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Face it, Eddie, no one wants you as their MP

Izzard's failed campaign to represent Brighton has exposed the narcissism of trans politics.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Identity Politics Politics UK

Comedian, actor and fella in a dress Eddie Izzard has failed, once again, to be selected as a Labour candidate. This time it was the Brighton Labour Party that said ‘No thanks, dude’. Izzard had hoped to nab Brighton Pavilion in next year’s General Election after its long-serving MP, Caroline Lucas of the Greens, steps down. But local Labourites weren’t having it. Mate, when even Brighton rejects your advances – this city that’s so woke the local council once flirted with the idea of ditching the titles Mr and Mrs to avoid offending trans folk – surely it’s time to hang up the comedy boobs and do something else instead.

This is the second time Izzard has been spurned as a parliamentary candidate for Labour. Last year, it was Sheffield party members who decided they didn’t fancy being represented by a 61-year-old comic who says he seesaws between girl mode and boy mode. ‘Suzy’ – as Eddie also identifies – is unlikely to give up his dream of a seat in the Commons. ‘I’m going to push and push until I become an MP’, he told Lorraine Kelly earlier this year, like Veruca Salt in a red rosette. His fantasy of being Britain’s first trans MP was shattered, though, after big Tory lad Jamie Wallis came out as trans last year, shortly after the media reported that he fled a car crash in a black leather mini skirt and high-heel shoes before being discovered by the cops, naked and smeared in make-up. So ladylike.

There will be many reasons Brighton Labour said no to Eddie. One, surely, is that he might not even be available for campaigning were a General Election to be called early next year. Darling, he’ll be doing Hamlet in New York. Fear not, Brightonians – ‘I’ll campaign via Zoom’, said a headline in Brighton and Hove News, reporting on Izzard’s plan to engage with voters ‘via phonebanks [and] Zoom calls’. You’ve heard of ‘parachuting in’ party candidates – Izzard would have been something even worse: a candidate who couldn’t be arsed to parachute in.

There’s also the issue of why Izzard wanted to be MP for Brighton. Sure, he speaks in the big, windy, pseudo-progressive lingo beloved of soft-left luvvies. ‘Together, we can champion dignity, respect and equality for all’ yada yada. And yet much of his campaign was insanely me, me, me. Representing Brighton ‘would be the culmination of a lifelong journey’, he said, as if the city were mere fodder for a future memoir. My life has been full of ‘extraordinary chapters’, he said – bully for you – but being your MP ‘would be the most profound yet’. Brightonians, ask not what your MP can do for you, but what you can do for your MP’s fat ego.

Izzard’s failed run seemed to be more about validation of the self than representation of the masses. His candidacy would have been one in the eye to the ‘Tory culture wars’, he said, in which ‘trans people’ like him are ‘unjustly belittled’. This was about flattering his identity, wasn’t it? It was politics as therapy, with voters reduced to mere masseurs of their aspiring MP’s fragile sense of self. Identity politics warps the democratic relationship, so that it’s no longer about them representing us but about us slavishly waving pom-poms as some vain identitarian completes his ‘lifelong journey’ to parliament or womanhood or whatever. Izzard let slip the neo-aristocratic nature of the new politics when he said he has long used his ‘global profile’ for ‘positive change’ and now he wants to use it to ‘elevate Brighton Pavilion’s profile’. Brighton, let St Suzy lift you up from your Z-list obscurity! Let this celebrated luvvie shine the light of his fame into your oblivion! It’s a mystery why Brightonians rejected such a chivalrous offer of patronage…

Might there be other reasons, too, why some Labour folk don’t want Izzard? This is a sexagenerian bloke who says he wants to be ‘based in girl mode’ from now on. That’s a tad weird, no? This is a man who goes into women’s bathrooms. This is a dude who in his own memoir confessed to shouting at teenage girls who asked him why he was in their loo. ‘Hey, mister!… Why are you dressed as a woman?’, they asked. Good question. Izzard decided to ‘confront’ his ‘teenage inquisitors’. He ‘shouted’ at them, at which point they ‘screamed and ran off’. Look, I try never to judge a politician by his personal life. But if there was a bloke standing in my constituency who’d once used a women’s WC and scared off literal minors who challenged him, I wouldn’t vote for him. If you’re willing to take liberties with the privacy of girls, what else might you take liberties with?

This cuts to the heart of the problem with Izzard-style politics. Eddie says one thing and does another. He goes on about ‘dignity’, but what about the dignity of women who would rather not see a man with fake breasts in their bathrooms? He blathers on about ‘equality’, but what about a woman’s equal right to privacy?

Men who claim to be women are parading around in women’s changing rooms with their knobs out – that doesn’t sound like equality to me, it sounds like flashing. What we used to call indecent exposure we now call ‘trans rights’. Would Izzard’s trumpeted commitment to dignity include defending the dignity of women who don’t want to see a shrivelled dick at the gym?

I think people baulk at the idea of Suzy Izzard MP not because they’re ‘transphobic’, but because they have an old-fashioned commitment to decency and truth. Men up and down the country know you never set foot in the women’s loo. In pubs across the land there will be legions of men who are falling-down drunk but who still understand the women’s bathroom is off-limits. It grates against these people’s sense of honour, their respect for the boundaries of everyday life, to see someone like Izzard queuing up to piss in a women’s bathroom. Do we really want someone who so flagrantly violates social norms representing society?

Then there’s the idea that Izzard is a woman. A she / her. A ‘girl’ – God help us. Sorry, no. He was born male and he will die male. Every cell in his body is a dude’s. The media might be willing to lie about Mr Izzard. ‘Eddie Izzard has failed in her bid to become a Labour candidate’, reports the BBC. Where’s BBC Verify when you need it? But the rest of us aren’t. The woke elites underestimate at their peril how horrified people are by their Orwellian insistence that this man is a woman. Literally a woman. So obviously a woman that any real woman who dares to say he isn’t a woman will be branded a TERF (newspeak for ‘witch’) and cancelled into oblivion. No dignity or equality for those heretical harridans. Izzard scepticism is driven in part by people’s instinctive, democratic reluctance to go along with the misogynistic lie that a bad wig and plastic tits turn a man into a woman.

This is about what we expect from our representatives. We expect them to adhere to social decorum, listen to people’s concerns, speak truthfully and honestly. The trans ideology does the opposite to all that. It rides roughshod over social standards, elevating the narcissistic needs of men in dresses over the rights of women and girls. It ignores and even demonises those sections of the populace that know what sex is. And it sacrifices truth at the altar of a delusional ideology that says sex can be changed. Izzard, I’m afraid, reminds people of all this, that wokeness is in truth a threat to dignity and equality. And so they say No. Good luck with Hamlet though, dude.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. His new book – A Heretic’s Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable – is available to order on Amazon UK and Amazon US now. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics Politics UK

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