We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

“By refusing to take part in this collective operation”

Idrissa Gueye is a Senegalese footballer who plays for his country and for the French side Paris Saint-Germain.

On Sunday 15th May, Paris Saint-Germain played Montpellier. On that day, players in the French Ligue 1 were meant to wear football jerseys with the numbers in LGBT rainbow colours in order to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Unexpectedly, Mr Gueye did not play in that match. So far as I can find out with my limited ability to search news reports in French, he has not said why he sat out the match, but it is widely believed that it was because he felt that it would be incompatible with his religious beliefs to wear a shirt in Pride colours. He is a practising Muslim.

Via Paul Embery, I found this quotation from a letter that the FFF (Fédération Française de Football / French Football Federation) sent to Mr Gueye on May 17th:

“There are two possibilities, either these allegations are unfounded and we invite you to speak out without delay to silence these rumours. For example, we invite you to accompany your message by a photo of yourself wearing said shirt.”

“Or the rumours are true. In this case we invite you to realise the impact of your act, and the grave error committed. The fight against discrimination towards different minorities, whoever they might be, is a vital fight for all times. Whether it’s skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, or any other difference, all discrimination is based on the same principle which is rejection of the other because they are different from the majority.”

“By refusing to take part in this collective operation, you are effectively validating discriminatory behaviour, and rejection of the other, and not just against the LGBTQI+ community. The impact of football on society and the capacity for footballers to be a role model for those who admire them gives us all a particular responsibility.”

The report and translation come from the website Get French Football News. It says that it is quoting a story from the French sports paper L’Equipe. I believe the original L’Equipe story is this: “Le Conseil national de l’éthique de la FFF a écrit à Idrissa Gueye (PSG)” The headline means, “The National Ethics Council of the FFF has written to Idrissa Gueye (PSG)”.

One does not have to share Mr Gueye’s religious beliefs, or his (probable) opinions on LGBT issues, to see something sinister in this demand that he make a display of loyalty to prove his “innocence” of a charge that he did not participate in what is effectively the visual equivalent of compelled speech.

Why do they bother? They say Gueye must get himself photographed in a rainbow shirt because he’s a footballer and thus allegedly a role model. But such gestures of solidarity are inspiring only if they are known to be sincere. No one is going to be inspired to rethink their prejudices regarding gay people if and when Idrissa makes some obviously reluctant gesture of support.

Samizdata quote of the night that identifies as a day

Kathleen Stock’s latest article in Unherd is titled “The emptiness of being queer” and subtitled “Sexual libertarians and rainbow bureaucrats created the perfect racket”. She should have subtitled it “Sexual libertines and rainbow bureaucrats created the perfect racket”, but given Stock’s own background and orientation, I happily overlook the minor misphrasing of her subtitle in view of the free-speech-forthrightness of her title.

Perhaps it won’t have escaped the reader thus far that there’s a biological element to all this too. The sexual libertarians are mostly men; the staff and trustees of Mermaids are nearly all female — no matter how they identify — and, in my experience, so are most other rainbow bureaucrats. Despite foundational intellectual myths, it turns out biological sex matters in the queer world too. And though they won’t like it, it’s tempting to see these two factions as part of a tediously conventional nuclear family, with rebellious jack-the-lad Dad and solicitous stay-at-home Mum, and with many confused children shunting between the two.

It was always inevitably a Stalin or a Mao who rose to rule any free-speech-hating communist party, unhindered by the purgeable presence in its early ranks of sincere types like Victor Kravchenko or Jung Chang’s father. I explained here why, similarly, groomers and pedophiles would come to control the free-speech-hating ‘identify’ movement, whatever other motives also helped start it.

However I forgot to add (as yet another example of oppressive tyrants pretending to be oppressed rebels, of those who hurt you pretending they help you) that the rainbow-bureaucrat-groomer side of that movement would aggressively self-identify as protective helpers.

Compared to that, it is indeed “no matter how they identify” otherwise.

How not to change minds on abortion

Last December Meghan McArdle tweeted,

“Looking at abortion opinion, it’s actually quite striking how little men and women differ on this question. The whole pro-life is about men telling women what to do with their bodies” schtick simply isn’t grounded in reality . . . Men are more likely to self-id as pro-life, and women as pro-choice, but when you drill down into specifics, it’s clear this stems from differences in labeling quite similar views.

She backed up her opinion with a link to this article by the polling organisation Gallup: “Abortion Trends by Gender”.

