Justine Greening Responds – The Banality of Evil

This is ‘her’ response:

Dear David Robertson

Thank you for your email of 25th July to Justine Greening. I have been asked to respond on her behalf.

We want transgender people to be healthy and happy and to live their lives free from discrimination and distress. We know many transgender people feel the current gender recognition system is inaccessible, intrusive and bureaucratic.

We know that it needs to change: that is why we are delivering on our commitment to review the Gender Recognition Act and move to a gender recognition system that works better for trans people. In line with our commitment, we will streamline the Act and remove its focus on medical checks, lifting bureaucratic burden and helping to make day-to-day life more comfortable for trans people.

Many trans people find the current focus on medical checks in the gender recognition process very intrusive and stigmatising.  That is why we are moving to a system that works better for trans people.

As a person’s gender has important legal and social consequences, we will consider carefully the impact of self-declaration in our policy development and we will consult widely on proposals to reduce medical evidence requirements.

Attaining quick, accessible and transparent legal gender recognition helps transgender people live more comfortably and free from stigma and discrimination.  This should not mean that there is a hierarchy of equality: we want all people to be safe, healthy and happy, irrespective of their gender identity.

We recognise that the provision of toilets and other single-sex or communal facilities is a particularly sensitive issue for some people.  That is why we have issued guidance for service providers to help them create comfortable, welcoming environments for all their customers. We will consult widely on the detail of proposals to change legislation and this will include with women’s groups.

Thank you again for your email, and I hope this response helps to alleviate your concerns.

 

Yours sincerely

Government Equalities Office

Dear Government Equalities Office, 
Thank you for the reply to my email of 25 July to Justin Greening.
It would be good to know if she actually read my email or if you are just responding in a standard format?

An Inadequate Response

You say that you “hope this response helps to alleviate your concerns”.   it doesn’t even begin to address my concerns.   In fact if you were a student answering a paper with the questions and remarks I put on it, you would receive an automatic fail for not answering the question! I have no idea who has answered my email, or who has even read it. I assume that ‘Government Equalities Office’ is not someone’s  new self-identity!   it would be nice to know that I was actually communicating with a human being who could actually bothered with what is being said.
Your letter is hopelessly inadequate and for a government department shows a lack of understanding, rationality and ability to engage with the wider issues. To be honest I found it quite patronising, superficial and depressing. Is this really the state to which government in the United Kingdom has come? This is the kind of thing that puts people off politics – when we are answered with clichés, soundbites and banal truisms rather than any empirical evidence or facts.

Safe, Healthy and Happy?

 Of course we all want transgender people to be healthy and happy but the question is whether the government’s proposals will help that?   Do you have any evidence that removing medical checks will result in a happier and healthier life? We all want everyone to be “safe, healthy, and happy” –  the question is whether the government’s proposals will actually make that happen. Your only basis for your proposal seems to be that you think this is what trans people “feel”.   How do you know that?   Will you base your policy on anorexia on the feelings of the anorexic who ‘feels’ they are too fat? Is government policy for any group just to be determined by how they feel?  If that is the basis can I tell you how Christians ‘feel’ about they way we are treated?  Will you remake the whole of society to suit our feelings?
Please do not assume that I am interested in the same trivialities that you seem to be concerned with. I have no interest at all in toilet provision, other than I think that people should be “safe, healthy and happy” when they go to the toilet!

Unanswered Questions

Your email does not answer the questions raised in mine re queer theory, feminism, prisons, sports, civil liberties, education, children and help for those suffering from gender identity dysphoria.   In fact your reply is so appallingly banal that I question whether anyone actually read my initial letter. What is the point of the public writing to you, if you are just going to ignore us and try to fob us off with this kind of meaningless waffle?
 You are proposing a change of government policy about what a human being actually is – based on a philosophical and sociological theory that has no scientific or empirical evidence and which is highly likely to be incredibly harmful, not only to those who it purports to be seeking to support, but also to the rest of society. I could give you numerous instances of those who have been hurt and wounded by this ideology – but I suspect you are not interested in that. It appears as though your mind is made up and the last thing you want to be bothered with are any facts that would contradict your ideological position.

