Police and Crime Commissioners: If you don’t respect my Sex, don’t expect my X

Police and Crime Commissioner elections are coming up. Do you know what your local candidates stand for? Do they, for instance, know the difference between a man and a woman?

You can find who your local PCC is here: https://apccs.police.uk/find-your-pcc/

Kick up a fuss on social media using the hashtag #AskYourPCC

Here is a letter that you can send to them:

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Subject: Misogyny is not Gender Neutral – Open Letter to PCC’s

I understand you are standing for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner for our County in the local elections taking place next month on May 6th, 2021.

I would like to ask about your commitment to supporting victims of crime, in particular female victims of crime in the wake of Sarah Everard’s tragic murder, and what plans you have for providing specialist services for female victims of hate crime, sexual violence and domestic violence.

A recent decision was passed in the House of Lords stating that police forces in England and Wales are set to record misogyny as a hate crime on an experimental basis from this autumn.

Speaking in the House of Lords, Home Office Minister Baroness Williams said “On an experimental basis we will ask police forces to record and identify any crimes of violence against the person including stalking and harassment, and sexual offences where the victim perceives it to have been motivated by a hostility based on their sex”.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/lords/2021-03-17/debates/8FC29754-12FB-4EEC-BC70-678CA00B9DD3/DomesticAbuseBill#contribution-DA97A47D-E08A-4B85-A168-2D9FEB22EDBA

This is a welcome development to me, given the significant physical and emotional effect misogyny has on victims and to society. I believe reporting specific incidents on biological SEX, will allow the Constabulary to be able to deliver an enhanced level of service to support FEMALE victims & reduce Sex hate incidents and misogyny across the country.

I understand each force is free to record crimes for their own purposes of record-keeping by whatever Protected Characteristic they see fit. However, given Sarah was tragically murdered on the basis of her Female Sex, not Gender, I hope you will not be following in Derbyshire Constabulary’s footsteps, who have announced that as of Monday 5 April 2021, the force will be including “gender hate” under its definition of hate incidents and crime in Derbyshire.

Derbyshire Police categorise gender hate as: “A crime or any non-crime incident, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s gender or perceived gender.”

I find this categorisation bizarre, given “Gender Hate” is already covered under “Gender Reassignment” as a protected characteristic in the 2010 Equality Act, and monitored as one of the five strands of Hate Crime under Transgender Identity.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44/section/146

There is no current “Sex Hate” provision, even though Women are regularly the target of offending behaviour based on hostility towards their sex. In my opinion, there needs to be a better understanding of the intersection between instances of hatred directed against people with different characteristics, or we risk making a failure of the mission to understand and tackle Misogyny, which is different from Transphobia. Infact, the Office for Statistics Regulation recently emphasised the need for clarity about definitions and gave the example of criminal justice statistics as a place where recording of sex has become muddled by the undefined introduction of “gender”.

Draft Guidance: Collecting and reporting data about sex in official statistics

It is now well-established that women in public life face much higher levels of online abuse than men, with consequences for their participation. Three quarters (71%) of British women have taken action to guard against the threat of harassment: this rises to 88% for 18-24 year olds. Femicide Census estimates that on average a woman is killed by a man every 3 days. https://www.femicidecensus.org/

Subsuming the Characteristic of Sex under “Gender” would not only mean inconsistencies with the characteristics in the 2010 Equality Act, it also means we would continue to have no statistics on offences motivated by prejudice based on biological sex on its own, or how this intersects with other characteristics.

Defining misogyny by “Sex” is not only grammatically and linguistically accurate, it would mean that public information campaigns and local initiatives can, at last, start to send the message that hatred based on prejudice against Women is as unacceptable as other forms, and statistics can be collected. It would also make tracking crimes against women and their children easier and enhance the ability to run, commission and protect female only services for survivors of domestic abuse.

We need to make talking about male violence easier, not harder. What use is a definition of “misogyny” which doesn’t mention women? The law and the police under your command can only protect Women properly if they identify female victims correctly (i.e. biological sex). By recording these incidents ACCURATELY, it will assist (insert name of police force) in analysing and identifying threats and trends, and can aid you in properly protecting vulnerable female victims.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you, and perhaps meeting you, regarding your plans about implementing best practice ways to tackle misogyny, including:

  • Comprehensive SEX hate training sessions for officers in the constabulary.
  • Ensuring accurate and consistent reporting on Sex hate offences, (offences are recorded by biological sex and not gender identity), takes place.

Kind regards,

Artless Feckleblossom

Census 2021: Call for ONS “Lessons Learned” Review

Dear Rt. Hon. Michael Gove,

I write to you in your role as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office with oversight of constitutional policy and enhancement, and leading cross government and public sector transformation and efficiency. In these specific responsibilities you are supported by Chloe Smith (Cabinet Minister for the Constitution and Devolution) amongst whose responsibilities include defending our democracy, and the Cabinet Minister of State for Efficiency and Transformation, Lord Agnew of Oulton, whom I have also copied into this email.

As we approach Census Day 2021, I am seriously concerned at what appears to me, profoundly undemocratic and troubling activities of an ideologically captured Office of National Statistics (ONS) which have undermined public confidence in the ONS expertise as our National “gold standard” data collation and dissemination agency, and culminated in a High Court challenge and win against the Office for National Statistics this week, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds to the taxpayer.

The Census is one of the most important sources of official statistics and Biological Sex is well understood to be one of the most important variables for the purposes of policy, planning and medical and academic research. This is because Sex is an important predictor of outcomes across all areas of life, including education, wages, crime, and physical & mental health. Since 1801, the answer to the census question: “what is your sex?” has concerned a person’s biological reality with the option of one or two answers: male or female. And yet the ONS managed to find itself in court, arguing that Sex is an “umbrella term”, which includes “lived experience” and “self-identity”. Needless to say, this declaration was met with consternation by data-users, academics who do statistical research, and women’s rights campaigners, who have been warning the ONS of the dire impact of such an unjustifiable decision and even wrote an open letter to the Times newspaper highlighting their concerns in December 2019. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/census-fears-over-gender-identity-rmx0gmzxq

They warned that allowing people to answer the sex question on the census in line with their subjective gender identity, would have serious repercussions for the future of social science and for the fight to ensure equality for women, who currently amount to more than half the population in this country, and as the recent Pandemic has highlighted, continue to be overlooked in design and implemented schemes to protect jobs, due to a lack of equality analyses, which has failed to take into account the specific and well-understood

labour market and caring inequalities faced by women. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jul/24/uk-working-mothers-are-sacrifical-lambs-in-coronavirus-childcare-crisis

Throughout 2020, data experts and even the ONS own regulators, including the Office for Statistics Regulation and the ONS Methodological Assurance Review Panel expressed reservations about the lack of engagement with “topic and method experts” https://mbmpolicy.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/letter-from-sir-bernard-silverman-to-sir-ian-diamond.pdf and encouraged the ONS to “address outstanding concerns raised by users within its further question testing and research on the guidance on the sex question. ONS should share the outcomes of this research in a transparent and open way”. https://osr.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Ed_Humperson_to_Iain_Bell.pdf

All were ignored and the ONS continued to charter a path on data collection that prioritised stakeholders representing a particular political perspective on gender identity, rather than having been selected for their expertise on data collection and analysis. https://fairplayforwomen.com/whos-behind-the-government-losing-sight-of-reality

In February 2021, the ONS regulator Office for Statistics Regulation emphasised the need for clarity about definitions and gave the example of criminal justice statistics as a place where recording of sex has become muddled by the undefined introduction of “gender”. https://osr.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/publication/draft-guidance-collecting-and-reporting-data-about-sex-in-official-statistics

Still the ONS persisted, and in response to further scrutiny and the potential of legal challenge from the Women’s Group, Fair Play for Women, with no official announcement, the ONS made the census live, so people could start filling it in. The ONS pushed through a policy, regardless of expert opposition or the law, and now insisted it was too late for a legal challenge.

Although the ONS withdrew last week from the legal proceedings, conceding that the meaning of sex in the Census should mean sex as recognised by the law, rather than gender identity, the ONS has now undermined its own credibility as a gold standard for data collection and been forced into an embarrassing and expensive climb-down (at taxpayer expense). As well as being in placed in a position where they are perceived to mis-state the law (the EQA 2010 lists Sex as a protected characteristic and a male or female of any age), commit or condone criminal offences by encouraging falsified input of data, and placing vulnerable adults at risk of harm, because of inadequate service provision due to a miscalculation of ONS provided data.

