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Nancy Kelley leaves Stonewall in a mess

Nancy Kelley announced she was leaving Stonewall after three years. Credit: Twitter/@Nancy_M_K

July 12, 2023 - 10:00am

Nancy Kelley, head of the divisive charity Stonewall, announced earlier this week on Twitter that she is to step down from the role. Her post on Monday stated that while the job hasn’t “always been a pleasure”, leading Europe’s largest LGBTQIA+ organisation “has surely been a privilege”. 

To many, Stonewall has become a toxic brand: a charity representing identity politics over the interests of ordinary people who happen to have partners of the same sex. But Kelley has been publicly impervious to criticism, claiming that her organisation is the victim of a “transphobic moral panic” and an “anti-rights movement” that “is running rampant around the globe”.

Over her three years in the post, Kelley brought a smorgasbord of hitherto unrepresented identities under the organisation’s “trans umbrella”. Perhaps spokespeople from the asexual, pansexual, demisexual and allosexual communities will be sad to see her go. But it’s fair to say that many homosexuals who once turned to Stonewall for guidance are cheered by the news of her departure. 

Dennis Kavanagh, a longstanding critic of Kelley and executive director of the Gay Men’s Network, said that she had “promised dialogue and big tent politics” but instead “delivered ideological division and controversy”.

Indeed, Kelley’s tenure has been marked by a growing fracture within what the heterosexual mainstream too often sees as the “LGBT community”. The emergence of organisations like the Gay Men’s Network, lesbian group Get the L Out and charity LGB Alliance are a testament to the fact that increasing numbers of same-sex attracted people feel they are no longer represented by publicly funded groups like Stonewall.

This is because, in a move to include trans identities, sexual orientation itself has been redefined. Stonewall and other “LGBTQIA+” organisations now argue that because “transwomen are women”, some lesbians have penises. And those who disagree, according to a 2020 leaked email from Kelley to the BBC, are guilty of the equivalent of “sexual racism”. 

To push this message, Stonewall appointed a trans advisory group. Members have included Alex Drummond, a bearded man who claims to be a lesbian “expanding the bandwidth of womanhood”; and former erotic performer Morgan Page, who previous to working with Stonewall ran a controversial workshop called “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling”. A reference to women’s underwear, the term “cotton ceiling” is used to criticise women who refuse to have sex with female-identified males because they have penises.

It was Kelley’s predecessor, Ruth Hunt (now Baroness Hunt), who lit the fuse by formally adding the T to the LGB in 2015. Hunt stepped away from the charity in 2019 and promptly picked-up a gong. The hapless Kelley was appointed in 2020 and has been picking shrapnel out of the organisation and fighting media firestorms ever since. 

Kelley could have listened to the concerns of people like Stonewall co-founders Simon Fanshawe and Matthew Parris, both of whom have warned that the focus on transgender rights has taken the organisation off course. Instead, she doubled down. Not content to compare sexual orientation to sexual racism, in an interview with the BBC Kelley argued that gender critical beliefs are akin to antisemitism.

It would be comforting to imagine that Kelley’s departure might be the end of extremist trans ideology in the UK, and that a return to common sense might follow. But the mad ideas incubated by Stonewall have now spread across the third sector and civil society. A slew of local organisations, educational charities and consultancies are still busy embedding its vision across British institutions. The damage will take decades to repair and thousands of pounds in legal fees to challenge.

It’s hard not to feel a sliver of sympathy for Kelley, a woman who enthusiastically grasped at what was a poisoned chalice. Perhaps if nothing else, her example serves as inspiration to the mediocrities across Great Britain: a sign that, in the revolving door of high-profile charity jobs, a lack of ability need not be a barrier to success.


Josephine Bartosch is a freelance writer and assistant editor at The Critic.

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AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

Stonewall was formed in 1989 and you can argue that its original aims have been realised – successful campaigns to: repeal Section 28, end the ban on LGBT people in the armed forces, equalise the age of consent, extend adoption and IVF rights to same-sex couples, and introduce civil partnerships.
What’s a charity to do when it has fulfilled its aims? Seek new areas of course – but the new areas do not have the foundation of decades of ‘denied civil rights’ to argue against.
“Extremist trans ideology” is a small victimhood base to maintain a charity on, and people are beginning to think that it disproportionate.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

