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Out: Labour is about collective action. I’m listening to you. In: Take the debate off social media. Only experts should comment.

Here is Angela Rayner MP writing in the website Labour List on 13th January 2020 and making her pitch to Labour members for the job of Leader of the Labour Party: “Leadership starts with listening – and I want to hear from you”

As a trade union organiser for most of my life, I know this isn’t done through top-down structures. Our movement’s story is of collective action to achieve change. I don’t have all the answers – no one person does. But I know a few million people who can help.

That’s why I’m asking members, affiliates, councillors, candidates and everyone across the movement what you think we need to do. It starts with the lessons to learn from the election campaign but it goes much deeper than that – we haven’t won an election since 2005 and have lost support in too many areas of the country.

How should we be campaigning as a party? Is there something your CLP or branch is doing that you think everyone should know about? What resources and technology would really get us moving? What frustrates you – but also what inspires you? To be blunt: what went wrong this time, what can we do better and where do we need wholesale change? You can tell me here.

She didn’t get the top job, that went to Sir Keir Starmer. However Ms Rayner is currently Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

The slogan “Labour is listening” still gets plenty of Google hits, mostly linked to the websites of local Labour parties. However Angela Rayner has no time for that stuff any more.

Conor Clark of Gay Times reports, ‘Angela Rayner says discussion on trans rights “shouldn’t be debased into a debate”’

Angela Rayner said “debate” over transgender rights needs to be taken “away from commentators” as it “debases the serious issues” at hand.

During an appearance on Sky News on 29 March, Kay Burley questioned the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party on whether or not the world has “gone mad” because of people “struggling” to say whether or not a woman can have a penis.

Her question followed Sir Keir Starmer declining to answer the question during a radio interview a day earlier.

“This really upsets me because I think about a young person who’s struggling at the moment, who’s struggling with their identity, and when we’re having a social media or a debate around whether someone’s, what genitalia someone’s got, I think it really debases the serious issues that people face in their lives,” Rayner told Burley.

“There [are] protections for women and women that are in vulnerable situations, and we should also be looking after our young people who may be facing identity crises and making sure they get the help and support they need. When we debase it to whether or not what genitalia you’ve got, I think all that does is damage people and it doesn’t help us go forward on some of the real issues that people are facing.”

Trans rights are often the source of a so-called “debate” in the media, particularly when it comes to topics like self-ID.

Rayner called for these discussions to be taken “away from commentators” and handled by professionals instead.

She added: “Sure, we have to take everybody into account, and that’s why it shouldn’t be debased into a debate that is being had in media by people who are not qualified to discuss some of these issues.”

This tweet by Kay Burley contains a video clip of the words in question. Gay Times‘s summary of Angela Rayner’s words is fairly accurate – correcting her grammar in the first sentence of the quote did not change the meaning of what was said – but by presenting Angela Rayner’s words in a different order to that in which they were said, Mr Clark’s report makes them appear both more coherent and more benign than they actually were. Given that Mr Clark goes on to put scare quotes around the word “debate” in

Trans rights are often the source of a so-called “debate” in the media, particularly when it comes to topics like self-ID”

perhaps I should not have been surprised that he saw nothing wrong in Rayner’s suggestion that debate about gender should be “taken off” social media. However I am rather shocked that neither Kay Burley herself nor any other media outlet picked up on the implications of:

Rayner called for these discussions to be taken “away from commentators” and handled by professionals instead.

