Second time lucky for Sir Keir today, as he again attempted to answer Labour’s impossible question: can a woman have a penis? Anneliese Dodds says they can’t, Stella Creasey says they can. The last time Starmer had a go at answering this question, he claimed he doesn’t “like intolerance” and then floundered for three minutes without giving a yes or a no. Today was only slightly better…
“…For the vast majority of women, biology is what matters and it’s very clear that they don’t have a penis. But let’s not leave out of account that there is a small minority of individuals who were born in a gender they don’t now identify with. Some go through a process, others don’t, and that is very traumatic for them. And I for one am going to respect and support them, and I think that’s, actually, when most people step back from this they think, ‘well that’s a fair assessment Keir, 99.9% of women, it’s all biology’… but let’s not pretend, or disparage, or fail to support a small group of people who actually struggle with their gender identity. And I think that we all can resolve this if we approach it in that spirit.”
Biology matters… until it doesn’t.
Simon Hoare isn’t the only one to back Will Smith today in the story that’s quickly dividing SW1. LBC host Nick Ferrari also threw his weight behind the Hollywood actor for his chivalrous slapping today, claiming he’d have done “exactly what Mr. Smith [did]” – only he’d have given Rock “60 seconds to apologise” before giving him a whack across the jaw.
Speaking to a caller this morning, Ferrari laid out exactly how he’d have decked the A-lister in front of the watching millions:
“I would have done exactly what Mr. Smith [did], and I’d have marched up to Mr. Rock and I would have said, ‘you’ve got 60 seconds to apologise, otherwise I’m going to thump you. 60 seconds to apologise. Now.’ 60 seconds to apologise, otherwise he’s going down.”
No doubt a few of these chest-beaters have had their partners whispering in their ears this morning…
Guido’s Twitter followers thought by a 3 to 1 margin Will Smith was in the wrong:
Was Will Smith right to slap Chris Rock for mocking his wife?— Media Guido (@MediaGuido) March 28, 2022
Mrs Fawkes disagrees…
A bombshell threat from Robert Halfon this morning after yesterday’s boycott of his Eductation Committee by the NUS. The student union’s petulant move came after the scandal of them inviting notorious rapper Lowkey to their annual conference, then suggesting any offended Jews go and hide in one of their safe spaces. Responding to Halfon calling them out yesterday the organisation tweeted that the committee was “bullying them”. Turns out the National Union of Students have the temperament of primary, not university students…
Some MPs out there got it twisted today. Let’s set a few things straight
1. MPs and education leaders are accountable to us not the other way round
2. Old school bullying culture is never acceptable including at govt committees
— NUS UK #NewVisionForEducation⚡ (@nusuk) March 22, 2022
On LBC this morning Halfon said if the group continues refusing to sit before his parliamentary committee they could be referred to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission for what appears to be a Corbynesque bout of Antisemitism. About time some would say…
UPDATE 11 April, 2022: Robert Halfon has today written to the Charity Commission calling together with Campaign Against Antisemitism for a statutory inquiry into the National Union of Students (NUS).
In his letter, Halfon writes to “voice my dismay at the actions and behaviour of the National Union of Students and its trustees, in regards to their treatment of Jewish students and the Jewish community’s concerns regarding antisemitism. Together with Campaign Against Antisemitism…I politely request that the Commission launch a Section 46 inquiry, pursuant to the 2011 Charities Act into the NUS and look forward to receiving your response.”
He enclosed a dossier of evidence by Campaign Against Antisemitism detailing how NUS has failed Jewish students, he is “particularly concerned about the enclosed dossier of antisemitic events that have taken place within the NUS over the past several years — and which come following decades of concerning trends — which was prepared by CAA.”
The full dossier on NUS, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, can be read at antisemitism.org/nus.
The first and currently only hospital patient to die with Omicron was unvaccinated, according to a close relative appearing on LBC this morning. Speaking to Nick Ferrari, the stepson of the man who died earlier this week claimed that he had been taken in by “conspiracy theories”, and refused to take the vaccine despite being in his early 70s:
“He thought it was a conspiracy. He was an intelligent man but it’s all these different things you are getting from online and different media things… He wasn’t vaccinated at all.”
According to the latest figures, there are currently 15 people in hospital with Omicron, an increase of 5 since Tuesday…
It seems Ferrari had him over a pork-barrel…
A classic morning media round bombing by care minister Helen Whately this morning. Asked by Nick Ferrari whether Gavin Williamson’s confusion of two black English sports stars was down to racism or incompetence, Whately defended him by saying “I don’t know”:
Ferrari: Is he racist or incompetent?
Whately: You’ll forgive for for saying, I again have probably seen no more of this than what you have seen
Ferrari: What more do you need? He’s mixed up two prominent English black sportsmen, he’s got them the wrong way round, I repeat my question – is this through incompetence or racism?
Whately: Honestly I don’t know
Ferrari: So it could be racism?
Whately: He’s put out his explanation and there’s really nothing more than I can say about it.
Looks like both Whately and Williamson should be grateful there’s no reshuffle today…