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It’s time to stop policing the truth about sex in the name of transgender ideology

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This week, a man was investigated by Humberside Police Force for sharing a poem that denied transgender ideology. Carys Moseley looks into the impact that this investigation could have on society, calling it the lastest example of policing ‘thoughtcrime’.

This week a man was investigated by Humberside Police for liking and retweeting a poem on Twitter that denied a male-to-female transgender person is really a woman. Because someone had made a complaint, a police constable questioned Harry Miller on the phone for more than half an hour on the subject. When Mr Miller asked if any of his thirty tweets on the matter contained criminal material,  the policeman admitted that none did, but noted that Miller had ‘liked’ and retweeted the poem. The policeman then told him: “It’s not a crime, but it will be recorded as a hate incident.” The policeman even went on to tell Mr Miller that he needed to check his thinking and made the following nonsensical statement:

“Sometimes, a woman’s brain grows a man’s body in the womb and that is what transgender is.”

This sinister story can’t just be dismissed as a mere waste of police time. The poem was not aimed at anybody in particular. Thus its author and sender could not be charged with harassment or malicious communication. To be sure it was not a ‘nice’ poem, but it was telling some factual truths. The shocking reality of the situation is that here we have the latest example of the police hunting down a citizen on suspicion of having committed a ‘thoughtcrime’.

‘Transphobic hate speech’ violates the duty to tell the truth

Harry Miller made the following statement to the press:

“Free speech is a hill that we have to fight on. If we can’t express ourselves freely within the law, none of the other rights we have mean anything.”

So far so good, but more needs to be said. The police were not just attacking freedom of expression here; they were attacking the freedom – and the duty – to tell the truth and not to lie. They were upholding the nonsense of transgender ideology and punishing someone for insisting on the truth that we are all biologically male or female.

The concept of transphobic hate speech forces people to lie and deceive. This goes against everybody’s duty to tell the truth according to his or her conscience – in other words it is a violation to the right to freedom of conscience as recognised by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Unacceptable response of Humberside Police

In response to press coverage of this story Humberside Police made an official statement on ‘Why police investigate hate incidents.’ Included in the statement were these words:

“We, and all forces, follow College of Policing guidance in relation to handling reports of hate incidents, which can often be a precursor and can escalate to more serious crimes and we, as the police, have a responsibility to prevent crime...

This isn’t a case of the ‘police controlling people’s thoughts’. The actions taken by the individual and his comments made around transgender caused someone distress. We take all reports of hate related incidents seriously and aim to ensure they do not escalate into anything further.” [Emphasis mine]

The truth is that this story is precisely all about a situation that has been allowed to prevail whereby the police do control people’s expressed thoughts. The logic is clear – the police must be allowed to intervene to prevent random individuals from feeling distressed at people expressing a dislike of all things transgender. Given that transgenderism is one of the most unpopular topics in society, despite – or perhaps even because of – the veritable avalanche of transgender propaganda that has descended on mainstream media in the last few years, this means the police effectively has to investigate most citizens of the United Kingdom. This for stating that men can’t be women and women can’t be men.

Transgender terminology training with Stonewall

The extraordinary thing is that there has been no real dissent from within the police forces themselves. This in itself speaks volumes and does nothing to add to the already variable levels of public trust in the police. Therefore we must look to the Home Office, which oversees the police, to address the problem. However the Home Office as a government department is knee-deep in all this given that it comes from legislation passed in Parliament.

Perhaps the next place to look would be the Home Affairs Select Committee in Parliament, which scrutinises the work of the Home Office. Here the same problem rears its head. The Committee held an inquiry on hate crime in 2017, to which numerous newspaper editors gave oral evidence in April 2018. Stephen Doughty, Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, a prominent LGBT activist and Stonewall supporter, complained at length about newspaper headlines and articles on transgender issues, making the following claim:

“There appears to me to be a concerted effort by certain publications at the moment to promote some extremely unpleasant transgender hate material.”

In other words, ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate incidents’. What were these exactly? ‘Trans classes for kids aged 2’ on the front page of The Sun in November 2017, and Leo McKinstry in The Express writing about “the growing pattern of transgender madness” and “making a mockery of biological science”. Stephen Doughty issued a self-righteous confrontation to these newspaper editors as follows:

“When we see the suicide and hate crime figures, do you accept any responsibility whatsoever for generating the type of atmosphere that transgender people face in this country?”

This is about as emotionally manipulative as it gets, and unfortunately the editors did not fight back hard enough. Instead they caved into the MPs’ push for them to receive brainwashing transgender terminology training:

“Would you from organisations like Stonewall and other trans-friendly organisations, in terms of terminology and understanding some of the issues?”

Given this mixture of viciousness and cowardice, a more long-term approach is required. For the factual accuracy of journalism, and thus the reputation of journalism as a profession, and even the freedom and impartiality of the press, are at stake here. Not to mention the calibre of candidates allowed to stand for political parties in elections. What we have is nothing short of a crisis of standards in public life.

Parliament needs to end the culture of compulsory lying

Incidents like this have become an irritating part of the news in recent years, and cast a chill on people’s freedom to tell the truth about one of the most basic aspects of our humanity. Society – and this includes the civil service as well as political parties, the legal profession, the NHS and the criminal justice system - simply cannot and should not continue indulging the mentality and pseudo-philosophy that has allowed this descent into a culture of compulsory lying. One recent casualty of this culture is the case of Dr David Mackereth, who had to leave his job because he  refused to use preferred pronouns to refer to benefit claimants in his work for the Department of Work and Pensions.

This culture of compulsory lying needs to be overturned and defeated. The political power to do this lies with Parliament, for it passed the hate crime amendments to criminal statutes. There must be a concerted effort to roll back on the concept of hate speech in the criminal law because it is leading to thought policing, forced lying, waste of police time and a culture Iwhere innocent people are being suspected of pre-criminal behaviour.

Overturning the tyranny of transphobic hate speech in the law and society will be a huge cultural and political fight in the United Kingdom, but this is absolutely necessary in order to restore confidence in public institutions and standards in public life, as well as fundamental freedoms for the entire population.