The ONS actions, and defiance of the Census (England and Wales) Order 2020, which says they must collect data on “Date of birth and sex” amongst others, is shocking, and I echo the call made by Janice Turner in yesterday’s Times for a public inquiry into the alarming policy capture of our public institutions by lobby groups. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-guardians-of-facts-surrender-to-ideology-9vzdp3s3v

Our Public Bodies are ultimately answerable to Parliament, and shouldn’t be enacting their own novel version of statute, contrary to the intent of our Lawmakers, who had no intention of using either the EQA or the 2020 Census Act as an ontological redefinition of biological sex.

I appreciate a public inquiry as called for by the Organisation Sex Matters may take some time to arrange, given we are in the middle of a global pandemic, however, in the immediate absence of that wider public inquiry, (https://sex-matters.org/take-action/sign-our-letter/) I ask that a “Lessons Learned” Review, similar to the one ordered by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel (after the troubling policing of Women last week in Clapham Common during the vigil for Sarah Everard), be conducted. It is my understanding that HMIC, the policing watchdog that independently assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of police forces is conducting this inquiry and the report is due within a fortnight. I see no reason why such an effort cannot be duplicated by the Office for Statistics Regulation (ORS) who regulate the ONS, to conduct a ‘lessons learned’ review into how Sir Ian Diamond & the rest of the senior leadership at the ONS became so ideologically captured.

The “lessons learned” review can find out:

· WHY Ian Diamond & ONS Senior leadership were so willing to corrupt data on biological sex, a key demographic variable & waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money to placate Stonewall.

· HOW did Sir Ian Diamond & ONS Senior leadership become so eager to prioritise Gender Validation OVER the Office for National Statistics’ core mission of robust data collation & dissemination?

· WHY did Sir Ian Diamond & ONS Senior leadership team dismiss the advice of their own regulator, The Office for Statistics Regulation, which recently emphasised the need for clarity regarding the definition of Sex?

· WHY did Sir Ian Diamond & ONS Senior leadership team dismiss the advice of Sir Bernard Silverman, Chair of Methodological Assurance Review Panel, UK Statistics Agency, who felt moved to remind the ONS in October 2020, of the emphasis The Code of Practice (https://code.statisticsauthority.gov.uk) places on strong requirements for the views of groups in all these categories (stakeholders, users, and topic and methods experts) to be understood and addressed.

· Did Ian Diamond & ONS Senior leadership team VIOLATE paragraph Q2.2 of The Code of Practice for Statistics by failing to have due regard for the procedural standards set out in the code of practice for engagement with stakeholders?

· Why did Ian Diamond & ONS Senior leadership team not recognise the 2021 Census risks being taken with data quality, due to the methodological weakness their initial guidance on the Sex Question introduced?

· Could they have recognised these risks earlier if they’d paid more attention to the concerns raised by 80 academics, experts on data collection and analysis in December 2019, as opposed to lobby groups who represented a particular political perspective on gender identity?

· What assurance can the ONS give now to their regulator (OSR) on the trustworthiness, quality and value of their data on the Sex question, given what seems a deliberate ploy to make the Census live a month ahead of time in response to FPFW initial request for ONS guidance to follow the law?

· WHY did the ONS facilitate an environment whereby Data Experts and Academics were subject to campaigns of vexatious complaints, no-platforming, and even threats of violence simply for asserting the reality and social salience of sex, which is a variable of critical importance in practically all applied uses for census data and is a protected characteristic under the 2010 Equality Act? https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/stonewalls-new-boss-nancy-kelley-let-census-expert-be-no-platformed-ljsnw6v3r

When you have Ministers & Public Institutions who are meant to uphold and enforce the law, misrepresent and mischaracterise the law, you undermine the law and create a dangerous state of affairs where other sectors and eventually, the public, too, has contempt for the law.

It now appears several Trans influencers rushed to fill in the Sex question incorrectly with their lived sex, not biological or legal sex as the corrected guidance, and the 2020 Census Act, requires, and advised their Trans followers to do the same? Transgender charities also appear to be advising people to “ignore” the High Court ruling that sex must not be self-identified on the 2021 Census? E.g. Mermaids, a charity which supports transgender children, said in a blogpost: “It is not mandatory to read the ONS guidance before completing the census. Individuals must answer to the best of their knowledge and belief. “You should not feel pressured to give an answer that you know to be false.” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/03/19/ignore-high-court-filling-census-transgender-charities-imply/

It is my belief that the ONS and its senior leadership have acted in severe breach of the Nolan Principles, as well as serving as the antithesis to the Code of Practice for Statistics. I therefore call on either yourself, or Lord Agnew in his capacity as Cabinet Minister of State for Efficiency & Transformation, with responsibility for PUBLIC VALUE, PLANNING and PERFORMANCE, as well as delivering cross-government efficiency and public sector transformation improvements, to give this matter your utmost attention, so as to restore public trust in Public Institutions that present evidence; the processes by which data is analysed; and the impartiality of the rule of law for all UK citizens. An open letter to trustees and chief executives: you’re being taken for a ride:

https://fairplayforwomen.com/open-letter-to-trustees-and-chief-executives-youre-being-taken-for-a-ride/

I look forward to your response on this matter of policy capture and its impact on UK democracy, at the earliest opportunity. What the public needs to see is more robust data that can give medical researchers, publishers & policy makers confidence in ONS Statistics.

Yours Sincerely,

Artless Feckleblossom

@MsGiveZeroFox

Sent to:

psmichaelgove@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

pslordagnew@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

GRARG Going forward. MEETING 18th MARCH 2021 8pm

Zoom link for meeting

We need to make sure we are complimenting and not duplicating the work of other groups which are challenging the harmful conflation of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in official policies, advice and legistation. 

This may cause some tension when contacting other groups, as the fundamental founding principle of GRARG is that we work entirely openly, to show that there is nothing illicit or shameful about discussing issues around reform or repeal to the Gender Recognition Act – this is protected political speech. But we appreciate that many other groups and individuals may have strong reasons for anonymity given the sadly real and serious  consequences that can flow from expressing public opinions in this area. This may limit the extent to which GRARG can work with others. 

However, GRARG does need a focus for its continued existence. The overarching aim is to end the conflation between ‘sex’ and’gender’ which is so clearly damaging in the Gender Recognition Act. We need to identify specific proposals for projects which support this over arching aim, but which are measurable and achievable and thus enable people to feel involved, interested and productive. 

We have done some work in attempting to identify which Members of Parliament are educated about the seriousness of the conflation between sex and gender and how we can reach those MPs who are ‘unsure’ or confused. 

We will contact @labwomendec, @CforWomenUK and  @LibVoice4Women to make sure we not duplicating any of their proposals and will offer what help we can. 

We need to make meetings more focused; one hour maximum with 40 minutes on policy development and action, 20 minutes for general ranting and letting off steam. 

Agenda items for 19th March

What’s been the follow up on Penny Mordaunt? Should we write more letters? Who to? Those who.’ve had a response. What did it say? 

Conversion Therapy? What can we do at grass roots level? Beyond writing to MP’s. Those who have issues reaching MP’s. What tips can we share about forcing engagement? We know C for Women wrote a complaint letter to BBC. Should we become more aggressive with the press, i.e., writing complaints letters where their headlines are incorrect, articles misleading, not providing enough balance, misleading the public, conflating gender & sex jargon, which prevents public awareness engagement with the policy capture issues? 

Shelters- With local elections coming up, we really have a chance to put some pressure on councillors & find out their positions on this. Don’t forget, a lot of politics is conducted at the local level. 

Ian Diamond & ONS – Seeking accountability. Who’s in charge of ONS? What steps are being taken to ensure ONS does it job & this won’t happen again. They gave out the right guidance in the end, but it should never have got to this point. And their tacit encouragement as a public institution, has only encouraged & emboldened the often illegal manoeuvres of the TRA camp.

Meeting of GRARG 21st January 2021

Next meeting: FEBRUARY 18th 2021 Time 8pm

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86798717951?pwd=d2kzbnRUZGo1YitKRjJheDFjMy9KQT09

AGENDA

Set short and medium term strategy

Report on progress at next meeting.

End the conflation of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in legal/policy/organisation’s documents. If this conflation can be removed, much of the difficulties with the current GRA will go.

