Patrick O’Flynn Patrick O’Flynn

Never forget the politicians who pushed gender politics

Yvette Cooper (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

The great trans hoax is coming to an end. The idea of thousands of people being ‘trapped’ in the wrong body is an interpretation of gender dysphoria that is increasingly being seen as damaging nonsense. The invasive treatment regimes, particularly for teenagers, carried out by the NHS, are unravelling too. And so is the claim that women don’t need protected spaces, separate from biological males. Giving campaign groups such as Mermaids and Stonewall influence in setting public policy in this area is looking more and more like the terrible mistake that many of us have long argued it was.

It isn’t only Johnson seeking to carry out a rapid repositioning on this stuff in the wake of the damning Cass review

Here is the rub: the facts always pointed quite straightforwardly to gender fluidity ideology being a load of old rubbish, to use the fitting technical term. There is a famous clip of the Labour peer and former test tube baby pioneer Dr Robert Winston setting out the basic science on an episode of BBC Question Time in 2021. ‘I will say this categorically, you cannot change your sex. Your sex is actually there in every cell of your body,’ he declared. A few months earlier, the then Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt had laid out a radically different official government policy in the House of Commons: ‘Trans men are men and trans women are women,’ she told nodding MPs.

The prime minister at the time was Boris Johnson. He was content for the vast resources of the British state to be deployed in the service of Ms Mordaunt’s ridiculous statement, with the implementation of preferred pronouns and severe penalties for ‘misgendering’ unleashed across the public realm. 

Yet now Johnson is pronouncing himself a fan of JK Rowling, the queen of the gender critical feminists, who he praised as a ‘modern saint’ who ‘says what 95 per cent of the public secretly think’. Perhaps it is just me, but wouldn’t you have thought that a man who was the prime minister and who apparently always understood the trans contagion to be damaging nonsense might have spoken up and done something about it while holding the levers of power? Instead, Johnson went to a Stonewall fringe at the Tory conference to support his beloved other half Carrie as she praised him for leading a government that had pledged to ban conversion therapy.

It isn’t only Johnson seeking to carry out a rapid repositioning on this stuff in the wake of the damning Cass review. So are scores of MPs who at best kept schtum and at worst joined in when the trans witch-hunters were persecuting Rowling and flinging accusations of ‘transphobia’ at anyone who objected to male transsexuals being invited into women’s sport and spaces. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is another of those rapidly shifting her position, now saying she welcomes the Cass review and thinks children were ‘badly let down’ by being encouraged down a clinical pathway. A couple of years back she was dodging basic questions as to what a woman was, saying: ‘I’m avoiding going down this rabbit hole.’

While Cooper was busy playing dodgeball, her colleague Rosie Duffield was being turned into a pariah on the Labour benches over her implacable opposition to women’s spaces being opened up to biological males. At one point Duffield was moved to complain: ‘Neither the Labour party or either the former or current leader or the whips’ office have done anything to offer me any support.’

In one disgraceful incident, the left-wing Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle unleashed a furious rant against the Tory Miriam Cates over a speech in which she questioned proposed Scottish gender legislation. At one point he even physically moved to a bench on the Tory side of the Commons, in an apparent bid to intimidate her. In that same debate Duffield was shouted down by MPs on her own side, including the former cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw. 

It hasn’t only been Labour MPs seeking to enforce the uniform acceptance of radical trans ideology. The last few years have, for example, seen a series of clashes between the nominally Conservative Caroline Nokes who chairs the Women and Equalities select committee and the Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch. Thank goodness for Badenoch’s unflinching defence of biology and resistance to the demands of the various trans lobby groups and their parliamentary helpers.

As Mordaunt prepares her next Tory leadership campaign and Keir Starmer, who declared that it ‘shouldn’t be said’ that only a woman can have a cervix, gets ready for Downing Street, we are entitled to view their suitability for leadership roles with great scepticism. No professional politician who went along with the anti-scientific gender woo-woo is worthy of a leading place in public life. For they must be beset either by stupidity, cowardice or a combination of the two. The best response to anyone who told us that a man was a woman is to never trust anything they say again.