Kemi Badenoch is unfit to be Minister for Women and Equalities, so I called on her to resign.

After her statement on withdrawing recognition of gender recognition from certain countries, I was so revolted I wanted to campaign against her. First, I did a Freedom of Information request to the Gender Recognition Panel to find how many people had applied from countries which had self-declaration. On the 20th working day after, they replied, saying it was too much work to gather the information. I also learned that GRC can stand for General Regulatory Chamber, being the various first-tier administrative tribunals.

So, having wasted four weeks, I googled again, now knowing the jargon: applications from people with gender recognition abroad go on the “Overseas Track”. In the thirteen years ending 2021/2, 190 such applications were granted.

What could the government do to deter sex crime? It could work harder to detect it, or prosecute it, or win the trust of victims to report it. Stopping overseas track applications for a GRC, when only 190 were granted in thirteen years, is not a worthwhile use of resources, even if a sex criminal from abroad might seriously consider using gender recognition to attack women in Britain. But it does spread hate and fear of trans women, which is Badenoch’s aim.

Badenoch has breached the Public Sector Equality Duty, which requires public authorities, including ministers and government departments, to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic, including age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation, and those who do not. Having broken the law, she should not be a Minister.

I drafted 800 words explaining all this, and sent it to the Cabinet Office, on 14 February. They would deal with any demand a minister resign. The Government Equalities Office, which Badenoch is perverting in order to attack equality, is part of the Cabinet Office. I sent it through their contact form, and got an automated acknowledgment. I wanted my demand to be clear but succinct: their boredom threshold for letters from random members of the public might be low.

I also emailed the shadow minister, Anneliese Dodds, to let her know. I had no reply. I sent my demand to my Tory MP, requesting he forward it to the correct office. On 28 February I had his reply. He said Badenoch has the knowledge and experience necessary for the role- hardly a strong endorsement- and that the GEO had “carefully considered” the GRA and ensured it had “proper checks and balances”. But he sent my comments to the Prime Minister.

On 28 February I drafted a petition for the Government website. I got four trans people to sign, and so they checked it against their rules. This takes a week, they say. It is difficult: the petition itself has to be a maximum of 80 characters, with 300 characters for details and 500 for reasons why. I asked various trans people to sign. Only three days later, they rejected my first attempt, but I drafted my second and got the signatures again. On 9 March, the petitions team finally accepted my petition.

I considered the list of All petitions. There are 1150 open petitions, 23 pages of 50 each. On the first day I overtook 500 open petitions. Currently six have over 100,000, and one is anti-trans, the top is anti-LGBT. Fifty have over 10,000, 159 over 1000, and 459 have more than 100 signatures. The petition to criminalise abortion in all cases has 6 signatures on its fifth day. It is as if the creator had not heard of facebook. Or maybe his friends are saner than he is.

Here is my petition. British citizens and residents, please sign and share. It addresses a current Tory scare about gay and trans people, as well as their disgusting and unlawful proposed immigration legislation, designed to make applying for asylum impossible. It asks for the government to be held to account. I have been sharing it wherever I can think to share it on facebook.

On 11 March I got a reply from Stuart Andrew MP, Minister for Equalities, offensively ignoring my points about Badenoch. He claims the British gender recognition system is “rigorous” rather than divorced from reality. He says “I want to reassure you transgender people have not, and will not, be banned from entering the UK”. I never suggested they might be, and find the comment sinister. Trans people are effectively being deterred from coming here, and many consider leaving.

Stuart Andrew shows the language used in an oral question in the House of Commons. Withdrawing recognition when a country has self-declaration is called “consistent”, “equivalent”, “in line with the basic principles of the GRA”, rather than the vast weight of Government brought to bear on thirty people in a year. There’s also the threat about the Equality Act, which was “carefully drafted to reflect the limits of the GRA”. He’s spreading the false interpretation, that single-sex for women means no trans women. That contradicts the Sinnott case.

This is the activism I can do from my armchair. I email people, and I type on websites. Sometimes it has an effect. Here’s some cherry blossom, to cheer us up.

12 thoughts on “Resign!

  1. ❤️
    The world is so inhumane in so many ways. Thank you for highlighting one of them. May your government hear you. I do. I cant see what kind of threat you would be to anyone, arent there real threats all over the place for all human beings to work on?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. But the real threats are too difficult. Far better to inveigh against imagined threats. This works for governments and individuals. Badenoch will produce her revised list of recognised countries, and proclaim she has achieved something.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stooshie – my father in law used that when I’d have said rumpus.. if you have Scots ancestry it would explain why your reverie often strays there, along with their trying to combat Westminster government’s anti-transness that is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My hope is that one day, common sense and compassion will return to politics. It’s ironic that it’s MPs and their ilk, the least ‘threatened’ groups in the UK, (with their salaries and index linked pensions, not to mention – oops! I am about to – their etonite privilege) who spout such utter garbage about threats, invasion and the rest. It’s not Jeannie with her bag of shopping who gets exercised…. Perhaps if all law-makers had more actual work to do, they might cool their heels and gain more compassion.


    • If they manage to get all the bigots to vote for them again with all these awful attacks on
      transpeople and refugees. they may then dial it down abit after – they’re scared of being booted out, which obviously l hope and pray that they will be!


    • Thank you.

      It’s not that they don’t have other work to do, it’s that they can’t do it. If they could sort the economy, they would not need to grub for votes in culture wars. If they could lead people in adjusting to, accepting, and flourishing through changes, they would not need to follow them into resistance and anger. Anger at change is the role of Opposition, not Government.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Exactly so.

        With the new whitewash around “HM’s loyal opposition”, talk of being on a “war footing” during the Pandemic has meant that we now all kind of knuckle down, even when it’s our job not to. The Opposition fail to oppose, we get into a kind of soggy acceptance which says, with a shrug of the shoulders, “Well, what else could we do…??” And anyone who says anything else is characterised as disloyal, while all hell breaks loose outside the hallowed doors of Parliament.

        Liked by 2 people

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