The Sunday Times managed to contort themselves into all sorts of shapes this weekend in order to write about Eddie Izzard without using any pronouns.

Izzard the joker takes on Mason the firebrand. Sheffield just wants a local Josh Glancy Eddie Izzard is campaigning in Sheffield, where the comic went to university, on a Blairite ticket Between the celebrity carpetbaggers, trans rows and a national media scrum, it’s no surprise that some local wags are calling the race for Sheffield Central “the greatest show on earth”. With respected local MP Paul Blomfield standing down at the next election, his hefty 27,000 majority is proving irresistible to a wide range of candidates. Among them is comedian Eddie Izzard, who was sitting in the corner of the Frog and Parrot in central Sheffield on Wednesday night, sipping on a Diet Coke and nibbling on some crisps. Clad in a purple blazer, miniskirt and thigh- high boots, Izzard was courting a slow trickle of local party members. One long-winded chap compared Izzard’s run for office to Bill Gates’s mission to beat malaria. A young PR exec stopped by for a chat and a selfie. This was micro-politics in the extreme, but with a 2,000-person Labour electorate, every individual promise to fight healthcare cuts helps. “The people of Sheffield are just great,” Izzard told me. “They’re very salt of the earth.” Izzard, who is bidding to become the first openly trans MPto be elected, has gained endorsements from Russell Crowe and Lorraine Kelly, who tweeted: “You go girl!” But Rosie Duffield, a gendercritical Labour MP, has said she would “not call Eddie Izzard a woman”. A rumour circulated that Izzard wanted to be put on an all-female shortlist, even though such a shortlist does not exist. Former Channel 4 and Newsnight star Paul Mason also made the long-list, bringing his fiery brand of post-capitalist polemic. A number of prominent local councillors are running too, including Abtisam Mohamed and Jayne Dunn. With Keir Starmer flying high in the polls, there is a groundswell of interest in safe Labour seats. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the rumble for Sheffield Central, where hustings are due to take place in the second half of November and the final decision is on December 4. When Blomfield won this university-heavy constituency in 2010, he scraped past the Liberal Democrat candidate by a couple of hundred votes. But in the post-Nick Clegg era of Lib Dem student collapse, this is close to a seat for life. Izzard, 60, went to university in the city and in the 1980s it was the scene of some of the comic’s first stage performances, after dropping out of an accounting degree. “Sheffield helped me when I was struggling,” Izzard said. “I want to support the city that supported me.” Izzard’s politics are broadly Blairite, whereas Mason, 62, is known for his proximity to the Jeremy Corbyn project. The former Newsnight journalist, who was also a student in the city, says: “I want to offer somebody who will walk into the room with heads of global businesses and, by the end of that meeting, they’ll know about Sheffield.” Izzard and Mason are attracting headlines, but they are lagging behind Mohamed, a 42-year-old local councillor and lawyer who has attracted major union endorsements. Her particular focus is on youth and the climate agenda. Mohamed moved to Yorkshire from Yemen with her family as a young girl. “This is my home,” she says. “I have a real understanding of what Sheffield needs.” The Sheffield members I spoke to weren’t sold on Izzard or Mason. “I don’t agree with helicoptering people in,” says Rachel McLafferty, 40, a college administrator who is backing Mohamed. “MPs should be drawn from the local community,” she added. “I’m a fan of Eddie Izzard as a person, but personally I like candidates who have been on the local council,” said Winko Kyawoo, 20, a molecular biology student at Sheffield University. “Being an MP isn’t about the glitz and glamour. It’s about the day-today office work.”
Sunday Times 30 October 2022

Eddie Izzard doesn’t give a fig what you call her. She is the ultimate thorn in the side of GCs because she demands nothing of them.

Still they can’t show even the smallest token of respect.

This weekend, Josh Glancy wanted to write about Izzard and the other candidates in the running for a seat in Sheffield that is about to come up for selection.

Izzard prefers to be called she, but GCs don’t want to do that. So instead Glancy managed to write the whole thing without using a single pronoun for Izzard, while happily using them for others in the piece.

Glancy mentions MP Paul Blomfield (“his hefty 27,000 majority” and ” his proximity to the Jeremy Corbyn project”), MP Rosie Duffield (“she would “not call Eddie Izzard a woman””), Paul Mason (“bringing his fiery brand of post-capitalist polemic”), Abtisam Mohamed (“Her particular focus is on youth and the climate agenda”), Rachel McLafferty (“MPs should be drawn from the local community,” she added.”) and Eddie Izzard (Izzard, comic, random comparison to Bill Gates trying to end Malaria).

I can’t sum it up any better than Doctor Enigma, who tweeted me to say, “Got to love the thought process here.

“They refuse to use the correct pronouns, but realise deliberately misgendering someone is a bit too obviously transphobic so they contort the entire article to avoid saying any pronouns at all and just hope no one notices or works out why.”

Petty and childish from what used to be regarded as the UK’s paper of record.