Last month, Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting turned heads for his measured stance on the trans rights debate in conversation with Nick Robinson – a row which is still ongoing within Labour now that Rosie Duffield has revealed she’s considering leaving the party over the abuse she’s received over the past year. Wes Streeting nowadays claims trans rights campaigners shouldn’t try to “shut down” people like JK Rowling for making similar comments, and even calling for more “empathy and understanding” on both sides. Refreshingly even-handed given the animosity these debates usually stir up…
Wes’s position has transitioned since pollster Deborah Mattinson convinced Starmer to order the Shadow Cabinet to avoid trans ideology issues which repel most ordinary voters, women voters in particular. Mumsnet’s chatrooms are on fire and livid with Labour’s mad woke positions on allowing penis owning rapists in women’s prisons and suchlike. In newly emerged footage from the LGBT+ Labour Coalition Launch last February, Streeting was less mollifying than he is now. In the past he’s repeatedly criticised Duffield for her “indefensible” posts, suggested she was “intolerant” of trans people… and even claimed those with “ill-informed” views should be given “less airtime”:
“On trans equality, you know, and I’ve had lots of private conversations with with some colleagues, I mean, there was sort of the higher profile cases like Rosie, where, you know, her social media has just kind of added fuel to the flames, bluntly, and is indefensible.
It’s our responsibility to step up to the mark not just the responsibility of trans people, but the responsibility of allies to to make sure that where these issues up debates are offered up for debate, and where there are arguments to be won, that we are there making the arguments, it means we need to give less airtime to those spouting ill informed views, whether through the columnists of Sunday newspapers, or the Twitter feeds of MPs, including, sadly, sometimes Labour MPs.”
Wes even suggested that it was ‘reasonable’ to assess the behaviour of people like Duffield as ‘intolerant’: “I understand why people are going, actually why should I be patient? And why should I tolerate people who are intolerant towards me? I think that is actually a really reasonable position, by the way.”
Rosie Duffield was recently placed under investigation by the Labour Party after she shared an article which referred to the “transgender thought police”. At the weekend, she shared a ten-part Twitter thread defending her ‘gender-critical beliefs’, including that ‘male-bodied’ people should not be able to enter protected spaces for women, such as ‘school toilets’. For this she received another torrent of abuse…