Bad Dreams …Greens and Gender

July 2020


Green Party Visual Identity

Molly Scott Cato is one of the Green Party’s popular politicians, an economist, and until recently an admired Euro MP for the South-West. She is likely to be elected to the party’s executive in forthcoming elections where – many of her supporters have been hoping – she will confront the bitter conflict over gender politics and encourage a kinder, gentler temper.

Then on 29 June she tweeted an accusation: why was labour leader Kier Starmer being ‘so timid in defence of trans rights? Transwomen are women; transmen are men…’ Whoa, how did she know that Starmer was being timid? Maybe he didn’t want to be snared on admittedly ‘difficult’ terrain.

Like her, he urges people to be nicer. Unlike the Green Party, the Labour leader suggests that law reform to enhance trans rights ‘takes us into difficult questions,’ that should be considered ‘in a mature, calm way.’ By contrast the Green Party leaders say there is no difficulty, no debate.

Scott Cato’s assertion attracted over 100 responses in no time, unusually polite, and mostly challenging her recital of  extreme trans dogma that ‘transwomen are women; transmen are men’ and ‘no debate.’

Her tweet synchronised with an emission on the same day from the green direct action movement, Extinction Rebellion that typified what passes for political manifestos these days, it put up a pledge:

‘We do not believe that the existence of trans people…is a topic that is up for debate…transwomen are women, transmen are men…this is not up for debate.’ A torrent of protests followed and unhappy moderators found themselves having to defend a pledge the provenance of which was seemingly a mystery even to them.

Of course, trans people exist. And trans rights aren’t at risk from debate – people do not die from debate. But women’s rights and resources are at grave risk not only from the effects of ‘austerity’, funding regimes, but also from and extreme trans activism seeking to silence women and assail feminist organisations.

There is a fundamental problem – already evident in politics, in the institutions, from banks to publishers, in the voluntary sector, in sport, and in schools and universities – if a man is a woman because he says he is, then the category woman is emptied of meaning. How can we address the fact that women everywhere in the world are put upon, discriminated against, oppressed, under-paid, unpaid, raped and disrespected because they are women?

And how can we make the connections – vital for Green politics – between thoroughly gendered pillage, exploitation, pollution and patriarchy that is manifest from the Congo to the Amazon?

No sooner was the Extinction Rebellion pledge up than unhappy posts asked who decided this, what does it mean, what about women?  ‘If it helps I’m not enjoying it very much either,’ lamented a besieged moderator.

Scott Cato addressed the flood following her tweet by saying that yes, she too, wanted to end the toxicity that is stifling the Green Party. But telling members to play nicely is no match for bullying.  The authoritarian and narcissistic mantra ‘there is no debate’ is biblical not political, it is, in fact, the antithesis of politics.

The academic Sarah Ahmed goes so far as to defend ‘no debate’ and no-platforming of feminists in this way, ‘we do not agree that freedom of speech is freedom to speak unaccountably.’ But no-platforming, blocking and not-debating precisely prevents speaking accountably, it proscribes speaking, hearing and active participation in the  very production of politics.



Scott Cato and Extinction Rebellion were doing what they were simultaneously denying: they were participating in a debate it whilst prohibiting it.

Scott Cato clearly wants to heal a party suffering from septic shock, but her benign injunction is too late: playing nicely assumes that the players want to play, that they share an interest in the game, that they recognise politics as a context for necessary, peaceful, creative conflict – all of which is extinguished by ‘there is no debate’.

To understand this impasse, we need to go beyond the etiquette and structures of the Green Party to its sexual politics: it is liberal rather than radical and feminist, all about choice – choosing to sell sex, choosing to change sex. No doubt liberal goodwill to all men also motivated the party’s endorsement, without research, consultation or debate, of extreme trans dogma. Of course, people wanted to be nice and to support trans rights.

But liberalism became host to tyranny and misogyny. When damned feminists and gays, and people whose job it is to think, debated sex (bodies) and gender (cultures), and power; about prostitution, sex trafficking child sexual abuse, they met a wall of denial and harassment; when they queried cultishness and the injunction ‘there is no debate’, they were maligned as terfs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists), disciplined and even sued.