Members to examine submissions to the recent WEC consultation to identify organisations that support this conflation/self ID and then write to them to ask to what extent women were consulted. SP awaiting response from NatWest, Artless will tackle Barnardos. SP letter to Natwest is here. Please share via Slack gcritical.slack.com if you have identified someone you wish to contact. Project deadline: End March 2021.

New group involving LibDem women being set up – will be interesting to hear of progress!

Consider how to contact the ‘unsure’ MPs on the spreadsheet – we will need to identify constituents. Write to them asking for clear statement of intent with regard to self identification and conflation of sex and gender.

Contact other groups to share this strategy – so we don’t duplicate efforts

SP to contact @SexMattersOrg and @RepealTheGRA

Every one to respond to consultations

See Slack channel for more discussion

And sign the Women’s Declaration on Sex Based Rights

Consultations

Standards Matter consultation
Closes 29th January 2021 at 5pm

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/standards-matter-2-public-consultation-and-public-sector-survey

Toilet Provision for Men and Women: Call for Evidence
Closes 29th January 2021 at 11.45pm

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/toilet-provision-for-men-and-women-call-for-evidence

How Can We Put Equalities At The Heart of Government

Closes 17th February 2021 no time given
Warning; our moles tell us this may be a way to undermine and attack Liz Truss

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/328/women-and-equalities-committee/news/138432/how-can-we-put-equalities-at-the-heart-of-government/

Violence Against Women and Girls: Call for Evidence
Closes 19th February 2021 at 11.45pm

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-against-women-and-girls-vawg-call-for-evidence

Keeping Children Safe in Education

Closes 4th March 2021, no time given.

https://consult.education.gov.uk/safeguarding-in-schools-team/keeping-children-safe-in-education-schools-and-col/?fbclid=IwAR3kv11k6zcDpryWrPyIDy3WcIHQ6ivMDhJYpU9-GMqBiJ0bGvsR7SOuZ70

The Role of the GEO: embedding equalities across government
17th February 2021, no time given.
https://committees.parliament.uk/work/947/the-role-of-the-geo-embedding-equalities-across-government/

A letter to Ms Alison Rose, CEO of the NatWest Group

Dear Ms Rose

I write to you as CEO of the NatWest Group to express a number of concerns arising out of NatWest’s response to the Women and Equalities Committee on 26th November 2020. This letter is signed by a number of others, some of whom are customers of NatWest and who have indicated this status by the letter ‘C’ next to their name.

The response said this:

NatWest Group supports a review of the identity rules in the UK to reflect the needs and rights of trans and non-binary people. … Society is a diverse place with many kinds of people who are all unique. Making it easier for people wishing to change their gender status would help to safeguard the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of trans people, and continue the journey towards social and legal equality…. NatWest Group believes that no individual should be placed under any additional burden, be it emotional, physical or financial, to be able to be who they are. .. We support the adoption of a self-declaration system for legal gender recognition in the UK. We have already adopted this process in the workplace to ensure that colleagues can bring their whole selves to work every day, free of judgement, as part of our goal of ensuring all our staff are comfortable in their surroundings. We also extend the same levels of support to our trans and non-binary customers, enabling customers to self-declare gender changes with no requirement for additional evidence.

This raised immediate concerns given the significant risks that ‘Self ID’ will impact negatively upon the safety and dignity of women, as between 80-90% of self declared transwomen make no modification to their bodies by either way of medication or surgery.

To be fair, the response does go on to say that changes to the GRA require further clarification to ensure ‘equal’ protection of all protected characteristics:

… we would ask the inquiry to consider how these changes could be balanced against the need to protect the rights of others. We believe it remains essential that all the protected characteristics remain equally protected as enshrined in the UK Equality Act, 2010…. NatWest Group believe that further clarification and/or guidance would be helpful to employers and to ensure that employees and service users are aware of their rights. 

However, it is difficult to see how ‘all’ protected characteristics can be ‘equally protected’ if you have already instituted ‘self ID’ in the workplace, or among your customers. Quite apart from any issues of increasing exposure to fraud and ID theft, this permits any man to claim he is a woman on his assertion alone. I can see no reference in this response to the nature or degree of consultation, if any, that was carried out with your female employees or your female customers about the impact of this policy on their ability to ‘bring their whole selves to work’ or be confident that their ‘physical, mental and emotional wellbeing’ is protected whilst on your premises.

This is particularly concerning when I look at your ‘gender balance’ policy, which is committed to ensure ‘at least 30% women in our top three leadership layers (c.4,000 roles) in each of our businesses by the end of 2020 and achieve a full gender balance across the bank by 2030.’ What definition of ‘woman’ will you be using to secure this aim? Presumably none whatsoever, as you have already adopted and implemented ‘self ID’ throughout NatWest.

I raised my concerns initially with the Twitter account @NatWest_Help on January 13th 2021 which invited comment via Direct Message. I said:

Dear NatWest. I have been a customer of yours for over 30 years. But given the astonishing content of your recent submission to the WEC about your support for the rights of men to become women on their declaration alone, I will now have to reconsider this position as a matter of urgency. I am particularly worried by the fact your submission could not even bring itself to use the word ‘sex’ or recognise the importance of retaining single sex spaces for the dignity and safety of women and girls. I do not understand why you feel it appropriate or necessary to join the debate in this way.

I received a response from ‘Barry’ later that day.

Hello Sarah. We’ve provided input into a consultation on legislation that is currently under review. In doing so, we consulted with our LGBT+ colleagues and took account of our shared value of supporting individuals to bring the best of themselves to work, a privilege often not afforded to Trans* individuals. As an entity, NatWest Group is comfortable to contribute to the consultation, recognising that it is in line with our inclusion principles, one of which is that we do not support views that undermine protected characteristics and/or minority and under-represented groups. It is true that – with inclusion – we cannot always share the same views as each other, but as an organisation, we are comfortable to support our Trans* colleagues and customers this way. ^Barry

I replied:

I would be grateful if you could explain the extent of the impact assessment you conducted with regard to the consequences for women in your organisation, and also women who are your customers. Which women did you consult? To what extent did you satisfy yourselves that support for Self ID would not undermine the protected category of sex and the safety and dignity of women?

At the time of writing I have had no response to these questions. Such is the serious nature of my concern that I write to you now.

I have been a long standing customer of NatWest. I do not relish the prospect of moving my accounts and mortgage product to another provider. However, I am very concerned by what I have read and the nature of the responses. I would like to be reassured as to the nature and degree of the consultation carried out with women in to inform the implementation of this policy of ‘Self ID’ and some understanding as to how you intend to mitigate the obvious and serious impact this will have on women who are either employed by or customers of the NatWest Group.

I would be grateful for a response by February 15th 2021.

SIGNATORIES

  1. Jackie Bale [C]
  2. Dr Carly Brooks
  3. Campbell Burden
  4. Tanya Carter
  5. Jason Clark
  6. Diana Clough
  7. Elaine Coates
  8. Margaret Court
  9. Lawrence Cox
  10. Diane Dear
  11. Emma Dear {C]
  12. Martin Dear
  13. Catherine Edgar [C]
  14. Jessica Evans
  15. Alix Goldring
  16. David Gourley
  17. Jennifer Gourley
  18. Donna Hughes
  19. John Irwin
  20. Sarah Johnson
  21. The Lesbian Rights Alliance.
  22. John A.P. Moir [C]
  23. C. Moravec [C]
  24. Louise Paine on behalf of LAWS (Let A Woman Speak)
  25. Liz Pitt
  26. Sarah Phillimore [C]
  27. Beth Miller
  28. C.L. Mulholland
  29. Joanne Rogers [C]
  30. Lisa Route [C]
  31. Alison Simmons
  32. Carla Thompson
  33. Georgia Thompson
  34. Charlotte Wells
  35. Una-Jane Winfield on behalf of Transwidows.com
  36. Tracy Woodley
  37. Colonel (Retired) S.A. Winkworth CMgs FCMI FInstRE [C]
  38. Mina Znaidi

GRARG meeting 29th October 2020

Thanks to all who attended and shared their stories. We remain open to all.

The next meeting is 12 November 2020 8pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4247888422

We found ourselves with renewed focus after the announcement of two important consulations:

Toilet provision for men and women

And

We agreed to meet again on 12th November in order to discuss our progress. We agreed it would be sensible to respond via a ‘general’ GRARG response to point out :

  • the inherent problems caused by lack of defined terms within the consultation – what is meant by ‘trans’ for e.g
  • the inherent problems caused by the conflation of sex and gender

And that individuals would make their own responses to those questions that particularly interested them.

