Home Politics Right-wing media ramp up anti-trans coverage

Right-wing media ramp up anti-trans coverage

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Right-wing media ramp up anti-trans coverage

The Daily Mail, Times and Telegraph all produced lot of trans-focused content in their Saturday editions and most of it is horrible.

Daily Mail

The Daily Mail led the way on Saturday with six pieces having a go at trans people.

First up they have Sarah Harris interviewing Kathleen Stock going on about how “I’ll never work for a UK university again.”

I guess it’s easy to declare you won’t do something when you’re not wanted to do in the first place.

They then use this piece to springboard into another piece by Harris headlined, “… as Cambridge dons boycott feminist’s talk.” The ‘feminist’ in this case is Helen Joyce who believes trans people are a ‘huge problem for a sane world’.

I’ll never work for a UK university again, says academic hounded over trans views Daily Mail22 Oct 2022By Sarah Harris AN academic who was hounded out of her job over her questioning of trans ideology has said a lack of freedom of speech at British universities means she will never work in one again. Kathleen Stock, 0, was branded transphobic by activists at Sussex University because she believes moves towards prioritising gender identity over biological sex is damaging to women and children. The former philosophy professor quit last year after students campaigned to get her sacked. Police even advised her to hire bodyguards and install CCTV following anonymous threats. Yesterday Dr Stock insisted she was ‘never going to teach in academia again’, at least in the UK. She added: ‘I can now say exactly what I want to say, without feeling like I’m being watched all the time by my colleagues, by managers, by students who are constantly waiting for me to put a foot wrong, which is basically what was happening.’ Dr Stock also claimed that academic institutions are treating students like customers and this transactional relationship means the ‘grown-ups’ are not telling young people that hearing differing views isn’t damaging. She was speaking during a debate at the conference of the LGB Alliance, a campaign group advocating for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, in London. | ... as Cambridge dons boycott feminist’s talk Daily Mail22 Oct 2022By Sarah Harris CAMBRIDGE dons have sparked a fresh free speech row by announcing plans to boycott a talk by a gender critical feminist. Professor Pippa Rogerson, master of Gonville and Caius, and senior tutor Dr Andrew Spencer have condemned a visit by Helen Joyce, a former Britain editor at The Economist. In an email to students they said Dr Joyce’s views on transgender people are ‘offensive, insulting, and hateful’. In her book Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, Dr Joyce equates the trans rights movement to a ‘new state religion, complete with blasphemy laws’. Writing to undergraduates in a personal capacity, Professor Rogerson and Dr Spencer insist they wholeheartedly support the principle of freedom of expression but will not attend the event, which is external and not hosted by the college. Dr Joyce, 54 described Professor Rogerson and Dr Spencer as ‘beneath contempt’ and their email as ‘condescending, ignorant, babyish [and] insulting’. Toby Young, founder and director of the Free Speech Union, said: ‘If the Master and Senior Tutor disagree with [Dr Joyce’s] views they should challenge them in open debate, not react in this petulant, babyish way.’
Daily Mail 22 October 2022
You’d think that would be enough for one edition, but the Mail are not done yet.

They also have a piece about 15 under fours reportedly being “referred to the NHS’s transgender health service in England in the past two years.”