On specific questions relating to abortion, the opinions of American women and men were amazingly close. For instance, in this detailed survey from 2012, 71.5% of men and 69.4% of women said abortion should be legal if there is a strong possibility of a serious fetal defect, and 43.1% of men and 43.3% of women said abortion be legal for married women who don’t want more children.

Opinion has also been remarkably consistent over the years. According to the Pew Research Center, in 1995 60% of Americans thought that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Now it’s 61%. In 1995 38% of Americans thought abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. In 2022 it is 37%.

Why are the lines so flat? Over the same period church attendance has dropped. Support for other ideas once considered the preserve of the radical left, such as gay marriage, has steeply increased. The standing joke is that the Right won on economics and the Left won on culture. So why did the Left’s advance falter on that one issue?

By the way, although I talk about abortion as a left-right issue, because it certainly is one in US politics and to a lesser extent in politics across the Anglosphere, in this post I am not making an argument for or against abortion. If you wish to read my slightly indecisive thoughts on the issue you can do so here: “Thinking aloud on a mountainside”.

I am just interested in the Left’s relative failure to change the minds of Americans on abortion when in the same period it did so well in changing minds (including mine) on issues usually bundled with abortion.

I think it was because in the US and the UK, the pro-choice side almost never engaged with what their opponents actually believed. Over the years I must have read hundreds of Guardian articles on abortion, mostly in its US section because abortion is such a live issue there. I do not recall a single one that argued against the main sticking point of the pro-life side, namely that abortion takes a human life – let alone argued for it. On other issues the Guardian would occasionally let the odd Conservative or other non-progressive have their say about fossil fuels or the nuclear deterrent or whatever, and would often feature writers who, while left wing themselves, at least knew enough of the right wing view to argue against it. However when it came to abortion the line always was, and judging from Twitter in the last few days, still is, that opposition to abortion arises (a) only from men and (b) only from men who wish to control women’s bodies.

It works, a bit. Some men who read that will decide that they do not want to be that sort of man, others will decide that they do not want to be thought to be that sort of man. But an argument that does not even acknowledge the existence of female opponents of abortion will obviously not change their minds. Nor will silence reassure women who are not firmly pro or anti. If the Left will not talk to them about their doubts, then by definition the only arguments they hear will come from the other side.

How about male opponents of abortion and/or men who are not sure what they think? In most cases they simply will not feel that this charge that they want to control women’s bodies has any relevance to them. It’s like being accused of bank robbery when the most you’ve done is put non-recyclables in the recycling bin. Or like being accused in the modern fashion of misogyny rather than sexism: a conscientious man might examine himself and admit that some unjustified assumptions about women might be lurking in his subconscious, but that does not mean he hates women. All in all, that way of presenting the abortion argument is great for firing up those who already agree, but ensures that practically no women’s minds will be changed, and few men’s.

The above “model” is just my supposition, of course. But the remarkable stability of US opinion on abortion over decades is a fact that needs explaining, and that would explain it.

Woke rage reveals a fact about the transition pipeline from schools to social services

Some Texan childcare social workers are so “distraught” that a new law regulates their handling of trans kids that they say they will resign! (We’ll see if woke bureaucrats’ promises to resign are worth more than woke celebrities’ promises to quit the US if Reagan/Bush/Trump became president.)

If anything could be more where all is most in their self-revealingly woke article, it is the moment (about half-way through) where a social worker tells of their horror at the thought of having to investigate a report of a parent giving their child trans drugs. Previously any such report had instantly been marked ‘priority: none’ and the agency only ever investigated (vigorously, it would appear) any report of a parent hesitating to give their school-groomed child the woke-prescribed trans drugs.

The pipeline starts at school.

– The woke-about-everything school teaches the child that their white skin condemns them to a life of inherited racial sin – but don’t tell their parents. The school then offers a way out: pupils can escape their otherwise-ineradicable guilt by adopting a marginalised sexual identity – but don’t tell their parents.

– Instead or (usually) as well, the school can affirmatively teach the kids a lot of pornography:

To girls who are pressured into regurgitating how fantastic and progressive porn culture is, the very idea of being a “woman” becomes repulsive.

In these and other ways, a child’s un-parental-informed consent to being transitioned is obtained and puberty blockers are prescribed. The day after the kept-in-ignorance parents finally discover this is happening, the school questions the child and informs the social services of the parents’ insufficiently enthusiastic response. The social workers then ‘investigate’ – and that’s where we came in at the start of this post.

