Friday, 15 October 2021
Lewis Moonie and Robert Winston are both medical doctors. In 2019, Lord Moonie was driven out of the Labour Party for having said what Lord Winston said on Question Time last night, that it was impossible to change sex. Lord Moonie is a former Minister, but he is not famous. Lord Winston, on the other hand, is Robert Winston. Dare the Labour Party withdraw the whip from him? If not, why not?
Professor Winston could expect nothing from the other side, which confines itself to statues, flags, and bad puns on the word "woke". Most women in prison have been raped at some time, and often many times, but a woman in prison who complained that her cellmate had a penis could now have her own sentence increased. Thank you, Dominic Raab. And, therefore, Boris Johnson. As well as the supposed Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss.
If Truss believed a word of what she allowed her hearers to infer that she was saying, then she would create a position for Professor Kathleen Stock, to enable her to carry on doing what she had been doing. Of course that is not going to happen. Gender self-identification is Thatcherism to the utmost, according to which a man, or a woman, can literally be self-made.
Unheard of in the long ago days of Labour or even the Liberal Democrats in government, gender self-identification entered the discourse through Maria Miller's Women and Equalities Select Committee; she had previously been Minister for Women and Equalities while Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. It has marched on unobstructed ever since, without anything so vulgar as a parliamentary vote. Who needs to amend the Gender Recognition Act?
Oliver Dowden can make as many cheap jibes as he pleases against "cancel culture" and the "woke", while Sajid Javid can tweet as many cheap jokes as he likes at Keir Starmer. Javid is the Secretary of State for Health, a policy area in which gender self-identification is now completely entrenched, as it is in education and in criminal justice. And Dowden was until very recently the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Enough said.
Both on the issue itself, and on the treatment of Professor Stock, the culture war is really only being fought by the Left, by John Rees and Tariq Ali, by Labour Heartlands and The Word, by Spiked and OffGuardian, by the Morning Star and George Galloway. George is now more than expected to contest the Leicester East by-election. Take however deep a breath you needed to take, and let's get him in.
The DUP-run Ministry of Education in Northern Ireland talks about "people who menstruate" because "not everyone who menstruates identifies as female", and no one has been elected to Parliament on the Alba ticket, so George would be the first and only MP to have been elected on a specific commitment to the fact of biological sex. And that, in itself, would say a very great deal.