15 under-FOURS referred to trans clinic in two years Daily Mail22 Oct 2022By John Ely AT LEAST 15 children under four have been referred to the NHS’s transgender health service in England in the past two years. A similar number of five-year- olds were referred between 2021-2022 to the controversial Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock clinic, the country’s only such service for children. NHS documents state that in total more than 5,000 children were directed to the service in the past two years, over concerns they felt their gender identity did not match their biological sex. Only half of referrals were for youths aged 15-plus. The NHS data, unveiled among new guidelines for how to treat children with gender dysphoria, only concerns referrals to the GIDS at Tavistock. It is not known how many of the children aged five or under went on to become patients. Any that did are unlikely to have been prescribed medication. Not all of the patients would have been taken on for medical treatment, which can include puberty blockers and hormones that change their bodies to align more with their gender identity. But the figure is likely to raise even more questions over how children questioning their gender are directed to NHS care in England. NHS England is cracking down on how children are referred to gender identity care in future, after a review by Dr Hilary Cass found the GIDS service was unsafe, saying other mental health issues were ‘overshadowed’ in favour of gender identity treatment, and sparking claims that staff rushed children onto powerful drugs. Under current guidelines, health and social service staff, teachers, and charities can refer a child they think is suffering from gender dysphoria to specialist NHS care. But under draft rules published yesterday, which could be enforced from the spring, such referrals would be restricted to just GPs and health service staff, slashing numbers by 5 per cent, or about 250 children. The plans also say doctors must weigh up the risks of social transitioning for young children, which can include changing their pronouns. They also detail that puberty blockers should only be provided via an NHS research programme. The draft plans mean up to nine new centres, including one in London and one in the North West would eventually replace the GIDS at Tavistock when it finally shuts it doors in the spring. Former patient Keira Bell took the clinic to the High Court in 2020, claiming she had not been challenged enough when she was prescribed the drugs at age 16. ‘Doctors must weigh up risks’
15 under-FOURS referred to trans clinic in two years
Daily Mail22 Oct 2022By John Ely

Not content with that, the Mail also continue ‘warning’ Penny Mourdant over her ‘woke’ views which include once saying that trans women are women.

They have two ‘comment’ pieces to remind readers than Mourdant was once supportive of trans people.

Times

The Times run a piece on Penny Mourdant’s bid for Tory leadership in which they note a source saying, “There will be nothing on migration, small boats, trans, it’s focused on the economy, because we don’t have time to waste.”

They then publish a piece by Fariha Karim headlined, “Doctor: Parents said children were trans if they didn’t like gender”.

Doctor: Parents said children were trans if they didn’t like gender Fariha Karim Parents of children as young as three have claimed that their son or daughter was transgender because they wanted them to be a different sex, a former psychiatrist has said. Dr Az Hakeem, who ran a psychotherapy service for gender dysphoric children at the Portman Clinic in London, also said a high proportion of his patients were “replacement babies” for parents who had lost a child. He worked at the clinic, which is partof the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, for 12 years from 2000, including at the gender identity development service (Gids) at the Tavistock clinic. Hakeem said a number of the parents he saw suffered from “transhausen by proxy”, a reference to the mental illness “Munchausen’s by proxy”, in which parents try to convince doctors that their child is ill. The NHS describes the illness as child abuse. He spoke at the annual conference of the LGB Alliance yesterday, where pro-trans protesters held placards outside describing alliance as a “hate organisation”. Hakeem said: “The Gids thing was eye-opening . . . I saw these parents who had a son but wanted a daughter, or the other way around. “And these three-year-olds were coming in, and the parents were saying, ‘Oh, Johnny has never looked like a boy. So we’ve changed his name and put on a wig.’ “I was thinking, ‘This is mad’. And this was 20 years ago. Gids at the time . . . It was just a transing factory. I remember saying to them, ‘This is madness, what we’re doing is madness, these are children, these are threeyear-olds.’ ” Hakeem said that the area was “the only branch of medicine where there’s been no evidence base in physical gender treatment”. He said he had collected his own data from his 12 years of seeing patients suggesting that many parents had made their child a surrogate for one who had been lost. Hakeem said that only 2 per cent of his patients went on to have gender reassignment surgery. The other conference speakers included Kathleen Stock, who was forced out of her post as a professor in the philosophy department of Sussex University after she raised concerns about women’s rights in the trans debate. She said she had left academic teaching for good, at least in the UK: “I can now say exactly what I want to say, without feeling like I’m being watched all the time by my colleagues, by managers, by students who are constantly waiting for me to put a foot wrong, which is basically what was happening.”
Doctor: Parents said children were trans if they didn’t like gender
Fariha Karim

The Times also cover Ben Elton saying ‘Cancel Culture is not a threat’.