There was a lot of helpful guidance on Twitter about how to make submissions and the official Government guidance is here.

Key points

  • It’s not a numbers game – this is about evidence.
  • Set out who you are
  • Keep it short – about 3,000 words
  • Don’t submit already published material but draw from it
  • Number your paragraphs!
  • Don’t comment on matters currently before the court
  • Don’t publish your submissions separately

Very grateful thanks to the Gender Crit for setting us up with a Slack account, which is already seeing a lot of discussion and questions.

And don’t forget our Manifesto is now in living colour! We have 93 signatures now – it would be great to get this up to 100 by November 27th.

When the consultation period is over we will return to examining our MPs spreadsheet and the best way to communicate with those who are ‘unsure’.

THE GRARG MANIFESTO

The Gender Recognition Act Reform/Repeal Group had its first meeting on 24th June 2020. It was born out of increasing anger and despair at the current state of our public debate – or lack of it – around issues of fundamental importance to women. We wanted to turn those negative emotions into positive action.

We hold regular Zoom meetings to discuss our aims and strategy. All are welcome, provided that they are courteous and do not talk over others.

The GRARG has two aims:

  • To discuss openly and publicly reform to the GRA; to show that there is nothing in this discussion that is shameful or wrong.
  • To take positive action to support reform or repeal of the GRA

We present the third version of our Manifesto.

I offer very grateful thanks to all who have contributed; the original and second version can be seen here. This may not be the final version. If you want your contribution to be recognised or you are willing to sign your name, please indicate in the comments or email me at sarahvphillimore@gmail.com

This is a living document that may change over time. But what will remain constant is our commitment to honesty and clarity of thought as the highest ideals.

We will use this document to inform our discussions with those new to this debate or unsure about what they think.

We will no longer waste our time in ‘debating’ the existence of those truths we identify as self evident. But we remain open to discuss ways forward – to recognise and support the rights of all.

However, we recognise that often rights exist in tension. Threats and shame can never resolve this tension. They will only inflame hatred and suspicion of each other.

This hurts us all.

 

We hold these truths to be self evident. 

Our right to speak

  1. We have a right to speak publicly about the laws of our country.
  2. This speech is protected political speech under ECHR Article 10.
  3. Others have a right to disagree with us.
  4. But no one has the right to harass or threaten any other who is exercising their right to protected political speech.
  5. Discussion of laws and policy must be open.
  6. Those impacted by law or policy must be consulted.

Sex, Gender and Gender Identity

  1. The definition of a ‘woman’ is ‘adult human female’ 
  2. The definition of a ‘man’ is ‘adult human male’. 
  3. There are only two sexes; male and female. 
  4. Sex is determined at fertilisation and revealed at birth or even before.
  5. Sex is not determined by clothes, hairstyles, choice of pronouns or activities. 
  6. Human beings cannot change sex. 
  7. The existence of rare and well-described  ‘differences of sexual development’ (DSDs or so called ‘intersex’ conditions) does not negate the fact that sex is binary and does not prove the existence of any ‘third sex’.
  8. It is unacceptable to use those with DSDs to provide support for any argument that there are more than two sexes. A person with a DSD is either male or female and has a right to be recognised as such.
  9. Sex is relevant in many areas of life including healthcare, safeguarding and risk assessment, sexual relationships and reproduction, bodily privacy and consent, protections against sex discrimination and the collection of statistics.
  10. ‘Gender’ used to be a more gentle synonym for ‘sex’ but it’s meaning has changed over time and is now more commonly used to describe the roles, behaviours and social expectations associated with the two sexes.
  11. Gender can be perceived as oppressive and potentially harmful to all people of both sexes as it may impose unfair and limiting stereotypes on both men and women. 
  12. People should be free to express themselves by their appearance and how they talk about themselves without being limited by expectations imposed by their sex.
  13. Nobody should be harassed, threatened or suffer unlawful discrimination because of how they look or wish to be called.
  14. Gender identity’ is a phrase used to describe a belief held by a minority of people about their identities and the nature of them. This may be expressed by clothes worn, hairstyles, choice of pronouns and activities.
  15. A belief in a ‘gender identity’ is subjective, cannot be falsified and is not universally accepted as true. 
  16. ‘Sex’ ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity’ are therefore categorically different things and must not be conflated.
  17. Sex is a protected characteristic pursuant to the Equality Act 2010. ‘Gender’ or ‘Gender identity’ are not. 
  18. Single and separate sex services, associations and sports are protected by the Equality Act 2010.

We hold these issues worthy of discussion 

  1. Section 9 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) conflates ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ and is therefore not fit for purpose and should be amended or repealed:

Where a full gender recognition certificate is issued to a person, the person’s gender becomes for all purposes the acquired gender (so that if the acquired gender is the male gender, the person’s sex becomes that of a man, and if it is the female gender, the person’s sex becomes that of a woman).

2. The Gender Recognition Act creates a ‘legal fiction’ in that the holder of a Gender Recognition Certificate has ‘changed sex’ and must now be treated as the opposite sex, save for the defined exceptions. How this interacts with the Equality Act 2010 to allow males access to female single-sex spaces is confusing, not well understood and persistently mis-represented.

3. Making the disclosure of a Gender Recognition Certificate a criminal offence, with few exceptions, has had wide reaching consequences. Making someone’s sex confidential, when it is often something that is immediately visually obvious and relevant to many aspects of life, has left many organisations uneasy about collecting data on anyone’s sex or enforcing sex-based rules. Therefore we have ‘self ID’ by the back door.

4. Single-sex spaces remain necessary for women and girls, for their safety dignity and well being; the activities that take place in these spaces are such that many women and girls would reasonably object to the presence of males. We are particularly concerned about those spaces where women and girls are accommodated in close proximity to each other and have little or no choice about how they enter or leave this space. For example, prisons, hospitals and women’s refuges. 

5. Women and girls also have a right to be provided health or other intimate care from a person of the same sex.

6. We recognise that some men and women experience significant mental distress when identified as the sex they were born and wish to present and be treated as the opposite sex. This is often called ‘gender dysphoria’. 

7. We agree that it is legitimate to ask how the ECHR Article 8 rights to a private life and psychological integrity for those with gender dysphoria, can be balanced against the rights of women and girls to single-sex spaces, and the wider societal needs to distinguish between the male and female sex. Some members would go further to declare that women’s rights to single-sex spaces are absolute and should not be subject to any kind of balancing act.

8. We agree it is reasonable to investigate how provision of third spaces could protect the ECHR Article 8 rights to privacy and psychological integrity of those with ‘gender dysphoria’ while protecting the rights of women and girls. 

9. We do not agree that accessible spaces currently designated for those with the EA protected characteristic of disability should be automatically considered appropriate for use as such a ‘third space’ and where no such ‘third space’ exists, the assumption must never be that a single-sex female space can be used instead. 

10. We agree it is reasonable to investigate how people can obtain copies of official documents which do not include information about their sex. This will allow them to use those documents in situations where they are not be asked to declare their sex.

11. We assert that registration of birth is a historical record and should record the sex of a person at birth and should not be changed.  Birth certificates could however be issued in ‘short form’ to remove any reference to sex. 

12. We assert it should be clearly stated in law that no child below the age of 16 should have access to any medical treatment which has its main or primary goal, the alteration of observable sex characteristics.

13. We assert it should be clearly stated in law that no child of any age should be permitted to consent to any surgical intervention which has as its main or primary goal, alteration of observable sex characteristics. 

14. ADDED 11th OCTOBER – that existing rights for the spouses to declare whether they wish their marriage to continue or be annulled, should be retained.