This is a really important point that doesn’t get nearly the attention it should. Many charities (and other organisations) often start with good and right intentions. But what does a campaign do when it has won, or largely won. Of course the sense of civic participation and energy that these organisations can bring about is not an inherently bad thing from the perspective of a thriving civil society.
Not enough charities think long-term or think about their real purpose. On my own church council I am, I suspect, fighting a losing battle to prioritise acts of worship and a framework based on faith and teachings over the idea of an ‘inclusive church.’ It’ll end in tears, but the truth is the church is one of many institutions that doesn’t have the drive any more to live out the cause of its original right, mission.
What seems to have happened in many cases is that charities and campaigns that have lost their drive and direction have latched onto woke causes to give them the vision of their futures – of course diluting their purpose and alienating a non-trivial portion of the ‘originals.’ Indeed where the ‘originals’ are guilty of a non-woke mindset the woke ‘incomers’ may see it as a badge of honour to drive out the originals as a part of the capture process. And of course the weakness and lack of drive means that institutions and charities sitting back on their achievement can’t be bothered to face down social media storms. Why should they really? After all many of these institutions seemed to stupidly think that social media was all positive and big tech was all about happy interests.
We see it too often. I remember many years ago at university that I looked at the question of ‘where next’ for successful civil society groups, but I can only think of a few models.
Sadly it seems that the long march through the institutions led to a road with a rainbow painted on it. Not I would hope a comfortable thought for those whose campus glory days were spent importing the stuff from the US.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Just a question Sam, is there currently an organisation for us despairing members of the Church of England to turn to??

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

The Ordinariate?

Richard Kirker
Richard Kirker
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

It’s coming soon. Ecumenical too. Watch this space.

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Kirker
William Murphy
William Murphy
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Alison,

You might check out GAFCON, which the Rev Brett Murphy (no relation) has moved to after quitting the C of E. I am not sure which was the final straw in his case…..

https://youtu.be/IAc16KYy70k

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

The Ordinariate?

Richard Kirker
Richard Kirker
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

It’s coming soon. Ecumenical too. Watch this space.

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Kirker
William Murphy
William Murphy
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Alison,

You might check out GAFCON, which the Rev Brett Murphy (no relation) has moved to after quitting the C of E. I am not sure which was the final straw in his case…..

https://youtu.be/IAc16KYy70k

Nigel 0
Nigel 0
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

To me it is almost analagous to what happened to the Labour Party. It lost its way as a party that was founded to represent the interests of the working class and the poor non-working class and ended up a party of the middle classes with a smorgasbord of aims leaving the “originals” nowhere to go. Enter momentum and Corbyn trying to drag it back (though to an unattractive form of faux socialism). Now the smorgasborders under Starmer are cleansing the momentum stables but unclear what they can offer now the original purpose of the party has been achieved (more or less). Meanwhile the institutions from the civil service, the unions, large parts of the legal, private and charity sectors, and now the Conservative Party, have adopted what for shorthand can be called leftist wokism. Leaving, as Alison Wren puts it re the C of E, leaving many centrist voters with nowhere to go.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

The same process is going in Education too, which is why many men are leaving. I think what we are starting to see is that without the stabilizing influence of men, many of these organizations succumb to the worst of feminine excesses e.g. an enforced niceness that harshly retaliates against any who question or oppose it, even if it risks mission drift and a loss in organizational performance.

Last edited 10 months ago by Julian Farrows
Geraldine Kelley
Geraldine Kelley
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I agree. The more women have achieved power in our institutions the more authoritarian, petty and risk-averse they have become. Women seem to have a genetic pre-disposition to micro-manage organisations to the extent they become hopelessly bogged down in their own bureaucracy, unable to focus on their primary objectives.

Lisa Hurley
Lisa Hurley
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I find this so offensive, I’m not sure where to begin

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Hurley

Begin by using evidence and reason to research what mixture of truth and falsehood the assertion contains, and countering the false portion with the same tools (evidence and reason).
One can feel subjectively offended at literally anything and we’ve seen the morass created by treating “I’m offended” as if it were a winning argument and thereby giving the most easily offended more power than the robust.
I would once have reacted just as you did to the assertion. For several years now, I have avoided telling the world that I take offense, and instead looked deeper into why and how. I find value in that, and respect others who focus on the issues rather than their personal reactions to it – within a discussion of ideas.
(In a counseling session or venting to a friend, the aims differ and likewise what’s appropriate. I have a rich emotional life – in chosen contexts).
In me today, Julian’s statement raises curiosity – what causes Julian to think that? My initial impulse is to disagree, but I’m willing to hear his evidence if any. And, just as importantly, to really think how much my own view is based on evidence versus “what I wish were true”.
If Julian had said that the dynamics among people in men’s and women’s prisons had a strong tendency to follow different patterns, would that have seemed incredible on the face of it?
Not to compare prisons with educational organizations, just to note that if there are different tendences for the sexes in one social context, it’s not absurd to hypothesize that there could be differences in another, and then explore it as a hypothesis.