Ben Elton: Cancel culture is not a threat David Sanderson - Arts Correspondent Ben Elton, host of a revival of Friday Night Live, said he still spoke his mind at gigs Cancel culture is not “remotely threatening” comedy according to the performer Ben Elton, who said he continued to say “exactly what I want”. Speaking before last night’s one-off revival of the 1980s Channel 4 show Friday Night Live, Elton said that, as always, he “thought hard about what I was saying before I said it”. “Yes there are social changes now which are certainly surprising and hard to navigate,” Elton, 63, told Times Radio. “Certainly if you are over 25, you have got to think about it. Mostly it is about having respect for the other person’s point of view.” Elton said that in the 1980s he used to be blamed for “political correctness” adding: “Some people think I’m the Godfather, Apparently I killed Benny Hill. Did I hell. We all get ourchance.” Political correctness was “just recognising the world is different to the way you thought it was,” he added. “I always say that with political correctness, the basic freedoms that we now consider sacrosanct were once considered political correctness gone made; abolish slavery, give women the vote . . . are you out of your mind?” In a separate interview with the BBC, Elton said he did not “believe cancel culture is remotely real”. He said: “There are language rules, there always have been. They change. It is the job of the comedian to circumnavigate that. I have always had to mind my language in various ways and I hope that I have found clever and interesting ways to do that.” Elton said that he had just performed 150 gigswhere he “said exactly what I wanted”. He added: “I did not get cancelled, I spoke my mind and yes I did speak about trans and race and identity and we had a lot of laughs.” The temperature of social media debates on various contemporary issues had given him pause for thought. “In our modern Twitter world sometimes the radical people you’d like to be supporting are being so in your face that you want to say: “Well, give me a second to think about this.” Graham Norton withdrew from social media after criticism of his comments at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival this month. After name-checking John Cleese, who has railed against people being “cancelled or censored”, Norton said free speech was not “consequence free”. He said: “You read a lot of articles in papers by people complaining about cancel culture and you think: ‘In what world are you cancelled? I’m reading your article’ . . . I think the word should be ‘accountability’.”
Ben Elton: Cancel culture is not a threat
David Sanderson – Arts Correspondent

While also covering tech billionaire, Ben Chestnut declaring that “Pronoun choice is harmful”.

Pronoun choice is harmful, says tech billionaire Mark Sellman - Technology Correspondent A technology billionaire has railed against his staff’s habit of introducing themselves on Zoom using their preferred pronouns. “This is completely unnecessary [for] a woman (who is clearly a woman) to tell us that her pronouns are ‘she/her’ and a man (who is clearly a man) to tell us that his pronouns are ‘he/him,’” Ben Chestnut, founder and chief executive of the Atlanta-based digital marketing company Mailchimp, wrote to some employees in August. A month after he sent the 1,400-word email, which has been leaked to the Platformer website, he stepped down from his post. Chestnut, 48, is worth $4.1 billion and is the 645th wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes. He made the bulk of his money after selling Mailchimp to Intuit last year for $12 billion. Stating preferred pronouns at work has become common practice over the past few years in order to create a more inclusive environment for trans and non-binary staff. In July Halifax bank posted a picture of its new staff name badge on Twitter, featuring the words “she/her/hers” underneath. “Pronouns matter”, the tweet said. Last month Virgin Atlantic started using pronoun badges for crew and passengers, who can request them at check-in. Chestnut said he wanted Mailchimp to be an inclusive company but the pronoun practice was never required and “in the long run this approach does more harm than good”. Forcing people to behave a certain way was “the opposite of inclusion,” he added. He said that in conversations with transgender staff, they said they did not want this type of accommodation. Chestnut went on: “First, there is a very tiny number of peeps at Mailchimp who would consider themselves transgender. Forcing (either with orders, or through guilt) approximately 1,390 other peeps to adopt a new communication paradigm that humanity has never had to use in our 300k year existence, and in our 150k years of spoken language, in order to make things slightly more comfortable for an extremely small group of peeps is completely illogical.” He lamented the growing politicisation of the workplace, an issue that has confronted other tech chiefs. “I am finding that peeps are no longer motivated by meaningful work — they are motivated to make political statements. They are using company time and company resources to win a game, against their opponents, in a game that is raging in their minds and on social media. “Coercing peeps into proclaiming their pronouns is not about creating an inclusive, creative, productive work environment. It’s becoming a political statement.” In 2020 Brian Armstrong, the chief executive of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, declared his company politically neutral, banned political conversations in work message boards and forced out activist staff through severance packages. He believes it was a distraction from company business. Chestnut still has an advisory role with Mailchimp. “I couldn’t be happier with this decision,” he wrote after selling the company. Intuit would not comment on whether the Chestnut email was linked to his exit as chief executive but said it was committed to diversity and inclusion.
Pronoun choice is harmful, says tech billionaire
Mark Sellman – Technology Correspondent
Before whipping back to a piece by Alice Jones on Jordan Gray saying ‘It’s OK to joke about trans people’.