Outside the pale of the Green Party, feminists and their supporters have been harangued –  J.K. Rowling’s careful and candid exploration of the issues is the latest in  a long and honourable line  – picketed, gigs cancelled, venues barred, some organisations’ funds have been threatened, funds lost; jobs have been threatened, jobs lost.

Amidst all this, the Green Party leadership either stayed shtum, or, like co-leader Sian Berry, were intransigent defenders of the dogma.


It was when a case of child rape and torture by Green Party member David Challenor became public in 2018 that the implications of this sulphurous state of affairs hit the party. He was the father of trans woman Aimee Challenor, a Green equalities spokesperson – notorious for abusive social media denunciations of ‘terfs’, and for improvising a social-media mass ‘terf’ blocking mechanism,  her boast was that 50,000 people had been blocked. Hardly an exemplar of online democracy.

Teenage Challenor had returned to Coventry (the Challenor siblings had been in care) in 2014, joined the Green Party, and embarked on ‘gender transition’. Aimee Challenor became a Green Party candidate and equalities spokesperson with ambitions to become party leader.

However, unknown to the party at the time, her rise and rise was shadowed by her father’s offence: David Challenor was arrested in 2015 for the kidnap, rape, and electrocution of a ten-year-old girl, whilst dressing up himself as a girl, at the Challenors’ home, which was also Coventry Green Party’s registered address. Apparently, he was also a fetishist who enjoyed dressing as a little girl in nappies and frocks.

Aimee had been interviewed by the police in 2015, and therefore knew about the case, but nevertheless appointed him to be her election agent in Coventry in May 2016.

After a radical High Court ruling in October 2016, which referred to Mermaids, a ‘charity’ that facilitates sex change in children, David and Aimee Challenor mobilised an open letter supporting Mermaids. Green party leaders Sian Berry and Amelia Womack were among the signatories.

In 2017, Aimee Challenor returned to the family home. In 2018 David Challenor stood trial, was convicted and jailed for 22 years. The party’s response was to condemn him, of course, and to extend support to….no, not the tortured child, but to Aimee Challenor, who had failed to warn the party of this looming disgrace, and who claimed to have not known the ‘full details’ of his offences.

This was a clear breach of party rules: candidates and officers are required to inform the party of anything that might bring the party into disrepute; it also ignored the child safeguarding implications.

During this time Aimee Challenor’s partner, based in Aberdeen, was Nathaniel Knight.They later moved to the US, married and Challenor took Knight’s name.

Subsequently, the party and Challenor were criticised by the Verita independent report, commissioned by the party and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse report on abuse linked to Westminster, published in February 2020. Both were stern critics of the party’s low level of safeguarding awareness.

It was the Challenor case and Aimee Challenor’s performance as equalities spokesperson and the anti-feminist discourse promoted in the Green Party from 2014-15, including the public humiliation of a philosopher who was only doing his job: thinking, and finally the lack of awareness of child abuse, that provoked many party members to challenge the trans agenda – myself included.  I wrote a critique, urging the party to ask itself whether it had been induced into a  – witch-hunting and cultishness, to which the Challenors had vigorously contributed – that not only shielded them from scrutiny but created a kind of political coma about the misogyny and McCarthyism in the party.

This was only one flank of a larger reification of offended sensibilities and censorship spreading across organisations in the US and the UK. One of the protagonists,  Richard Firth – ironically Leeds Green Party’s equality, diversity and inclusion officer – participated in a little scam designed to get the feminist campaign Women’s Place UK banned from Leeds Civic Hall: WPUK had organised a celebration the 2018 centenary of (some) women getting the vote. The group was accused of transphobia – for insisting on women’s right to safe spaces – and the reservation was revoked at the last minute.


It was Richard Firth who lodged a formal complaint against me in 2018. A similar complaint was lodged against former deputy leader Shahrar Ali for tweeting a reference to my Byline piece. Firth’s complaint was focused on a couple of blogs and tweets which, he alleged, attacked trans people and party policy. Readers can see for themselves.