Her exact words at 0:35 were “I think we should be taking it off social media, taking it away from commentators and actually having…”

She never does say what “we” should be actually having, but abruptly changes course mid-sentence to saying that there are protections in place for “women in vulnerable situations”, which is another topic entirely. It sounds to me as if she started to say something nakedly authoritarian and then stopped herself. I would have liked to hear the end of the sentence. Who is the “we” that she thinks should be taking the debate off social media? Politicians? Labour politicians? The bosses of social media companies? The least alarming answer would be “we as a society should take the debate off social media”, but even that is a far cry from the egalitarian way she talked in 2020 when she sought the aid of “a few million people” to set the direction of the Labour party and hence, she hoped, the country. But that relatively benign meaning of Angela Rayner’s “we” – a call for us all to refrain from talking about the gender issue on social media – does not seem the most likely meaning. Later at 1:20 she says, “Sure we have to take everybody into account and that’s why it shouldn’t be debased into a debate that’s being had on media by people who are not qualified to discuss some of these issues.”

Most commentary on social media – read it while you still can – has centred around Angela Rayner’s answer to the question “Can a woman have a penis?” As I have said before, there is no one answer to that question and “there would be more scope for respectful compromise if people could agree to differ on the definition and get down to questions of what to do in difficult cases.” But there is a world of difference between “agree to differ” and “be forbidden to express your opinion if it differs from that of ‘experts'”. If Angela Rayner does not believe that non-experts should debate these matters, it is difficult to see why she believes that non-experts should be allowed to vote on them.

“All right then,” some may say, “what should we do in difficult cases?” Actually there is a simple answer, with a proven track record of success in reducing conflict. It is called “freedom of association”. The difficulty arises in having the self-restraint to apply it. It is hard for human beings not to exercise power.

36 comments to Out: Labour is about collective action. I’m listening to you. In: Take the debate off social media. Only experts should comment.

  • I think we should be taking it off social media, taking it away from commentators

    Presumably because they see the entire argument over “Are trans-women women?” as being both toxic and counterproductive to getting their leftwing supporters elected, most of whom support “The Tranny Delusion”.

    Meanwhile, the public at large sees this whole morass of “A bloke in a dress is a women” as nonsensical and anyone espousing such views is more deserving of incarceration in the loony bin than elected office.

    The only way this nonsense is going to end is ordinary women fighting back on the basis of “Want my vote? Respect female spaces” and such, rather than the rather narrow debate of whether trans-women are women (Hat Tip: They ain’t).

  • Mr Ed

    I saw an interview with Starlet (auto-correct) Starmer the other day on Talk Radio, he was asked the ‘trap’ question about what is a woman and he said he didn’t want to debate that, then said he wanted a debate in the Party about these things. Sadly the interviewer let this selective debate approach pass.

  • Katy Hibbert

    Power has gone to the daffy slapper’s empty head. Nature abhors a vacuum.

  • NickM

    I see no debate. I see people like JK Rowling stating basic biological facts and people (most terribly of all Radcliffe, Watson and Grint) just shouting her down. I’ve seen people with placards saying “Suck my trans-dick you TERF cunt” outside lesbian meetings and such. Apart from being a public threat of sexual assault it is totally contra the idea of what a lesbian actually is – a woman who exclusively fancies women – women with a vagina, not a penis. The implosion of the left over this is staggering. They have efectively destroyed Graham Linehan’s career and marriage. Rowling and Linehan having always been lefties.

    Tell ya what I think… This is probably nothing to do with the majority of the trans-community (whatever that actually is) and certainly nothing to do with the physiologically diagnosable trans conditions such as AIS but it’s just activists (many of whom are probably not even self-identifying as trans) but it’s down to activists just activating the same way painters keep on painting and brickies keep laying bricks. It is what they do. It is what they are. At least Alexander wept when he discovered no more Worlds to conquer. After getting gay marriage through what was left? It’s not like they were going to go out and get proper jobs so nothing remained but a fight against their greatest foe of all, reality.

    I’m vaguely amazed in this whole shit-storm nobody seems to have reffed Life of Brian

  • Paul Marks

    The Labour Party was always an odd alliance – an odd alliance of working class trade union people, and insane “intellectuals” such as the Fabians and the Bloomsbury Set (with their Cambridge Apostles Club links).