Last edited 10 months ago by Zeph Smith
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
10 months ago
Reply to  Zeph Smith

It is a great idea to base discussion on evidence. Personally, I would be very surprised if occupations and organisations dominated by women tended to operate in exactly the same manner as those controlled exclusively by men BUT I have never seen any polling or other systematic research on what the differences tend to be (as opposed to speculation and/or dogmatic assertions). Has anyone seen any insightful research? Maybe there isn’t any.

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

A recent survey in the US or UK of university professors (can’t remember which) showed men support freedom of speech and academic freedom much more than women. Female professors were much more likely to support suppressing ideas that were factually correct but which upset people. Social Justice is enforced mostly by women and is very much an example of this. Big Mother is not any nicer than Big Brother – just different.

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

It is a great idea to base discussion on evidence. Personally, I would be very surprised if occupations and organisations dominated by women tended to operate in exactly the same manner as those controlled exclusively by men BUT I have never seen any polling or other systematic research on what the differences tend to be (as opposed to speculation and/or dogmatic assertions). Has anyone seen any insightful research? Maybe there isn’t any.

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

A recent survey in the US or UK of university professors (can’t remember which) showed men support freedom of speech and academic freedom much more than women. Female professors were much more likely to support suppressing ideas that were factually correct but which upset people. Social Justice is enforced mostly by women and is very much an example of this. Big Mother is not any nicer than Big Brother – just different.

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter Johnson
Rob N
Rob N
10 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Hurley

It would be good if you could explain your thoughts, feelings and disagreements.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
10 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Hurley

I think you should try to articulate what bothers you about his comment. Just saying you are offended is one of the main issues/problems at the heart of this whole issue.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Hurley

Begin by using evidence and reason to research what mixture of truth and falsehood the assertion contains, and countering the false portion with the same tools (evidence and reason).
One can feel subjectively offended at literally anything and we’ve seen the morass created by treating “I’m offended” as if it were a winning argument and thereby giving the most easily offended more power than the robust.
I would once have reacted just as you did to the assertion. For several years now, I have avoided telling the world that I take offense, and instead looked deeper into why and how. I find value in that, and respect others who focus on the issues rather than their personal reactions to it – within a discussion of ideas.
(In a counseling session or venting to a friend, the aims differ and likewise what’s appropriate. I have a rich emotional life – in chosen contexts).
In me today, Julian’s statement raises curiosity – what causes Julian to think that? My initial impulse is to disagree, but I’m willing to hear his evidence if any. And, just as importantly, to really think how much my own view is based on evidence versus “what I wish were true”.
If Julian had said that the dynamics among people in men’s and women’s prisons had a strong tendency to follow different patterns, would that have seemed incredible on the face of it?
Not to compare prisons with educational organizations, just to note that if there are different tendences for the sexes in one social context, it’s not absurd to hypothesize that there could be differences in another, and then explore it as a hypothesis.

Last edited 10 months ago by Zeph Smith
Rob N
Rob N
10 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Hurley

It would be good if you could explain your thoughts, feelings and disagreements.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
10 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Hurley

I think you should try to articulate what bothers you about his comment. Just saying you are offended is one of the main issues/problems at the heart of this whole issue.

Geraldine Kelley
Geraldine Kelley
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I agree. The more women have achieved power in our institutions the more authoritarian, petty and risk-averse they have become. Women seem to have a genetic pre-disposition to micro-manage organisations to the extent they become hopelessly bogged down in their own bureaucracy, unable to focus on their primary objectives.

Lisa Hurley
Lisa Hurley
10 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I find this so offensive, I’m not sure where to begin

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

The law provides under the cy pres doctrine that where the objects of a trust are fulfilled as far as they may be the trustees can apply the funds to charitable objects of a similar nature.

The problem is that supporting Trans rights is not in fact a similar object given that much of the ideology is in fact inimical to the interests of many gay people, particularly lesbians. The deployment of funds to promote trans could arguably be challenged and I am surprised that this has not yet been attempted.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

As a supplementary comment to your post I would add that the trustees of the rather fine 19th century Methodist church I attend feel themselves under siege from those higher in the hierarchy, who are more interested in supporting the bureaucratic functions of the church. They have an active animus against supporting a Grade II building and seem to wish to see it closed as being too expensive to run – despite the fact that they will thereby lose contributing members. Traditional Christianity is being stripped away by bureaucrats.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

It’s in the DNA of anything that looks like an organization to survive with or without its original purpose. People have jobs and pensions and mortgages dependent not on the result of campaigning but on the existence of the organization itself.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Just a question Sam, is there currently an organisation for us despairing members of the Church of England to turn to??

