Two Whitehall Departments Held Seven Meetings to Debate Stonewall Exit

Two Whitehall departments have confirmed they held a series of panicked meetings debating how to quit Stonewall’s controversial (and lucrative) Diversity Champions programme. Rather than solving the housing crisis or reducing the NHS backlog, new FoI responses reveal both the Department for Levelling Up and the Department for Health had a total of seven meetings – two at DLUHC, five at DHSC – trying to hash out the terms of their divorce with the group before eventually announcing they were pulling out. A Civil Service source described the discussions to Guido as “crisis meetings”…

FoIs were also sent to the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Justice, BEIS, and the BBC. The Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Justice both issued Section 12 notices, claiming it would simply take too long to determine how much time they spent debating the issue. BEIS and the BBC ignored the requests altogether. Guido can only assume it was because the meetings were so brief they just forgot to record any minutes.

TaxPayers’ Alliance research director Duncan Simpson said:

“Civil servants should be spending their time delivering high quality but cost-effective public services, not on navel-gazing discussions about the minute details of the diversity agenda.”

This all emerges in the wake of the government’s new Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategywhich is supposedly designed to “ensure value for taxpayers money.” Although the MoD was still busy tweeting definitions of ‘queer’ and ‘questioning’ as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine…

 

mdi-timer 25 February 2022 @ 14:09 25 Feb 2022 @ 14:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Jolyon’s Partygate Funds Quietly Reappropriated Towards Woke Culture War Battle

Last month the Good Law Project raised over £100,000 in donations to “force” the Metropolitan Police to investigate Partygate, only for the Met to announce they were already planning to do so; Jolyon’s expected legal fight never came. The £100,000 raised for that specific campaign isn’t being returned to donors, however, as the Crown Justice FAQs page make clearInstead, that cash is being redirected – making the assumption that donors who care about Partygate will equally care about all the Good Law Project’s cases…

Jolyon and his GLP chums have now picked their new battle: backing Stonewall’s campaign to revoke the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s status as an independent group over its “determinedly anti-trans stance“. This stance supposedly revealed itself after the EHRC asked Scotland to pause plans to make it easier for people to switch gender on their birth certificate – at least until “more detailed consideration” was provided. Co-conspirators will note how different this case is to Partygate, which is the reason the GLP has an extra £100,000 in its coffers…

It’s only buried in the small print of their crowdfunding pages that the GLP admit donations may be funnelled elsewhere, though not with any specific details. If the money is going to be spent on virtually anything that takes Jolyon’s fancy, the GLP could quite easily just promote their general donation page with no reference to specific cases. They don’t do that, because they know it would be far less lucrative…

It’s also worth bearing in mind the GLP is happy to take credit for judgements that aren’t even their own, as the Dido Harding case yesterday proved. Jolyon’s blog and self-congratulatory video made no mention of the fact that his claim “failed in its entirety“. Something that’s also surely relevant to his donors…

mdi-timer 16 February 2022 @ 10:35 16 Feb 2022 @ 10:35 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Quits Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme

Following in the footsteps of Ofcom and the EHRC, the BBC has finally announced it’s ditching Stonewall’s controversial “Diversity Champions Programme” over impartiality concerns. In a statement released this afternoon, the broadcaster said:

“The BBC is fully committed to being an industry-leading employer on LGBTQ+ inclusion. We are proud of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans colleagues and we support them to have fulfilling careers at the BBC.

“Along with many other UK employers, the BBC has participated in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme to support our objective to create a fully inclusive workplace. However, over time our participation in the Programme has led some to question whether the BBC can be impartial when reporting on public policy debates where Stonewall is taking an active role.

“After careful consideration, we believe it is time to step back from the Diversity Champions Programme and will also no longer participate in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index […] As a broadcaster, we have our own values and editorial standards – these are clearly set out and published in our Editorial Guidelines. We are also governed by the Royal Charter and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. Our journalists continue, as ever, to report a full range of perspectives on stories.”