WE THE PEOPLE

  1. Lynn Alderson
  2. Ermine Amies
  3. Louise Ashworth Ford
  4. Jane Ayres
  5. Alessandra Asteriti
  6. Ellen B
  7. Julie L Baillie
  8. Seonaid Dawn Barber
  9. Belstaffie
  10. Judith Berridge
  11. Clare Blom
  12. Lisa Bowley
  13. Sarah Bradbeer
  14. Dawne Brown
  15. Heather Brunskell-Evans
  16. Kiera Cadwell
  17. Mairi Cameron
  18. Mary Casey
  19. Guffi Chohdri
  20. D. Clough
  21. Kate Coleman
  22. Wendy Cockroft
  23. Lucy Cowlin
  24. Alison Dowling
  25. Lynne Drewery
  26. Jeni E
  27. Deborah Evans
  28. Jessica Evans
  29. Mike Flinn
  30. Elizabeth Griffiths
  31. Jennifer Griffiths
  32. Jane Harris
  33. Isobel Htay
  34. Adam Hibbert
  35. Jacky Holyoak
  36. N. Howard
  37. Mary Humphreys
  38. Jon Irwin
  39. Alison Jenner
  40. Rob Jessel
  41. Wendy Johnson
  42. Rachel King
  43. Nick Langford
  44. Christina Lamb
  45. Diane Lawler
  46. Angi Mansi
  47. Mark Mair
  48. Julie Marshall
  49. S. Mawdsley
  50. Cathy Maxwell
  51. Kate McEwan
  52. Michelle Mealor
  53. Hugh Meechan
  54. Maggie Mellon
  55. Celia Mindelsohn
  56. John AP Moir
  57. C. Moravec
  58. Nuria Muina
  59. Claire Newton
  60. Andreia Nobre
  61. Ros Olleson
  62. Julia O’Connor
  63. Margaret Ann Pearson
  64. Miriam Peck
  65. Max Pell
  66. Edith Pender-Hiom
  67. Hilary Penney
  68. Sarah Phillimore
  69. Gillian Philip
  70. Denise Prideaux
  71. Linda Ramsay
  72. Hannah Ray
  73. Delyth Rennie
  74. Kirstin Rennie
  75. Miriam Richards
  76. Victoria Richards
  77. Stasia Richardson
  78. Gil Rimmer
  79. Nigel Scott
  80. Deborah Siddoway
  81. Amrane Smith
  82. Jennifer Smith
  83. Kate Styles
  84. Maggie Siviter
  85. Joanna Stafford-Tolley
  86. A. Thomas
  87. Selina Thompson
  88. Sarah Tilley
  89. Iris Walker
  90. Ruth Walls
  91. Kay Warner
  92. Alison Weir
  93. Victoria Whitworth
  94. Jane Willis
  95. Ella Witchwood
  96. Alison Wren
  97. Karen Varley
  98. M. Znaidi

First Draft of the GRARG Manifesto

October 3rd 2020

All comments welcome. Either comment below the post or email sarahvphillimore@gmail.com

EDITS 4th October IN BOLD

Comments in italic

Thanks to all for your comments. If you made them on Twitter, apologies if they got lost, I may not have captured all.

With regard to the ‘self evident’ truths I think we need to achieve unanimity, or as near as possible. These are the matters that we will no longer agree to spend time debating. They are facts and they are true.

Those matters we deem worthy of discussion can be more contentious – it is not for us to press for any particular solution. But I think it is important that we at least engage with what these solutions might be.

We hold these truths to be self evident.

  1. The definition of a ‘woman’ is ‘adult human female’
  2. The definition of a ‘man’ is ‘adult human male’.
  3. There are only two sexes; male and female.
  4. Sex is determined at fertilisation and revealed at birth or, increasingly, in utero.
  5. Sex is not determined by clothes worn, hairstyles, choice of pronouns or activities.
  6. Sex is immutable and objective.
  7. The existence of rare and well-described ‘disorders ‘differences of sexual differentiation’ (so called ‘intersex’ conditions) does not negate the fact that sex is binary and does not prove the existence of any ‘third sex’. It is unacceptable to attempt to use those with DSDs to provide support for any such argument. A person with a DSD is either male or female.
  8. Gender describes a social system that varies over time and location and involves shaping of a set of behaviours, clothing or activities deemed appropriate for one’s sex.
  9. Gender can be perceived as oppressive and potentially painful harmful to all people of both sexes as it may impose unfair and limiting stereotypes on both men and women.
  10. Gender is mutable and subjective.
  11. ‘Gender identity’ is a phrase used to describe a belief held by a minority of people about their identities and the nature of them. This may be expressed by clothes worn, hairstyles, choice of pronouns and activities.
  12. A belief in a ‘gender identity’ has no basis in science and therefore is akin to any other religious belief; it is subjective, cannot be falsified and is not universally accepted as true.
  13. ‘Sex’ ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity’ are therefore substantially categorically different things and must not be conflated.
  14. Sex is a protected characteristic pursuant to the Equality Act 2010. ‘Gender’ or ‘Gender identity’ are not.
  15. Single-sex spaces are protected by the Equality Act if for a proportionate and legitimate aim.
  16. All have a right to live free from abuse, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination, regardless of their actual sex or claimed gender identity and the State has a positive obligation to protect these rights by use of either the civil or the criminal law.
  17. There is a distinction between a personal right to claim a freedom to do something (choose one’s sexual or marital partner for e.g.) and claiming a right of entitlement to goods, services or employment prospects.
  18. A right of entitlement is meaningless without the law to recognise and enforce it. Therefore both the entitlement and the person claiming it must be capable of clear definition.
  19. If the State wishes to elevate any particular characteristic as attracting greater protection at law, that characteristic must be capable of definition.
  20. Sex is capable of such definition; ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity’ are not.

Definitions of sex and gender from Sex, gender and gender identity: a re-evaluation of the evidence BJPsych Bulletin July 2020.

We hold these issues worthy of discussion

  1. Section 9 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) is not fit for purpose and should be amended or repealed

Where a full gender recognition certificate is issued to a person, the person’s gender becomes for all purposes the acquired gender (so that if the acquired gender is the male gender, the person’s sex becomes that of a man, and if it is the female gender, the person’s sex becomes that of a woman).

2. The Gender Recognition Act creates a ‘legal fiction’ in that the holder of a Gender Recognition Certificate has ‘changed sex’ and must now be treated as the opposite sex, save for the defined exceptions. How this interacts extent to which the ‘legal fiction’ of the Gender Recognition Certificate operates with the Equality Act 2010 to allow males access to female single-sex spaces is confusing, not well understood and persistently mis-represented over time.

3. Single-sex spaces remain necessary for women and girls, for their safety dignity and well being; the activities that take place in these spaces are such that many women and girls would reasonably object to the presence of males. We are particularly concerned about those spaces where women and girls are accommodated in close proximity to each other and have little or no choice about how they enter or leave this space. For example, prisons, hospitals and women’s refuges.

4. Access to such spaces should not be automatically determined by possession of a Gender Recognition Certificate or any equivalent document and should NEVER be permitted by allowing a member of the male sex to identify as the female sex on his declaration alone (‘Self ID’). This is unlikely to be proportionate or legitimate as it risks harm to the dignity and/or safety of women and girls. comment: not sure why you say, “his declaration alone.” Surely all males should be excluded from access? I realise this excludes the ‘safe’ transexuals, but I’d be inclined to be more absolutist about this

5. Women and girls also have a right to be provided health or other intimate care from a person of the same sex

6. We recognise that some men and women do not feel comfortable to be identified as the sex they were born and wish to present and be treated as the opposite sex. This is often called ‘gender dysphoria’.

7. We agree that it is legitimate to ask how the ECHR Article 8 rights of such people to psychological integrity can be balanced against the rights of women and girls to single sex spaces. Comment: Does this point mean the we query the very possibility of ‘balancing’ against single-sex spaces? If so fine (but needs to be stated more clearly). Or does it mean that its legitimate to balance trans rights against women’s right’s to single-sex spaces? In which case, no. Women’s rights to single-sex spaces under EA exceptions must be off the table.

8. We agree it is reasonable to investigate how provision of third spaces could protect the psychological integrity of those with ‘gender dysphoria’ while protecting the rights of women and girls. Comment: do we need to even mention third spaces? This is not a problem for us to solve.

9. We do not agree that accessible spaces currently designated for those with the EA protected characteristic of disability should be automatically considered appropriate for use as such a ‘third space’ and where no such ‘third space’ exists, the assumption must never be that a single-sex female space can be used instead.

10. We agree it is reasonable to investigate how documents used to determine a person’s identity could be changed to remove any indication of a person’s sex for those situations were sex is irrelevant.

11. However we assert that registration of birth a birth certificate is a historical record and should record the sex of a person at birth and should not be changed. Birth certificates could however be issued in ‘short form’ to remove any reference to sex.

12. We assert that accurate recording of birth sex is also important for statistics, such as rates of criminal offending, and for ensuring that correct medical treatment is given.