    Long BEFORE Frankfurt School Marxism came along, the Fabians (for example H.G. Wells) and the Bloomsbury Set were pushing every form of perversion they could think of – for the purpose of undermining society.

    People such as Herbert Marcuse may have thought they were breaking new ground – but really they were treading a very old path (old even before the Fabians started to get going back in the late 19th century).

    Angela Reyner is famous for her “working class accent” – but it is clear that the lady has broken with ordinary people, and is firmly on the side of the “intellectual” (i.e. raving lunatic) side of the Labour Party, which has taken over completely.

    As Cicero pointed out more than two thousand years ago – there are some things that are so absurd that only a “philosopher” will believe them, as no ordinary person would be so demented. And the “Trans Rights for kids” (sexual mutilation of children) movement is one of these things.

    By the way – Joseph Biden got there first, in a television “Town Hall” in 2020 he supported “Trans rights” for EIGHT YEAR OLD CHILDREN.

    I thought this would derail the campaign of Mr Biden – but hardly anyone, other than me, seemed to watch Biden/Harris “campaign events”, with the “campaign” relying on millions of “mail-in ballots” (which had nothing to do with actual voters) instead.

  • Paul Marks

    Rule of Collectivist intellectuals? Nothing new – goes back to Plato.

    Shove the word “scientific” before the word intellectuals – again nothing new, it goes back to the demented ideas of the French Collectivist Saint-Simon in the early 19th century, and indeed back to Sir Francis Bacon “The New Atlantis” 1610.

    They would have loved filth such as Tony Fauci, Francis Collins and Peter “Eco Alliance” Daszak – what is a few million dead from Covid 19, as long it pushes the Progressive (i.e. Collectivist) “cause”.

  • I have known two “women with penises”. One definitely seemed like a woman. The other definitely did not. This is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ situation, and collectivists cannot accept that.

  • Martin

    The transindustrial complex are complete psychopaths. They do have quite a disproportionate influence on the western left (and pathetic establishment ‘conservatives’), however they do seem to increasingly alienate normies, especially women, from the left. Especially regarding the sports. Hearing leftists saying a man won a woman’s event solely because they have more talent….it’s laughable

  • “people who are not qualified to discuss some of these issues.”

    I treat with scorn the idea that ‘intellectuals’ should be regarded as qualified. On the contrary, never has Orwell’s saying seemed more relevant:

    One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe a thing like that; no ordinary man could be such a fool.

    But, for the record, maybe Angela should be reminded that she

    “left school at 16 years old while pregnant and with no qualifications”

    and the phrasing of

    “She later studied at college for qualifications in care work and sign language”

    does not make it entirely clear whether she got them or not. So she would be demanding her own silencing – were it not that by ‘qualified’ she means ‘agrees with the narrative’.

    Angela also says “it is unacceptable to ask a trans woman if they have a penis”. Investigating an accusation of rape will be complicated by this rule – but not only that. Time for another Orwell quote

    “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

    That can include the right to ask them questions they do not want to answer – especially when the people being asked are the deputy head of the Labour party and her boss.

  • That can include the right to ask them questions they do not want to answer – especially when the people being asked are the deputy head of the Labour party and her boss.

    Not just questions they do not want to answer, but specifically questions which they cannot answer without alienating the general public on one hand or the leftist lunatics under “The Tranny Delusion” on the other.

    As others mention, who on earth would want to voluntarily join Graham Linehan and JK Rowling in the purgatory of anti-trannydom.

    Plebs like you and I who understand the basic principle that “Men have a penis and women have a vagina” are explicitly excluded as being too ignorant and unqualified.

    As feminist Kellie-Jay Keen said of the US swimming tranny Lia “Strapping Bill” Thomas the other day “I’m not a vet, but I know what a dog is“.

  • NickM

    John Galt,
    They have truly buggered Linehan but I suspect Rowling is too big (and loved) figure for them to genuinely impact her. As to the Kellie-Jay Keen quote – that’s good – JKR has three children and is married to a medical doctor. I somehow suspect facts like that qualify her far more on the subject of being a woman than any qualification twiiter trolls and side-walk social scientist ranters might have…

    Anyway, would it be illogical for me to identify as a Vulcan?

