Virtue Signalling

MPs get unconscious bias training, Terfs are sacked, Adele offends the woke gods and Stonewall get into Rugby


Train enters tunnel/cut scene
The UK’s first fully-decorated Pride train made its inaugural journey last week and in the name of diversity, train company Avanti purged the entire crew of straight members by the simple expedient of pinning an attractive picture of former Coronation Street startlet Helen Flanagan smiling, while wearing a pretty dress, to a wall and writing down the names of everyone whose eyes didn’t pop out on stalks, with comically large hearts expanding under their staff uniforms before being patted down again as they floated several feet off the ground, loudly wolf-whistling all the while (or remark upon the loveliness of her hair, if they were lady train people from the square community). Actually I don’t know how they’ll have purged the stiffs, but I have great faith in the ability of private sector HR departments to have found a way. As train companies devoid of passengers face bankruptcy, we can only admire Avanti’s courage in spending so much money on virtue signalling rather than track signalling*.

*Anyone who emails me about Network Rail’s responsibilities vs train operating companies will be no-platformed.

Hannah Mouncey (right) was banned from playing women’s Australian Rules football (Photo by Kelly Defina/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Sticks and Stones
Feelings rank much higher than broken bones in the pyramid of grievance, and trans charity Stonewall is the first to agree. But a group of reactionary neanderthals have accused the campaign group of putting the safety of whiny so-called, self-styled, self-interested female rugby players at risk after Stonewall demanded World Rugby don’t go ahead with their proposed ban on men who are now women from playing against women who are still women (who plainly hate other women). I need a breath, my fitness regime isn’t up to this, start again, on we go. Currently if a once-was man tells sports organisers his sometime body is currently female and lowers his testosterone levels for at least 12 months he can take on these hateful cows with the full force of his now clearly (look harder) female body. But after World Rugby planned to ban all ex-men from the women’s game Stonewall blew their whistle of courage and cried “foul! bad rugger decision! wrong!” Dr Sheree Bekker, a sports injury specialist from the University of Bath explained: “Any exclusionary policy in women’s sport hurts all women. This policy approach enacts a particular structural violence against trans women. Pitting safety against fairness is a false dichotomy.” You can’t have hurt feelings if you’re in a coma, she should have added but sadly did not, probably due to years of verbal oppression by male (fulltime, all-time male) academic sports injury specialists. Bekker is of course right. If 10 stone women won’t play 20 stone women at contact sports, one wonders why Webb-Ellis ever transgressively grabbed that ball in the first place.

Resistance is Fascism
Several videos have emerged of black-shirted antifa activists in the Trumpf Reich trying to help people perform their special salute. Sadly a few examples have emerged of people refusing to collaborate and raise their arms aloft, despite the largely peaceful demonstrators surrounding and gently encouraging them. Hopefully when the rainbow trains have been made to run on time, some of these chair-sitting, arm-unextending racists can be put on one.

We have not become a grandmother
A woman, whose dead son identified as a girl, is fighting a legal battle to allow a clinic to use his frozen her-sperm after she promised she would use his sample to create children for him if he died. Under UK human fertilisation rules, if Ellie, who died aged 16, had been in a relationship, his partner would have had the right to ask for his sperm to be retained but her mother does not have that right. Brave new world? More likely cowardly new world!

Knot ok
Not content to fat-shame herself by losing weight, Adele has been criticised for appropriating other cultures by wearing a Jamaican flag bikini and having her hair twisted into Bantu knots. One Twitter user wrote: “If you haven’t quite understood cultural appropriation, look at @Adele’s last Instagram post. She should go to jail no parole for this.” An unlikely defender of common sense racist cultural appropriation is shadow Justice Minister David Lammy who tweeted: ‘This humbug totally misses the spirit of Notting Hill Carnival and the tradition of “dress up” or “masquerade”.  Adele was born and raised in Tottenham she gets it more than most. Thank you Adele. Forget the Haters.’ Which only goes to show, you can take the neoliberal Blairite traitor out of the authentic upbringing and send him to Oxford after private school, but you can’t stop him from being David Lamey. Lame in the sense of something not being cool. Not in the sense of disability being diminishing. I wish to make that very clear.