There are several things wrong with this. In the rest of this post, I’ll focus on just one.

“I do not for a moment regret the act of change. I could see no other way, and it has made me happy. In this I am one of the lucky few. There are people of many kinds who have set out on the same path, and by and large they are among the unhappiest people on the face of the earth.”

The quote is from ‘Conundrum’, a book written in 1974 by Anglo-Welsh writer, Jan Morris, who from birth to mid-forties was known as James Morris (and served with the British army in Italy in WWII), before undergoing surgery. In the pages of Conundrum, “the unhappiest people on the face of the earth” are joined by

“the poor castaways of intersex, the misguided homosexuals, the transvestites, the psychotic exhibitionists, who tumble through this half-mad world like painted clowns, pitiful to others and often horrible to themselves.”

In short, the odds of becoming “one of the lucky few” were not good even in the old days.

  • Back then, Jan Morris’ books on Oxford characters and the like were popular enough. That the dust-jacket often had a summary of the author’s unusual life and circumstances didn’t seem to prevent decent sales.

  • Back then, the modern view that sexual identity was merely social was already being experimented with on children and the results lied about to preserve the narrative.

    “It was like brainwashing … I’d give just about anything to go to a hypnotist to black out my whole past. Because it’s torture. What they did to you in the body is sometimes not near as bad as what they did to you in the mind – with the psychological warfare in your head.”

    He is referring to the extraordinary medical treatment he received after suffering the complete loss of his penis to a botched circumcision when he was 8 months old. On the advice of experts at the renowned Johns Hopkins medical center, in Baltimore, a sex-change operation was performed on him, a process that involved clinical castration and other genital surgery when he was a baby, followed by a 12-year program of social, mental and hormonal conditioning to make the transformation take hold in his psyche. The case was reported as an unqualified success, and he became one of the most famous (though unnamed) patients in the annals of modern medicine.

    [The sad story told by that (long) account is in some ways typical of today: the doctor with a ‘progressive’ agenda – and compliant colleagues; the easily-published papers boasting of a success that never was; the decades it took for the facts to emerge. But in other ways the woke of today are uglier than the progressives of half-a-century ago. The link is to a page on the wayback machine. The facts came out in the late ’90s but are now being forced back in again.]

But, along with all that, back then, those who were “pitiful to others and often horrible to themselves” did not have the encouragement of hate speech laws and ‘microaggression’ theory. The doctors in my link above felt elite because the common herd did not share their ‘advanced’ opinion that sex was socially conditioned, not innate – and, back then, the common herd were not at all afraid to say so. So those who nevertheless presented themselves for the procedure were much more likely to have tried something (or everything) else first. Their chance of joining Jan’s “lucky few” was therefore far better than today, now the group is swelled by propagandised schoolkids, by asbergers assured it will solve their problems, by people kept grossly ignorant of trans-regret and by many a “misguided homosexual, transvestite and/or exhibitionist” who back then would have chosen another way to express themselves. In that group, the proportion of Jan’s “lucky few” will be few indeed – meaning, the woke will have ruined many lives for each one of them.

Abuse of power is greatest where the laws fail to anticipate it. (Montesquieu)

Just as woke-trans cancel culture makes grooming more likely by forbidding you to expect it, so being forbidden to notice the immense improbabilities of woke-trans recruitment methods makes it more likely their targets will end up among “the unhappiest people on the face of the earth”.

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.

Woke hatred of free speech transitions its proteges into what it forbids you to say

The problem is: I was wrong. Or, to be a bit more accurate, I got things partly right. But then, for the rest, I basically just made it up. In my defence, I wasn’t alone. Everyone was (and is) making it up. That’s how the gender-studies field works. But it’s not much of a defence. I should have known better. If I were to retroactively psychoanalyze myself, I would say that, really, I did know better. And that’s why I was so angry and assertive about what I thought I knew. It was to hide the fact that, at a very basic level, I didn’t have proof for part of what I was saying. (Confessions of a Social Constructionist)

Only in the light of this agenda does it make sense that so-called ‘sex education’ should be advocated to take place throughout the school years “from kindergarten to college” when it could not possibly take that much time to teach basic biological or medical information about sex. What takes that long is a constant indoctrination in new attitudes. (Thomas Sowell, ‘The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy)

It has long been said that nothing is ever true till it’s been officially denied. Today, nothing is ever truer until saying it has been made a thought-crime. Let’s look at an example of how that happens – and I do mean how that happens; what the cause and effect chain is. Before I am ready to explain in my own words, however, this post will take a longish trip though the words and experiences (including some genuine ‘lived experiences’) of others.