An Unhinged Society

Let me give you one example –   in the area of tolerance. I was contacted by a lecturer in a University who told me that his university is requiring its staff to sign up to an LGBT policy which he cannot agree with. It states that “gender is  an understanding that gender identity is an individual’s internal self-perception of own gender and gender expression is an individual’s external gender-related physical appearance and behaviour.”   It not only requires people to agree with this – but to teach it. But why in the University should only one unproven ideology be the basis upon which people are allowed to teach and keep their jobs? There is no scientific evidence whatsoever for the notion that gender is merely a question of perception and nothing to do with biology.   Will the government protect those who do not buy into your extremist and fundamentalist ideology? Or in the name of diversity, tolerance and equality  are you insisting that everyone should be the same, that differences of view will not be tolerated, and that those who dare to think differently from this new government ideology are not equal?
Another is from a consultant who contacted me to tell me that in his maternity unit they have been told not to refer to breastfeeding as it might offend transgender people – and instead it should be called ‘chestfeeding’.  Is this what your department means by ‘equality’?
One other example – this is the kind of unhinged society you are creating –

Louise-Nikki-and-Star

Perhaps the saddest story of the week comes from concerning this poor child whose dad is transitioning to be his mum, and whose mum now describes herself as pansexual. They are boasting about bringing up their child as the first gender neutral child in the UK.  This picture and story are so heartbreaking.  This is nothing less than child abuse – and it is lauded by our media and politicians.

Any Possibility of Thought?

Is there any possibility you could actually direct my letter to someone who can read it, and respond with some degree of intelligence?   Is there anyone who is prepared to answer my questions and to explain the evidential basis for this government policy?   if so I would be grateful if you could pass both my original email and this one onto them.  It would be good to get a proper and thoughtful answer.
Once again I appeal to you to turn away from this ideologically driven course which has already caused, and will cause so much harm.
 I look forward to hearing from Justine Greening,
Yours etc
David

The Stepford Politicians

PS.   When I tried to send this to you at the address you wrote me from – it bounced it back because it is a ‘no reply’ address!  This illustrates the contempt and arrogance with which you treat the voting public who actually bother to contact you.   I spend a great deal of time thinking about this, composing a letter and responding – and you send me a standard pro-forma reply from an unnamed individual – or perhaps it was a ‘bot’ with no opportunity to respond.  I will send it by other means.  If you are going to use ‘bots’ perhaps we should just let robots replace our politicians – as long as they are programmed with the ‘right’ ideology they should work just as well as the Stepford politicians who dare not think or act for themselves!

 Can I Report an Extremist Organisation?

PPS.  I was redirected to another standard e-mail which amongst other things states “If you are concerned about extremism in a school or organisations that works with children, or if you think a child might be at risk of extremism, contact the National Helpline.”  I would like to do that and tell them that children in the UK are in danger from an extremist organisation I know – which is at work in every school, imposing an unevidenced and dangerous ideology on children which could cause them untold harm. How do I report the government?

David Robertson

St Peters Free Church
4 St Peter St
Dundee
DD1 4JJ
Twitter – @theweeflea

25 thoughts on “Justine Greening Responds – The Banality of Evil

  1. Just for comparison, here is the response that I received. It is the same in parts but there are differences with your response so it seems that a standard template answer was used for both but was altered in your case to include a few more points. I don’t think it was an automatic reply ‘bot’ by the looks of it. I also wrote back to them saying that their reply was wholly inadequate and hadn’t helped to alleviate my concerns at all! I’m still waiting for the reply.

    Dear Alasdair Macleod
    Thank you for your email of 26th July to the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities. I have been asked to respond on her behalf.
    We want transgender people to be healthy and happy and to live their lives free from discrimination and distress. We know many transgender people feel the current gender recognition system is inaccessible, intrusive and bureaucratic.
    We know that it needs to change: that is why we are delivering on our commitment to review the Gender Recognition Act and move to a gender recognition system that works better for trans people. In line with our commitment, we will streamline the Act and remove its focus on medical checks, lifting bureaucratic burden and helping to make day-to-day life more comfortable for trans people.
    In consultation with a wide range of groups, we will consider what the evidence requirements should be in a reformed gender recognition process. We are interesting in hearing everyone’s views on this important issue and we will consult widely on any proposed changes to the legislation.
    I hope this response helps to alleviate your concerns and thank you again for your email.
    Yours sincerely
    Government Equalities Office

  2. A powerful letter and blog indeed , asking deep and pertinent questions on an issue that Justine Greening must answer.

  3. Well done, David. As my late paternal grandmother would have said: “More power to your elbow”! Be assured of my prayerful support for you, and your family; and, especially, for your physical health. In what I believe to be the end times, we need more and more people like yourself to stand for truth, and righteousness, and the Lord.
    Sorry if that all sounds a bit sycophantic – but it is all true!

  4. All this fits into the category of “Identity politics”. Here Greening’s identity politics trounces her party politics and evidence. “I feel your pain”, seems to be an empathetic driver.

