Does the Labour Party actually want votes? In light of an announcement from Labour Party leader Keir Starmer yesterday, it only seems fair to ask. In a three-minute video that has already been viewed over 200,000 times, Starmer announced a commitment to introduce gender self-identification. The statement, which seemed to be set to telephone hold music, was recorded by Pink News and released to coincide with the Pride for All festival.
In the film Starmer said: “Trans people are one of the most discriminated against groups in our society … We’re committed to updating the GRA to introduce gender self-identification for trans people.”
The policy announcement came just a day after an interview where Benjamin Cohen, the CEO of Pink News, had a tantrum live on BBC’s Today programme to an audience of seven million. Given the increasing toxicity of the Pink News brand it’s tempting to imagine Starmer’s adviser might be a closet Tory.
Since 2018 feminist groups connected to the Labour Party and trade union movement have fought against the introduction of gender self-identification. Many were hopeful when the 2019 Labour Party manifesto contained a pledge to “ensure that the single-sex-based exemptions contained in the Equality Act 2010 are understood and fully enforced in service provision”.
Lesbian Labour spokesperson Carol Angharad told me: “Can we take it that Starmer has reviewed gender self-identity and that this is his position? If it is then Labour is in trouble.”
It had been naively assumed by many that Starmer would be supportive of women’s concerns, having previously held the role of Director of Public Prosecutions.
Lesbian barrister Allison Bailey tweeted:
“@Keir_Starmer has chosen this moment to pledge that a Labour government will introduce gender / sex self-ID. I think he’s completely misread the mood of the nation & ignored the legitimate concerns of many women & LGB people. It’s unforgivable.”
The LGB Alliance added:
“Gender #SelfID affects women, LGB people (especially lesbians) & children. The implications are becoming clearer all the time, to those who care to listen. The staged endorsement of self-ID by @Keir_Starmer at this moment reflects poor judgment, poor advice, or both. #NoToSelfID”
But Stonewall co-founder and gender identity fanboy Michael Cashman said: “Absolutely brilliant. No equivocation. This is what I call leadership. Congratulations”
It seems that Starmer is as ignorant of the fracture between the LGB and T as Corbyn apparently was of the seam of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. One wonders how his three-minute video will be received in the former Labour heartlands which fell to the Conservatives at local elections earlier this year. Endorsement of gender identity ideology will do little to persuade voters that the Labour Party is alive to the concerns of ordinary people. The hashtags #labourlosingwomen and #noselfid have since been trending on Twitter.
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