A very able friend of mine spent her working life teaching – latterly as headmistress of sizeable schools, some prestigious, others she intentionally chose to be very challenging – before retiring just a little before 2015’s trans-wokery kicked off. Speaking of several decades of secondary school intakes (some two hundred pupils annually), she said (the following summarises a much longer conversation):

In many years, there was a pupil in the 11-year-old intake who was not comfortable with their gender identity. In many years there were none. We never had a year with two. But in many years, there was one.

My policy was to be sympathetic and observant, to avoid making a big thing of it, and to help the pupil be aware that, over the next few years, more bits of their adolescent/adult nature would wake up – including more bits of their sexual nature; that they were going to learn more about themselves, not just about what we taught them, while they were with us.

Invariably, by age 16, these pupils were OK with their gender identity. Some (far from all) were gay. None still thought they were not their biological sex.

Of course, with a much larger sample size, or just the random chance of a different sample, I could be saying ‘almost invariably’ here, but my experience was that not one who thought their gender and body mismatched at age 11 still thought so at age 16.

Since 2015, many schools have been following an exactly opposite policy. Instead of sympathy and support, there is flattery and affirmation. Making a big thing of it is now demanded, not avoided. And you risk cancel culture, or even legal trouble, if you advise an 11-year-old trans-thinking pupil to expect their sexual nature and self-understanding of it to grow (let alone, to wake up) in the next 5 years.

With that for starters, let’s tour some related issues.

The wisdom of a policy depends on what you think the underlying probabilities are. Older readers may recall the Cleveland child-abuse diagnosis scandal back in the mid-1980s. An NHS paediatrician in Cleveland believed the feminist narrative – that patriarchal parents perpetrate lots of child-abuse. Her job was to examine infants of local families referred for the usual childhood diseases. Someone published a very preliminary paper speculating that certain genital signs were consistent with child abuse. She began examining every infant who appeared in her clinic for those signs – and reporting more and more of them as abused. Soon she was reporting every single infant she saw. At first, every case was investigated, every family ripped apart, but after she had reported a total of more than a hundred in the space of a few months, push-back called a halt – and then her left-wing defenders pushed-back against the push back (there were feminist ‘New Statesman’ articles decrying the ‘prejudice’ against her, etc.). In the end, most people in Britain assumed she’d gone nuts (those who did not say her examining of infants and victimising of their parents was itself abuse) but her defenders’ commitment to the narrative warred against that idea. If you refuse to question what the narrative says patriarchal parents do, then you train yourself never to see her rate of detecting child-abuse as absurd. What you think reasonable – and what you think absurd – depends on what you already believe. I did not think her or her supporters honestly mistaken, but I could see their errors were layered (layered in their minds, layered in how they were acquired over years), older absurdities protecting newer ones from looking crazy.

Next, let’s compare the experiences of Heather Barwick (Dear gay community, your kids are hurting) with those of Moira Greyland (The Story of Moira Greyland).

Heather (the original Heather of ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’) describes a caring childhood in which her ‘two mommies’ did not intentionally harm her. When she talked to them years later “but it seems like you’re not listening”, when she uses the analogy of a child whose parents would listen and understand if their child said (for example), “I love you – but your divorce hurt me terribly”, Heather is talking about being hurt by an ideology – ‘abused by it’ one could say, but she is emphatically not talking about abuse in the sense that word ordinarily conjures up.

By contrast, abusively is exactly how Moira Greyland was raised by her parents and their community of “aggressive gay pagans”. She was certainly abused by their ideology – that of the Californian society in which they moved easily, without question – but that takes second place to the fact that her well-connected gay father violated her at age five, at the request of her famous-author mother, who was determined to raise a lesbian child. (Moira describes the mother as significantly the more vile of the two! I’m glad I never took to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s books; it would be distressing in retrospect to have liked them.) Moira knows from her younger self how useful to perpetrators the ideology can be in the minds of its victims. As she grew up, she went through a phase when she utterly refused to see what was done to her as abuse, but was rendered furious by evidence of abuse to other children.*

As Moira grew older still, yet more aware of how her whole circle exploited their ‘anti-prejudice’ ideology to have fun with exploitably-vulnerable youngsters, her opinions evolved further.

