Better abolish the equality watchdog then

The increasing tendency for people to define themselves by their faith, gender, sexuality or race is undermining empathy among Britons, says the chair of the country’s equality watchdog.

David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told the Observer that identity politics had been hugely important in advancing the civil rights of many groups. But he warned of a danger that “individual interests” were narrowing people’s views and diminishing their connection to wider society.

Simples, innit?

Amazing how few argue for more freedom

A Conservative peer has criticised the beauty industry, suggesting its “obsession with perfection” is fuelling social media abuse of people with disfigurements.

Minister for Equalities Baroness Williams of Trafford called for tougher regulation of websites so vulnerable people are not targeted by internet trolls.

So, before we had a mass media beauty industry with these impossible standards…..people with disfigurements never were abused, right? Elephant Man didn’t wear a sack over his head?


They always have done, haven’t they?

Oxford University will offer places with lower grades to students from disadvantaged backgrounds for the first time in its 900 year history.

The radical scheme marks a “sea change” in the university’s admissions process. However it comes amid criticism from middle-class Oxford rejects and headteachers that private school students are being “squeezed out” by the University’s current diversity drive.

From 2020, 250 state-school students will receive free tuition and accommodation as part of a multi-million-pound recruitment bid for disadvantaged students.

However 50 students in the new intake – who will include refugees and young carers – will be eligible to receive offers “made on the basis of lower contextual A-level grades, rather than the university’s standard offers”.

Umm, isn’t it colleges who let people in? And offers have always been made upon more than just grades.

How else did the daughter of the Observer’s literary critic get in?

Gonna make modelling the kiddies stuff a bit difficult

Gucci owner pledges to stop using underage models

Slightly more seriously:

Gucci, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen are among the fashion houses that will no longer employ models under the age of 18

A 16 year old can bonk, abort, marry, to her heart’s content. But she’s too young to walk and wear clothes?

Maybe we’ve something a tad wrong with our assumptions about age here, eh?

Well, yes

I wonder if there’s some kind of explanation for the way in which Michael Phelps, who is a straight white man, was treated differently from Caster Semenya, who is a gay black woman. It’s a mystery!

Phelps is competing in an open category. Semenya in a limited one. Limited to those of a particular gender. A gender – or sex if you prefer – which she’s not really quite one of.

Isn’t there a blocking function?

A transgender lawyer is trying to stop a Catholic journalist sending tweets to her by seeking an anti-harrassment injunction through the High Court.

Stephanie Hayden, a commentator and activist who is legally female, alleges that Caroline Farrow sent her hundreds of tweets over the course of several days.

Mrs Farrow is a mother of five with strong religious views who has previously made headlines for a separate clash with the transgender community.

I know you can stop someone from seeing your tweets. Can’t you stop someone from sending to you?

Well, yes, and what is to be done?

Sharron Davies: Vladimir Putin could send his tenth best man to win a sack of medals as a woman
Sharron Davies has competed in an uneven field. She explains to Martyn Ziegler why she wants strict controls on transgender athletes.

Reality being that bit that doesn’t go away when you wake up. So, what’s the solution?

Well, either women’s sport continues to exist or there are some rules beyond self-declaration on what is a woman. And the societal answer is going to be?

Err, what?

The high rates of trans exclusion from potential dating pools are undoubtedly due in part to cisnormativity, cissexism, and transphobia — all of which lead to lack of knowledge about transgender people and their bodies, discomfort with these unknowns, and fear of being discriminated against by proxy of one’s romantic partner.

Wait a minute. Who we fancy getting our rocks off with is built into us from the get go. Yes? Gays are born not made?

Yet a continued preference for a woman – say – is cisnormativity, cissexism, if we choose that over some mildly sculpted simulacra?

It’s as if trans campaigners have absolutely no idea at all how sexual attraction works in human beings.

Sure, if all transwomen – have I got that the right way around, he definition is the destination, not source? – looked like Caroline Cossey there’d be a higher take up but anyone hand on heart want to say that is so?


The first person in Britain to be charged with a transgender hate crime has warned that the police and courts are being used to stifle legitimate debate on the controversial topic.

Miranda Yardley, who was born a man but underwent gender realignment to become a woman, went on trial earlier this month after being accused of harassment by a transgender activist.

The 51-year-old accountant, who still identifies as male, was prosecuted after Helen Islan, the mother of a transgender child, accused him of “outing” her son by posting a picture of him on Twitter.

Reality is now a hate crime? Here’s a pic of someone trans, that’s a hate crime?

We don’t matey, we don’t

Avocad-NO: why does everyone hate the Shepard avocado?
Mel Campbell
The Shepard avocado is consistently smashed online – and hatred of the green menace intensifies as Hass avocados go out of season

99% of humanity has never heard of the difference and 99.9% don’t give a shit either.

Well, yes, so, what do we do?

Transgender men’s ability to access fertility treatment to have children should be reviewed by the Government, Britain’s most senior family court judge has said.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, invited Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, to review fertility laws after hearing the case of a transgender man who was able to access a sperm donor 10 days after legally completing his gender transition.