Nigel 0
Nigel 0
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

To me it is almost analagous to what happened to the Labour Party. It lost its way as a party that was founded to represent the interests of the working class and the poor non-working class and ended up a party of the middle classes with a smorgasbord of aims leaving the “originals” nowhere to go. Enter momentum and Corbyn trying to drag it back (though to an unattractive form of faux socialism). Now the smorgasborders under Starmer are cleansing the momentum stables but unclear what they can offer now the original purpose of the party has been achieved (more or less). Meanwhile the institutions from the civil service, the unions, large parts of the legal, private and charity sectors, and now the Conservative Party, have adopted what for shorthand can be called leftist wokism. Leaving, as Alison Wren puts it re the C of E, leaving many centrist voters with nowhere to go.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

The same process is going in Education too, which is why many men are leaving. I think what we are starting to see is that without the stabilizing influence of men, many of these organizations succumb to the worst of feminine excesses e.g. an enforced niceness that harshly retaliates against any who question or oppose it, even if it risks mission drift and a loss in organizational performance.

Last edited 10 months ago by Julian Farrows
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

The law provides under the cy pres doctrine that where the objects of a trust are fulfilled as far as they may be the trustees can apply the funds to charitable objects of a similar nature.

The problem is that supporting Trans rights is not in fact a similar object given that much of the ideology is in fact inimical to the interests of many gay people, particularly lesbians. The deployment of funds to promote trans could arguably be challenged and I am surprised that this has not yet been attempted.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

As a supplementary comment to your post I would add that the trustees of the rather fine 19th century Methodist church I attend feel themselves under siege from those higher in the hierarchy, who are more interested in supporting the bureaucratic functions of the church. They have an active animus against supporting a Grade II building and seem to wish to see it closed as being too expensive to run – despite the fact that they will thereby lose contributing members. Traditional Christianity is being stripped away by bureaucrats.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
10 months ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

It’s in the DNA of anything that looks like an organization to survive with or without its original purpose. People have jobs and pensions and mortgages dependent not on the result of campaigning but on the existence of the organization itself.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Grifters need something to grift about … otherwise they may have to add value somewhere to earn a living.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

What a charity should do once it has achieved its objectives is shut down, transferring any funds to charities with similar umbrella causes. For some reason, people find it very difficult to do this. Sentimental attachment?

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
10 months ago

Sentimental attachment to their salary, I should imagine.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
10 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Yes. See comment by Samuel Gee, above. Once you sign a mortgage your sense of purpose changes radically. Someone ought to do a study.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
10 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Yes. See comment by Samuel Gee, above. Once you sign a mortgage your sense of purpose changes radically. Someone ought to do a study.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
10 months ago

Sentimental attachment to their salary, I should imagine.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

What’s a charity to do when it has fulfilled its aims? Seek new areas of course –

I’m sure you’re right.

Contrast this with the people who eradicated smallpox. Did they contrive to maintain a population of smallpox sufferers, so they could keep up their living selling medication to them?

Or did they say ‘mission accomplished’, and move on to confer some other benefit to humankind?

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

I’m sure that in the minds of the leaders of LGB advocacy charities, moving on to trans issues, queer theory, and gender ideology we viewed in the same light.
It also happens to be an issue which demands a quantum leap deeper change in society, and which are not likely to be satiated in our lifetime, so they don’t need to worry about victory depriving them of donors and salaries.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

I’m sure that in the minds of the leaders of LGB advocacy charities, moving on to trans issues, queer theory, and gender ideology we viewed in the same light.
It also happens to be an issue which demands a quantum leap deeper change in society, and which are not likely to be satiated in our lifetime, so they don’t need to worry about victory depriving them of donors and salaries.

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Very good point. Why are CAMRA still going ferchrissakes?!

Will Wood
Will Wood
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

It’s called the Iron Law of Oligarchy as stated by Robert Michels also re-stated by John Taylor Gatto : “Nearly a century ago a French sociologist wrote that every institution’s unstated first goal is to survive and grow, not to undertake the mission it has nominally staked out for itself” and restated again by the (Clay) Shirky Principle : “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution”.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

There are plenty of places in the world where gay and lesbians are oppressed. I’m thinking Uganda and its dreadful new laws, which involve the death penatly for “aggravated” homosexuality. Or Iran, where they hang gay people. So, even though Stonewall has achieved all of its UK-centred objectives, if it did want to continue campaigning, surely it could turn its attention elsewhere? Arguably, this would be a better use of charity funds than trying to convince a sceptical public that “some lesbians have penïses”.