‘It’s OK to joke about trans people’ Jordan Gray has gone from reality TV loser to comedy sensation. By Alice Jones freedom Jordan Gray Next image › Six years ago, Jordan Gray thought she had made it. The first transgender contestant to appear on The Voice, she reached the semi finals of the TV talent show, signed a record deal and released a single, Platinum. It flopped — horribly, reaching No 114 in the charts — and the record label dropped her as quickly as it had signed her. She left her final meeting with the label and walked out, deliberately, in front of a car. “Which is incredibly selfish. But the car was nowhere near me and it just ground to a slow, stupid, sarcastic halt,” she says. “I thought, ‘I can’t put myself or anyone else through that again. It’s pointless.’ So I decided to stop music completely.” That was in 2016. In August this year Gray, 33, took a comedy show, Is It a Bird?, to the Edinburgh Fringe and, as she puts it, got struck by lightning. It sold out its entire month-long run, received rave reviews across the board and was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award (previously the Perrier). She has just finished a soldout two-week run at the Soho Theatre in London, last night stole the show from Ben Elton, Harry Enfield and Jo Brand on Channel 4’s Friday Night Live and is now working on a new sitcom with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. And next week, she headlines the London Palladium. All of which is not bad for a reality TV runner-up. “I’m a better comedian than I was a singer,” says Gray, who has a disarming way of boiling things down to their essence. “And I’m a better woman than I was a man.” Is It a Bird? is a high-energy romp, a “stupid show about boobs and Batman”, in Gray’s words, that flits from observational stand-up to keyboard-thumping songs and rousing self-affirmation. Gray — a jittery Essex dynamo in a black jumpsuit with a nest of dark curls piled high on her head — combines Russell Brand’s florid vernacular with Tim Minchin’s rug-pulling musical numbers, but ends up as something unique. Certainly, you won’t see a more eye-popping finale on stage. The comedian knew that she wanted to make a fun show rather than a vehicle for a message. So while there are plenty of jokes about being trans — “I’m a superhero! I’m technically an ex-man!” — there are tales about dogs and babies, impressions and songs about religion and clickbait. “I could have gone the other way and been very introspective,” she says. “You have a generation of comedians that touch on very personal stuff, but where are the jokes about aeroplanes and coffee and dogs? I thought there’s probably a lot of fun to be had talking about the things that we have in common rather than what makes us unique.” It’s less about self-expression, she says, than pulling off the seemingly impossible feat of being a transgender person that others simply take at face value: “And just think: ‘I didn’t know what I thought about transgender people before I came in, but, fair play, she was quite funny actually.’ That’s a win for me.” That said, Gray’s show does not shy away from showing the audience the reality of being a trans woman. “Being from Essex is a bit of a punchline, being transgender is a bit of a punchline,” she says. “There’s a lot to prove — and I make use of that.” As she sings on her closing number, “If I’m going to be a joke, I might as well be in on it.” On the night I saw it, it prompted a standing ovation. “A transgender body is such a hot potato,” Gray says. “It’s mired in so many questions about what it is to be a man and woman. But then actually, you just see this fully functioning body, which has got quite a novel combination of bottom and top. Nobody died, nobody blew up, the ceiling isn’t coming down. There’s no need for you to feel frightened, it’s just joy. If you make somebody laugh, it’s undeniable.” Off stage, Gray is delicate, serious and softly spoken, which is not to say she doesn’t speak a lot — she does, in long, elaborate, deeply felt trains of thought. She was born in Thurrock and lives in Southend and is fiercely proud of her roots. “I’m much more proud of being working class and taking a show from a box in Edinburgh to the Palladium than I am of being transgender. I love being transgender, but I think being working class is cooler.” When she was growing up, her father was a director of a