The complaint loitered in the crowded complaints system for almost a year. In September 2019 I was informed that the committee took no position on my views, only on the way they were expressed, ‘Given the respondent’s acclaimed mastery of language, she should have been more careful about causing distress, not just offence.’ I was urged to treat other Green Party members ‘with more courtesy in the future.’

There was no reference to whom – if anyone – I had caused distress. For the record, disagreement does not equate to distress. The complaint rested on the idea that I should have pursued concerns through the party’s clogged channels and, presumably waited and waited for a non-result.

So, I would not be suspended, but I would take a proverbial slap for not being nice to the clique that, in my opinion, brought the party into disrepute.  And I would be prohibited from standing for public office for a year. Irony upon irony, Richard Firth himself was suspended for a year and banned from holding off ice for two years in 2020.

Complaints saturated the party’s disciplinary process. One of the most egregious was against Sheffield activist Andy Healey, a promoter of the feminist site, Gender Critical Greens.

Clearly, there is a debate and there isn’t: it is mangled in the party’s disciplinary – rather than democratic – processes. Attempts to address the decline of democracy in the party, the toxic culture, and the implications of the trans modus operandi *at the party’s spring 2019 party conference – despite a clear majority in support of debate – were thwarted: no time was allocated for a conversation that most of the people at the conference wanted to have.

Therein lies madness and tyranny. So, we come back to the Extinction Rebellion and Molly Scott-Cato.

Without consulting supporters – difficult to do in intensely-devolved movements – a coterie in Extinction Rebellion introduced a polarising trans commandment for which it has no mandate. Scott-Cato’s sincerely-held wish for everyone to be nice and bring an end to nastiness is an impossible dream if she holds to the prohibition: there is no debate.

Be Nice is no answer. The party is polarised and it must take a risk: acknowledge the divisions, admit that though they may never be resolved they can be addressed; create the opportunity for collective contemplation of the evidence, the science and the politics, the theory and practice of sex and gender. That is, to do politics properly.

Post script  After this piece was posted, the very experienced Green activist, Dee Searle, wrote a searing critique of Green inner-party democracy on London Left Green Blog:

  • Theo Simon proposed a late motion to the 2019 party conference to address a perceived crisis:

“Review and renew the democratic culture of the Green Party”. It was initially ruled out, but an overwhelming conference vote decided it should be ruled back in for debate. It was not given time, however. It proposed a safe, decisive and contained way to re-evaluate recent events – particularly in response to ‘gender critical positions’, and re-establish democratic principles: ”Conference acknowledges concerns that a culture has arisen in the party which may have lowered standards of civil debate, marginalised members complaints, and silenced members voices around particular policies. In particular we note allegations of the following: Pressures brought to bear from outside the party to have members suspended; Prejudicial suspensions, without prior warning, including of a parliamentary candidate; Court action being pursued against a member by party officers; Complaints of misogynistic bullying and of complaints going unanswered; Language-policing of members in discussion forums accompanied by legal threats; Blocking of members electronic communications and other access to party bodies; Disciplining of local parties over their wording of resolutions. We affirm that a culture of respectful, inclusive and transparent enquiry and debate is essential if we want to develop effective Green policy, retain membership, and build a democratic party worthy of office. We also affirm that all party officers and internal procedures must be seen to serve and protect these ends. We recognise that, in parallel to the independent Verita enquiry, work must now be done to re-establish trust in our democratic culture, policy-making and governance, both within the party and beyond. Conference therefore instructs GPRC, as guardians of party well-being, as follows: 1) To commission an expeditious internal enquiry into how this divisive culture has arisen and been perpetuated and what measures should now be taken to restore political health and amicable debate. 2) To invite submissions to this enquiry, relating to the period September 2016 to September 2018, from members and former members, with guarantees of confidentiality if required. This Internal Enquiry Into The Party’s Democratic Culture to be established within no more than one month of this motion, and to be concluded no later than the week before Spring Conference 2019, with findings and recommendations to be made available to members at that time. 3) To restore confidence in the ‘no fault’ suspension mechanism by confirming the procedure that GPRC is using to reach decisions on requests for immediate suspension. 4) To ensure that plans are drawn up by 14th December, and communicated to all members, for a Disciplinary Review process whereby members or former members can submit requests that suspensions, expulsions, complaint adjudications or other disciplinary sanctions from this period be reconsidered, such that any remedial action which is necessary may be taken.”


