55 Tufton Street was recently found to be the HQ of anti-trans campaign group LGB Alliance; a fact which they desperately tried to keep hidden from even their own supporters. Trans Writes can now reveal even more links between LGB Alliance, transphobia and Tufton Street.
Transphobes on social media are currently scrambling to pretend there is no significance to LGB Alliance being based out of 55 Tufton Street. The official statement from LGB Alliance managing director Kate Barker says that they chose the space because of it’s transport links, no less.
As it stands, the reputation surrounding 55 Tufton Street is based in economics. That organisations such as the Institute of Economic Affairs, headquartered in and around Tufton Street who advised Liz Truss’ mini-budget helped “crash the economy and destroy a Conservative Prime-Minister”. What isn’t talked about as much is the Tufton Street Network’s opinions on social issues, such as human rights.
Civitas, a charity based out of 55 Tufton Street, states its charitable aims as; “to advance the study and understanding of religion and ethics in society and any other charitable purpose”. In doing so they have repeatedly taken aim at transgender people and our rights.
Director of the Freedom, Democracy and Victimhood Project at Civitas, Joanna Williams, wrote a book titled “The Corrosive Impact of Transgender Ideology”. A book in which she alleges that there’s a toxic ideology threatening to “erode sex-based rights and undermine child protection”. Critics note that it fails to engage with any thought from trans people.
In it’s opening summary the book claims that there’s a “a significant difference between today’s transgender activists and the gay rights movement of a previous era.” Alleging that; “Whereas the gay rights movement was about demanding more freedom from the state for people to determine their sex lives unconstrained by the law, the transgender movement demands the opposite: it calls for recognition and protection from the state in the form of intervention to regulate the behaviour of those outside of the identity group.”
The point she is trying to make is that trans people are asking for something different to what the queers of yesteryears were asking for. That instead of demanding more freedom for ourselves we are calling for others to be put in chains; “Whereas in the past, to be radical was to demand greater freedom from the state and institutional authority, today to be radical is to demand restrictions on free expression in the name of preventing offence.“
This is, of course, nonsense. But it has been convincing rhetoric for people who are transphobic but don’t want to admit that to themselves. Instead they can say “I’m pro-free speech” with the implication that supporting trans people would inherently be anti-free speech, so therefore they must oppose trans people. The best example of this being the disinformation of Canada’s Bill C-16, opposition to which launched Jordan B Peterson to fame.
The book sets out recommendations which include; a pause on Gender Recognition Act reform, a clarification of The Equality Act 2010, blocking of prescribing any transitional medication to under 18s, the refusal to allow children to ‘socially transition’ without parental consent and teaching about sexuality in a trans exclusionary manner.
Much of this rhetoric has been adopted or coined by other transphobic groups. For example Sex Matters regularly champion the need for clarification on the Equality Act 2010 and Transgender Trend have regularly championed blocking medication, social transition and trans inclusive education.
Two years later politicians such as Nadhim Zahawi and Suella Braverman would also repeat this rhetoric. Both were promoted under Boris Johnson and subsequently Liz Truss – who we know is inextricably linked to groups like IEA and The Tufton Street network.
Joanna Williams is an associate editor at Spiked and her about page there also describes her as Head of Education and Culture at Policy Exchange; another conservative thinktank. She has recently wrote a piece regarding Led By Donkey’s viral video on 55 Tufton Street calling the focus on the address a “conspiratorial fantasy”.
She also said; “Today, the word ‘ideology’ is only ever said with eyes rolled and noses pinched. It’s as if being driven by political principles is the very worst thing a politician can be.” Which is just hilarious given her own book title.
Joanna Williams’ book was retweeted by LGB Alliance founder Bev Jackson on social media who called it an “important new book”. LGB Alliance’s main account also retweeted an advert for the book, making sure to specifically mention Civitas. The Telegraph piece notes that the book had been released in the same month Boris Johnson’s government backpedalled on promised Gender Recognition Act reform.
The book was also promoted by other anti-trans groups such as FairPlayForWomen in a Facebook post and on their website; where they boasted about their founder being referenced in it. While founding members of groups such as Genspect report speaking at Civitas events about “the trans lobby”.
Other transphobic campaign groups who have been supported by or who have supported Civitas include but aren’t limited to the Safe Schools Alliance and Transgender Trend. The latter of which got their own book co-written by Stephanie Davies-Arai and Toby Young; associate editor of The Specator.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that there are huge links between anti-trans organising in the UK and right-wing or conservative thinktanks. Their rhetoric is able to spread quickly and influence politicians public statements and actions. They exist almost exclusively to poison the well on transgender issues framing us and our access to healthcare as asking for too much or otherwise putting restrictions on them somehow.
Maybe it is all conspiratorial nonsense, but when a handful of addresses keep popping up on the radar for transphobia; it warrants a bit of investigation, I think.