steel factory by day and an Elvis impersonator (“Not singing, just the dancing, the hips. He’s exceptionally good”) by night. Her mother — who is lesbian and separated from her father — worked as a hairdresser, a bouncer and eventually as the landlady of a pub in Thurrock, where Gray, by this time a teenage goth, performed with a death metal band called Silent Feedback. By the time she left college, Gray was earning a living as a singer under the name Tall Dark Friend. She came out as transgender at an awards ceremony in 2014 and was greeted with, she says, “an overwhelming amount of love”. Her family were immediately supportive — there was “a bit of confusion, but certainly no ill will. I’m aware this is a privileged trajectory.” She met Heli, a croupier from the Czech Republic, a year later and they married soon afterwards. The Voice was, she says, a “wonderful” experience and, crucially, gave her a first taste of what it might be like to be a comedian. On one of the live shows, in between numbers, she did a skit and realised it was a lot more fun than singing. Her mentor from the show, Paloma Faith (who is still her “champion” and came to see her show last month) used to tell her to sit down, stop laughing and smiling so much when she sang because it made her look a bit mad. “I was, like, ‘But I’m not mad. I’m happy, really happy.’ That almost maniacal giddiness doesn’t work when you’re supposed to be a serious musician, but it really works when you’re a comedian. If I’ve got a voice, it’s sheer, unbridled giddiness for the fact that I’m up there with a microphone.” After she was dropped by her record label, Gray decided she wanted to be a comedian (“I make decisions really fast and just stick to them,” she says) and sat in the front row at Top Secret Comedy Club in the West End every three nights for three months, jotting down ideas about structure and storytelling in a notebook. She did her first gig at the Bill Murray in Islington, north London, in a dressing gown and surgical bandages, high on painkillers, having just had her breast implants — and loved every second. “I’ve never had a bad show,” she says. “And I think it’s just because I enjoy it so much. You can’t sit there stony-faced, arms crossed, if someone’s giving you 200 per cent of sheer joy. I’d be faking it if I was a cynical, sceptical comedian, sitting on a stool.” She realises that she is now a spokesperson for trans issues — and is delighted by the responsibility. “I’m a cartoon, I’m bulletproof. I’m a big, wacky, betitted, curlyhaired person with a keyboard. I feel like I can lighten the conversation and the mood very, very quickly. There’s a lot of people far more qualified than me to instigate policy or suggest change. But if you just need a face of the conversation, I think I’ve got an all right face. And I empathise greatly with the people that have an intuitive fear of transgenderism. Because transgenderism represents change and it represents freedom.” For some time now, she has worked as script consultant on comedies featuring transgender characters, most recently on a forthcoming sitcom by Matt Lucas. “It’s all right to make jokes about transgender people — we do about everybody else,” she says. “Don’t remove us from the conversation.But if we’re involved in it, it’s probably better.” Her Comedy Central web series Transaction, about a trans woman called Liv who works in a supermarket, has been picked up by Pegg and Frost’s Stolen Picture for a full sitcom, and a Radio 4 comedy series is also in the works. I’m a better comedian than I was a singer, and a better woman than I was a man “The dream is for my face to be around quite a lot. I like the pressure of having to deserve that. Because I dare say a lot of people will say, ‘You’re only there because you’re transgender.’” Indeed, her aim is nothing less than total domination, via Saturday night television. “I love it. I’m addicted to it. I don’t have anything else in my life. I’m 12 years sober, and I’ve never had a cigarette. So the only thing I’m addicted to is the work,” she says, smiling. “The ambition is megalomaniacal. I don’t care if I’m happy, I just want to take over the world. But it’d be nice if I was happy as well.” Jordan Gray: Is It a Bird?, London Palladium, October 28, lwtheatres.co.uk
‘It’s OK to joke about trans people’
Jordan Gray has gone from reality TV loser to comedy sensation.
By Alice Jones

