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Why we must never forget – or forgive – Starmer’s trans lunacy

It is terrifying that our next PM fell so hard for the maddest cause of our time.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Identity Politics Politics UK

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Here’s everything you need to know about Keir Starmer. When Rosie Duffield, one of his MPs, suggested only women have a cervix, he publicly denounced her. He gave her a Stalinoid dressing down as if she had deviated from some sacred doctrine. That is ‘not right’, he thundered. It is ‘something that shouldn’t be said’, he insisted. And yet when Tony Blair said similar this week – that only a woman ‘has a vagina’ – Starmer lauded him. ‘Tony’s right about that’, he gushed about his dear old chum.

How striking that he damns a woman and cheers a man for giving voice to the same idea. If only there was a word for that, for treating people differently depending on their sex, for rewarding men more highly than women for doing the same job. In this case, the job of reminding a world gone nuts that women and men have different bits.

This is the news that – ‘FINALLY’, in the words of the Daily Mail – Starmer has twigged that women don’t have cocks. Blair said in a magazine interview that he was ‘of the school that says, biologically, a woman is with a vagina and a man is with a penis’. The Telegraph asked Starmer what he thought of Blair’s comments. ‘He put it very well’, he said. ‘I agree with him on that.’

He’s changed his tune. It was in 2021 that he slammed Duffield for her outrageous flirtations with biological reality. Duffield had committed the tweetcrime of liking a tweet by Piers Morgan in which he mocked CNN for using the phrase ‘individuals with a cervix’. There followed a ‘keyboard war’, as one report described it, which basically meant a few hundred unemployable posh post-genders had mobbed Duffield and defamed her as a ‘transphobe’. How these freaks will fill their days now Elon Musk has made likes on X private is anyone’s guess.

Asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr about Duffield’s deviance from trans lunacy, Starmer said what she did was ‘not right’. So just for liking the idea that only women have a cervix, essentially just for thinking it, Duffield felt Sir Keir’s wrath. And yet when Blair actually said it, Starmer heaped praise on him. There you go: in modern Labour, women are punished for thinking things that men are allowed to say out loud.

Some will say Starmer has clearly changed his views since 2021 – he’s evolved – and that’s good. I won’t be patting him on the back. First, because no one deserves praise for recognising reality. Starmer is a 61-year-old former director of public prosecutions and he expects congratulations for acknowledging what every crayon-stained toddler in a kindergarten knows? We should have higher expectations of the man who wants to run the country.

What’s more, we shouldn’t forget – far less forgive – that Starmer’s haughty censure of Duffield further whipped up the mob against her. Few MPs are as hated by trans activists and their allies on the bourgeois left. A woman who thinks people with penises are men and thus should stay out of women’s spaces and women’s sports? Ready the ducking stool. Fetch the rotten fruit. Just last week Duffield pulled out of her local hustings out of fear that her hateful trolls would turn up. Cowardly Keir helped to seal this unhappy fate of the Canterbury MP when he prioritised getting some love from the alphabet mob over offering solidarity to a beleaguered comrade whose only offence is to understand sex.

There’s a larger question here: do we really want Downing St to be occupied by a man who allowed himself to be utterly swept up by one of the great manias of our time? A man who willingly made himself a google-eyed adherent to a 21st-century cult that has so thoroughly abandoned reason and rationality that it thinks a big fella called Dave can literally be a lesbian? A man who gave voice to the delirious, post-truth mantra that ‘transwomen are women’? You wouldn’t want a PM who couldn’t tell war from peace, or slump from growth, so why would we want a PM who can’t tell a person with bollocks from a woman?

Just last year Starmer was saying that 99.9 per cent of women don’t have a penis, which suggests he thinks one in 1,000 women do have one. Maybe he has changed his thinking over the past 12 months. Maybe Tony Blair has helped to open his eyes to the derangement of believing there are tens of thousands of women walking around with a dick under their skirts. But that should not detract from how serious it was, how outright alarming, that such a senior politician bowed down so hard to the trans religion that his brain fell out.

Last year, there was a storm over people with religious beliefs getting into frontline politics. People went nuts when Kate Forbes, a Christian, put herself forward for the leadership of the Scottish National Party. Yet show me one idea held by Ms Forbes that is as potty or crazed as Starmer’s old belief that anyone can have a cervix, and anyone who says otherwise is a blasphemer. The cultural elites wage intolerant crusades against Christians in public life while pumping public life full of the most errant, cultish crap. I’d sooner believe a man walked on water than a man became a woman.

Rather than commend Starmer for remembering what he was taught in O-level biology, we should ask what kind of man is happy to abandon truth to win some favour from the activist class? What kind of man throws a woman to the wolves of the post-class phoney left rather than defending her right to think and speak as she sees fit? What kind of man is so morally weak he can be marshalled to the maddest of causes? It is surely a testament to Starmer’s opportunism, to his unanchoring from both political principle and moral decency, that he became ensnared by an ideology of pure untruth. Fine, he’s come to his senses, but that begs the question – when might he lose them again?

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

Melanie Phillips and Brendan O’Neill – live and in conversation

Melanie Phillips and Brendan O’Neill – live and in conversation

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Topics Identity Politics Politics UK

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