What sets gay culture apart from straight culture is the belief that early sex is good and beneficial

Inside the circle Moira grew up in, they knew very well why they wanted this. “Don’t think they don’t know”, she warns (that statistically few children will grow up to lead an alternative lifestyle if left alone in their early teens**). “Don’t think for a second that they DON’T know”, she says, the value to them of

“providing a boy with sexual experiences BEFORE he can be ‘ruined’ by attraction to a girl.”

And she goes on to explain why she says, “Don’t think they don’t know how to”.

Moira also knows how useful to perpetrators the ideology can be in the minds of witnesses and those they talk to, not just victims – and she is not alone in having experienced how the ideology can be used to make a suspicion rebound on any who dare raise it. Patrick Courrielche’s wife was just one of a group of Hollywood wives who, comparing things their kids had said about sleepovers at a certain house, suddeny realised there was a pattern (a pattern, the Courrielches later discovered, that had also been noticed several years earlier by a quite separate group of Hollywood parents). “The impromptu story swap lit off a firestorm.” – at first.

But Mr. and Mrs. Creepy knew something my wife and I didn’t understand at the time – in Hollywood, there’s something more toxic than spooning in bed with other people’s kids. … Word was getting back to us that The Creepies, in a seeming attempt at deflection, were telling anyone that would listen that my wife and I were right wingers – unrelated intel anywhere but in La La Land. Within a matter of weeks, the spotlight had shifted from their creepy behavior to our politics. The turn was startling.

Moira, raised in this ideology, now rejects it wholly. Where Heather only regrets the ideology-caused harm of kindly carers, Moira now regards abuse as that lifestyle’s statistical norm.

So, with these detours done, with these contrasting examples and ideas in mind, what do I think? Here is one last distantly-relevant detour to frame the analysis. An investigator of fraud and theft at UK firms long ago told me:

We go into any case assuming that 30% of the employees are pure as the driven snow, 10% will steal if it is safe to do so, and the firm’s health depends on the other 60%. If the culture acts against crime and rewards honesty then the 60% rally to the 30%, the 10% know and experience being under the eyes of the other 90%, and thefts are rare. But if the culture signals that no-one cares, that it’s a mug’s game to be honest, and you can safely be light-fingered, then slowly, one by one, the 60% rally to the 10%, the 30% (those who don’t leave – or get punished for rocking the boat) learn to look away, and theft becomes the culture, restrained – but only occasionally and inadequately – by the need not to kill the goose. It takes time to reach 70% – but once you do, the journey back takes longer and is a lot harder.

Most people think sex crimes worse than thefts – but also find sexual desires stronger than financial ones. Just for this discussion, I’ll sometimes reuse these 90:10 / 30:70 percentages merely as labels, deferring the question of what the real equivalent percentages may be. As for the 30%, the 10% and the 60% between, let’s call them the uncorrupt, the corrupt and the corruptible.

It sounds like Heather was raised in a 90:10 society. “I know you have been hated”, she says of her carers, in assessing some of their temptations to “not listen”. It sounds like Moira was raised in a 30:70 society. “It looks like he’ll skate on all this”, she says of one member caught in peculiarly egregious activities, since they’ve been creating, promoting, defending and de-stigmatising this narrative for quite a long time. As it went from being twitter-risky, to being career-limiting for teachers and punishable for pupils, then career-ending for some dissenters and physically dangerous for others (even an L or a G or a driven-to-suicide-for-being-off-message T), then a hate-speech crime to question everyone’s right and duty to recruit the underage to the cause (and a hate crime accusation for heterosexual men or lesbian women to refuse sex to an M-to-F trans), it becomes safer to go further – and so the 10% gain adherents.

And that (finally! 🙂 ) leads into my thought for this post: the question “How apt is a given lifestyle to lead to pedophilia” has a non-binary answer.

People did not just fear to discuss whether islamicism could have any statistical relationship to grooming in Rotherham; they felt obliged to deny it and hide it. That fact, that cancelling and criminalising of free speech, explains much of how it was that a larger gang had victimised some 1400 girls, not a smaller gang some 14 or so, before people dared to say it was happening. Making it an islamophobic thought-crime to notice didn’t just delay discovering the crimes that an existing gang were committing anyway. It helped the gang grow and persist – helped more of the corruptible rally to the corrupt. It helped the crime rate grow – taught more of the law-abiding to look away. It made the very thing that it forbade you to say more statistically true – because it forbade you to say it. It ensured that Lord Ahmed of Rotherham (who was finally convicted last month of pedophile assaults on two boys and a girl) would be more representative.