This was a long time coming. Given the number of private bodies that’ve already retracted their support for the group – not to mention Liz Truss’s own calls for government departments to do the same – it was only a matter of time before the BBC had to act: it could hardly claim to be impartial while standing alongside a group that compared mainstream gender critical beliefs to antisemitism. Still, at least Stonewall have enough taxpayers’ cash to chug along a little while longer…

mdi-timer 10 November 2021 @ 13:01 10 Nov 2021 @ 13:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Stonewall’s Had Over £3 Million of Taxpayers’ Money Since 2018

A new investigation by the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has revealed that 327 public bodies – including the NHS – have paid a combined total of over £3 million to Stonewall, the controversial LGBT+ charity and lobbying group, in the past three years. This is in addition to the government grant income, which totalled £2.6 million, between 2015-19.

The investigation also found that 86 universities (over two-thirds of the UK’s total) were signed up to Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme, which has been under scrutiny for insisting female-only services be abolished – and was even criticised by Equalities Minister Liz Truss, who urged government departments to withdraw from the programme. Apparently Goldsmith’s even paid £326 for its students to have the pleasure of attending a ‘Queering Children’s Literature’ event last year…

The NHS, meanwhile, has sent the group a cool £466,065 since 2018. Guido presumes those lessons on gender-neutral spaces went to good use during the pandemic.

mdi-timer 9 August 2021 @ 10:53 9 Aug 2021 @ 10:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Stonewall Received £2.6 Million in Government Grants Between 2015-2019

Despite Liz Truss, Equalities Minster, urging all government departments to withdraw from Stonewall’s employment scheme, the controversial LGBT+ charity has received over £2.6 million in government grants between 2015-2019. Guido wonders why the taxpayers are subsidising Stonewall’s extreme lobbying… 

The Department of Education has spent the most, handing out an eye-watering £934,424 to Stonewall between 2015-2019. In descending order, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office has paid £660,028 for Stonewall’s services, the Welsh Government £552,326, the Scottish Government £390,000 and NHS Scotland £79,324. Guido imagines taxpayers will be frustrated that their money is being wasted this way… 

Stonewall – which has campaigned for all female-only services to be abolished since 2015 – additionally offers 250 departments and public bodies guidance on issues like gender-neutral spaces, pronouns, and transgender inclusion, meaning the total cost to taxpayers is likely much higher than the £2.6 million reported by the Taxpayers’ Alliance. Whilst Stonewall is using government money to push its new free to be campaign, taxpayers have noticed that Stonewall is definitely not free for them… 

mdi-timer 14 June 2021 @ 11:15 14 Jun 2021 @ 11:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Pink News CEO Picks Fight with Today Programme’s Justin Webb Over Stonewall Controversy

Pink News CEO Benjamin Cohen caused quite a stir on the Today Programme this morning, after accusing the BBC of hosting “two different gay people [to talk] about trans issues […] without a single trans voice” following Liz Truss’s call for government departments to leave Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme – and the charity’s boss suggesting that freedom of speech ‘has limits‘ in the context of LGBT rights. It was possibly the most raucous exchange Guido’s ever heard on Radio 4

Clearly spoiling for a fight, Cohen also attacked presenter Justin Webb for introducing the issue despite being “cisgender”*, and suggested the coverage of Stonewall’s new “free to be” strategy reflected a “a homophobic and transphobic media frame”. The usually even-measured Webb managed to lose his patience, telling Cohen “you don’t know anything about me”, and insisting he stay on track. All very loud for an early Tuesday morning…

UPDATE:  Listeners heard denials that Stonewall want to allow trans-women into women’s refuges. Stonewall has made repeated calls for exemptions – which allow for female-only services – to be abolished. That is the logic of claiming “trans-women are women”. This is their long-standing position, see the August 2015 Stonewall submission to the Women & Equalities Select Committee:

  • A review of the Equality Act 2010 to include ‘gender identity’ rather than ‘gender reassignment’ as a protected characteristic and to remove exemptions, such as access to single-sex spaces

This is just one of the reasons why feminists have had enough and are at loggerheads with Stonewall.

*Normal.

mdi-timer 8 June 2021 @ 09:05 8 Jun 2021 @ 09:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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