It seems like the neverending push for wokeness hit the buffers this week as both the Labour leadership and Nicola Sturgeon managed to unite on the tricky question of whether a male sex offender pretending to identify as a trans woman should be housed in a women’s prison. The news comes as unfortunate timing for the SNP given their recent virtue signalling over gender self-ID, which opponents warned would lead to absurdities like this and who were called bigots for doing so.
Given both Yvette Cooper told the Today Programme that “This dangerous rapist should not be in a woman’s prison”, Guido reckons there may be some awkwardness around the shadow cabinet table.
Back when she was campaigning to become Labour leader, Lisa Nady was asked directly whether men identifying as women should be allowed in women’s prisons. The questioner used the 2018 example of a child rapist who was convicted and then went onto claim he was a woman. Nandy was asked whether he should be accommodated in a women’s or a men’s prison…
“I believe fundamentally in people’s right to self ID… so I think that crimes that are recorded should be recorded as that person wishes.”
“You asked about whether trans people should be in women’s or men’s prisons. I think trans women are woman and trans men are men. So I think they should be accommodated in the prison of their choosing.”
Labour and the SNP now claiming that this trans rapist is not a woman despite the individual’s claim to the contrary entirely undermines the ‘trans x are x’ argument…
In news that may take co-conspirators back to Labour’s 2020 leadership contest, Lisa Nandy has broken from Keir Starmer on the issue of trans rights. Speaking to Times Radio, the Shadow Cabinet minister undermined Sir Keir’s stance that children shouldn’t transition medically. Nandy criticised the “bureaucracy” and “hurdles” that prevented a trans 13 year-old in her constituency getting treatment. When pressed on whether a teenager could self-certify, she said:
“I think they deserve to be taken seriously. 18 is largely the age where we believe that young people become adults and can make decisions for themselves. But we do have, we do have inconsistencies in the law in this country. We believe, for example, that there are certain things that you can do at the age of 12, like the age of criminal responsibility”
On this rare occasion, Guido is siding with Starmer.
Lisa Nandy graced the Institute for Government conference this afternoon, only to be welcomed and endorsed by an audience member who openly admitted to being a serving senior civil servant. The audience member introduced herself as Grace Duffy, and told the Labour frontbencher “it’s so great to have you.”
“Hi, I’m Grace Duffy from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities! No it’s so great to have you. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about your views on how we address the problems in the housing market, particularly the role of the private renting sector. I was particularly struck by the comment you made about housing being a human right and how that relates to the view of not just the private renting sector but housing as either a financial product or as an investment; and how that relates to the human rights thing.
Also as someone who just moved out of London, just strong agree on the buses, it is such an enourmous source of frustration.”
Using her question to twice agree with her boss’s opponent seems like a pretty cut-and-dry incident of breaching the Civil Service Code, which requires the blob to “maintain political impartiality… no matter what your own political beliefs are.” It adds, “You must not: act in a way that is determined by party political considerations”. Grace Duffy is the Head of Private Rented Sector Dispute Resolution & Non-Traditional Tenures. She’s been a civil servant since 2014 – surely she should know better…
The Sun got an interesting briefing from the Shadow Chancellor’s office on Sunday night, revealing that Rachel Reeves is now backing a freeze of fuel duty to “help hard-pressed motorists”. Freezing fuel duty given current rates of inflation would cost the taxpayers around £6 billion…
Reeves told the paper:
“With so many families and businesses reliant on their cars, the government must rule out yet another fuel duty rise at the Budget to ease some of those pressures and prevent yet another shock to our economy.”
However given major questions about whether voters can trust a word Sir Keir’s Labour says, Reeves will struggle to explain why she appears to have performed such a volte-face on the issue of freezing fuel duty.
Responding to Rishi’s March 2020 budget, the then-backbencher Reeves slammed the government for spending £2.7 billion on “yet another fuel duty freeze”, despite COP26 in Glasgow being just around the corner:
“Yet what have we had in the Budget today? We have had £27 billion to invest in 4,000 miles of roads, and the fuel duty freeze, which costs £2.7 billion, but just £6 billion for local transport and a mere £140 million for a one-year extension of the electric vehicle grants. Frankly, that does not speak of a Government who recognise the scale of the challenge we face”
Later on, she tweeted that “yet another fuel duty freeze” was the sign the government “don’t recognise the challenge of the climate emergency.”
It wasn’t just Reeves slamming the government’s now-relatively modest spending on a fuel duty freeze. Lisa Nandy, the now-Shadow Levelling Up secretary also slammed the decision given:
“Car usage is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – but instead of investment in low carbon transport, they’ve frozen fuel duty.”
We’re now supposed to believe the Labour Party sincerely believes in spending £6 billion on freezing fuel duty. Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides – provided voters can afford to fill up their cars…
Two explosive reports into alleged corruption at Unite the Union – Labour’s biggest donor – have been handed to the police today, after both probes found evidence of “eye-watering” overcharging on contracts and “potential criminality”. Their HQ was already raided by police earlier this year…
The investigations were conducted by a KC and an accounting firm respectively, with a source telling Sky News today:
“There was pricing and overcharging that would make your eyes bleed […] There are such discrepancies in the money that the police may want to take things further.”
Unite boss Sharon Graham has now insisted the reports won’t be published until the police probe is over, although given McClusky’s Birmingham hotel complex – the one that was supposed to cost £7 million – somehow ended up costing nearly £100 million, it’s not hard to imagine why the KC has a few questions.
Of course, it was only yesterday when Lisa Nandy had this to say on Times Radio about the unions filling Labour’s coffers:
“I would far rather be taking money from ordinary working people, whether it’s our paramedics, or our postal workers, or our ambulance workers to support the labour movement […] This is the cleanest money in British politics.“
24 hours is obviously a long time in politics. Guido feels Rayner would have already published a screeching letter were this about a major Tory donor…