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Stonewall memory-holes opposition to Cass Report

The Cass Report has prompted a rethink among some trans rights organisations. Credit: Getty

April 10, 2024 - 3:30pm

Well, this is awkward. For years, individuals and organisations have advocated allowing children to change their gender at school (known as “social transitioning”) and take puberty blockers. They’re harmless, we were told. Completely reversible, trans activists claimed. Now the Cass Report has blown all that out of the water, concluding that “we have no good evidence on the long-term outcomes of interventions to manage gender-related distress.”

It’s left a lot of people struggling to save face — and some of them are doing it quite shamelessly. Stonewall has long pushed the idea of the “trans child”, claiming that “children as young as 2 recognise their trans identity.” Its former CEO, Nancy Kelley, complained about people “wilfully ignor[ing] decades of use and research about puberty blockers and hormone therapy”, describing it as “evidence-based medicine”.

It was nothing of the sort, and Stonewall has now had the cheek to welcome Cass, performing what Private Eye would call a reverse ferret. The organisation urged NHS England and policymakers “to read and digest the full report”, as though the recommendations don’t stand in opposition to everything Stonewall has advocated for years.

The Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, Wes Streeting, was another who was quick out of the traps to embrace the Cass Report. “The Government must now immediately act,” he warned, as though it is the Conservatives, not Labour, who are embarrassingly in thrall to trans ideology.

“Children’s healthcare should always be led by evidence and children’s welfare,” he pontificated. Back in 2017 that evidence was non-existent, but Streeting signed an early day motion calling for “specialist GPs” to be trained to prescribe “bridging hormones” while patients waited for a referral, without any mention of the need to safeguard children. Streeting’s utterances are often cited as evidence that the Labour front bench is cooling in its enthusiasm for the demands of trans activists, but his support for the Cass recommendations sits awkwardly with the behaviour of the Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, Anneliese Dodds.

Less than 24 hours before the report was published, she was lambasting the Government yet again for failing to implement a “no-loopholes” ban on “conversion practices”. Labour’s policy would criminalise parents and counsellors who approach children with precisely the caution recommended by Cass.

Streeting’s response to the report contained an ominous reference to “culture wars”, a phrase that belittles those of us who have spent years opposing the outrageous demands of trans activists, often at a high price. The Labour MP Rosie Duffield made this point on X, retweeting Streeting with a post recognising “the many women blanked, sidelined [and] dismissed by male leaders when speaking up and exposing this for years”.

The feminist writer and campaigner Julie Bindel went even further. “Glad to see you are now openly critical of the gender ideology that led to the atrocities against children outlined in the Cass Report,” she told Streeting on X, offering to accept an apology for his behaviour when she was no-platformed by students in 2008 during his time as NUS President. “I contacted you and asked for your help. You gave none […] Have you any idea of the reputational damage this caused me?”

Bindel is far from the only gender critical woman smeared in this way. And the difficulty for people suddenly welcoming the Cass Report, as though they have always opposed “trans-affirming” treatment of children and young people, is that we have long memories — and receipts. Labour’s dalliance with Stonewall is a matter of public record, and we’re not convinced it’s over yet.


Joan Smith is a novelist and columnist. She has been Chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board since 2013. Her book Homegrown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men Into Terrorists was published in 2019.

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Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

“…we have long memories – and receipts.”
Hang on to those receipts, for as long as it takes, because there will be a backlash. These initial reactions from transactivist individuals and organisations are but a means of preparing their strategy for retrenchment.

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Tomorrow they will publish 10 reports refuting the Cass Report and again they will perform the “all of a sudden” turn.
These people basically have no conscience.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Stonewall depend on it for their income, just like all the other grifters, so unless we stop giving taxpayers money to all these groups, it will never stop.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Yes it is a dishonest racket. Any attempt to cut off their income from public sources will be portrayed as anti-gay as much as anti-trans.

If Stonewall was campaigning against anti-gay legislation and prejudice in Muslim, African and other countries that retain prejudice against homosexuals there might be some point in the organisation. However, now it is a conflicted organisation with a strong anti-gay element as a gay conversion campaigner it is dubious that it is in fact in the public interest to give it any support since it has achieved its original purpose in the UK.

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
1 month ago
Reply to  El Uro

Quite. Who knows what Labour figures actually believe? All I know is that tomorrow it will change…

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

“I have detailed files . . .”

Graeme Kemp
Graeme Kemp
1 month ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Yes, I can’t really believe the activists have changed their minds and repented.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
1 month ago

As I believe they say on the socials:
“We have the receipts.”
These duplicitous organisations and individuals should never be let off the hook for their part in enabling this harm to vulnerable children.
Also let’s not forget, While the Cass Review is damning in its criticism of how gender identity services have departed from medical ethics and evidence-based practice, it would probably never even have come about without the persistence of people like Julie Bindel, Maya Forstater and Graham Linehan pushing back against the trans ideologues, often at great personal and professional cost. Their courage and persistence in standing against the fashionable progressive tide and saying what should have been self-evident, that this was always ideologically-driven medicalising and mutilating of children, is as much to be applauded as Cass’s findings.

Michael Hollick
Michael Hollick
1 month ago

“Reverse ferret” originated with Kelvin Mackenzie when editor of the Sun. The “Sperm of Satan” Hislop’s organ should take no credit for it.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago

Now that you mention it, he does look like a sperm . Henceforth I shall always think of him thus!

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
1 month ago

‘Wes Streeting, was another who was quick out of the traps to embrace the Cass Report. “The Government must now immediately act,” he warned, **as though it is the Conservatives, not Labour, who are embarrassingly in thrall to trans ideology**.”