13. We do not think that any child should be encouraged to access medication or surgery regarding their ‘gender identity’ before the age of 16 years. We do not think any child below the age of 16 should have access to puberty blockers or cross sex hormones regardless of whether or not that child is found to be Gillick competent to consent, and that it should be clearly stated in law that no child of any age should be permitted to consent to any surgical intervention which has as its main or primary goal alteration of observable sex characteristics. This provoked a lot of comment – I had initially used the age of 16 because I could not find any primary legislation that prohibited surgery for the over 16s – but it does seem that medical organisations do not permit their members to carry out such surgery on any person under 18 and some set the age limit even higher. Many argued for an upper age limit of 21 or even 25, given the seriousness of what was at stake. This is clearly a very important area that is going to need much more discussion and is beyond the remit of this document.

One detailed comment read:

Physical interventions for gender dysphoria should not be available within general clinical service (ie as a standard treatment) before the age of 25. The NHS Long Term Plan calls for a seamless mental health service from 0 to 25 and there’s widespread acceptance within healthcare professions of the distinct needs of the mid-teens to mid-twenties group. For example, the Royal College of Physicians says that “young adults and adolescents (YAA) aged between 16 and 25 years need to be considered as a defined population.” The CQC states that “Adolescence/young adulthood should be recognised across the health service as an important developmental phase”; NICE guidelines on transition to adult services calls for “everyone working with young people in transition up to the age of 25 [to understand]… young people’s development (biological, cognitive, psychological, psychosocial, sexual, social)” and the NHS’s own toolkit for delivering developmentally appropriate healthcare cautions that “young people’s development does not have a fixed time frame attached. Much of this development will take place after reaching the legal age of adulthood at 18.”

2. We don’t think that gender reassignment surgery should be available to any child (ie before the age of 18). This is also the current NHS position.

3. We believe that all physical interventions for gender dysphoria for this group should be available only within a research study. This would provide for independent ethical approval and oversight during the duration of the study; ensures reporting of outcomes, good and bad; signals clearly to patients that the interventions are experimental; and is the only way we’ll be able to determine their safety and efficacy, better than we can now.

 

3rd Meeting – Self ID ‘DENIED’

GRARG met for the 3rd time remotely on 3rd September 2020. It was clear we remained in a limbo with no news on any Government announcement about reform to the GRA.

On 19th September the fog cleared a little with a leaked report in the Sunday Times that Self ID was NOT going to be part of any reform to the GRA, although the process of obtaining a certificate would be made less expensive.

What I thought was really significant was this comment:

More than 100,000 responses were received to the consultation. Insiders say 70% backed the idea that anyone should be allowed to self-identify. However, officials believe the results were skewed by responses generated by trans rights groups.

So we can see both the power of lobby groups but also their weakness – if you overplay your hand with weak cards, you may not achieve much.

Apparently Liz Truss will make a formal announcement on Wednesday September 23rd at 11.30 am. I really hope it will be to confirm the news already leaked.

With Self ID off the table – at least for now – the major and most serious threat to women’s rights is gone. But the conflation between sex and gender remains, and all the harm that this does. However, we can now focus on that issue as plank to reform to the GRA/EA without having to beat off the Self ID dragon – so that is very positive.

We will wait to see what announcement is made and arrange a fourth meeting to consider the implications of this.

Summary of the third meeting.

We discussed the spreadsheet of MP’s replies and considered tactics for moving forward. We agreed that those MP’s who self identified as ‘unsure’ were probably the best targets for further lobbying. Some of those who were ‘foes’ expressed truly incredible ideas; one male MP categorised those who supported women’s rights for single sex spaces as the same as those who propped up apartheid in South Africa. It’s clear we are unlikely to reach those!

A debate arose during and after the meeting about whether we should be publicising MP’s views at all, given the ‘consequences’ for expressing oneself as a ‘friend’. My view was that we should certainly make it clear who was friend/foe/unsure; MPs are public servants and the public have a right to know their position on a matter of such importance. Not only that, but GRARG was founded on the very important principle that these discussions must be held as publicly as possible; as an important weapon against the narrative that our views are in any way shameful or reprehensible. So we will continue to publish that information but as always, welcome feedback.

We agreed we should make further contact with other groups who are also collecting this information so that we get the best data possible to inform any further push to target the ‘unsures’, along with the need to consider other kinds of information dissemination, such as videos.

Updated spreadsheet.

On September 3rd we had 140 replies and 57% were in the ‘foe’ column. The Good News is, as of September 20 we had 164 replies and ‘foes were down to 48% at 79 MPS – ‘friend’ and ‘unsure’ roughly split at 44 and 41 each.

The first tranche are those who replied directly to the GRARG letter and the questions posed there.