    Here is a part abstracted from an interview a Columbia University Prof Mark Lilla, by Rod Dreher. Lilla is a liberal and has published a new book that looks at”…After Identity politics”

    “RD: One of your most important insights is that liberal politics, by becoming driven by identity, have largely ceased to be truly political, and have instead become effectively religious (“evangelical” is the word you use). Can you explain?

    “ML: “Identity politics on the left was at first about large classes of people – African Americans, women – seeking to redress major historical wrongs by mobilizing and then working through our political institutions to secure their rights. It was about enfranchisement, a practical political goal reached by persuading others of the rightness of your cause. But by the 1980s this approach had given way to a pseudo-politics of self-regard and increasingly narrow self-definition. The new identity politics is expressive rather than persuasive. Even the slogans changed, from We shall overcome – a call to action – to I’m here, I’m queer – a call to nothing in particular. Identitarians became self-righteous, hyper sensitive, denunciatory, and obsessed with trivial issues that have made them a national laughing stock (drawing up long lists of gender pronouns, condemning spaghetti and meatballs as cultural appropriation,…). This was politically disastrous and just played into the hands of Fox News.

    What the new identitarians demand is more than mere recognition, though. They demand that you see this country exactly as they do, reach the same moral judgments about it, and confess your sins (which is what the word “privilege” is a secular euphemism for). The most recent books by Ta-Nahesi Coates and Michal Eric Dyson are quite explicit about this need for repentance. The subtitle of Dyson’s is A Sermon to White America. And the use of the term woke is a dead giveaway that we are in the mental universe of American evangelicalism, not American politics…

    As soon as you cast an issue exclusively in terms of identity you invite your adversary to do the same. ..

    But there’s another reason why this hectoring is politically counter-productive. It is hard to get people willing to confront an injustice if they do not identify in some way with those who suffer it. I am not a black male motorist and can never fully understand what it is like to be one. All the more reason, then, that I need some way to identify with him if I am going to be affected by his experience. The more the differences between us are emphasized, the less likely I will be to feel outrage at his mistreatment.

    RD: Chris Arnade, I believe it was, once wrote that college has replaced the church in catechizing America. You contend that “liberalism’s prospects depend in no small measure on what happens in our institutions of higher education.” What do you mean?

    ML: Up until the Sixties, those active in liberal and progressive politics were drawn largely from the working class or farm communities, and were formed in local political clubs or on union-dominated shop floors. Today they are formed almost exclusively in our colleges and universities, as are members of the mainly liberal professions of law, journalism, and education. This was an important political change, reflecting a deep social one, as the knowledge economy came to dominate manufacturing and farming after the sixties. Now, most liberals learn about politics on campuses that are largely detached socially and geographically from the rest of the country – and in particular from the sorts of people who once were the foundation of the Democratic Party. They have become Petri dishes for the cultivation of cultural snobbery. This is not likely to change by itself. Which means that those of us concerned about the future of American liberalism need to understand and do something about what has happened there.

    And what has happened is the institutionalization of an ideology that fetishizes our individual and group attachments, applauds self-absorption, and casts a shadow of suspicion over any invocation of a universal democratic we. It celebrates movement politics and disprizes political parties, which are machines for reaching consensus through compromise – and actually wielding power for those you care about. ”

    It seems to me that “Identity politics ” is trouncing party politics as evidenced by Greening.

    The whole interview can be found here:
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/mark-lilla-vs-identity-politics/

  5. “As a person’s gender has important legal and social consequences, we will consider carefully the impact of self-declaration in our policy development …”
    No they won’t. They’ve made up their minds already.
    “…and we will consult widely on proposals to reduce medical evidence requirements.”
    No they won’t. They’ll do the usual consultation which will be heavily weighted in favour of those groups they want to please.
    “We will consult widely on the detail of proposals to change legislation…”
    No they won’t.
    “… and this will include with women’s groups
    Why only women’s groups? Don’t men figure in this? And why only groups? Don’t individuals have a say on this?
    The whole talk about consultation reeks of the kind of consultation they carried out on redefining marriage: how, not why.The reply also oozes with the kind of patronising and sanctimonous waffle that we get from lots of organisations nowadays.

  6. I am cartain Justin Martyr would of loved to have you writing alongside him.
    I’m not kidding either.
    Let your light shine continually in the midst of a world that loves and craves the darkness.

  7. Dear David, Thank you so much for this original letter and your response to the reply. It encourages me to know that someone can express these concerns so clearly and is placing it before ‘the government.’
    I’m finding all your posts helpful.
    Kind regards
    Rev STUART KIMBER

  8. Thank you for speaking out and asking such questions David, even though you unfortunately didn’t get any answers to your questions. May we all have such courage in these days.