Telegraph

The Telegraph cover Helen Joyce going to speak at Cambridge despite a boycott on the same page they ramble on about a ‘transing factory’.

 Gender-critical author to speak at Cambridge despite boycott The Daily Telegraph22 Oct 2022By Ewan Somerville ‘Free speech is not negotiable … Anyone who finds this uncomfortable is welcome not to attend’ A CAMBRIDGE college is engulfed in a transgender row after its master said she was boycotting a gender-critical author’s talk. Gonville and Caius College is preparing to host a talk on cancel culture on Tuesday by the author Helen Joyce, a former journalist at The Economist. She has complained that men and women are being “redefined” by trans activists, with laws and policies “reshaped to privilege self-identified gender identity over biological sex”. The college’s LGBT representatives, “disgusted by the platforming of such views”, want the event to be cancelled. In an unprecedented intervention, Prof Pippa Rogerson, the college’s master, has emailed all students rebuking her staff for hosting it. Prof Rogerson, writing alongside Dr Andrew Spencer, the college’s senior tutor, said that while freedom of speech was “a fundamental principle… on some issues which affect our community we cannot stay neutral”. Their letter adds: “We do not condone or endorse views that Helen Joyce has expressed on transgender people, which we consider offensive, insulting and hateful to members of our community who live and work here. Caius should be a place for the highest quality of research to be produced and discussed, rather than polemics. We will not be attending the event.” They conclude by saying that “events such as this do not contribute [to an] inclusive and welcoming home for our students”. Academics have called their reaction “intellectual cowardice”. Ms Joyce was invited to speak by Prof Arif Ahmed, a philosophy lecturer and fellow of the college. He said: “Cambridge isn’t a primary school”, adding: “Free speech is not negotiable. The event will go ahead. Anyone who finds this uncomfortable is welcome not to attend.” |Parents took boys of three to ‘transing factory’ as they wanted girls The Daily Telegraph22 Oct 2022By Hayley Dixon SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT ‘This is madness. What we’re doing is madness. These are children. These are three-year-olds’ PARENTS of three-year-olds took their children to the NHS’S Tavistock clinic claiming they were trans when they just wanted a child of a different sex, a psychiatrist has claimed. Dr Az Hakeem said the way the gender identity clinic treated children was “madness” and that it became a “transing factory”. The fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said that some of the children he saw had “Transhausen by proxy”, a reference to Munchausen syndrome by proxy, where a parent makes up symptoms to make their child appear sick. Dr Hakeem worked at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for 12 years until 2012 and now works in Harley Street. He told the LGB Alliance campaign group in London: “You had three-yearolds coming in… I saw these parents who had a son but wanted a daughter, or the other way around… the parents were saying ‘Oh, Johnny has never looked like a boy. So we’ve changed his name and put on a wig’. “I was thinking ‘this is mad’. And this was 20 years ago. GIDS [Gender Identity Development Service] at the time, the multidisciplinary team involved Mermaids. It was just a transing factory. “I remember saying to them: ‘This is madness. What we’re doing is madness. These are children. These are threeyear-olds.’” He added that over his time at the clinic he realised “there was an overrepresentation of people who had lost a child and then suddenly got pregnant again. Almost through unconscious communication, this child had become a surrogate for the lost child.” The conference also heard from a professor cancelled because of her comments on trans rights, who said she would never work in a British university again as there is no freedom of speech. Kathleen Stock said academic institutions treat students like customers and the “grown-ups” no longer tell anxious young people that someone saying something they disagree with is not harming them. The former Sussex University philosophy professor made the comments during a debate about how institutions have been “captured” by ideology surrounding trans rights. Prof Stock said she was forced out of her post after she began to state the difference between biological sex and a person’s gender identity and raised concerns about the erosion of women’s rights. The campaign against her involved protests on campus in which she was “detained” by masked men. Prof Stock left the university in October last year and said she was “never going to teach in academia again”, at least not in Britain.
Daily Telegraph 22 October 2022
Now, I can hear you all in the back wondering what the hell a ‘transing factory’ is and where this fiction has come from. Well, the LGB Alliance conference is on and it is from there we get this lovely nugget of nonsense from Dr Az Hakeem.