Personal note: It is with the greatest regret that I am leaving the Green Party.

J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues

61 thoughts on “Bad Dreams …Greens and Gender

  1. Rachel Hardy

    Thank you for taking the time to write this, it’s completely spot on, though I still find it hard to believe it needed writing.
    I was a very active Green Party member for 10 years, I thought it was a safe and respectful place for women and different to other parties. I supported ‘trans activism’, in fact I had a brief run in with you on fb about it! You were pointing out the reality of the attack on women’s rights and I didn’t believe it.
    To cut a long story short I started researching the issues after Caroline Lucas was accused of transphobia for meeting with women’s place. I realised fairly quickly how wrong my previous understandings had been.
    I tried to get my local party to discuss the issues but that turned into a bit of a nightmare and I resigned from the party. There was a small campaign to try and stop my husband being elected as a Green Cclr because he wanted to discuss the issues, which was apparently ‘transphobic’ He was elected, so I still feel a link to the party and continue to be horrified and embarrassed by the attitudes and comments of senior members of the party. OK, it’s clear from Mollys comments she did not understand what she was talking about. It’s a case of a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but desperately sad as I thought so highly of her.
    Like many I’m very very worried after listening to detransitioners especially about what is happening with children. I simply can’t get my head around senior gp people seeming not to care about that. I’m especially worried about children with autism a high percentage of those on the Tavistock waiting list have autism. I do have some understanding as to why that is based on my own experience when young, if I was young now I would have gone some way along the ‘ trans’ path. I now find out late in life I’m autistic which has made me even more concerned if that’s possible.
    I’m so thankful for JK Rowling and all the trans people I know who support her and the views of those trying to fight a misogynistic gender ideology, and everyone else who speaks out.
    Despite everything I still struggle to understand why the Green Party, not everyone there is fightback, would adopt the misogynistic gender ideology when plenty of far better views are on offer.

    1. Beatrix Campbell Post author

      Thanks for getting in touch. This is all terribly sad. I understand where you are coming from – lots of people just want to be nice and say of course, human rights! but the more we learn the more it becomes clear that there is no challenge in thew trans extremism to gender stereotypes, and no engagement with the serious mental health issues

  2. Diana

    Inclusivity has been translated to mean total social and political intolerance. The new Mcarthy-ists shriek ‘no debate‘. Voices are unheard.

    Welcome to the land of the politically homeless feminist. Thousands of disenfranchised, mostly women, who desperately want to vote for a left leaning party who have not written woke-misogyny into every line of their manifesto. But it doesn’t exist. They will miss our votes as they walk into extinction.

    They have all swallowed the line of this new religion. I am sorry you left, I left labour, but I am far happier on the outside. I have true freedom to speak my mind without the constant threat of cancellation for wrong thinking. It turns out that freedom matters more to me than any party loyalty.

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  4. H

    Beatrix, thanks for writing this. I am also on the verge of leaving because of what you outline above. My local party as just been takenover by people who openly tweet abuse at JK Rowling and blogs by women who appretnly love their pimps. The naievity is shocking. That’s that gets me the most. I am now of the mind that if any of the current leadership peple were actually elected it would pose a danger to society.

  5. Miriam Yagud

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m glad you are leaving the Green Party. In doing so, you expose just how toxic, anti democratic and anti political that party has become.
    A respected, trusted, feminist journalist like you are, is unwilling to provide a figleaf of respectability to them.