    This week I filled in my local council’s online form for the electoral register and after putting my name, the next question was, “Are you Male, Female, Other. First time there’s been a third choice in my 68 years!

  9. David
    I left a comment yesterday but had to then login again. It came up initially, but ‘disappeared’. When I tried to re-enter the comment, it said I’d already just posted similar, so couldn’t repeat the process. Is it still there and awaiting your approval?

  10. Another comparison David. I tried to send it yesterday but as I’ve already explained, I’ve had trouble loggining in then sending.:
    Dear David Henty

    Thank you for your email of 24th July to Nick Gibb and Justine Greening. I have been asked to respond on their behalf.

    In regards to transgender people, we want transgender people to be healthy and happy and to live their lives free from discrimination and distress. We know many transgender people feel the current gender recognition system is inaccessible, intrusive and bureaucratic.

    We know that it needs to change: that is why we are delivering on our commitment to review the Gender Recognition Act and move to a gender recognition system that works better for trans people. In line with our commitment, we will streamline the Act and remove its focus on medical checks, lifting bureaucratic burden and helping to make day-to-day life more comfortable for trans people.

    As a person’s gender has important legal and social consequences, we will consider carefully the impact of self-declaration in our policy development and we will consult widely on proposals to reduce medical evidence requirements.

    In regards to your comments about same-sex marriage, we are proud that we introduced marriage for same-sex couples. It’s great that they are finally able to celebrate their relationship in the way other couples have done for centuries.

    The UK has a proud record of promoting equality for LGBT people, including introducing marriage for same-sex people and the UK continues to be recognised as one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBT rights by ILGA-Europe.

    Attitudes towards same-sex relationships are becoming more and more positive: 64% of people now think that same sex relations are not wrong at all. Most people also report positive attitudes towards transgender people.

    Thank you again for your email and I hope this response answers your queries.

    Yours sincerely

    Government Equalities Office

  11. Dear Humm Dinger,

    Thank you for your email of 25th July to the Secretary of State for Education. I have been asked to respond on her behalf.
    We want pupils to be healthy and happy and to live their lives free from discrimination and distress. We know many pupils feel the current examination system is inaccessible, demanding and a cause of distress.
    We know that it needs to change: that is why we are delivering on our commitment to review the examination system and move to a situation that works better for pupils. In line with our commitment, we will remove its focus on academic checks, lifting bureaucratic burden and helping to make day-to-day life more comfortable for pupils.
    Many pupils find the current focus on exams very intrusive and stigmatising. That is why we are moving to a system that works better for pupils.
    As a person’s self-esteem has important psychological and social consequences, we will consider carefully the impact of self-declaration of academic ability in our policy development and we will consult widely on proposals to remove examination results from university applications.
    Attaining quick access to universities helps pupils live more comfortably and free from stigma and discrimination. This should not mean that there is a hierarchy of equality: we want all pupils to be safe, healthy and happy, irrespective of their academic ability.
    We recognise that the provision of learning facilities is a particularly sensitive issue for some pupils. That is why we have issued guidance for schools to help them create comfortable, welcoming environments for all their pupils. We will consult widely on the detail of proposals to change legislation and this will include academically-disadvantaged pupils.
    Thank you again for your email, and I hope this response helps to alleviate your concerns.

    Yours sincerely
    Government Equalities Office

  12. Ellul’s commitment to scrutinize technological development is expressed as such:

    “ [W]hat is at issue here is evaluating the danger of what might happen to our humanity in the present half-century, and distinguishing between what we want to keep and what we are ready to lose, between what we can welcome as legitimate human development and what we should reject with our last ounce of strength as dehumanization. I cannot think that choices of this kind are unimportant.[30]

  13. Yet another (third) unsatisfactory answer to my three emails requesting ansers to my comments, questions and concerns about Justine Greening’s intended further Transgenbder legislation! I’ve now complained to the PM:
    Dear David Henty
    Thank you for your email of 31st July to Justine Greening. I have been asked to respond on her behalf.
    We are proud that it was a Conservative led Government that introduced marriage for same-sex couples. It is great that same sex couples are finally able to celebrate their relationship in the way other couples have done for centuries.
    We have always been clear that no religious organisation should be forced to marry same-sex couples. It will remain a decision of a religious body to do with its doctrine, and different religious bodies may make different decisions.
    Thank you again for your email.
    Yours sincerely
    Government Equalities Office

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