Posts Tagged ‘Penny Mordaunt’

Open Britain on Why We Need a General Election

October 24, 2022

I got this email from the democracy activist group Open Britain describing how we dodged a bullet with the withdrawal of Boris Johnson as candidate for the leadership contest and calling for a general election. It runs

‘Dear David,

It has been a rollercoaster of a week for that group of Conservative MPs still blindly loyal to Boris Johnson.

It started with a spark of hope at the idea that their disgraced hero might return early from his Caribbean holiday and retake his ‘rightful’ place at the top of government, following the early demise of Liz Truss. (None of them was asking why he was holidaying while Parliament was sitting, how that was serving his constituents, or indeed why he so enthusiastically endorsed Liz Truss in the summer.)

From there, the storyline followed a typically Johnson-esque arc.

We saw attempts to titillate the press with ‘will he, won’t he’ briefings. We saw bombastic messages of support from the usual crowd of cronies. We saw attempts to manipulate our view of reality with statements that sounded like lies and, ultimately, we saw it come to a juddering halt with nothing to show for it all.

Jacob Rees-Mogg endorsed Johnson as the only candidate who could unite the party…in a tweet that included the highly divisive slogan ‘Boris or Bust’.

Nadhim Zahawi did his best to conjure-up some semblance of statesmanlike credibility in his endorsement by harking back to his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer… a role he held for about five minutes in the dying days of Johnson’s premiership.

Nadine Dorries said some stuff too. I really like Boris…he’s better than anyone else at something or other…if you don’t vote for him, bad things will happen…yada yada. It was so inane, my brain has already scrubbed it…sorry.

We saw a concerted effort to use client journalists – and some others who should know better – to persuade people that he was closing-in on the magic number of 100 Conservative MP nominees, when all the evidence suggested he was a long way short.

And ultimately, late last night we saw Johnson selfishly dump on those most loyal to him by pulling out of the contest as they were doing their damnedest in the media to get him across the line. (In Nadim Zahawi’s case, it was literally minutes after the Telegraph published a gushing piece about how Johnson 2.0 would be different. The irony.)

So, we have dodged a bullet but we are not out of the woods.

At the time of writing, it looks like Penny Mordaunt is struggling to reach the qualifying threshold before this afternoon’s deadline (though she still might) while Rishi Sunak’s support approaches what many think an unassailable number.

Logic suggests that Mordaunt will spend the morning canvassing, find that she does not have the support, and withdraw, allowing Sunak to be crowned new party leader and Prime Minister before the day is out.

But that would irritate many in the party membership who want to have their say. And so there is a possibility that the party machine will engineer a situation where the two candidates are put to the membership but in a way that leaves no doubt about who the recommended candidate is.

For a party that says its priority is to re-establish stability as early as possible, that might turn out to be a brave decision. Sunak did not go down well with the membership last time.

We must wait and see.

Whichever route they choose, it is unlikely the Conservative Party will emerge without potentially fatal damage, inflicted by one internal faction or another.

AND whichever candidate ends up in Number 10, they will have no credible claim to a mandate for the kind of policies they are going to be implementing in the coming months. We absolutely must keep fighting for a general election. That is the only way we will be able to re-establish stability and certainty in government.

All the very best,

Mark Kieran
CEO, Open Britain’

Maria MacLachlan Refutes the Allegation that ‘TERFs’ Are Right-Wing

May 27, 2022

Maria MacLachlan is a gender critical feminist, who posts critiques of the trans movement and their arguments on her Peak Trans YouTube channel. In the video below, she attacks and refutes the accusation that TERFs – ‘Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists’ – are right-wing. This accusation includes the claim from angry and abusive trans activists that gender critical feminists are Nazis and White supremacists. This is, as MacLachlan shows,, utter nonsense. She gives a list of the Nazis crimes against humanity, such as their persecution of Jews and Gypsies and the sterilisation of the handicapped, to show that ‘TERFs’ don’t stand for any of that. It’s an example of the Genetic Fallacy, the logical fallacy that says that something must be wrong simply because of who says it. She gives as an example of this Piers Morgan. Morgan says some appalling things, but people may also agree with other statements he make if they look at them. The fact that something is said by Morgan neither makes it right or wrong, and it has to be judged on its merits. She obviously isn’t a fan of Morgan, who is shown telling the world on his TV programme that he’s only three feet from the thickest people in the world. But she does praise him for attacking and refuting one of the monstrous allegations made against J.K. Rowling by the trans activists.

The Genetic Fallacy would also include denunciations of vegetarianism and animal rights because the Nazis also believed in them. It seems that Hitler tried, not always successfully, to follow a veggie lifestyle for the last six or seven years of his life, and before then was serious about it. The Nazis also passed legislation promoting animal welfare, including banning vivisection. As the notorious case of the vile Dr Mengele shows, however, they had absolutely no qualms about experimenting on humans. But clearly saying that vegetarianism and animal welfare is wrong simply because these views were shared by racist, genocidal maniacs like Hitler and the Nazis is nonsense.

She then goes on to discuss one of the other smears against gender critical feminists – guilt by association. A few years ago a number of them spoke at a conference organised by the American right-wing organisation, the Heritage Foundation. MacLachlan states very clearly that she’s looked at the Foundation’s website, which contains a large number of their videos, which she finds absolutely appalling. But she doesn’t blame the feminists for appearing with them, as they were probably denied a platform by left-wing organisation. And the Heritage Foundation is one of the most influential organisations not just in America, but in the world.

She also goes on to refute the accusation that over here, the Conservative party are opposed to trans activism, showing various Tory politicos, who backed the Gender Recognition Act. These included Maria Miller, Nicky Morgan, Penny Mordaunt and Tweezer. She does, though, recognise that today’s Conservative cabinet – she posted this a year ago, but it was still Johnson – are very different. She also points out the difference between feminist and Conservative views on sex and gender. Both recognise that sex is real and biological, and that these form the basis for sex roles in society. But the Tories believe that these gender roles are innate and must be respected – men must be masculine, women feminine – while feminists also they believe they are socially constructed and must be challenged. There is nothing wrong with being a feminine man or a masculine woman.

Then there was another accusation of TERF fascism by trans activists, based on a sticker by the National Front. These real Fascists urged people not to be ‘gender offenders’ and to support the traditional family. She criticises the trans activists, who claimed that this showed that gender critical feminists were fascists such as the transgender actor Annie Wallace. The sticker’s demand for a return to the traditional family, with the man as head, clearly conflicts with feminist views on gender roles. Incidentally, Conservatives have also used the Nazis to smear gay rights supporters and activists because of the strong element of homoeroticism in the Nazi party despite their persecution of homosexuals.

At the end of the video, she describes the tactics that trans activists use to silence and intimidate their critics to show where some of the real intolerance comes from. These include no-platforming, mass demonstrations intended to shout down but not engage with any of the opposing arguments, and violence and abuse.

I’m putting this video up, not because I wish to see trans people persecuted and discriminated against, but simply to dispel one of the most frequent accusations: that gender critical feminists are somehow all prejudiced Tories or worse. As MacLachlan’s video states, they are feminists worried about the threat to women’s rights, privacy and dignity posed by the trans movement. I am also very much aware that not all trans people share the same views as some of the strident and intolerant individuals who appear in the video. I very much accept that many, probably the majority, simply want to get on with their lives in peace. But there are parts of the contemporary trans movement as it has developed over the past ten years which are a threat, particularly to women, children and the mentally and emotionally vulnerable, which have to be challenged and fought.