Andrea Heyting
Andrea Heyting
10 months ago

And who had a speaker from Uganda at their conference in 2022, who spoke eloquently not only about the LGB situation there, but also included the T?
The LGB Alliance.

Andrea Heyting
Andrea Heyting
10 months ago

And who had a speaker from Uganda at their conference in 2022, who spoke eloquently not only about the LGB situation there, but also included the T?
The LGB Alliance.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

The Left faces throughout the Western world today is victory. The hippies and the counterculture won. But what’s a liberationist ideology to do when it manages to to remove essentially all unchosen constraints from nearly everyone’s lives? The Left must liberate; therefore it must seek out new oppressions and new injustice that no one has ever heard of before.
Patrick Deneen is right: Enlightenment liberalism was always destined to end this way.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Surely its original aims did not include “end the ban on LGBT people in the armed forces” but end the ban on LGB people in the armed forces. The distinction is important as one of the things Kelley has aimed to do is to outlaw the phrase LGB.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

This is a really important point that doesn’t get nearly the attention it should. Many charities (and other organisations) often start with good and right intentions. But what does a campaign do when it has won, or largely won. Of course the sense of civic participation and energy that these organisations can bring about is not an inherently bad thing from the perspective of a thriving civil society.
Not enough charities think long-term or think about their real purpose. On my own church council I am, I suspect, fighting a losing battle to prioritise acts of worship and a framework based on faith and teachings over the idea of an ‘inclusive church.’ It’ll end in tears, but the truth is the church is one of many institutions that doesn’t have the drive any more to live out the cause of its original right, mission.
What seems to have happened in many cases is that charities and campaigns that have lost their drive and direction have latched onto woke causes to give them the vision of their futures – of course diluting their purpose and alienating a non-trivial portion of the ‘originals.’ Indeed where the ‘originals’ are guilty of a non-woke mindset the woke ‘incomers’ may see it as a badge of honour to drive out the originals as a part of the capture process. And of course the weakness and lack of drive means that institutions and charities sitting back on their achievement can’t be bothered to face down social media storms. Why should they really? After all many of these institutions seemed to stupidly think that social media was all positive and big tech was all about happy interests.
We see it too often. I remember many years ago at university that I looked at the question of ‘where next’ for successful civil society groups, but I can only think of a few models.
Sadly it seems that the long march through the institutions led to a road with a rainbow painted on it. Not I would hope a comfortable thought for those whose campus glory days were spent importing the stuff from the US.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Grifters need something to grift about … otherwise they may have to add value somewhere to earn a living.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ian Barton
Margaret Donaldson
Margaret Donaldson
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

What a charity should do once it has achieved its objectives is shut down, transferring any funds to charities with similar umbrella causes. For some reason, people find it very difficult to do this. Sentimental attachment?

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

What’s a charity to do when it has fulfilled its aims? Seek new areas of course –

I’m sure you’re right.

Contrast this with the people who eradicated smallpox. Did they contrive to maintain a population of smallpox sufferers, so they could keep up their living selling medication to them?

Or did they say ‘mission accomplished’, and move on to confer some other benefit to humankind?

Simon Blanchard
Simon Blanchard
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Very good point. Why are CAMRA still going ferchrissakes?!

Will Wood
Will Wood
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

It’s called the Iron Law of Oligarchy as stated by Robert Michels also re-stated by John Taylor Gatto : “Nearly a century ago a French sociologist wrote that every institution’s unstated first goal is to survive and grow, not to undertake the mission it has nominally staked out for itself” and restated again by the (Clay) Shirky Principle : “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution”.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

There are plenty of places in the world where gay and lesbians are oppressed. I’m thinking Uganda and its dreadful new laws, which involve the death penatly for “aggravated” homosexuality. Or Iran, where they hang gay people. So, even though Stonewall has achieved all of its UK-centred objectives, if it did want to continue campaigning, surely it could turn its attention elsewhere? Arguably, this would be a better use of charity funds than trying to convince a sceptical public that “some lesbians have penïses”.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

