Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Transphobia: More problems for the Green Party...

Quite how Rupert Read's rapid Damascene conversion from transphobe to supposed "trans ally" occurred has never been made clear. One would hope that, as a philosophy academic he would be able to enlighten us as to his thought processes, although I suspect "getting fewer votes than UKiP" figured significantly in conversations with him a few days ago.

However it now appears that the problem of transphobia in the Green Party is rearing its ugly head again...

Screenshot showing Campbell's support for Read on social media.
Just as the Green Party's embattled leader Natalie Bennet tries to bury the issue by making the right noises and distancing herself from Read's comments, another prominent Green Party member, and 2010 Green Party candidate for my own constituency, Hampstead and Kilburn, has pulled the rug out from underneath her.

Criticising the Green Party leader's stance on Rupert Read's transphobia Bea Campbell, writer and prominent long-standing Green Party activist offers her support for Read's transphobic thinking in his previous blog posts. Sadly Campbell seems to be conflating "thought" with "transphobia".  The fact that none of the ideas produced by Read in his earlier blog posts and statements are exactly new, (they are largely just a rehash of outmoded TERF memes from the last century) suggests that what this Green Party member considers to be "thought" is different from what you or I would consider to be "thought".

The Green Party is clearly in disarray over trans issues. Ok this is a party that tries hard to make a virtue out of decentralisation and diversity, but the result, as occurred in Brighton, has often been disarray, confusion and ambiguity. Not only was another Green Party member tweeting in support of Read last week (I'm told he has now left the party) but Cambridge Young Greens have not clarified their position on Read from their apparent support for his transphobic views prior to last week also.

The initial response from the Greens was that Rupert Read's transphobia was an isolated individual. A traditional defence of "establishment" political parties for decades, this was quickly shown not to be the case. Now it appears that, like their education policies, Green Party policies for trans people may not be what they seem.

The Green Party have long claimed that they have the best policies for trans people, something that will change very soon, yet it is the people in a party who implement policy and if a party is full of people who disagree with that policy either it stops being a policy or it becomes a "policy" in name only, and something that will never be implemented.

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