  • Anyway, would it be illogical for me to identify as a Vulcan?

    Feel free to identify as Vulcan, Mr. Spock, Squirrel Nutkin or an attack helicopter for all I care. You do you.

    Where I draw the line is pretending that some pedo can pull the “I’m a woman” gag and, while fully possessed of cock-and-balls, wander around the girls changing room bollock naked and any girls or women who object are treated as if they’d just shit on the Queen.

    That way madness lies.

    These low ability MALE athletes who suddenly transform (like butterflies) into trannies to leap across the entire field of genuine female athletes for medals, sponsorship and money are repugnant.

    This applies to the newly trannyfied competition cyclist in the UK who thought he could pull the same stunt as Lia “Strapping Bill” Thomas did in the swimming. Fortunately the organisers of cycling poured cold water on that pretty damn quickly. This sort of thing gets out of control fast.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Someone should remind Emma Watson that she was playing a role in the Harry Potter movies, and that no matter how much she self-identifies as a witch, her spells won’t work!

  • NickM

    Someone should remind Emma Watson she’d be doing bit-parts in regional rep (at best) if it wasn’t for JKR who was deeply involved in the casting of the movies.

  • Someone should remind Emma Watson that she was playing a role in the Harry Potter movies, and that no matter how much she self-identifies as a witch, her spells won’t work!

    Certainly her beauty potion ain’t working any more. Karma is very quick these days.

  • george m weinberg

    One problem with trusting the experts is identifying who the experts are, and what is the nature of their expertise. In STEM experts generally really are experts, because they are dealing wit objective facts. Grievance studies are more like theology. They’re not experts in what is true, just in what their religion teaches. I think the “experts” referred to here are in fact theologians.

  • @George M Weinberg:

    All science is either physics or stamp collecting
    – Lord Rutherford

  • They have truly buggered Linehan

    So true, but Linehan is also such a vile shit I find it hard to give a damn.

  • Flubber

    I think it was Starkey that comparted the current situation to the introduction of the printing press.

    At that point the stranglehold of the priest class over the contents of the bible was broken, and the people could see for themselves that what the bishops were telling them was in the bible actually wasn’t.

    Now the situation is even more barmy, as they left are actually trying to rewrite the “bible” – i.e. actual reality, and people can freely say “your talking shite” (for the time being)

    Hence the desperate attempts to say, only the priest class can interpret reality.

  • ajchristopher

    The effect of Labour getting so involved in trans politics looks like extending their election losing run. There seems so little upside for them. But they can’t help themselves I suppose.

    Contrast that with the US and it seems to me that this issue isn’t rebounding on the Democrats at all (inflation is, of course). That’s my impression anyway. I wonder why this is.

  • bobby b

    I remember back in my youth, reciting the Apostle’s Creed on Sundays. This contained those prime beliefs that differentiated the Lutherans from the rest. Accept them all, or you were not truly a Lutheran. These were not up for discussion.

    Now we have the Woke Creed.

  • Roué le Jour

    Standard leftist argument when democracy doesn’t do what they want. See also “Education shouldn’t be a ‘political football’.”

  • John

    I see that a certain MP has disappeared off the news pages with remarkable speed before attention could shift from his conveniently timed Kevin Spacey style coming out to the actual event he might possibly be anxious to gloss over.

    Doubtless Mrs Rayner would fall into line with her colleagues from all parties who have spoken up with their unquestioning support and misplaced tributes indicating that the word “brave” is now as unfathomable to our leaders is as “woman”.