The Left faces throughout the Western world today is victory. The hippies and the counterculture won. But what’s a liberationist ideology to do when it manages to to remove essentially all unchosen constraints from nearly everyone’s lives? The Left must liberate; therefore it must seek out new oppressions and new injustice that no one has ever heard of before.
Patrick Deneen is right: Enlightenment liberalism was always destined to end this way.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Surely its original aims did not include “end the ban on LGBT people in the armed forces” but end the ban on LGB people in the armed forces. The distinction is important as one of the things Kelley has aimed to do is to outlaw the phrase LGB.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

Stonewall was formed in 1989 and you can argue that its original aims have been realised – successful campaigns to: repeal Section 28, end the ban on LGBT people in the armed forces, equalise the age of consent, extend adoption and IVF rights to same-sex couples, and introduce civil partnerships.
What’s a charity to do when it has fulfilled its aims? Seek new areas of course – but the new areas do not have the foundation of decades of ‘denied civil rights’ to argue against.
“Extremist trans ideology” is a small victimhood base to maintain a charity on, and people are beginning to think that it disproportionate.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

“But the mad ideas incubated by Stonewall have now spread across the third sector and civil society. A slew of local organisations, educational charities and consultancies are still busy embedding its vision across British institutions.”
I’ve yet to hear a good explanation as to why this has occurred, on the basis of a belief by one relatively small organisation. The article doesn’t help. I’ve read references to Stonewall being given some kind of authoritative status to proselytise on behalf of its members – but who granted this status, and what were the terms of reference? These are wider questions that need answering before we even begin to rein back the damage, and the departure of Kelley (who’ll surely be remembered only with infamy) is as good a time as any to start.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Stonewall, because it was previously on the side of the rational angels, was embedded everywhere. It was the lymphatic system silently metastasising a cancerous lie.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Melissa Martin

Good analogy.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Melissa Martin

Good analogy.

Andrea Heyting
Andrea Heyting
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As the HR departments in both pubic and private sector organisations grappled with their new responsibilities under the Equality Act they sought help. Stonewall gave it. Now we are seeing the consequences.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Heyting

I’ve witnessed a similar transformation in a small charity which felt too white and straight and wanted to invite more diverse participation. So they asked activists and diversity trainers how to do that, implemented what they were told, and then wound up hiring a critical social justice ideologue as executive director. The org is barely holding on today (to be fair there were other challenges too, including the pandemic). It felt like a virus infecting a cell and taking over its functions, starting with asking the wrong people how to attract more diverse participants (breaching the cell wall) and winding up as just another organization aimed at reproducing and spreading the ideology.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrea Heyting

I’ve witnessed a similar transformation in a small charity which felt too white and straight and wanted to invite more diverse participation. So they asked activists and diversity trainers how to do that, implemented what they were told, and then wound up hiring a critical social justice ideologue as executive director. The org is barely holding on today (to be fair there were other challenges too, including the pandemic). It felt like a virus infecting a cell and taking over its functions, starting with asking the wrong people how to attract more diverse participants (breaching the cell wall) and winding up as just another organization aimed at reproducing and spreading the ideology.

Melissa Martin
Melissa Martin
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Stonewall, because it was previously on the side of the rational angels, was embedded everywhere. It was the lymphatic system silently metastasising a cancerous lie.

Andrea Heyting
Andrea Heyting
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As the HR departments in both pubic and private sector organisations grappled with their new responsibilities under the Equality Act they sought help. Stonewall gave it. Now we are seeing the consequences.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

“But the mad ideas incubated by Stonewall have now spread across the third sector and civil society. A slew of local organisations, educational charities and consultancies are still busy embedding its vision across British institutions.”
I’ve yet to hear a good explanation as to why this has occurred, on the basis of a belief by one relatively small organisation. The article doesn’t help. I’ve read references to Stonewall being given some kind of authoritative status to proselytise on behalf of its members – but who granted this status, and what were the terms of reference? These are wider questions that need answering before we even begin to rein back the damage, and the departure of Kelley (who’ll surely be remembered only with infamy) is as good a time as any to start.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago

What is the point of this organization? Homosexuality is largely accepted in Western societies; even religious institutions have homosexual leadership and rainbow representation. Its mission is completed, so what’s it carrying on for? I once asked a friend who was in social work what would happen if her agency was successful at its goal (her area pertained to government-sponsored preschool). She laughed and said she’d be out of a job. Not long after, “free” (tax-payer forced-funded) preschool, otherwise known as babysitting, was delivered to all and sundry in our region. She wasn’t out of a job; she was promoted to manage a new “crisis”.
Really, it’s no wonder these frauds had to invent “trans” and all the other phony sexual “identities”. Honestly, no one wants to know about your kinks, let alone pay for them.