“I was thinking ‘this is mad’,” he said. “And this was 20 years ago. GIDS [Gender Identity Development Service] at the time, the multidisciplinary team involved Mermaids. It was just a transing factory.

“I remember saying to them: ‘This is madness. What we’re doing is madness. These are children. These are three-year-olds.’”

The Telegraph also warn Mourdant about being a decent human being to trans people while they take a full page to tell us all that the Tory right are getting very angry, led by Kemi Badenoch, “the PM who never was”.

Prepare for a revolt on the Conservative Right On almost every issue, from immigration to free speech, the Right has been utterly neglected by the arrogant Tory mainstream The Daily Telegraph22 Oct 2022 The PM who never was: Kemi Badenoch was a Right-wing contender in the summer’s leadership election, but Tory MPS felt the contest had come too early in her career MIt’s astonishing that the Party has put immigration and the culture wars on the back burner ake no mistake, the 44 days it took Liz Truss’s premiership to die is the biggest setback for the Tory Right since the fall of Margaret Thatcher. She was elected by the membership on an unashamedly Thatcherite platform, only to be destroyed before she could even change the curtains. Since her resignation on Thursday, the Tory Wets have seized the narrative, attempting to censure the Right-wing policies she stood for. To them, it doesn’t matter that the primary cause of the PM’S downfall was a toxic combination of bad execution and even worse communication. Nor do they care about the Bank of England’s role in this mess. The blame is entirely on the Right-wing nature of Truss’s policies. But reality tells a different story. There was nothing particularly radical about cutting a top rate of tax that didn’t even exist under Tony Blair, and the other “reckless” tax cuts weren’t anything of the kind – she proposed to keep corporation tax, for example, at the current rate. Nevertheless, Jeremy Hunt’s Hallowe’en fiscal statement is being drawn up with the specific aim of exorcising the demons of what the Wets describe as a “low-tax experiment”. These people, in their eagerness to appease the international markets’ every whim, don’t seem to have noticed that there’s a much scarier gremlin lurking in the shadows: a complete revolt on the Right of the Conservative Party. Think back to the last leadership election, when the Tory grassroots’ favourite candidate quickly emerged from the crowd: not Liz Truss nor Rishi Sunak, but Kemi Badenoch. She represented the strand of Conservatism that the Right wanted to fight for, from the Red Wall to the true-blue shires. It was unashamedly pro-work and anti-woke. But Tory MPS, in their infinite wisdom, felt that the contest had come too early in Badenoch’s career and knocked her out of the race. They felt it was time for an experienced hand. That worked out, didn’t it? In the race we have now been saddled with, there is no Kemi-type leading the Right-wing charge; no vision that appeals to both the hearts and minds of the Tory base. None of the leading candidates is a proud cultural conservative. There is no avowed defence of our great history or free speech. Even Boris Johnson was notably reluctant to take on the woke mob as Prime Minister. And as Mayor of London he was, let’s just say, extremely relaxed on social issues. Rishi Sunak, meanwhile, pretended there wasn’t a culture war at all during his tenure at the Treasury. Only when he was on the ropes against Liz Truss did he acknowledge it. Then there’s Penny Mordaunt, who was recently forced to defend a statement she made in 2018, presumably in fear of being TERF’D out by the trans extremists, that “trans women are women and trans men are men”. She had sided with the Left. Furthermore, when was the last time you heard any of these three condemning cancel culture, which has turned our society into a curtain-twitching doom loop where perfectly innocent people feel they are unable to express a personal opinion? Suella Braverman was mocked for trying to take it on. Alas she, like Badenoch, has little chance of winning this race. The Right has been neglected on more tangible matters, too, such as immigration and border control. Quite reasonably, they want to stop small boats crossing the Channel and to put an end to human rights lawyers manipulating our legal system. But rather than staunch action, they are met with repeats of old, failed