FRIENDThangam DebbonaireBristol WestLAB
FRIEND Andrew Gwyenne Denton and ReddishLAB
FRIENDJohn Howell OBEHenley CON
FRIENDJames DalyBury Ramsbottom and TottinghamCON
FRIENDJonathan LordWokingCON
FRIEND Anthony BrowneSouth CambridgeshireCON
FRIEND Chris LoderWest DorsetCON
FRIENDSteve DoubleSt Austell and NewquayCON
FRIEND might be wobblyLucy FrazerSouth East CambridgeshireCON
UNSURESuzanne WebbStourbridgeCON
UNSURELucy AllanTelfordCON
UNSUREDavid JonesClwyd WestCON
FOEBarry GardinerBrent NorthLAB
FOETahir AliBirmingham, Hall GreenLAB
FOEElliott ColburnCarsharlton and WallingtonCON
REPLIES TO OTHER LETTERS including info from EMMA PALERMO. NB. Foes are recorded as ‘TWAW’ but this doesn’t necessarily mean they would answer this way if replying to the GRARG letter.
FRIENDS
FRIEND?Diane AbbottHackney North LAB
FRIEND Elaine SmithCentral ScotlandLAB
FRIEND Jenny MarraN.E.ScotlandLAB
FRIEND Johann LamontGlasgowLAB
FRIENDGareth BaconOrpingtonCON
FRIENDDuncan BakerNorth NorfolkCON
FRIENDGeoffrey CoxTorridge & West DevonCON
FRIENDDavid DaviesMonmouthCON
FRIENDJackie Doyle PriceThurrockCON
FRIENDIain Duncan SmithChingford and Woodford GreenCON
FRIENDLaura FarrisNewburyCON
FRIENDSally-Ann HartHastings and RyeCON
FRIENDDanny KreugerDevizesCON
FRIENDCaroline NoakesRomsey Southampton NCON
FRIENDMark Pritchardthe WrekinCON
FRIENDElizabeth TrussSW NorfolkCON
FRIEND Therese CoffeySuffolk CoastalCON
FRIEND Phillip DaviesShipleyCON
FRIEND Ben BradleyMansfieldCON
FRIENDJames HeappeyWellsCON
FRIEND Bob NeillBromley and ChislehurstCON
FRIEND Jeremy BalfourLothianCON
FRIENDPatricia GibsonN. AyreshireSNP
FRIENDJoanna CherryEd South WestSNP
FRIEND Joan McAlpineSouth ScotlandSNP
FRIENDAngus McNeilNa a-eileanan An LarSNP
FRIENDCarol MonaghanGlasgow NWSNP
FRIEND James DornanGlasgow CathcartSNP
FRIEND Ash DenhamEdinburgh EasternSNP
FRIEND Christine GrahameMidlothian South, Tweeddale & LauderdaleSNP
FRIEND Ruth MaguireCunninghame SouthSNP
FRIEND Ivan McKeeGlasgow ProvanSNP
FRIEND Andy WightmanLothianGREEN
FRIEND Helen Mary JonesMid and West WalesPLAID
FOE/TWAWDark red = worth lobbying
FOE/TWAWCat SmithLancaster and FleetwoodLAB
FOE/TWAWKarin SmythBristol SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWAlex SobelLeeds NorthwestLAB
FOE/TWAWKeir StarmerHolborn and St PancrasLAB
FOE/TWAWWes StreetingIlford NorthLAB
FOE/TWAWZarah SultanaCoventy SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWEmily ThornberryIslington S and FinsburyLAB
FOE/TWAWKarl TurnerKingston upon Hull EastLAB
FOE/TWAWCatherine WestHorney and Wood GrnLAB
FOE/TWAWMatt WesternWarwick and LeamingtonLAB
FOE/TWAWNadia WhittomeNottingham EastLAB
FOE/TWAWDaneil ZeicherCambridgeLAB
FOE/TWAWAngela EaglewallaseyLAB
FOE/TWAWTahir AliBirminghamLAB
FOE/TWAWRosena Allina KhanTootingLAB
FOE/TWAWFleur AndersonPutneyLAB
FOE/TWAWClive BettsSheffieldLAB
FOE/TWAWDawn ButlerBrent CentralLAB
FOE/TWAWIan ByrneLiverpool West DarbyLAB
FOE/TWAWDan CardenLiverpool WaltonLAB
FOE/TWAWRichard BurgonLeeds EastLAB
FOE/TWAWBambos CharalambousEnfield SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWStella CreaseyWalthamstowLAB
FOE/TWAWStephen DoughtyCardiff S and PenarthLAB
FOE/TWAWGill FurnissSheffield BrightsideLAB
FOE/TWAWMary GlindonNorth TynesideLAB
FOE/TWAWJeremy CorbynIs NorthLAB
FOE/TWAWKim JohnsonLiverpool RiversideLAB
FOE/TWAWGillian KeeganChichesterLAB
FOE/TWAWDavid LammyTottenhamLAB
FOE/TWAWClive LewisNorwich SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWRebecca Long BaileySalford and EcclesLAB
FOE/TWAWSeema MalhotraFeltham and HestonLAB
FOE/TWAWKerry McCarthyBristol EastLAB
FOE/TWAWStephan MorganPortsmouth SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWIan MurrayEdinburgh SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWAlex NorrisNottingham NorthLAB
FOE/TWAWLuke PollardPlymouth Sutton DevonportLAB
FOE/TWAWLucy PowellManchester CentralLAB
FOE/TWAWYasmin QureshiBolton SELAB
FOE/TWAWAngela RaynerAshton-Under-LymeLAB
FOE/TWAWBell Ribeiro-AddyStreathamLAB
FOE/TWAWMarie RimmerSt. Helens South and WhistonLAB
FOE/TWAWLloyd Russell MoyleBrighton KemptownLAB
FOE/TWAWJess PhillipsBirmingham YardleyLAB
FOE/TWAWRoyston SmithSouthampton ItchenCON
FOE/TWAWNickie AikenWestminsterCON
FOE/TWAWStuart AndrewPudseyCON
FOE/TWAWCrispin BluntReigateCON
FOE/TWAWConnor BurnsBournemeouth WestCON
FOE/TWAWChristopher ChopeChristchurchCON
FOE/TWAWJohn HayesSouth Holland & DeepingsCON
FOE/TWAWDrew HendryInverness Nairn, Badenoch & StratsbyCON
FOE/TWAWMims DaviesMid SussexCON
FOE/TWAWNicola RichardsWest Bromwich EastCON
FOE/TWAWJamie WallaceBridgendCON
FOE/TWAWGary SambrookBirmingham NorthfieldCON
FOE/TWAWPaul HolmesEastleighCON
FOE/TWAWJames SunderlandBracknellCON
FOE/TWAWRichard HoldenNorthWest DurhamCON
FOE/TWAWBen EverittMilton Keynes NorthCON
FOE/TWAWJohn NicolsonOchil and South PerthshireSNP
FOE/TWAWStewart McDonaldGllasgow southSNP
FOE/TWAWDavid LyndonGlasgow EastSNP
FOE/TWAWChris LawDundee WestSNP
FOE/TWAWMartin DochertyW DumbartonshireSNP
FOE/TWAWAngela CrawleyLannarck & Hamilton EastSNP
FOE/TWAWAlan BrownKilmarnokckSNP
FOE/TWAWMhairi BlackPaisley SNP
FOE/TWAWKirsty BlackmanAberdeen NSNP
FOE/TWAWChris StephensGlasgow SWSNP
FOE/TWAWPete WishartPerth and N. PerthshireSNP
FOE/TWAWEdward DaveyKinston and surbitonLIB DEMS
FOE/TWAWChrstine JardineEdinburgh WestLIB DEMS
FOE/TWAWLayla MoranWest Oxford and AbingdonLIB DEMS
FOE/TWAWCaroline LucasBrighton PavilionGREEN
UNSURE
TWAW/CONFUSEDAlicia KearnsRutland and MeltonCON
UNSURECaroline AnsellEastbourneCON
UNSURERichard BaconSouth NorfolkCON
UNSURE?Kemi BadenochSaffron WaldrenCON
UNSURE Karen BradleyStaffs MoorlandsCON
UNSURE Ben BradshawExeterCON
UNSURE Suella BravermanFarehamCON
UNSUREMaria CaulfieldLewes SussexCON
UNSURE?Daniel KawczynskiShewsbury & AtchamCON
UNSUREJonathan LordWokingCON
UNSUREOwen PattersonNorth ShropshireCON
UNSUREDominic RaabEsher and WaltonCON
UNSUREPaul ScullySutton and CheamCON
UNSUREJeremy WrightKenilworth on SouthamCON
UNSUREAndrew PerceyBrigg and GooleCON
UNSURE Virginia CorsbieIsle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn)
UNSURERuth CadburyBrentford and IsleworthLAB
UNSURETonia AntoniazziGowerLAB
UNSURE/FRIENDMarsha D CordovaBatterseaLAB
UNSURE/VEERING TO FOERose DuffieldCanterburyLAB
UNSUREJulie ElliottSunderland CentralLAB
UNSUREHarriet HarmanCamberwell and PeckhamLAB
UNSURECaroline HarrisSwansea EastLAB
UNSUREDiana R JohnsonKingston upon Hull NorthLAB
UNSURE/FRIENDPeter KyleHoveLAB
UNSURESiobhain McDonaghMitcham and MordenLAB
UNSUREJohn Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLAB
UNSUREPat McFaddenWolverhampton SELAB
UNSUREAnn McMorrinCardiff NorthLAB
UNSUREBridge PhillipsonHoughton & Sunderland SouthLAB
UNSUREJonathan ReynoldsStalybridge and HydeLAB
UNSURE/FRIENDJo StevensCardiff CentralLAB
UNSUREBeth WinterCynom ValleyLAB
UNSURE?Tim FarronWestmoreland & LondsdaleLIB DEMS
UNSUREAlyn SmithSterlingSNP
HOUSE OF LORDS
FRIENDS
FRIENDBaroness NicholsonLD
FRIENDZac GoldsmithCON
FRIENDLewis MoonieLAB
FRIENDPhilip Hunt@LordPhilofBrumLAB
FRIENDTanni Grey Thomson, BaronessINDEPENDENT

Friend or Foe?

At the third meeting of GRARG at 8pm on 2nd September we will be discussion the results of our contact with MPs.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4247888422

As you can see from the spreadsheet below, as of August 30th we have an idea about the position of 140 MPs and SMPs. However, only 10 are based on responses to the GRARG letter, which tried to set out clearly the implications of any ‘TWAW’ answer. It may be that we would get a different response to those questions.

Regardless, the statistics are sobering. There are a total of 533 constituencies in England; 59 in Scotland; 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland. So that’s potentially 650 MPs we need to canvass; we have the views of only 22% of them.

But of those 22%, the clear majority are recorded as ‘foe’ – 79 which is 57%

23 are ‘friend’ – 17%

And 38 are ‘unsure – 27%

Therefore, if we exptrapolate those percentages across 650 MPs and assume they are being asked to vote now on whether ‘TWAW’ then that would be roughly 370 MPs against 280 who did not agree or were unsure.

Also we aren’t clear as to why the 27% are ‘unsure’ or what precisely they are unsure about. It’s therefore possible that those in the ‘foe’ column could grow in number.

Given the relatively small sample and the fact its based on a variety of different questions, clearly we can’t put much weight on this. But it’s indications are troubling. We urgently need to know in what direction the Government wishes to go on GRA reform so we can decide in which direction our campaigning efforts are best directed.

Very grateful thanks to @Jessica12uk for her work on compiling the spreadsheet.