It’s a pattern as old as the Bible. When the elders desired Susannah, each felt timid to be merely a peeping Tom at first, when alone, but they were bold to form a rape gang once they thought they could control the public discourse – till Daniel picked holes in their story. And it’s as new as CNN, who also thought they could control the public discourse – till Elon Musk said he was not perverted enough to appear on CNN.

This history echoes through today’s trans-genderism. Activists spend Scottish taxpayers’ money campaigning to lower the age of consent to 10. Across the pond, the modern age of Dem-endorsed sexual-identity consent is lower – try preschool. And over here (as over there), don’t tell the parents, let alone ask their consent – silence will help Scottish children “thrive”. The jargon-laden public-domain justifications of this may seem to make little sense, but they do teach a lesson – that swift promotion comes to a woman with a wholly faked identity, married to a child-molester, whereas dismissal awaits those off-message.

To dissenters, the lesson is “be afraid” – dissenting has risks, sufficient risks that nowadays, it doesn’t take a village to raise a child; only a child is unafraid to tell the virtual village that the self-identified Empress has no ideological clothes. But to the already-corrupt 10%, and the corruptible 60%, the lesson is “don’t be afraid” – the ruling ideology has your back. Why be a self-denying chump when it makes a pedophile safer to self-identify as trans – when a powerful ideology not only has your back but not-so-secretly thinks that “early sex is good and beneficial”.

Pedophilia does not need this kind of help to occur.

“Both Nicky and her brother Kevin later identified as gay” [the writer grants that, of course, they might have been so anyway]. “They were both troubled, and Kevin committed suicide. Maybe it was an identity crisis, or maybe it was that they were being fucked when they were children.”

But it is easy to foresee that, when the latter speculation is cancel-cultured, the crime will become commoner.

Unfortunately, foreseeing consequences is something the politically-correct have been bad at for a long time. Communism in Russia and China caused bad economic consequences, which caused the communists to punish those who complained about them, which meant few dared, which meant the unaddressed problems got worse, which meant temptations to grumble became stronger, so the communists imposed harsher punishments, so people grumbled about the punishments, and so on and on. The punishment of those who grumbled about the punishments is all most of us remember about Stalin and Mao; not many remember the earlier victims who grumbled about the famine that socialism caused.

Nowadays we have the word ‘transphobia’. Roughly half – that’s an official (FOIA-confirmed) half – of Scotland’s convicted, imprisoned trans are sexual offenders. That’s not 70% – but it’s a lot more than 10%, let alone than before legal changes made it not just ‘offensive’ but an actual offence to doubt an offender’s self-identity. Do locked-up rapists identify as trans because they feel like women? Or because they feel like raping women (both inmates and warders)? Do others identify as trans because they feel like women? Or because they feel like serving their sentences in the company of women? Political correctness requires you believe the first explanation. Political correctness requires you believe it is transphobic to consider the second explanation. And in Scotland, so do the official rules and the officials’ attitudes demand it even more stringently than similar officials in Rotherham demanded you avoid islamophobia. Down south in England, one might wonder (though AFAICS officially no-one does) if the headline “84% increase in female-perpetrated child sexual abuse” is related to over a third of them having only recently reclassified themselves as members of the fair sex.

Like the Cleveland doctor and her allies, if someone believes sex is just social construct, and destroying patriarchal indoctrination is merely exposing a long-existent reality, then it affects their understanding. Even if they let themselves notice people who identify as trans and thereby get a pension, a sports trophy or the darker advantages I mention above, they will assume such cases are unrepresentative, exceptions that prove their rule. But if you think the real incidence of a true trans state is very low – if, for example, you want evidence before thinking that the brain’s chance of diverging from its body’s sex is so very different from the observable chance of any other one organ in an otherwise normal-appearing body – then you’ll think the few real trans likely to be overwhelmed (in numbers and in the public eye) by people the woke indoctrinate into it and people who see the opportunities created by woke control of speech.