policies. “We’ll have another word with the French about it.” It was expected, moreover, that the Tories would finally counter the great lie that immigration has no economic downsides – more specifically, to highlight that while having a larger population makes nominal GDP look higher, this has been accompanied by the slow decline of Gdp-per-capita. Indeed there’s a case to be made that, combined with unsustainably increasing demand for public services and no real increase in productivity, the sheer scale of mass migration is making us poorer. Yet the number of residence visas issued was higher in the year ending June 2022 – under a Tory government – than in any year since records began. As a report by the House of Commons Library noted: “This might seem intuitive given that EU nationals now require a visa but, in fact, most of the increase came from a two-thirds rise in the number of visas issued to non-eu nationals.” It is, I’m afraid to say, the legacy of the Johnson-sunak administration. But those on the Right are expected to believe that this time round, with the OBR’S forecasting team piling on the pressure, the same politicians would suddenly move to cut migration. Come, come. Even Liz Truss couldn’t hold the line. The same neglect can be seen in welfare policy. Forget the value of work, all we hear about now is “wrapping an arm” around people using taxpayer funds. While the Conservative base is perfectly accepting of people on lower wages needing to top up their earnings with Universal Credit – and understand the need for those who cannot work to be supported by the state – they are alarmed by the rising cost of the welfare bill and adverse incentives that parts of the system are creating. And they are right to be alarmed. Last week, a report by the Centre for Social Justice estimated that workingage benefits are costing the taxpayer an extra £13billion a year as a result of a 1.6 million rise in claimants under the state pension age. That’s an increase of almost a quarter since the start of the pandemic. Those who question why benefits should be linked to inflation rather than wages aren’t being cold-hearted; they just doubt the logic of increasing dependability on the state when there is still a tight labour market and a good number of job vacancies. They are also rightly distrustful of a system that they consider to be riven with fraud and abuse. Again, which out of the three main candidates should we expect to adopt the Right-wing, Conservative base perspective on this matter? Finally, there is the small matter of Brexit, and here there is at least some consolation for the base, since all three of the key leadership candidates voted to leave the EU. But why hasn’t more been done by our supposedly “global” Conservative Government, with its “oven ready” deal to maximise Britain’s post-brexit opportunities? The Tories forget at their peril how deeply patriotic their voters are as the UK continues to be diminished in the eyes of the world, with allies looking on aghast at recent developments. When asked by the grassroots organisation Conservative Voice if they were “proud to be British” for a survey in July, 90 per cent of those who voted Conservative in 2019 said yes. This figure rises to 95 per cent among Tory voters in the North. I say all this to send a warning shot to the Conservative parliamentary Party, which seems to have forgotten its own philosophy. It’s bad enough that they are willing to tolerate high taxes, which the 2019 manifesto expressly rejected. And it’s astonishing that they have put immigration and the culture wars on the back burner. But if they don’t make an attempt to win back the Right soon, the consequences will be devastating. Already, Nigel Farage is preparing to declare his own Cincinnatus-style comeback, and the millions of small business owners and entrepreneurs who make up the Conservative base are fleeing. Time is running out before they move on for good, finding different outlets, and new parties, through which they can express their will. Others, whose apathy was momentarily paused by Brexit, will simply not vote. The reverberations of such a revolt would be felt for decades, with the Conservatives no longer considered the custodians of Right-wing politics.
Prepare for a revolt on the Conservative Right
On almost every issue, from immigration to free speech, the Right has been utterly neglected by the arrogant Tory mainstream
The Daily Telegraph22 Oct 2022