Are you kidding me? Remind me again what party has been in power for the last *14 years* and has *personally* overseen all this?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

As with so much in connection with the Conservatives and Labour both are contaminated by adherence to idiotic ideological activists it is just a matter of degree and Labour usually are urging on more vigorous adherence to the poisonous ideologies that the Conservatives either encourage or fail to smother. Just as Labour clamoured for stricter lockdowns, harsher hate laws, DEI etc so they have been in the vanguard of support for Transgender ideology. At least Conservative PMs have known what a woman is even if individual Conservative MPs are often as confused as Starmer.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I really don’t understand the downvotes to my comment. Anyway, SOME Conservative MPs (and some labour) do know what a woman is, however Mission Creep has been wholly overseen by a Tory government. There is no excuse.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 month ago

I agree with you, the downvotes seem strange, as though many people want ALL the blame put on the Labour Party even though the tories have stood by and done nothing while having all the power. The fact is that the current government have been running scared from anything even smelling of ‘culture wars’, not realising that some (most?) ‘culture wars’ are actually about real practical social issues that affect real electors.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago

This report, while a great first step, still pays far too much lip service to a lot of the gender woo-woo, referring to ‘gender identities’ etc (how many are there at the moment – 83, 93 or have we broken the 100 barrier? Are there any demi-mermaids out there?). Worried parents are still advised to seek help from ‘specialists’ as if a lot of them haven’t been part of the problem from the start.

Anyone who has had experience of the NHS mental health ‘services’ knows that the best option is not to get involved at all in a conveyor belt of unreliable diagnoses and treatment options, leading to a lifetime of so-called ‘care’ at the hands of the state.

This hasn’t gone away folks – it’s like a cancer and has just metastised via the new regional hubs who will employ most of the idiots from GIDS (all the staff with any competence and self-respect left years ago).

We need a complete clear out of the Augean stables – but where is the modern Odysseus who is up to the task ?

Watch Kellie-Jay Keane’s video on YT for a bracing takedown of this intermediate Apologia.

Richard 0
Richard 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Completely agree with you. The report is a great first step but the next step must be the prosecution of clinicians and their like. A very pedantic point: wasn’t it Hercules who cleared out the Augean stables?

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard 0

Sorry about that; I’m mixing up my stories. I was thinking of the end of the Odyssey when Odysseus, after killing the suitors, cleanses the building with fire. Ibsen was keen on a good conflagration to make a fresh start but the damage would be immense.

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I think you mean Heracles. I hope he’s getting ready for it.

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
1 month ago

Unfortunately, the Sandyford clinic in Scotland intends to ignore Cass and continue to prescribe puberty blockers and to provide its so-called “affirmative” care model. I can’t imagine Youseless taking any action against them.
Any bets as to when Keir Starmer will give us a revised estimate of the proportion of women who have penises? I think it’s about the same as the proportion of UK politicans who have ba115.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 month ago

Well put.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

Stonewall is emblematic of every activist group, no matter the cause. These are rackets, designed to provide an income and platform to the people involved. There is never an attempt to address, let alone solve, whatever the issue is. If that happened, the activists would effectively be putting themselves out of work.
Stonewall can pull this stunt knowing that the bulk of its media amen chorus will say nothing about the hypocrisy, nothing about the people who were relentlessly attacked and driven out of their positions, and most of all, nothing about the children harmed. The organization’s donors will keep giving and the group will simply move on to the next thing.

R MS
R MS
1 month ago

There has to be accountability.
On the front line of this scandal are the doctors who acted out of ideology or conformed in the face of intimidation.
Behind them were the whole phalanx of those pushing ‘No Debate’ from children’s charities to the likes of Stonewall and Mermaid to the BBC and Guardian no platforming GC voices raising the alarm, to the Labour party persecuting the dissentients in its ranks like Duffield to publishers banning books to educational establishments silencing GC voices to unions and councils and so on and so through every rotten captured institution.
I expect, like the Catholic Church faced with child abuse scandals, we will now see a closing of ranks. This is not good enough. Heads have to roll and people need to go to gaol.

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
1 month ago

Plus a reminder that Wes was part of a Facebook group back in 2018/19 that stalked women for gender wrongthink online and made a database of them.
Might he like to apologise?
The Labour Party needs a full internal audit on how it came to at best turn a blind eye to and at worst cheer on, a catastrophic failure of children’s safeguarding across institutions.
Because if they don’t, they’ll just do it again.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
1 month ago

Stonewall is a busted flush. Having achieved gay marriage it no.longer had.a raison d’etre, so it found one. As Charlie Munger said: show me the incentives and I’ll show you the outcome. Beyond contempt.

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
1 month ago

Would you believe it, they agreed with us all along? If you do, then you shouldn’t. Still, Labour’s promise to implement the Cass Report, though wildly unlikely to be put into practice just as nor are the Conservatives going to do any such thing, will nevertheless put some people off voting Labour. They may go the Liberal Democrats, who would make a play for them if they thought that it might work. But most of them will probably go to the Greens. Jolly good.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

 “the many women blanked, sidelined [and] dismissed by male leaders when speaking up and exposing this for years”.

It’s wrong to frame this in male/female terms. Women have been speaking up on both sides of this debate – as have men.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Different actors will have different views, but I suspect that politicians like Sweeting were looking for an opportunity to jettison an issue that had become a burden and a distraction.

I see it as a positive sign that Labour is gearing up to focus on issues that matter unhindered by activist ideology. Hence the signal on the NHS. The last thing they want is an internecine feminist bunfight distracting them from more important issues.