Ben Scott
Ben Scott
10 months ago

“Homosexuality is largely accepted in Western societies”.

Maybe that’s the way forward for Stonewall? Time to head to the Muslim theocracies and do their thing there!

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
10 months ago

It has nothing to do with being gay anymore – the article covered this.

Andrea Heyting
Andrea Heyting
10 months ago

I’d argue that not only is homosexuality accepted, but so is transsexualism. Stonewall didn’t invent trans, they colonised it and broadened it to include anyone they want.
You’re right though, Stonewall no longer has a point. Apart from defrauding the taxpayer.

Ben Scott
Ben Scott
10 months ago

“Homosexuality is largely accepted in Western societies”.

Maybe that’s the way forward for Stonewall? Time to head to the Muslim theocracies and do their thing there!

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
10 months ago

It has nothing to do with being gay anymore – the article covered this.

Andrea Heyting
Andrea Heyting
10 months ago

I’d argue that not only is homosexuality accepted, but so is transsexualism. Stonewall didn’t invent trans, they colonised it and broadened it to include anyone they want.
You’re right though, Stonewall no longer has a point. Apart from defrauding the taxpayer.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
10 months ago

What is the point of this organization? Homosexuality is largely accepted in Western societies; even religious institutions have homosexual leadership and rainbow representation. Its mission is completed, so what’s it carrying on for? I once asked a friend who was in social work what would happen if her agency was successful at its goal (her area pertained to government-sponsored preschool). She laughed and said she’d be out of a job. Not long after, “free” (tax-payer forced-funded) preschool, otherwise known as babysitting, was delivered to all and sundry in our region. She wasn’t out of a job; she was promoted to manage a new “crisis”.
Really, it’s no wonder these frauds had to invent “trans” and all the other phony sexual “identities”. Honestly, no one wants to know about your kinks, let alone pay for them.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
10 months ago

The big mistake Stonewall and other “progressive” groups make is trying to use the #nodebate approach. It is the denial of free speech more than its attempt to be the go to representative for an eclectic mix of minority groups (Alphabet soup approach) that will lead to its ultimate demise.
Stonewall did a really good job in a consensus building way up until 2014 and then not only needed to find a new set of causes, but changed its fundamental approach to campaigning. As I don’t see anyone replacing Kelly who can turn back the clock on the campaign approach, it is time for the organisation to wither on the vine and die.

Nancy G
Nancy G
10 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

But who wants to give up the money that is flowing in?

Nancy G
Nancy G
10 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

But who wants to give up the money that is flowing in?

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
10 months ago

The big mistake Stonewall and other “progressive” groups make is trying to use the #nodebate approach. It is the denial of free speech more than its attempt to be the go to representative for an eclectic mix of minority groups (Alphabet soup approach) that will lead to its ultimate demise.
Stonewall did a really good job in a consensus building way up until 2014 and then not only needed to find a new set of causes, but changed its fundamental approach to campaigning. As I don’t see anyone replacing Kelly who can turn back the clock on the campaign approach, it is time for the organisation to wither on the vine and die.

Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
10 months ago

The UK ranks as one of the most tolerant countries regarding colour, race, religion and sexual preference. Sadly, Stonewall (under RK’s leadership) is now doing more harm than good. To be eligible for charitable status, a charity must benefit the general public. Stonewall certainly no longer fulfils this criterion, and – having successfully achieved its original aims – it should disband and or have its charitable status removed.

Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
10 months ago

The UK ranks as one of the most tolerant countries regarding colour, race, religion and sexual preference. Sadly, Stonewall (under RK’s leadership) is now doing more harm than good. To be eligible for charitable status, a charity must benefit the general public. Stonewall certainly no longer fulfils this criterion, and – having successfully achieved its original aims – it should disband and or have its charitable status removed.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
10 months ago

This may be pedantic, but apparently it’s “2SLGBTQIA+” now.
I know I’ve made the joke on here before, but that thing looks more like a regular expression every day.

Anthony L
Anthony L
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

.*LGBT.*

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
10 months ago
Reply to  Anthony L

No, LGB.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
10 months ago
Reply to  Anthony L

No, LGB.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Why not just go straight to the the 36 characters that would include all numbers and letters ? This would surely mean that all available permutations of sexuality/gender are “included”.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

The standard alpha-numeric set is so colonialist.
{sarcasm}

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

But then they would have to specifically exclude white, hetrosexual (& proud of it) men & women (& proud of that too) oh, & Jews or committed Christians too.

Graham Willis
Graham Willis
10 months ago

!H

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham Willis

Took me a sec to realize that was the simplifed regex for not het.