FRIENDThangam DebbonaireBristol WestLAB
FRIENDJohn Howell OBEHenley CON
FRIENDJames DalyBury Ramsbottom and TottinghamCON
FRIENDJonathan LordWokingCON
UNSURESuzanne WebbStourbridgeCON
UNSURELucy AllanTelfordCON
UNSUREDavid JonesClwyd WestCON
FOEBarry GardinerBrent NorthLAB
FOETahir AliBirmingham, Hall GreenLAB
FOEElliott ColburnCarsharlton and WallingtonCON
REPLIES TO OTHER LETTERS including info from EMMA PALERMO. NB. Foes are recorded as ‘TWAW’ but this doesn’t necessarily mean they would answer this way if replying to the GRARG letter.
FRIENDS
FRIENDDiane AbbottHackney North LAB
FRIENDJo StevensCardiff CentralLAB
FRIENDGareth BaconOrpingtonCON
FRIENDDuncan BakerNorth NorfolkCON
FRIENDGeoffrey CoxTorridge & West DevonCON
FRIENDDavid DaviesMonmouthCON
FRIENDJackie Doyle PriceThurrochCON
FRIENDIain Duncan SmithChingford and Woodford GreenCON
FRIENDLaura FarrisNewburyCON
FRIENDSally-Ann HartHastings and RyeCON
FRIENDDanny KrugerDevizesCON
FRIENDCaroline NoakesRomsey Southampton NCON
FRIENDMark Pritchardthe WrekinCON
FRIENDElizabeth TrussSW NorfolkCON
FRIENDJames HeappeyWellsCON
FRIENDPatricia GibsonN. AyreshireSNP
FRIENDJoanna CherryEd South WestSNP
FRIENDAngus McNeilNa a-eileanan An LarSNP
FRIENDCarol MonaghanGlasgow NWSNP
FOE/TWAW
FOE/TWAWCat SmithLancaster and FleetwoodLAB
FOE/TWAWKarin SmythBristol SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWAlex SobelLeeds NorthwestLAB
FOE/TWAWKeir StarmerHolborn and St PancrasLAB
FOE/TWAWWes StreetingIlford NorthLAB
FOE/TWAWZarah SultanaCoventy SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWEmily ThornberryIslington S and FinsburyLAB
FOE/TWAWKarl TurnerKingston upon Hull EastLAB
FOE/TWAWCatherine WestHorney and Wood GrnLAB
FOE/TWAWMatt WesternWarwick and LeamingtonLAB
FOE/TWAWNadia WhittomeNottingham EastLAB
FOE/TWAWDaneil ZeicherCambridgeLAB
FOE/TWAWAngela EaglewallaseyLAB
FOE/TWAWTahir AliBirminghamLAB
FOE/TWAWRosena Allina KhanTootingLAB
FOE/TWAWFleur AndersonPutneyLAB
FOE/TWAWClive BettsSheffieldLAB
FOE/TWAWDawn ButlerBrent CentralLAB
FOE/TWAWIan ByrneLiverpool West DarbyLAB
FOE/TWAWDan CardenLiverpool WaltonLAB
FOE/TWAWRichard BurgonLeeds EastLAB
FOE/TWAWBambos CharalambousEnfield SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWStella CreaseyWalthamstowLAB
FOE/TWAWStephen DoughtyCardiff S and PenarthLAB
FOE/TWAWGill FurnissSheffield BrightsideLAB
FOE/TWAWMary GlindonNorth TynesideLAB
FOE/TWAWJeremy CorbynIs NorthLAB
FOE/TWAWKim JohnsonLiverpool RiversideLAB
FOE/TWAWGillian KeeganChichesterLAB
FOE/TWAWDavid LammyTottenhamLAB
FOE/TWAWClive LewisNorwich SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWRebecca Long BaileySalford and EcclesLAB
FOE/TWAWSeema MalhotraFeltham and HestonLAB
FOE/TWAWKerry McCarthyBristol EastLAB
FOE/TWAWStephan MorganPortsmouth SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWIan MurrayEdinburgh SouthLAB
FOE/TWAWAlex NorrisNottingham NorthLAB
FOE/TWAWLuke PollardPlymouth Sutton DevonportLAB
FOE/TWAWLucy PowellManchester CentralLAB
FOE/TWAWYasmin QureshiBolton SELAB
FOE/TWAWAngela RaynerAshton-Under-LymeLAB
FOE/TWAWBell Ribeiro-AddyStreathamLAB
FOE/TWAWMarie RimmerSt. Helens South and WhistonLAB
FOE/TWAWLloyd Russell MoyleBrighton KemptownLAB
FOE/TWAWJess PhillipsBirmingham YardleyLAB
FOE/TWAWRoyston SmithSouthampton ItchenCON
FOE/TWAWNickie AikenWestminsterCON
FOE/TWAWStuart AndrewPudseyCON
FOE/TWAWCrispin BluntReigateCON
FOE/TWAWConnor BurnsBournemeouth WestCON
FOE/TWAWChristopher ChopeChristchurchCON
FOE/TWAWJohn HayesSouth Holland & DeepingsCON
FOE/TWAWDrew HendryInverness Nairn, Badenoch & StratsbyCON
FOE/TWAWMims DaviesMid SussexCON
FOE/TWAWNicola RichardsWest Bromwich EastCON
FOE/TWAWJamie WallaceBridgendCON
FOE/TWAWGary SambrookBirmingham NorthfieldCON
FOE/TWAWPaul HolmesEastleighCON
FOE/TWAWJames SunderlandBracknellCON
FOE/TWAWRichard HoldenNorthWest DurhamCON
FOE/TWAWBen EverittMilton Keynes NorthCON
FOE/TWAWJohn NicolsonOchil and South PerthshireSNP
FOE/TWAWStewart McDonaldGllasgow southSNP
FOE/TWAWDavid LyndonGlasgow EastSNP
FOE/TWAWChris LawDundee WestSNP
FOE/TWAWMartin DochertyW DumbartonshireSNP
FOE/TWAWAngela CrawleyLannarck & Hamilton EastSNP
FOE/TWAWAlan BrownKilmarnokckSNP
FOE/TWAWMhairi BlackPaisley SNP
FOE/TWAWKirsty BlackmanAberdeen NSNP
FOE/TWAWChris StephensGlasgow SWSNP
FOE/TWAWPete WishartPerth and N. PerthshireSNP
FOE/TWAWEdward DaveyKinston and surbitonLIB DEMS
FOE/TWAWChrstine JardineEdinburgh WestLD
FOE/TWAWLayla MoranWest Oxford and AbingdonLD
FOE/TWAWCaroline LucasBrighton PavilionGREEN
UNSURE
TWAW/CONFUSEDAlicia KearnsRutland and MeltonCON
UNSURECaroline AnsellEastbourneCON
UNSURERichard BaconSouth NorfolkCON
UNSURE?Kemi BadenochSaffron WaldrenCON
UNSUREBen BradleyMansfieldCON
UNSURE Karen BradleyStaffs MoorlandsCON
UNSURE Ben BradshawExeterCON
UNSURE Suella BravermanFarehamCON
UNSUREMaria CaulfieldLewes SussexCON
UNSURE?Daniel KawczynskiShewsbury & AtchamCON
UNSUREJonathan LordWokingCON
UNSUREOwen PattersonNorth ShropshireCON
UNSUREDominic RaabEsher and WaltonCON
UNSUREPaul ScullySutton and CheamCON
UNSUREJeremy WrightKenilworth on SouthamCON
UNSUREAndrew PerceyBrigg and GooleCON
UNSURERuth CadburyBrentford and IsleworthLAB
UNSURETonia AntoniazziGowerLAB
UNSURE/FRIENDMarsha D CordovaBatterseaLAB
UNSURE/FRIENDRose DuffieldCanterburyLAB
UNSUREJulie ElliottSunderland CentralLAB
UNSUREHarriet HarmanCamberwell and PeckhamLAB
UNSURECaroline HarrisSwansea EastLAB
UNSUREDiana R JohnsonKingston upon Hull NorthLAB
UNSURE/FRIENDPeter KyleHoveLAB
UNSURESiobhain McDonaghMitcham and MordenLAB
UNSUREJohn Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLAB
UNSUREPat McFaddenWolverhampton SELAB
UNSUREAnn McMorrinCardiff NorthLAB
UNSUREBridge PhillipsonHoughton & Sunderland SouthLAB
UNSUREJonathan ReynoldsStalybridge and HydeLAB
UNSURE/FRIENDJo StevensCardiff CentralLAB
UNSUREBeth WinterCynom ValleyLAB
UNSURE?Tim FarronWestmoreland & LondsdaleLIB DEMS
UNSUREAlyn SmithSterlingSNP
HOUSE OF LORDS
FRIENDS
FRIENDBaroness NicholsonLD
FRIENDZac GoldsmithCON
FRIENDLewis MoonieLAB
FRIENDPhilip Hunt@LordPhilofBrumLAB