  • Contrast that with the US and it seems to me that this issue isn’t rebounding on the Democrats at all (inflation is, of course). (ajchristopher, April 2, 2022 at 9:21 pm)

    I’ve seen claims that it demonstrably is hurting the Dems in the US, both in ‘purple’ states and in hardline D areas. (And also in hardline R ones, though I guess that matters less politically except insofar as the rest of the US sees it – we’ll see how the Florida v. Disney fight pans out).

    I’ll let readers who live in the US comment on the accuracy of those claims, merely noting that it is news to me if their inability to define the word ‘woman’ “isn’t rebounding on the Democrats at all”.


    BTW, speaking of ‘our US readers’ (presumably peacefully asleep while I type this), I can imagine that the comment above (John, April 3, 2022 at 6:03 am) might be a bit opaque to them. I presume John is thinking of this just-out-as-trans Tory MP:

    In September Wallis says he “hooked up” with someone from online, who raped Jamie after refused to wear a condom, saying this awful incident caused them to stop being himself and was the cause of the widely-reported car crash on 28th November from which he fled the scene due to PTSD.

    I’m wondering whether the Tory party’s methods of recruiting and researching its MPs are quite all they could be – and feel that, in the case of Jamie Wallis, I could defend having these doubts without reference to the specific issue of the MP-for-Bridgend’s very recent announcement – at 03:00 hours last Wednesday morning (perhaps, like Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Jamie thinks that “not to be abed after midnight is to be up betimes”; there would be a degree of philosophic consistency in it).

  • Which is what is happening – ‘Respect my sex if you want my x’.

    We’ll see how Ange tackles that!

  • We’re back to ‘A Man For All Seasons’ territory again, so soon.

    Yes, Linehan is not my favourite person, but what was done to him by the activists was appalling. And a warning of worse to come, to others we might care about.

  • bobby b

    April 2, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    “Contrast that with the US and it seems to me that this issue isn’t rebounding on the Democrats at all (inflation is, of course) . . .”

    Niall Kilmartin
    April 3, 2022 at 7:36 am

    “I’ll let readers who live in the US comment on the accuracy of those claims . . .”

    A US reader:

    The “trans issue” is one of a large group of related gender/sex/identity issues that are one of two main drivers of the parent-vs-schoolboard movement across the country. This movement has been responsible for a large portion of the Democrats’ current pain.

    It took everyone by surprise when a small group of parents started pushing back and being inspirational, and everyone else looked at each other and nodded and started pushing back themselves and now school board meetings all over are actually entertaining.

  • I agree with Bobby B, and it probably cost the Democrats the election in Virginia last year.

  • Paul Marks

    Flubber – it goes off topic, but the historical example you raise from Dr Starkey does need bit more looking at.

    Dr Luther took books out of the Bible, translated what was left in a way that served his point of view, and when it was pointed out to him that the Epistle of James (a book he had left in the Bible) contradicted what his teaching (even in his own translation), declared it was an “Epistle of Straw”.

    So it was not really the case that reading the Bible in German (or English) revealed new things that had not been there in the Latin translation – rather the reverse.

    Back in the Middle Ages, Roger Bacon had suggested that to really know the Bible one should learn Ancient Greek and Hebrew (so one did not have to rely on a Latin translation of the New Testament and the Old Testament) – but that is a lot of hard work (I have NOT done it).

    Even during the Roman Empire, Augustine did not do that – learning Hebrew would have been out of the ordinary, but learning Greek would have been normal for a Roman gentleman.

    Augustine was unusual (for someone of his social background and profession) in NOT knowing Greek. But Augustine was a expert in ecclesiastical politics (and had strong connections – such as Bishop Ambrose of Milan) as so was (and is) revered as the leading theologian of the West.

    Far from breaking with Augustine (more than a thousand years later) – both Martin Luther and John Calvin were MORE (rather than less) influenced by Augustine than the Catholic Church (which had declared him saint – and condemned his opponents, such as Pelagius) was.

    Remember the central features of Augustine – Predestination (he may not have invented the idea – but he certainly popularised it), downplaying reason, and stressing faith – rather than what people do.

