Having said I would try and avoid political posts with the events of last week this is not going to be the case. With the Prime Minister resigning from the leadership of the Conservative Party the focus is now on who might replace him.
I would hope that there could be a change of direction and the woke wars, which I feel are used as a distraction from other issues, might be put on the back burner. For this reason, though there is no chance I will be voting for their party, I am looking with interest at the candidates and their take on LGBT+ rights. What I find is not encouraging. While writing this there are currently eleven candidates, though it is thought that Priti Patel will declare her candidacy today making it twelve. Without going into individual candidates at this stage the majority appear to be different flavours of the right wing of the Party from extreme to slightly less so! Out of twelve potential candidates it would be fair to say two are on the left of the party. One is unknown and I have no idea what his position is apart from he wants fresh ideas.
The “trans issue keeps being brought up by interviewers. The candidates on the right of the party are all anti trans, taking the we must listen to the basic biology stance, protect women’s rights and are anti woke.
Two have expressed support for Transpeople, one Penny Mourdant, by stating quite unequivocally that trans woman are woman, though avoiding the thorny issue of self ID which is at the nub of the Gender Critical movement and is now being criticised for trying to fudge it by trying to please everybody. She is also criticised for putting that out in the open as she launched her campaign, her critics saying there are more important issues. I think it was just a pragmatic approach to try and get it out of the way as she knew she would be challenged on her Trans position.
The other is Grant Schapps who I regarded as being the most unlikely candidate to be standing when he declared his leadership challenge. Asked by Sophy Ridge on Sky News whether trans women were women he said “First of all I should say if there’s a Shapps administration where to be prime minister, I will not be spending most of my time on these kinds of issues. I think we owe everybody love and respect. People should be able to get on and live their lives. There’s clearly a biological basis on your birth but if people want to … transition gender, that is their choice and they will always have my support”. He went on to say “I think the country is far more interested in things like the cost of living, the bread and butter issues, jobs and the rest of it.”
When Sophie Ridge brought up that Shapps’ rivals have spoken “a lot about the war on woke”. He replied that “if the people want a premier that talks about “woke issues”, then I am not the leader for them. Don’t vote for me, I am interested in the bread and butter issues that your viewers are thinking about every single day of the week. I am a libertarian, I’m a liberal both economically and socially – live and let live.”
I am not suggesting Grant Schapps has any chance of being successful or indeed that I would like him to be. He is someone who has annoyed me by his rubbish defence of the present Prime Minister defending the indefensible, quite apart apparently that he has some “interesting” business dealings previously which might go to his integrity. I was simply surprised at his response which seems proportionate as I consider the woke culture wars are driven by an ideology designed to drive a wedge between sections of the population. It really is not the major issue confronting the country where we have cost of living, inflation, pay and sundry other critical issues even though it does feel important to a trans woman.
It is far too soon to look at the candidates in any further detail as the twelve will be reduced to single figures during the week.