Remember the two quotes that head this post. Hating free speech may seem secondary to the woke, just a necessary means to enforce the dogma until its truth is grasped by the ignorant masses. But hating free speech will always become primary. Hating free speech determines who joins the movement and who leaves it. Hating free speech will determine the statistical make-up of the self-identified trans. Where this came from can be debated. Where it’s going can be deduced.

___

* When I first read of ‘dangerous faggot’ Milo Yiannopoulos a few years back, I saw an analogy with his state then. Milo had exposed three pedophiles, but gave an interview in which he nevertheless refused to regard the older man who initiated his own underage gay experiences as an abuser.

** Moira (unlike me) avoids weakening her writing style with the statistical qualifications I occasionally put in my summary of her post. As regards the inner thoughts of her own vile relatives and their circle, I suspect she is 100% right to do so – that is, she is right to describe them without qualification in the sense that they don’t care. And it would be the height of impertinence for the woke to complain that she applies this style more generally, given how they write. But Niall pedant Kilmartin inserted a couple for the benefit of Samizdata’s readers.

The deadline for giving your opinion on the proposed ban on “conversion therapy” is tomorrow, Friday 4th February

I wrote this post about the proposed ban on 7th December 2021, when the deadline for responses to the government’s consultation document was given as December 10th. The deadline was then extended to February 4th 2022, which is tomorrow. Did I mention it’s tomorrow?

There was a lively debate on the nature of human sexuality in the comments to that post – but, fascinating as the contributions were, for me that issue is beside the point. The point is that the government seeks to ban people from attempting to persuade other people to do something that is not a crime by talking to them.

You have until Friday night to say what you think of the proposed ban on “conversion therapy”

EDIT: The deadline for responding to this consultation has been extended to Friday 4th February 2022.

Original post follows:

This link takes you to the government’s “overview” of its consultation document on the topic of banning conversion therapy. It is not entirely clear from that page, but the type of conversion to which the document refers is any attempt to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. At the bottom of the page is the online form where members of the public can tell the government their views. The government’s own view is explained in more detail in this consultation paper. The consultation will close on Friday 10 December at 11:45pm GMT if anyone wants to respond.

The full consultation document (second link) says the following:

Our existing criminal law framework means that conversion therapy amounting to offences of physical or sexual violence is already illegal in this country.

So coercion is illegal. That is as it should be. But the next line continues,

However, we have identified gaps that allow other types of conversion therapy to continue. Having identified these gaps in the law, we are determined to close them.

So by “other types of conversion therapy” the government specifically refers to types of conversion therapy other than those involving the already-illegal use of “physical or sexual violence”.

To do so, we are taking the following action to introduce new criminal and civil measures:

Targeting talking conversion therapy committed against under 18s under any circumstance, or committed against those aged 18 or over who have not consented or due to their vulnerability are unable to do so, with a new criminal offence. Consent requirements for adults seeking out talking therapy will be robust and stringent.

My own view is that all forms of peaceful persuasion should be legal and that no mentally competent adult should have to sign a consent form before being allowed to hear speech.

Charged with ‘aggravated misconduct’. For a tweet he made when he was 14.

Here is an extract from the report in today’s Times:

The Middlesbrough defender Marc Bola has been charged by the FA [Football Association] with aggravated misconduct for comments he made on social media when he was 14, nine years ago.

The FA has alleged that Bola, now 23, who signed for Middlesbrough from Blackpool in 2019, posted a ‘reference to sexual orientation.’ He is facing a written warning, an education course or a potential three-game ban for the post from 2012.

An FA statement read: “Middlesbrough FC’s Marc Bola has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on April 14, 2012.

If, rather than mouthing off on Twitter, the fourteen year old Bola had had the forethought to instead commit a violent crime meriting up four years imprisonment, the sentence would have been considered “spent” by now under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Came for tea, stayed for the rape: a beloved children’s classic re-analysed

They’ve come for the tiger.

“Children’s book ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’ could lead to rape and harassment’ because it reinforces gender inequality that causes violence against women, campaigner claims”, reports the Mail.

It may have delighted generations of children, but The Tiger Who Came To Tea reinforces gender inequality which causes violence against women and girls, a campaigner said yesterday.

Rachel Adamson, of Zero Tolerance, a charity working to end men’s violence against women, said Judith Kerr’s 1968 classic was ‘problematic’ because of its ‘old fashioned’ portrayal of women and family dynamics.

The book sees an uninvited tiger join a young girl and her mother for tea before eating all the food in the house, drinking everything, running the taps dry and leaving.