  6. Jill Mills

    thank you Bea for this cogent account of the state of affairs in the Green Party. I will be staying in the Party though I’ve come close to resigning my membership due to these issues. I still believe it is the only party which pays due attention to the looming environmental catastrophe and has policies which truly address the sustainability of our planet for all. I have withdrawn from the Gender debate temporarily as it masks for me the essential focus of the Green Party and on a personal note increases feelings of depression (the consequence of being bullied and gaslighted).
    Please try to persuade news media to publish this. It is so important. I have a lifetime history of defending the gender continuum in men and women, and fighting against the idea of the female brain. I feel we are being driven backwards by some men with a fetishist agenda who express abusive attitudes and threats towards women and are drowning out the voices of gender non-stereotypical men and women, some of whom have dysphoria and have made brave changes to reflect that.

  7. Ray Cunningham

    Dear Bea,

    Excellent piece. Very sorry that you have decided to leave the party. My response has been to withdraw from involvement, which I suppose is cowardly, but as Oscar Wilde is supposed to have said about socialism, it would take up too many Saturdays. And I think the game is probably over anyway. But in the interests of truth, maybe you could think about doing a short, sharp piece on the trans debate for Green House?

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  9. Elizabeth Mansfield

    Bea this is a brilliant, careful, thoughtful, time lined critique of what’s been happening in the Green Party (and elsewhere). I share your views and care passionately about the malignant attempts to ‘shut up’ an incredibly important debate. I believe many people are still unaware that this storm is raging.
    I am very sorry you have decided to leave the Green Party, but I understand why. Theo Simon’s excellent resolution to the 2019 Green Party Conference has still not been either debated or acted upon and this is a disgrace under the circumstances. There are many people in the Green Party who agree with you and are working to change the bullying, preaching culture that has prevailed. I stand among them and hope we can turn the situation around, opening up free and much needed democratic debate on this vexed question. Meanwhile, the planet desperately needs our attention as Cummings and Johnson are set to wipe out the possibility of the turn around we so desperately need to slow down climate change and speed up a true and lasting redistribution of wealth in the UK.

    1. Frances

      Just to add I’ve been a member for eight years and I just cancelled my membership.
      I feel deeply depressed about this dynamic and politically homeless. We really need a party with rock solid ethics now .
      I realise that people need to stay to rest it back to reason but I’ve seen so much casual sexism and at times, overt misogyny, that frankly I cant enable them anymore, especially when I see how speaking out is so blatantly twisted and reframed.
      And I cant stop thinking about David Challenors victim and how she was sidelined for politicking and face saving, and what that says about us and our willingness to be like every other party wedded to disengenious evaision .
      If reason and honesty prevails and the GP could also put more focus on the environment I’d happily rejoin, in the meantime the very best of luck to you .

  10. Diana Simmonds

    Having carefully read your post and felt myself sinking further and further into a pit of disbelief and despair, my only question is your use of “with greatest regret”. After everything you describe I would have thought “with great relief” might have been more appropriate.

      1. Diana Simmonds

        It’s tragic – when one thinks back to the optimistic and important beginning of the Green movement – Petra Kelly in Germany primarily and then worldwide. The Australian Greens have been woeful in recent years: riven by personal animus and rivalry, then really yucky cross-party ambition and compromise. They can no long shoot themselves in the foot because they’ve no feet left to shoot. That’s what’s tragic.

  11. Stephen Tonkin

    Re: “After a radical High Court ruling in October 2016 against Mermaids…”

    Have you perhaps linked to the wrong ruling? I ask because the linked ruling is not against Mermaids, which is mentioned only once, almost in passing.

        1. Stephen Tonkin

          Thanks, that certainly clarifies it a lot. It was not clear (to me, anyway) from Hayden’s ruling that Mermaids had been supporting the mother in court. I had inferred from the ruling that the only mermaids involvement was “support” during the Social Services investigation.

  12. Hazel Pegg

    Richard Firth is now appealing against his suspension. As one of the Complainants against him I have been invited to attend the Appeal hearing.