    These are all very strong in both Martin Luther and John Calvin.

    The Anglican Church has a rather more complicated theological history – but it is not fashionable to take the subject seriously. Dr Starkey – historical Anglicanism being a “form of Shinto” where “the English worshipped themselves” and his assumption being that Anglicans in past centuries did not take Christianity seriously, is certainly not isolated – his polite contempt is the norm.

    If one looks at which British philosophers are fashionable, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, J.S. Mill….. one thing that they have in common is their atheism (either open or thinly disguised).

    Of course it quite possible to believe in human personhood but also hold that it dies with the body – Alexander of Aphrodisias (the great Commentator on Aristotle) pointed that out in Roman times – but the British philosophers who are currently fashionable did NOT take that road.

    They did not say that human personhood (the soul in the Aristotelian sense) exists but dies with the body – they just (openly or in a disguised way) just denied that human persons exist at all.

    Humans, as described by Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham or even J.S. Mill, are NOT persons.

    This is what the old philosophers described as a matter of the “nature of man” – rather than a political matter, although it does have profound political implications. In that, if human persons (the reasoning “I”, the soul in the Aristotelian sense) do not exist, then rights-against-the-state are indeed “nonsense” and natural-rights-against-the-state are indeed “nonsense on stilts”.

  • staghounds

    Can’t get much more nakedly authoritarian than “we should be taking it off social media, taking it away from commentators”?

    All this trans stuff is a nice distraction, but the scary thing to me is that the next deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom so easily assumes that “we” will be deciding what people are forbidden to talk about on the basis of what she doesn’t want them to talk about.

  • Paul Marks

    staghounds – good point.

  • …next deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

    Don’t make me laugh.

    She might be the next Leader of the Labour Party given how retarded the membership is, but Labour will struggle to get elected with their current membership and mindset. Maybe after a wholesale restructuring of the party and policies and casting out the leftwing idiots. Even then it would just be a maybe.

    Labour had a big chunk of the working class at their beck-and-call for a century and they treated them like their racists grandpa, because they were too male, too pale and too stale.

    Lets see them win a majority using loony leftwing policies supported by the students, NHS and central and local government workers. They might get 30% of the vote on a good day. Even in this day and age that isn’t enough to secure a majority.

  • John

    Always remember that the constituency boundary changes recommended over 10 years ago in order to rectify an inbuilt 20+ seat bias towards Labour have still not been considered sufficiently important to be enacted by successive conservative governments.

    What conclusion can we draw other than that they don’t want too big a majority which might weaken their ability to ignore the numerous reforms desired by voters but abhorrent to politicians.

  • Paul Marks

    John – the lack of action on constituency boundaries is indeed very hard to justify, and I will not try to justify it (because I can not).

    John Galt – I hope you are right, but I suspect that the next General Election will be harder than you think.

    Still we must all do our best – I have served the Conservatives in every election since 1979 (including 2019 – in spite of the way I was treated), and if I am still alive in 2024, I will do what little I can. If we all “do our bit” there is still hope.

  • John Galt – I hope you are right, but I suspect that the next General Election will be harder than you think.

    The Tories might lose their majority, but that doesn’t mean that Labour can win one in their own right. Worst case scenario is back to 2010 again and looking for a coalition partner or a minority government.

  • Martin

    The risk surely is that several years of depressed living standards, spiralling inflation, and just general incompetence by Johnson and co will depress the Tory turnout in 2024. Labour might not need many new votes if conservative turnout plummets. And Labour, at least under Starker, I’m sure will happily make a coalition with the SNP, Lib Dems to kick the conservatives out.

    Labour are a disgusting joke of a party, but complacency would be foolhardy.

    The Hungarian opposition (a bizarre coalition of Communists, neoliberals and Arrow Cross nostalgists) are even more ridiculous than our Labour Party, yet Orban never seemed to lapse into complacency. And he’s been well rewarded.