The contest for the Conservative Party leadership and therefore the country’s next MP rambles on and in my view nobody is covering themselves with glory. Clearly, I have an interest in the Trans agenda and it surprises me how much it features in the debate. After all I understand that trans people make up roughly one per cent of the population and yet it is making headlines in this debate. Apart from being trans I am also an ordinary citizen living in the country worrying about how the country is falling apart wherever you look. The cost of living, energy prices, the overstretched, some would say failing, NHS, dentists, public services, inflation are so important to the daily lives of every one of us. These are the issues which the candidates should be concentrating on.
I have for my sins watched both of the candidates debates, that is an overstatement. I have been underwhelmed by what is on offer and the level of “debate”. Are these candidates really the best available to be our next Prime Minister, to tackle the many serious issues facing the country? In the first debate the candidates were asked “yes or no is the Prime Minister honest?” Only one said No, by shaking his head. Even the clean start candidate daren’t say it out loud though the shake of the head got a round of applause. One said “sometimes” other than that it was a real education to see the candidates trying to talk there way round the question, and not answering it. In the second debate the candidates were asked to put their hand up if any of them would give our present Prime Minister a post in their cabinet. None did.
The toxic nature of the debate came out yesterday, with the result that two candidates, the most senior, Sunack and Truss, have pulled out of the next debate tomorrow because the debates are damaging the Conservative brand. Put another way the toxic debate is making them look awful, showing the party for what they are and giving the opposition party plenty of soundbites, fodder to attack them when the next election comes. It was within this toxic debate that the gender wars came up attacking Penny Morduant’s supposed change of mind over self ID, suggesting she could not be trusted. One candidate says she will wage war on the whole cult of woke.
I find it interesting that more and more people, just the general public, are expressing a sense of frustration about gender issues literally saying let trans people get on with their lives, leave them alone, it really has no effect on their lives deal with the issues that matter. In the last couple of weeks there have been many tweets from cis women saying none of this impacts on their lives.
While I have been writing this Angela Rayner has just stated in a programme on LBC that “Transgender rights are women’s rights” acknowledging that the debate has to be calmed down, the scaremongering called out and the Equalities Act and Gender Recognition Acts explained fully since Trans people already have rights which the gender critical are trying to reduce.
The critical issue seems to me is self ID. This is already accepted in many countries without causing any difficulties. In England to gain a Gender Recognition Certificate still requires a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. Theresa May committed to dispensing with the medical requirement saying gender dysphoria is not a medical condition. This would mean amending the Gender Recognition Act and a consultation was instigated. This is where the gender critical lobby group stepped in on the basis that any man could self ID and become a predator in single sex spaces. The debate has become centred round penises and biological sex. Personally I doubt that a predatory male is really going to bother to go through self ID and get a GRC in order to attack women, there is no evidence that this is a problem in other countries where there is self ID. A predatory male will attack women anyway.
There needs to be a serious non toxic debate about the issue. I feel it has been exacerbated because a trans woman in the current system cannot get a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to be able apply for a GRC because the system is so broken it takes years to get a first appointment. Whether or not one agrees that a medical diagnosis is appropriate the delays in the system and the totally inadequate healthcare for trans people has made the whole issue much more fraught.
As for these candidates for our next PM, how about just getting on with fixing the country, that would be a novel idea! Sadly I really do not think any of the candidates have shown they have the talent to do that in a convincing manner.