Fake Moves
Playing a disabled character is as unacceptable as blackface, according to Sally Phillips the actress who played an out-of-touch middle-class white woman in BBC comedy Miranda. Actors who have been accused of ‘cripping up’ include the Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper in his West End portrayal of the ‘Elephant Man’ and Eddie Redmane’s turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. How hard does Theory of Everything director James Marsh have to hate people with disabilities to not cast a totally mobile actor who during the filming process succumbed to a debilitating neurological condition? ‘Hammer of justice’ doesn’t have to be mere metaphor, nor ‘break a leg’ a cliche.

While the cat’s away
The Belfast News Letter has discovered that during the period when there was no devolved government in Northern Ireland, the civil service added a rule to say that all workers must use whatever words transgender people want, or face disciplinary action and possibly the sack. Who said no work gets done when Ministers aren’t around? Thank Dawkins for whoever was doing such a good job of being Northern Ireland Secretary at the time.

If she’s not a Terf, she’ll sink
Sasha White, a publishing agent, was sacked from her job for suggesting on her private Twitter account that using pronouns ‘they/them’ won’t help sexism or ‘toxic masculinity’. The woke gods were not impressed and Sasha, who says in her online bio she was “electrified by reading Crime and Punishment at the age of seventeen,” faced the now customary witch-hunt and ritual dismissal we all know and love. In a statement The Tobias Literary Agency said they “do not have any room for anti-Trans sentiments” and thus have “parted ways with Sasha”. To appease the furies, their PR team (this is a full spectrum firm: sign up!) went that extra mile of evident commitment to find the most obscure grievance group they could, going on to say they’d made a donation to “For the Gworls”, a charity dedicated to ending homelessness in the Black transgender community. They definitely did not make this group up in a blind panic*. And we are absolutely not living in an unimaginative mid 90s right wing VR sim where heavy-handed instructive points are made by having, say, frightened private sector businesses pay protection money to the Polly Toynbee Fund for Islamic Dolphins with Cancer because their CEO has said ‘let’s have a round of applause’ in front of a group of graduate trainees. That would be crass and unimaginative. The graphics would be frankly terrible. We’d have noticed by now. There’d be signs. The whole game would have frozen.

*I see now that fully sighted panic has no merits over “blind” ones and that I have othered headless agitation by imposing this narrative of an optic hierarchy upon them. I shall release a tweet thread at 7am tomorrow and make a donation to Amnesty International. In New Zealand. Because Women PMs don’t treat COVID as a debating Union joke.

Constituents can breathe a sigh of relief as MPs will now be forced to take part in ‘unconscious bias training’. Andrew Tettenborn has previously written in The Critic how populist mob vanguards, aka ‘democratically elected local councillors’, can thankfully have their right to inappropriately free speech removed care of a code of conduct which is, I’m sure, as wise, just and necessary as can be, whatever it is it says, whoever it is that wrote it. It’s truly frightening to think on what previous cohorts of rabble-rousing parliamentarians would have done if this boon had come their way too soon, before society was ready to accept it. Doubtless snide and hurtful accusations about “the right-on blob who run parliament” would have been hurtfully and irresponsibly thrown about the Commons chamber by showy-off men speaking in unnecessarily loud and deep voices. They call it parliamentary privilege for a reason. Long live The Long March! And thank goodness for Boris’s 80 strong majority!

Fascist Auntie
The so-called national broadcaster has U-turned and brought back the xenophobic and hateful lyrics that accompany the songs “Rule Britannia” and “Land of Hope and Glory” that mark the end of the Last Night of The Proms. #DefundTheBBC!

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