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The bullies of the gender cult are finally getting their comeuppance

Social worker Rachel Meade has won a devastating court victory against her trans-pandering employers.

Jo Bartosch

Jo Bartosch

Topics Free Speech Identity Politics UK

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There are few things more satisfying than watching the trans-activist bullies who have taken over the UK’s workplaces finally getting their comeuppance in the courts. Thanks to the grit of so many employees prepared to take on their bosses in tribunals, this is becoming a regular form of entertainment for those of us following the slow collapse of trans ideology in our institutions.

Earlier this week, we had another treat, when Social Work England (SWE) and Westminster City Council (WCC) were ordered to pay social worker Rachel Meade £58,000 in damages. The employment tribunal determined that she had been harassed and discriminated against for her gender-critical views. Perhaps more significant than the payment is that the judge also called for both WCC and SWE to train their staff in the principles of freedom of speech. For once, it is the woke who have been told to ‘Educate yourselves!’.

This case is undoubtedly significant, though the actions that led us here were petty and vindictive. Meade, a social worker who had worked for WCC for nearly 20 years, had a Facebook page which was not visible to the public where she shared posts with around 40 friends and colleagues. One ‘Facebook friend’, a fellow social worker called Aedan Wolton, took offence to some of Meade’s posts and made a complaint in 2020. The tribunal heard that Wolton, a woman who identifies as a transgender man, was ‘an active proponent of gender-identity ideology’. Prior to complaining about Meade, she had also made a number of ‘derogatory’ public postings about gender-critical women, referring to them as ‘TERFs’ and akin to terrorists. Wolton’s record as an activist was not initially considered by SWE, who took her complaint about Meade’s alleged transphobia at face value.

Safeguarding is a key element of Meade’s professional role. So it’s no surprise that she was actively engaged in the debate over the now-shelved plans to reform the UK’s Gender Recognition Act, which would have allowed for gender self-identification. She shared petitions, a cartoon and articles warning about the dangers of allowing men to self-identify into women’s spaces and services. Her posts were collated by Wolton into a dossier. This was passed on to her regulator, SWE, which placed her under a fitness-to-practise investigation.

In 2021, Meade was handed a one-year warning by case examiners at SWE. Later that year, Westminster council then suspended her on charges of gross misconduct before issuing her with a final written warning. During the tribunal, Meade explained how she was ‘made to feel like a criminal for over two years’. She said that letters from WCC warning about the cost of pursuing legal action ‘terrified her’. Awarding the damages, tribunal judge Richard Nicolle said that SWE’s actions constituted a ‘serious abuse of its power’ and that it had ‘allowed its processes to be subverted to punish and suppress [Meade’s] lawful political speech’.

Among the articles that apparently offended Wolton’s sensitivities happens to be one I wrote for the Critic in 2020. The piece, entitled ‘“Her penis” and other facts we all should know’, was partly about the hounding of women who do not believe in gender-identity ideology. In a witness statement I submitted to the court, I took some enjoyment in pointing out this irony.

Ultimately, the persecution of Rachel Meade and subsequent court case, which has cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds, could and should have been avoided. Meade is a committed social worker who was forced to endure a financially and emotionally draining legal battle in defence of her right to express her views. Wolton, on the other hand, managed to avoid having to appear in court and has now skipped off to a job in equality and diversity in another taxpayer-funded quango. Thankfully, though, the dimwits in SWE and WCC who took the word of this gender ideologue at face value have been humiliated by the court.

No doubt the ruling in favour of Meade will be regarded by trans activists as simply ‘transphobic’. It is notable that SWE has declined to publicly apologise to her. Following the award of damages, a vindicated Meade said: ‘It remains concerning for our profession that, as an organisation, Social Work England cannot apologise or publicly acknowledge [its] mistaken stance to date.’

This is particularly concerning given the unique powers that social workers have to recommend that children be separated from parents. There are already reports of social workers deeming failure to use a child’s preferred pronouns to be a form of abuse. The many families struggling to care for trans-identified youngsters will be alarmed by SWE’s reluctance to acknowledge its mistakes and to repudiate trans ideology.

Still, the tribunal’s recommendation that ‘all of its managers and human-resources staff receive training on freedom of expression and protected belief’ is a welcome step toward undoing the gender ideology woven into WCC and SWE. Hopefully, it will also send the message to other employees that pandering to trans activists will only end badly.

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

Picture by: Rachel Meade.

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Topics Free Speech Identity Politics UK

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