It is not often that I will post a link to a British tabloid newspaper, but today the Daily Mirror ran an article about what it called the “Ugly Face of UKIP”. For US readers, UKIP is a right wing minority party previously best known for its hatred of the European Union which is now trying to rebrand itself as Libertarian. Last week they sacked the leader of their youth wing because he supports marriage equality. Nevertheless they try to claim respectability. So someone (presumably an insider) leaked a few choice comments from UKIP’s internal web forums. Here are some extracts from the article:
On the forum, senior UKIP member Dr Julia Gasper branded gay rights a “lunatic’s charter” and claimed some homosexuals prefer sex with animals. She added: “As for the links between homosexuality and paedophilia, there is so much evidence that even a full-length book could hardly do justice to the subject.”
Another member complained about the impact of immigration on the NHS, writing: “I am informed by past media that Black Caribbean and not Black African have a higher instance of schizophrenia.
“I wonder if this is due to inbreeding on these small islands in slave times or is it due to smoking grass.”
which pretty much confirms my opinion of the sort of people who join UKIP.
Meanwhile, over at the Observer, Julie Buchill takes up arms on behalf of Suzanne Moore, managing to produce one of those rare articles in which the comment thread is far more civilized than the main text. You probably don’t want to read the whole thing as it is one long exercise in ignorant stereotyping and throwing insults. The final paragraph will do:
Shims, shemales, whatever you’re calling yourselves these days – don’t threaten or bully us lowly natural-born women, I warn you. We may not have as many lovely big swinging Phds as you, but we’ve experienced a lifetime of PMT and sexual harassment and many of us are now staring HRT and the menopause straight in the face – and still not flinching. Trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet. You really won’t like us when we’re angry.
A lot of people are asking how such mindless, frothing hatred can be published in the Observer (the Sunday edition of the Guardian). Sadly it doesn’t surprise me. The fact that Guardian staff are willing to publish such rot goes a long way towards explaining why they are willing to publish the far more dangerous clever lies of people like David Batty. Burchill represents the reality of what many Guardian staff and their friends think about trans people.
I’ve also seem people saying, “I bet they wouldn’t have published that if it had been about [some other minority group]“. But an Afro-Caribbean friend of mine challenged this, claiming that his people too get this treatment and, just like trans folks, get accused of political correctness if they complain. Here’s Burchill, from the same piece:
The reaction of the trans lobby reminded me very much of those wretched inner-city kids who shoot another inner-city kid dead in a fast-food shop for not showing them enough “respect”.
I wonder which sort of people she’s stereotyping there.
The one thing that has cheered me about the whole affair is the number of cis people who have expressed their horror at Burchill’s article. Many of them have been people from the science fiction community (who I guess also know a bit about being stereotyped in the press). One of the best pieces was this one on LGBT.co.uk. It is by Jane Carnall. I don’t know how many trans people she knows, but I’m one of them. I once seconded a motion that she put before the WSFS Business Meeting. Small world.
By the way, if any of you feel like making a complaint about Burchill, the Press Complaints Commission website is here. However, a quick scan of the comment thread on the article suggests that the PCC regards “comment pieces” as outside of their purview, and will therefore ignore any complaints. Self-regulation my arse.
Update: The Independent is cheekily running a poll to gauge reactions to Burchill’s article. You can vote here. I see that the trans cabal have been deploying their PhDs to good effect, as someone must have hacked the poll to have it running 9:1 against poor Julie.
Update 2: Have corrected spelling of Burchill’s name. Sorry folks. Tired and emotional today.