Violent incitement by the Sun and Taxpayers’ Alliance

Well i Had planned (some hope!) to be taking a break for a fortnight or so…both from professional writing and the blogging sort.

However, today’s outpouring of nastiness in the Sun, aided and abetted by the vile types over at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, draws me out of my temporary retirement. The “story”, such that it is, is that the MOD, over the last year or so, paid some £7, 400 towards “minor surgical procedures relating to gender reassignment”.

This, according to one of their idiot sub-editors is the same as “MoD paying for troops’ gender surgery” – which is the sub-head with which their piece is adorned. But hey! That’s a minor quibble, given that the Sun’s MD, Richard Caseby, is himself so innumerate he can’t tell the difference between £60,000 and £10,000: there has been a complaint on his desk for well over a month pointing out the simple factual inaccuracy that the Sun keeps committing in its inflation of the costs of gender re-assignment surgery by a factor of six – but i guess he’s a busy man, and can’t find a calculator.

So, what have we got? Well, the Sun dobbed in a FOI request to the MOD on the subject of trans costs paid for by the MOD. There is a definite news agenda going on here. The last piece in which they quite disgracefully inflated the costs of grs draws the direct comparison between hard-pressed taxpayers and “trans privilege”.

Someone on the editorial team has obviously spotted that this is a rich ground for shock! horror! stories – and therefore expect a spate of stories along similar lines over the next few months, because it is likely that they have put in very similar FOI’s to a load of other government bodies as well.

Its a non-story…a reaction story. There is no balancing quote: just two nodding dog approvals from right-wing publicist Philip Davies, MP and the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Both are highly critical of the spend, though it is said that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Philip Davies spent over £600k worth of taxpayer money on parliamentary expenses over a four year period.

That included the max on his second home. Nice, that, for someone so concerned about taxpayer spend.

Oh: but there’s more. There is also a cosy (or nasty, depending on your point of view) pecuniary relationship between the TPA and Philip Davies. His site, which quite clearly is identified as paid for by parliamentary allowances, also quite shamelessly promotes the TPA.

Here we see a press release advocating support for the TPA. What is interesting is how it is not just a message of support – but it actively suggests that people get in touch with a TPA organiser, giving out both an e-mail address and a phone number of the Rickmansworth organiser.

That’s and 0845 330 9554 if you feel like letting them know what you think of them.

However, last word to Paula from Trans Panthers. She points out that today of all days is a bad day for trans folk. People go out late. They get pissed. And it doesn’t take much for some drunken yob, inflamed by the idea that “trannies are ripping us off” to shift from name-calling abuse to violence.

Today’s piece is mischievous, nasty and quite possibly likely to end in violence.

Over the last year i have given the TPA the benefit of the doubt. In 2012, i think that politeness is at an end.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rebecca Shaw said,

    Sorry to point out a factual error in your report, but it undermines this non-story even more. The amount spent is £7,440 over the last 32 months – i.e. since April 2009 so less than £3,000 p.a.


  2. 2

    Liz Church said,

    They obviously had a slow day over Christmas and thought, I know, let’s do the trannies. In goes an FOI request and a few days later back it comes to show that no gender reassignment operations were paid for by the MoD. That’s it. Just a few bits and pieces spread over half-a-dozen folk. I haven’t found the actual FOI yet, but it should be on “what do they know”.

    I think it worth submitting an FOI to Philip Davies’s office asking how many quotes he’s provided to (i) Daily Express (ii) Daily Mail (iii) The Sun in the last five years, broken down by (a) trans (b) immigration (c, d, e…) other categories to be decided. That should focus his mind a little, though I doubt it.

    Finally, no-one maintains this sort of campaign without motivation. Is he one of those misogynistic gay men? Has he been “surprised” by a one-night stand with a transwoman or similar experience?

    • 3

      Rebecca Shaw said,

      Liz – It wasn’t lodged through “what do they know”. The reply would have come from the Surgeon General’s office and so any search of the WDTK site using “Surgeon General” would have flagged it up. It didn’t.

  3. 4

    Paula TransPanther said,

    Hi and Happy New Year !

    Last night was fun. I decided to take a risk and test for any “changes in attitude” by going out in the early evening to a couple of places where I’m known to be trans (pass so well in most situations people don’t tend to notice me)
    Bar 1 at around 6pm. Nothing said until a group arrived and then one started trying to hit on me. Didn’t like being refused then suddenly read me and became abusive. Normal Northern transphobia.. Started shouting the usual abuse egged on by his friends. As they were leaving one of the “brave” men threw a glass at me with a “f-in tranny c—s, stealing off our brave lads in Iraq” something or other… smash!!…. That is my local, went to the loo to stop shaking and calm down.. glass didn’t miss me by much. Returned to a heap of abuse from one of the “regulars” and was told to leave because and I will quote “you are upsetting the other customers” Quite how I’m managing to do that sitting on the vault side of the bar completely on my own is anybodies guess.
    Bar 2
    Ran into somebody who knows me from my music business days. Joined their group and apart from some finger pointing everything was fine. My earlier experience had shaken me so after 1 drink I left and came home.

    “News” item was on page 2. Headline as large as the actual article. I have to work out how to get photos off my phone.

  4. 6

    Hi Paula

    Sorry to hear, what happened to you, we get that down south here as well, in St Leonards on Sewage [sea], East Sussex. I had my front door window smashed in by yobs, last year, also had similar in pubs, because people go out of their way to discover, our status. I moved here 20 years ago from South London and the locals can be really weird nurds, transphobic, homophobic and very racist to other people I know. I manage mostly to scare the angry villagers away these days, just by looking real mean, but sure would like to give em a big kick in the goolies.

    The Home Office are now considering, making amendments to the Criminal Justice Act 2003, to provide for sentences to be aggravated, thats if the police arrest and ever charge anyone? They seem reluctant here in this town, when they discover the motives. the RT Hon Theresa May Home Secretary and Lynne Featherstone MP Minister for Equalities are supposed to be working on this one at present. I have been lobbying my MP Angela Rudd also known as Angela Krudd.

    PC Nick yes thats his real name, Nick Bellhouse, came to visit me, he is a bit ere wots all this about allo allo, didnt seem to know very much at all. He gave me his phone number, in case anyone does anything orrible again.

    May I sugest, you enrol for self defense classes, it good for your figure, and keeps you nice and young looking. Kung Fu is very good for relaxation. and blood pressure to.

    Must batten down the hatches, because the Met Office say we are in for a storm soon, I must blogg off and have a lie down as well.

    Yours disgusted Ms Allena Tyrrell BA Dipad PHD

    St Leonards on Sewage

  5. 7

    Hi Paula

    Its me again from way down in the deep south, hope you did not forget to report that recent pub incident, to the poiice. ‘Allo allo ere ere wots all this anti social behaviour’ says PC Nick. However if we dont feel confident in talking face to face with our local freindly cop, we can always, go to.

    Well phew i’m really cream crackered nackered, must get some kip.

    Yours best wishes Allena T St Leonards on Sewage

  6. 8

    […] Remember? Its the one about how the MOD are spending a staggering £7,400 over two years out of a budget of £42bn to support individuals seeking to transition. […]

  7. 9

    […] £7,440 on medical treatment ancillary to gender reassignment in the last thirty months, (nod to Jane Fae). Their line is that blundering civil servants are spending money badly, and that trannies are […]

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