Why is this crazed male criminal being treated as a woman?

The coverage of Andrew Burns, Scotland’s most dangerous prisoner, exposes the madness of gender ideology.

Jo Bartosch

Jo Bartosch

Topics Identity Politics Politics UK

Andrew Burns is not the sort of man whose pint you’d want to accidentally spill. In fact, he’s not the sort of man you’d want to be in the same bar – or even city – as.

Considered one of Scotland’s most dangerous offenders, this barbarian brute has form for biting his own veins to spray blood at the people trying to restrain him, and for smearing excrement on the walls of his cell. The risk that Burns poses to the public is so extreme that he is one of a small number of Scottish prisoners subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR), which means he will only be released once he is no longer considered an ‘unmanageable risk to public safety’. Yet, according to various news reports, we’re expected to believe that Burns is now a woman.

The Daily Mail is hardly the paper of bleeding-heart lefties. Yet in a report this week on his most recent conviction for assault, the paper refers to Burns, who now goes by ‘Tiffany Scott’, with female pronouns. The effect of this is comically incongruous. Pictures show the handcuffed, wiry convict leering out of the pages, whereas the article itself refers to Burns as being ‘convicted of assaulting four guards during her life sentence’ (my emphasis).

Of course, this could have been a cynical move by the Mail to drive clicks and outrage. Certainly, many people have taken the paper to task on social media. Alternatively, it might have been driven by the need to stick to lobby-group-influenced editorial guidelines. Or perhaps the writer was, not unreasonably, reluctant to cross Burns should he ever be let out. In any case, calling this violent offender ‘she’ does a disservice to readers, and indeed to the reputation of the press.

Not even the high priestess of trans activism, former Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, could be expected to fully commit to viewing Burns as a woman. The only thing remotely womanly about him is his chosen name and pronouns. And given that this extremely violent and crazed man previously asked prison officers to refer to him as ‘Mighty Almighty’, it seems entirely possible that he is not completely serious about his female gender identity. His insistence on being called ‘Tiffany’ is likely another perverse joke at the expense of the state employees charged with his care.

Playing along with these delusions might seem like the easy thing to do. Some no doubt think it’s polite. But there are clear dangers to doing this that cannot be ignored. Earlier this year, in recognition of his new gender identity, Burns was even set to be transferred into a women’s prison. Thankfully this was stopped at the 11th hour, with Sturgeon suddenly announcing in January this year that all transfers of trans prisoners to women’s estates would be halted. But the reason it came so close to happening is that the fiction of transgenderism has been either tolerated or encouraged by our governing institutions.

Burns is not an outlier, either. In Scotland, there have been multiple cases of sexual predators who have decided to identify as transgender, like double rapist Isla Bryson (aka Adam Graham) and child kidnapper Amy George (aka Andrew Miller). In each case, mainstream media outlets and even the courts have tended to refer to these male criminals using female pronouns.

Andrew Burns might be an extreme example, in that he has clearly made no effort to appear feminine. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter how well a trans person ‘passes’ as the opposite sex. Neither surgeons, legal papers, nor the magic words ‘I identify as’ can really change a person’s sex. Even if individuals want to identify as the opposite sex, it doesn’t follow that the rest of the world should be compelled to see them as such or to use their new names and pronouns.

The media, in particular, must be challenged to tell the truth. At a time when the BBC fails to refer to Hamas as a terrorist organisation, and when few outlets are prepared to acknowledge that their lock-step embrace of lockdown has done untold damage to the nation, truth has seldom felt more important. Let’s be absolutely clear about one thing: Burns is no more a woman than he is an innocent babe in the woods.

Jo Bartosch is a journalist campaigning for the rights of women and girls.

Graham Linehan and Brendan O’Neill – live and in conversation

Graham Linehan and Brendan O’Neill – live and in conversation


Tuesday 17 October – 7pm to 8pm BST

This is a free event, exclusively for spiked supporters.

Picture by: Twitter.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Identity Politics Politics UK


Want to join the conversation?

Only spiked supporters and patrons, who donate regularly to us, can comment on our articles.

Join today