed to support the party’s position on issues. Maybe I should join the Greens and sue because of my critiques of net zero.

Robert Hochbaum
Robert Hochbaum
10 months ago

Cripes! What the heck is going on over there!?! Women are growing penises?? WHAT?!? Is there some problem with the water?? What’s next, politicians growing penises out of their heads!?! (Or, maybe growing inside their heads…) This sounds serious!! You guys need to sort this out!!!

Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago

Hence the expression “richard head”. (Unherd won’t let me use the abbreviated name)

Last edited 10 months ago by Denis Stone
Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago

The words “Richard” (abbreviated) and “head” come to mind.

Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago

Hence the expression “richard head”. (Unherd won’t let me use the abbreviated name)

Last edited 10 months ago by Denis Stone
Denis Stone
Denis Stone
10 months ago

The words “Richard” (abbreviated) and “head” come to mind.

Robert Hochbaum
Robert Hochbaum
10 months ago

Cripes! What the heck is going on over there!?! Women are growing penises?? WHAT?!? Is there some problem with the water?? What’s next, politicians growing penises out of their heads!?! (Or, maybe growing inside their heads…) This sounds serious!! You guys need to sort this out!!!

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago

“Ali argues that his beliefs are protected in law following the successful outcome of Maya Forstater’s case in 2021, which established her right to express her gender-critical views.”

Yes, but neither he nor Maya Forstater ought ever to have been in the position of having to rely upon the legal principle of “protected belief” in this context. To place a scientifically defensible view on the same level as articles of religious faith is cultural relativism at its most destructive, and it should have no place in law, politics or commerce.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago

“Ali argues that his beliefs are protected in law following the successful outcome of Maya Forstater’s case in 2021, which established her right to express her gender-critical views.”

Yes, but neither he nor Maya Forstater ought ever to have been in the position of having to rely upon the legal principle of “protected belief” in this context. To place a scientifically defensible view on the same level as articles of religious faith is cultural relativism at its most destructive, and it should have no place in law, politics or commerce.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
10 months ago

Didn’t the Greens allow Reddit ‘super-moderator’ Aimee Challenor in as a candidate ? For about ten minutes – before her ‘furry’ father’s criminal charges for abducting and torturing a child and her husband’s penchant for writing child porn – got noticed?

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
10 months ago

Didn’t the Greens allow Reddit ‘super-moderator’ Aimee Challenor in as a candidate ? For about ten minutes – before her ‘furry’ father’s criminal charges for abducting and torturing a child and her husband’s penchant for writing child porn – got noticed?

Roger Tilbury
Roger Tilbury
10 months ago

So a member of a party that is well known for its authoritarian views and wishing to control other people finds that party turns on him ?
Cue hollow laughter…

Roger Tilbury
Roger Tilbury
10 months ago

So a member of a party that is well known for its authoritarian views and wishing to control other people finds that party turns on him ?
Cue hollow laughter…

philip kern
philip kern
10 months ago

Aren’t the Greens more or less a private club, meaning they can dictate whatever rules they like–no matter how absurd? Let them define themselves as they see fit, and then let the electorate pass judgment.

philip kern
philip kern
10 months ago

Aren’t the Greens more or less a private club, meaning they can dictate whatever rules they like–no matter how absurd? Let them define themselves as they see fit, and then let the electorate pass judgment.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
10 months ago

Be the first to comment (if allowed by the censors lol).

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
10 months ago

Be the first to comment (if allowed by the censors lol).

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
10 months ago

Another tracked comment (don’t mention the war).

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
10 months ago

Another tracked comment (don’t mention the war).

John Walsh
John Walsh
10 months ago

I love it when lefties fall out.The Green eco-freaks are just as mad as cross dressing lunatics.They want the country to stop using fossil fuels and intend to lead us into starvation, fully supported by nearly every politician in every party,nearly every celebrity, and King Charles,all of whom are happy to fly all over the world in their private jets.A few blokes wandering around in dresses aren’t doing as much harm.

John Walsh
John Walsh
10 months ago

I love it when lefties fall out.The Green eco-freaks are just as mad as cross dressing lunatics.They want the country to stop using fossil fuels and intend to lead us into starvation, fully supported by nearly every politician in every party,nearly every celebrity, and King Charles,all of whom are happy to fly all over the world in their private jets.A few blokes wandering around in dresses aren’t doing as much harm.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago

Sex is not gender. Gender is Spirit, the 3rd element driving Marx and Hegel’s dialectic today as it turns towards the socialist utopia that young people still crave.

Michael James
Michael James
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Well! What do you know!

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

In case anyone ever wondered, I can confirm it is possible to both laugh uproariously and be a bit sick in your mouth at the same time.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

That was the idea. British comment boards are not good with irony.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Apparently not. What happened to bone dry wit?

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Apparently not. What happened to bone dry wit?

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

That was the idea. British comment boards are not good with irony.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Utopia is like fusion power. People are working hard to achieve it but it is always 50 years away.

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Gender is a social construct designed to reinforce the patriarchy. We do not need it. Men and women are not socially different, we are physically different.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

That was gender for feminism, gender is now the Queer soul seeking to revolutionise society.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

Which makes us socially different.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

That was gender for feminism, gender is now the Queer soul seeking to revolutionise society.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
10 months ago
Reply to  Jane Eyre

Which makes us socially different.

Michael James
Michael James
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Well! What do you know!

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

In case anyone ever wondered, I can confirm it is possible to both laugh uproariously and be a bit sick in your mouth at the same time.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Utopia is like fusion power. People are working hard to achieve it but it is always 50 years away.

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Gender is a social construct designed to reinforce the patriarchy. We do not need it. Men and women are not socially different, we are physically different.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
10 months ago

Sex is not gender. Gender is Spirit, the 3rd element driving Marx and Hegel’s dialectic today as it turns towards the socialist utopia that young people still crave.