The girl’s father then comes home and takes her and her mother to a cafe.

Miss Adamson did not call for the book to be banned but said it could be used to ‘raise a conversation’ in nurseries.

She told BBC Radio Scotland: ‘We know that gender stereotypes are harmful and they reinforce gender inequality, and that gender inequality is the cause of violence against women and girls, such as domestic abuse, rape and sexual harassment.’

Adamson questioned the tiger’s gender and why he was not female or gender neutral.

Um… would this campaigner against violence inflicted on women and girls, whose organisation specifically defends its focus on men’s violence against women really want to see a children’s book in which the enormous, physically dominant predator who blags its way into a space which a woman and a girl had thought their own and abuses their hospitality was female or transgender?

Sigh. As the Mail article points out, Judith Kerr knew a thing or two about prejudice leading to violence. Her father was a well known German Jewish writer who had to flee with his family when the Nazis came to power and put a price on his head. They only just escaped. She wrote a lightly fictionalised account of her family’s story in When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. Nonetheless, she always resisted attempts to claim that the tiger was a metaphor for Nazism. It was just a big hungry but affable tiger who ate all the buns and drank all the water in the tap.

→ Continue reading: Came for tea, stayed for the rape: a beloved children’s classic re-analysed

Sorry mate, I can’t afford to risk giving you a job

The BBC reports that the Labour Party now says, “Give workers full rights from day one.”

Workers should be given “full” employment rights from day one, Labour has said as it announces plans to “fundamentally change the economy”.

Currently some rights – such as being able to request flexible working – only kick in at a later stage.

This would fundamentally change the economy all right. No more probationary periods. No more casual employment of the sort which survey after survey shows most casual employees value for the freedom it gives them. In Labour’s brave new world if you employ someone for one day, you will be stuck with them. In that case, you had better be very sure before you take anyone on. An end, then, to giving someone outside the usual pool of recruits a chance to prove themselves. The safe course for employers will be to avoid hiring women (who might clock in on day one and clock off for paid maternity leave on day two), to avoid hiring young people (who have not had a chance to establish a record of steadiness), to avoid hiring anyone with the slightest blemish on their record, or whose class or race might make them statistically risky, and to stick with employing people who they can size up on little evidence, which again usually means their own ethnic group. There is no need to assume actual racism or class hatred, just the universal human tendency to behave defensively when the cost of making a mistake is very high.

Will Labour also get rid of cooling off periods for people who make major purchases?

Or how about applying the same rules to sex? We know that a set of laws that forbid the very existence of casual sexual relationships can be stable: that was the system enforced for centuries in the West and still is in many parts of the world now. Hence the the saying “marry in haste, repent at leisure”. The aim of those rules is to force all sexual relationships to be permanent, or at the very least difficult to dissolve. They generally succeed in that aim, although there are unintended consequences. While I am all for voluntary fidelity in marriage, legal enforcement of a “marriage or nothing” system results in many more incels, old maids, and people stuck in destructive marriages. I see no reason why rules to discourage casual employment should not work in a similar manner to rules which discourage casual sex. Is that what the Labour party wants?

Samizdata quote of the day

I didn’t look too closely when in 2015 a Conservative administration proposed changing the law on gender recognition. A few trans people want more easily to get official confirmation for the new gender they have become? Well, I thought, that’s probably OK. No skin off any part of me.

Then the issue appeared to morph into a different kind of conflict. It had clearly somewhere along the line become impermissible for those who thought that there was something ineluctable about biological sex to say so. It wasn’t whether they were correct or mistaken on the subject that was in question, but their right even to express their view.

A recognisably totalitarian declension seemed to be being imposed: if you said biological sex was real then you argued with the ability of someone who felt they should be the other sex to simply assert that uncontested. That meant you were denying their “existence” as the new sex. Which was tantamount to denying their existence as a human being. Which was close to saying you wanted them and everyone like them dead. Which is the kind of thing the Nazis did. So you’re a Nazi. And we can’t let Nazis publish Nazi thoughts in books. Or speak at universities, or sully our public spaces with their terrible prejudice.

Here I drew the line. I saw people I knew being bullied and harassed for having an opinion on biological sex (actually the majority opinion on biological sex), and even if I didn’t know whether I agreed with them, I knew that was wrong. …

David Aaronovitch in the Times (£), writing about this book by Helen Joyce, quoted by and commented upon by Mick Hartley (not £).