Last edited 10 months ago by Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Graham Willis

Took me a sec to realize that was the simplifed regex for not het.

Last edited 10 months ago by Zeph Smith
Graham Willis
Graham Willis
10 months ago

!H

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

The standard alpha-numeric set is so colonialist.
{sarcasm}

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

But then they would have to specifically exclude white, hetrosexual (& proud of it) men & women (& proud of that too) oh, & Jews or committed Christians too.

Anthony L
Anthony L
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

.*LGBT.*

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Why not just go straight to the the 36 characters that would include all numbers and letters ? This would surely mean that all available permutations of sexuality/gender are “included”.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
10 months ago

This may be pedantic, but apparently it’s “2SLGBTQIA+” now.
I know I’ve made the joke on here before, but that thing looks more like a regular expression every day.

Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
10 months ago

A number of extremist groups promoting victimhood of one sort or another, have sprung up as charities over the last few years. As such, they and their executives enjoy considerable financial and media support. Their actions do not always serve the general public however, and one wonders who at the Charities Commission monitors and approves applications and ongoing charitable status.

Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
10 months ago

A number of extremist groups promoting victimhood of one sort or another, have sprung up as charities over the last few years. As such, they and their executives enjoy considerable financial and media support. Their actions do not always serve the general public however, and one wonders who at the Charities Commission monitors and approves applications and ongoing charitable status.

R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago

“The damage will take decades to repair and thousands of pounds in legal fees to challenge.”
The billions in potential fees must be making medical negligence lawyers salivate with glee when they see all of this.

R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago

“The damage will take decades to repair and thousands of pounds in legal fees to challenge.”
The billions in potential fees must be making medical negligence lawyers salivate with glee when they see all of this.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
10 months ago

Lack of ability may not be a barrier to getting a job, but perhaps it’s an obstacle to keeping it: Nancy is leaving at very short notice after only three years. It will be interesting to see what she does next.

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Powell
Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Not very interesting though.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Powell

Not very interesting though.

Richard Powell
Richard Powell
10 months ago

Lack of ability may not be a barrier to getting a job, but perhaps it’s an obstacle to keeping it: Nancy is leaving at very short notice after only three years. It will be interesting to see what she does next.

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Powell
Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 months ago

I recommend Simon Edge’s satirical novels The End of the World is Flat and In The Beginning to shed light on where it all went so wrong with Stonewall and what happens with other organisations get infected with their rigid dogmas.

Every Charity, every third sector organisation has a Constitution with a ‘wind up’ clause detailing how to abolish themselves. Are they ever used?

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 months ago

I recommend Simon Edge’s satirical novels The End of the World is Flat and In The Beginning to shed light on where it all went so wrong with Stonewall and what happens with other organisations get infected with their rigid dogmas.

Every Charity, every third sector organisation has a Constitution with a ‘wind up’ clause detailing how to abolish themselves. Are they ever used?

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Never heard of him!

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Indeed – Nancy is not exclusively a female means of identification….

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

But if you’d said twenty years ago that Stonewall would have a Nancy at the helm, would anyone have believed you?

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

But if you’d said twenty years ago that Stonewall would have a Nancy at the helm, would anyone have believed you?

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Indeed – Nancy is not exclusively a female means of identification….

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Never heard of him!

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
10 months ago

I assumed that an “allosexual” was somebody who took their pleasures from watching repeats of ‘Allo ‘Allo, so I looked it up. I’m none the wiser.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

It basically means not asexual. Like demisexual essentially means not promiscuous, want to get to know and have some feeling for somebody before getting into sex. Most of the world would qualify for both labels.
Today’s kids don’t have personalities or individual characteristics, they belong to intersecting groups, so they need group labels before something exists. I feel sorry for them.

Zeph Smith
Zeph Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

It basically means not asexual. Like demisexual essentially means not promiscuous, want to get to know and have some feeling for somebody before getting into sex. Most of the world would qualify for both labels.
Today’s kids don’t have personalities or individual characteristics, they belong to intersecting groups, so they need group labels before something exists. I feel sorry for them.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
10 months ago

I assumed that an “allosexual” was somebody who took their pleasures from watching repeats of ‘Allo ‘Allo, so I looked it up. I’m none the wiser.

Cate Terwilliger
Cate Terwilliger
10 months ago

It may be “hard not to feel a sliver of sympathy for Kelley,” but as a gender-critical lesbian sick and tired of seeing my community hijacked and trespassed by the insanity of gender ideologues, I’m somehow managing.