It’s a shame there’s no invisibility cloak to throw at transphobic authors. Author JK Rowling chose Pride month for her latest Twitter rant on transgender rights, coupled with a lengthy website entry spreading misinformation.
Rowling’s comments come at a worrying time. In Hungary, Orban has exploited the lockdown to scrap legal recognition for transgender people. The British government has its own transphobic plans.
Rowling peddles the dangerous myth that predatory men could gain access to public bathrooms if the Gender Recognition Act changes went through.
Yet it’s trans people who are far more likely to be victims of crime. In 2018, it was reported that two in five have experienced a hate crime due to their gender identity.
Rowling has signed an open letter calling for “freedom of speech”.
Let’s use ours to shout loudly that trans women are women and trans men are men.
I was on the recent trans rights demonstration in London and it was great to feel the return to campaigning on the streets. We have to find safe ways to protest because the government is attacking us so hard.
The changes that were proposed to the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to self-declare their identity are set to be dropped and instead the old system of demanding a medical diagnosis will be retained.
It means the hope of a small amount of extra freedom will be crushed. That’s why we need protests.
But we also need to reach out to other oppressed groups. And for me, the best aspect of the London demonstration was the support for Black Lives Matter. I don’t want a trans movement that is closed off from the inspiration and militancy of the great anti-racist movement.
Perhaps some trans people think it’s best to keep our struggle separate from others.
But that will weaken us against our enemies.
Together we can fight the system that produces both trans oppression and racism.
Shame on this MP from SNP
The SNP’s mental health spokesperson Lisa Cameron has voted against legislation that prevents “pro-life” protesters harassing women outside abortion clinics.
For whatever reason women choose to have an abortion they should not have to cope with pro-life activists waving placards of dead babies on them as they enter the clinic.
MP Lisa Cameron’s vote was submitted by proxy by the SNP’s Chief Whip and was the only vote submitted by the party, which typically abstains from voting on English-only laws.
So why do it? Why was she allowed to do it by her own party?
It has to be said that this puts the SNP’s commitment to abortion rights in question.
She can cite her reactionary views all she wants.
But that does not give her the right to try to use her position to force her personal views onto other women, setting women’s rights back decades.
Thankfully the motion proposed by Labour MP Dr Rupa Huq passed with 213 votes to 47.
But on behalf of women everywhere I say shame on you Lisa Cameron.
We must protect women’s right to choose without being harassed, humiliated and traumatised.
It is time to move forwards, not to be dragged back in time.
Let’s stop using this sexist internet meme
“Karen” started out just being someone’s name, but the “Karen” meme on the internet has now gone viral.
What began as a stereotype of middle aged white women that likes to complain to managers is being used as a label for any racist, middle aged white woman.
Its good to make fun of racists, but this particular meme is problematic.
It seems this term has become a way of suggesting that white women of a certain age are more likely to be racist.
While we should be challenging racism when it comes from ordinary people, we should be pointing the finger at those at the top of society who benefit from racist divisions.
And when a white woman is being racist, she should be called what she really is—a racist.
Tories cut over-75s TV licence scheme
Millions of British pensioners live in poverty. It’s scandalous that we have the lowest state pension in Western Europe at 29 percent of average income while the EU average is 70.5 percent.
Shamefully, last year BBC bosses allowed the Tories to make them responsible for providing free TV licences for over 75s.
Now they have announced the scheme will be scrapped next month. At the same time, various commentators are calling for the ending of the triple lock on state pension annual increases and the means testing of other pensioner benefits.
Large numbers of pensioners have been shielding during this crisis. For many of them, the TV has been their only connection with the outside world and their only entertainment.
It has always been literally a lifeline for some pensioners.
We need trade unionists and campaign groups to link up with pensioner groups to support anyone who is threatened with court proceedings. Today’s trade unionists are tomorrow’s pensioners.
Fran Postlethwaite and George Arthur
Anti-racism in Scarborough
The black lives Matter (BLM) movement in Scarborough has had local successes, which will make life that bit more uncomfortable for racists in the town.
Gollywogs have been removed from local gift shops after a BLM campaign.
A racist DFLA meeting was cancelled by the Star pub in Cayton when BLM told her who would be using the room.
If a hundred or so activists can achieve this in a small seaside town, just think what we can do when thousands of us act nationally.
Tories must sanction Tories
The Tories have implemented sanctions against those complicit in human rights abuses.
Unfortunately, they have left themselves and Tony Blair off the list.
Labour is now out of touch
Labour is no longer a party that represents fairness, equality, and working people facing a very uncertain future right now.
A multimillionaire Knight of the Realm can never understand the lives we lead.
Fiona Grace Barling
For them profit comes first
The Mayor of Bedford wrote to the government pleading for dispensation not to open non-essential shops as the pandemic continues, and this was rejected.
And the per capita rate of infections in Bedford was over twice that of Leicester.
Hancock is a Hypocrite
I thought it was utter hypocrisy when health secretary Matt Hancock posted on social media about his happiness that the new domestic abuse bill passed. It’s a bill he voted against.