The man, who was born a woman and is identified only as TT, became pregnant and has taken his case to the High Court to be registered as the “father” on the child’s birth certificate.

No problem whatsoever with he fertility clinic bit. Even fine with the NHS bit.

Father though, isn’t that rather confusing the two different concepts of sex and gender?

But this then takes us one step on. Are there in fact any good reasons why we do want to distinguish? Other than order, that’s just the ways things are and should be? Do, we, for example, trade genetic diseases through birth certificates? In a manner that would be cocked by this in a manner that sperm donation wouldn’t already cause?

That is, other than that the demand is ridiculous, what’s the argument against here?

Some still not getting it

Crisis loomed when global prices fell, production stagnated, the value of the currency dropped, and under Maduro, dependence on imports and retail monopolies meant shortages that hurt many. That responsibility lies with the government and the industrialist rightwing opposition.

Ho Yus. It’s the right wing, the industrialists, the wreckers, responsible again for the failure of socialism.

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera teaches human rights and philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London

Philosophy requires at least a working knowledge of logic, doesn’t it?

No, there is no comment section on this one, even The Guardian knows that won’t work.

Doesn’t leave much

A university society has provoked ridicule by asking comedians to sign a “safe space” contract, forbidding them from making jokes about class, race or sexuality.

Unicef on Campus at Soas, University of London, tried to book five comics to appear at an unpaid charity gig in January, but the invitation came with a “behavioural agreement form”.

It decreed that the comedy night would be a “safe space” and all topics discussed by performers must be “presented in a way that is respectful and kind”.

Seriously, in England, no jokes about class? And at SOAS fer the Lord’s sake? The entire curriculum is an extended whine about class and how those white bourgeoisie have been oppressing the masses.

12 year olds can’t give consent. That’s why people can’t shag them

And yet here we’ve a doctor thinking that 12 year olds can and should consent to medical treatment that prevents puberty?

A GP has been convicted of running an illegal transgender clinic, providing hormones to children as young as 12 despite being refused a licence by the NHS regulator.

Dr Helen Webberley, 49, ran the clinic from her home, treating children who wanted to change sex, charging between £75 and £150 an hour.

She also provided online advice, calling herself the Gender GP, prescribing children and teenagers who had been denied treatment on the NHS.

Interesting sentence

Amanduh is accusing others of pandering to ugly stereotypes rather than facts or reality?

The only reason to choose ugly stereotypes over facts is because you want to believe the worst about ….

Doesn’t really matter what the last word is there to make my point. This is Amanduh after all.

Bugger off Love, seriously, bugger off

British Iranian Banafsheh Hay was stirred to write directly to Sainsbury’s chief executive, Mike Coupe, asking for an apology, and she remains angered by the lack of care taken. “To treat Iranian and Indian cuisines as virtually indistinguishable, despite knowing in reality they are very different, in order to save their readers the effort to learn about a new Iranian cuisine which the magazine wants to promote on its front cover smacks of lazy, casual racism and is abhorrent,” she told the Observer.

It’s not abhorrent and it’s not racism either. It’s not even that ahistorical, the Persian influence upon Indian cuisine was rather large what with the Mughals and all that – yes, Turkic themselves, but the ruling culture was heavily Persian.

Seriously, let’s preserve “racism” for the description of those who shout fuck off you black bastards and use “not a very good recipe” for things which are not a very good recipe. Accuracy in language being one of these things which aids us in communicating with each other.


On the evening of the first round, capoeira master Moa do Katendê, an antiracist activist and educator, was stabbed to death by a Bolsonaro supporter. Katendê had declared that he had voted for leftwing candidate Fernando Haddad. In the south of the country, a 22-year-old woman was attacked on the street. We fear that this is only a foretaste of a deadlier wave of violence.

This hatred and violence is clearly being stirred up by Bolsonaro and his party’s elected representatives. By repeating their misogynous, racist, homophobic and transphobic speeches and provocations, by displaying their firearms, by glorifying the military dictatorship, by spreading false information, they implicitly call for the brutalisation, even murder, of all those who do not resemble them: women and LGBT activists, human rights defenders and indigenous peoples, progressive activists or journalists.

If Bolsonaro is elected head of the Brazilian state, this hatred risks becoming institutionalised and this physical violence unleashed. Brazil is already, unfortunately, one of the most violent countries in the world: 61,619 homicides were committed in 2017 according to the Brazilian Public Security Forum, representing nearly 170 people killed every day, including a young black man every 23 minutes. Human and environmental rights defenders were already particularly threatened and increasingly targeted.

2/170ths of the normal standard daily murder toll shows that Bolsonaro is unworthy of being the peoples’ choice.

Sure, he may not be, that’s always possible. But for this reason alone?

Noam Chomsky, linguist, American;

Ah, it might be bollocks.

Naomi Klein, journalist, Canadian;

Odds are looking good that it’s bollocks.

Bill McKibben, author, educator, environmentalist, and co-founder;

Ah, there we have it, yes, proof, this is bollocks.