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Posts posted by mormont

  1. One of the ironies of the Cass review is that a major theme is the 'toxicity' of the debate. And yet it has immediately been seized on by the most toxic side of that debate, with the aim of ramping up the toxicity even further.

    Little has been said about the review's findings that support for young gender questioning kids is hopelessly underfunded, for example, and that the waiting lists are far too long, and that more - not fewer - gender identity specialist clinics are needed. As is so often the case, people are much more concerned with what those in need of care shouldn't get than what they should.

    The review of the effectiveness of puberty blockers is open to criticism, but in any case these are so rarely prescribed that to treat it as the most important issue the review was concerned with shows a deeply skewed set of priorities. The conclusions on social transitioning are... odd. People have been socially transitioning for as long as there have been people. To say we don't know enough about the long term harms and benefits of this strikes me as mistaking timidity for caution.

    But the saddest part is that whatever Cass' protestations, the review will be - is being - wielded as a club by those who want to deny that trans identities are valid. It was set up for political reasons and will be used for political reasons. Trans and gender questioning kids should benefit from a review that calls for more support, a holistic approach and better quality evidence. Does anyone here think they actually will?

  2. I mean, 'twas ever thus. If you go back to the '70s, you can see Bob Silverberg get nominated three times in two years ('72 and '73) then again in '76 and '77: and if anyone here can name any of those novels without looking it up, I'll give them a lollipop.

    Translation State  is the only one of those named above I've read, and it's Hugo-worthy IMO even if it's not Leckie's very best work. Even not-her-best is very good.

  3. 4 hours ago, JoannaL said:

    IF I understand correctly there is no protection for women in this law (they say they will do it at a "later date" which is most often another word for "never")

    There's been a report chaired by an eminent (female) lawyer, a draft bill and a consultation process.


    The misogyny bill is well along the line. Not sure I agree this needed to be separate, but it'll happen for sure by 2025, and probably sooner.

  4. Jonathan Pie isn't a bad person, or even a person at all. He's a comedy character. Not someone that should be taken as an authoritative voice, anyway. (And he's only regurgitating the previously discussed errors: imagining that these criticisms are unique to this law when they're not, for example.)

    As we've already seen, the law turns out not to do what some people are claiming it would do. Rowling knew very well she wasn't breaking it: that was just an egotistic publicity stunt of the type she's become very fond of. 

    ETA - there's a decent explainer here:


    In which the author, rightly, points out that the real problem with this law is that the people likely to actually fall foul of it are not millionaire authors or politicians but people who lead chaotic, difficult lives and who are not well served by being sent to jail, when we jail too many people already. 

  5. The 'reasonable person' test is also applied through a whole slew of employment issues, including employment tribunals which have ruled in favour of those who have expressed gender-critical beliefs. This law, in other words, does nothing particularly radical or even new, except extend existing protections on race to other characteristics. JK Rowling may sleep easy in whichever one of her 218 beds she's using tonight. 

  6. In other news, Jeremy Hunt confirms that while there's no money for council services, rebuilding schools, reducing NHS waiting lists, public sector pay rises, funding Universities, or (relevant to current discussion) renewing crumbling infrastructure, the triple lock on pensions is absolutely sacrosanct.


    Labour expected to follow suit.

    There is no better demonstration to young people of why it is vital to turn out at every election than how pensioners are rewarded for doing so.

  7. Just as a footnote, the Queensferry Crossing was completed under budget and while it was delayed, that was mainly due to weather issues. It did take about four years to go from the proposal to construction starting, with public consultation and environmental impact assessments and so on, but that isn't an unreasonable time for a project of that scale and importance.

    British planning laws certainly can do with some improvement but as ever, the story is more complicated than anecdotal data suggests.

  8. 6 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

    1. At the time of the house sale, she wasn't a prominent public figure. She was a homecare worker, presumably earning a pittance. This issue is obviously something that has been dug up with the sole intention of smearing her.

    2. She's 44? Wow. She looks great. Anyway, that would have made her 29 at the time. Which was more to my point. At the time of this, she was a young care worker who had just got married. If there was any capital gains tax due, it would have been what, a couple of grand?

    3. With all the genocide and corruption going on in the world right now, I don't really think that 20 minutes spent haranguing Raynor over this was what Newsnight should be putting their efforts into. Do you?

    I think that Angela Rayner is a grown woman who has handled worse in her public role and has done so much better than you or I could: and that the way you characterised her in your original post, which was clearly intended to refer to her now not when she sold the house, came off as patronising at best, sexist at worst. If that's not what was intended, fair enough, but that's how it came over.

  9. 1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

    It is a bit of a silly idea by Nike anyway, I guess the outrage is based on the idea that it's totally fine to 'playfully update' the St George's cross, but they probably wouldn't do it with other flags. Would they make the Scottish flag pink? 

    They made the entire Scottish strip pink. There was less fuss than there has been over this. 

  10. The thing about conspiracy theories is that they're inherently unlikely to be true because people are people. If a member of the Royal Family were dead or at death's door, it would not be possible to keep that secret this long, because people love to tell secrets. You can keep some people quiet forever and some for a while but you can't keep everyone quiet for weeks. 

    Whatever is going on, it's probably quite mundane. But the memes are hilarious. 

  11. What's interesting to me (academically, anyway) is the extent to which nothing the Tories do moves the dial at all. Tax cuts? Thanks, now fuck off. Friend of the motorist? No friend of mine. Voters just don't want the Tories to be on their side. It's like when that embarrassing guy at a party agrees with you and you change the subject.

    So some of the party seem to be jumping at anyone who gets a positive headline. Penny Mordaunt held a sword up for a bit, everyone liked that, let's make her leader! Has she done anything since to suggest she could actually do a good job? No. It's desperation.

    It's not going to go anywhere, but it shows how the party is entirely out of options.

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