Home News Most senior UK politicians ignore Trans Day of Remembrance

Most senior UK politicians ignore Trans Day of Remembrance

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A transgender pride flag flying above the Foreign and Common Wealth Office in London. Photo by Foreign and Common Wealth Office.

Trans Awareness Week is over for another year, coming to a close with Trans Remembrance Day, but given the silence of the UK’s politicians, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it had been deliberately ignored by many.

Conservatives

I expected nothing from the Tories and was not disappointed. I didn’t even check any Tory politicians because, well, why would I waste my time like that when Baroness Nicholson, Tory peer, is tweeting stuff like this:

I did look at the official Party account and found nothing but my soul being sucked from my body.

Labour

Labour, however, like to prance in front of Pride and pretend they are allies to the LGBTQ+ community, so how did they do?

The official Labour Twitter account, who tweeted about Trans Day of Remembrance at 8am in 2020 and 2021, finally remembered at 1pm on Sunday after they’d been nudged by numerous people:

It definitely felt like they were tweeting because they had to rather than they wanted to.

Hanlon’s Razor states that we should never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity, but we know Keir Starmer is not a stupid man.

Yet, he is attempting to walk a dangerous path he thinks will lead him to number 10. Playing to the right-wing, Starmer believes being transphobic is a vote-winner, which isn’t very smart, given recent elections.

On the first day of Trans Awareness Week, Starmer was praised in the pages of the Mail on Sunday after his Mumsnet interview for his ‘tough’ stance on trans children.

He’s now talking tough on trans children, immigration levels and eco-zealots. So…Has Keir finally grasped that the Tories are there for the taking? Dan Hodges, Mail on Sunday, 20 November 2022

His silence this week, and on Trans Remembrance Day itself, could not have sent a louder message if he’d had JK Rowling, Rosie Duffield and Joanna Cherry round for Sunday lunch.

Like Starmer, Labour’s deputy, Angela Rayner, also said nothing of her own. She opted to retweet the official Labour account’s tweet from above.

Starmer didn’t even do that.

The Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, Shabana Mahmood, Pat McFadden, Yvette Cooper, David Lammy, Ed Milliband, Bridget Phillipson, Lisa Nandy, Nick Thomas-Symonds, John Healey, Jonathan Ashworth, Wes Streeting, even Emily Thornberry, all joined in with saying and doing nothing. I got bored and sad checking Shadow cabinet members at this point.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities and Party Chair, did actually tweet about TDoR before the official Labour account, but saw it as a chance to push Labour policy rather than an opportunity to show solidarity with people grieving immense loss.

Claudia Webbe tweeted with sincerity, although she is no longer a member of the Labour Party and sits as an Independent.

She was kicked out of the Party last year after being found guilty of harassing a woman who was having an affair with her partner.

Webbe maintains her innocence, but lost an appeal against her conviction earlier this year.

This tweet loses some of its shine when you look at the accounts Webbe follows. Ingala Smith, LadWDEC, Sonia Sodha, FiLiA, sit among the people on what is admittedly a long list over over 11,000 follows. Who knows who else is in there.

Webbe has previously spoken out about receiving transphobic abuse herself in a toilet at a Labour Party conference.

“On Sunday evening,” she said in September 2021, “I was in the loo downstairs with a few of my colleagues from the north-west when I was transphobically abused in this conference centre by one of our sisters in this conference hall now.”

“It should not happen, we have got an anti-bigotry and anti-bullying policy in the Labour Party. We need it to be enforced.”

Jeremy Corbyn, who also had the Labour whip removed and sits as an Independent tweeted at the very start of the week because, you know, he’s a decent human being:

Lib Dems

The Lib Dems also tweeted at the start of the week from their official account (see below).

They also tweeted on TDoR:

This, however, meant little because it comes after they amended their constitution to redefine the definition of ‘transphobia,’ making it easier for GCs to misgender and deadname trans people.

The Lib Dems’ leader, Sir Ed Davey, said nothing.

Green Party

The Green Party tweeted both at the start of the week and for TDoR:

SNP

The SNP said nothing, nor did Nicola Sturgeon.

Plaid Cymru

They left it late, but got their tweet out just after 8pm:

Northern Ireland political parties

The DUP obviously said nothing but, to be fair, I’m not even sure they’ve got their heads around trans people being a thing, yet.

Sinn Fein, who have often been vocal in the fight for equality for LGBTQ+ people, said nothing.

Alliance, the only political party to send a representative to the first Northern Ireland Trans Pride, did not tweet themselves but did retweet one of their MLAs:

They were also the only political party from the ones listed here to tweet about the shooting at Club Q in Colorado:

Looking at this list it is clear that those at the top of the political tree in the UK, for the larger part, prefer to remain silent if they are not actively supporting transphobes.

There is no other message you can take here.

Still, those very same transphobes will tell us how we are the ones who hold all the power.

It certainly doesn’t feel like it when you consider all the legacy Sunday papers ignored Trans Day of remembrance Day, too, yet will happily report when a GC sneezes.

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