  13. Paula Black

    I left the Green Party several years ago for a variety of reasons. At the time I was a Devon County Councillor, so a big step. One of the main reasons was the misogynistic values that were intertwined with Green Party philosophy and the values that were placed on women. I was shocked at how women were seen as an extension of men, rather than as individuals. I felt it was linked very much to being the homemaker and patriarchal systems linked with gender stereotyping. Simply put emancipation of women from these roles were essentially tutted on as being part of a Neo-liberal conspiracy that would increase consumerism and destroy the planet. I was told on more than one occasion that it was my role as a mother linked to Mother Earth that would ensure salvation of the planet. Being critical of gender for the unshackling of women within a feminist structure certainly never to be part of the view. The trans-activism that is in fashion at the moment, and as my trans-women friends assert, is a dangerous one for women, trans-women and those who are vulnerable. Judith Butler has alot to answer for. I am sending my love.

  14. Frances

    This is both very sad, and very frightening.
    I too left the GP after many years because of our response to Challenors rape and torture of an eight year old, and the reality that some GP members knew but said nothing. And when it came out in the press, they handled it by putting the focus on politicking and trans rights, rather than where it should have been, most crucially on the damage done to the victim, and on our complicity through a lack of proper scrutiny of candidates backgrounds, silencing peoples concerns and protecting those culpable.

    I couldnt stop thinking about the child, the case was horrific beyond belief so her life is likely ruined, and the members silence. It was too much. Imagine if it had happend in the Labour party, they would never have recovered.

  15. Joan Appleton

    Thank you for this clear and and succinct contribution, challenging the threat which the Green Party seems intent on clinging to with vile determination. Democracy, an underpinning principle of the Greens, I would have thought, is now a mangled edition of truth, which in the long run will surely take the party down , a contradiction in terms. Non Green—which trans surely is.

  16. Robbie Spence

    Dear Beatrix, So sorry to read this. I’ve shared at

    I’m writing a Motion for the online Autumn 2020 GP conf along the following lines . Please could you stay in the GP long enough to support me? Deadline for submission 18 July – any readers here who are GP members can support me at

    “The 21st century has seen an exponential rise in medical interventions for trans-identified children and young people, which are expensive and invasive and potentially harmful. What is driving this, considering what a tiny, marginalised group transpeople are?
    “Follow the money”, the mantra from the Watergate scandal, now guides Jennifer Bilek at to focus on the profits that Big Pharma and medical corporations are making by creating a market for lifelong, costly hormone treatment and sex-change surgeries on physically healthy individuals.
    As Greens and others on the progressive Left should readily understand, corporate, consumer capitalism constantly strives to find new markets for economic growth and profit. Medical intervention for transpeople is the latest in a long line of fraudulent promises of the brand new product or service that will finally provide happiness.
    The issue of the age of consent for medical interventions for trans-identified children needs important and urgent attention. I’d like to urge the Green Party (not to mention socialists and anyone else on the left) to debate the issue of medical interventions for trans-identified children with a view to finding alternative ways of guiding parents and children in all but the rare minority of cases where someone genuinely cannot live in the sexed body they were born with.
    How could this be done? Perhaps, especially in light of the 2020 controversy at the Tavistock Clinic’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), it is a matter of better safeguarding? Maybe there should be more stringent requirements in place to make sure the children in question are getting what they need, say, a special panel or tribunal to approve interventions only in desperate cases. It could include representation from doctors and health services, parents, psychiatrists, education psychologists, social services and reps from both the gender rights and gender critical ends of the spectrum. Borrowing from Extinction Rebellion’s aims, maybe a Citizens Assembly could be convened to decide the best approach on these rights and responsibilities and on the age of consent for surgical and drug intervention?
    I am uncertain what is the best safeguarding approach but I am convinced we need one and this is above all to push back at the powerful medico-pharmaceutical corporations that don’t really care about trans kids but only about their profits.”

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  18. John matthews

    Been a party member for thirty years and regard myself as a feminist probably not as successfulLy as I would think
    This whole trans issue causes me to end up confused and upset for everyone involved I agree with Molly Scott Cato that holistic and empathetic approach to politics should be at the heart of everything we do.
    However I cannot accept that the debate is over and anyone who disagree is the subject of hate and described as a TERF
    I appeal to all to search for common ground and deal with this issue in the best traditions of the Green Party
    Failure to do so will just lead us into a fractious dead end

  19. Steve Gwynne

    Your comprehensive appraisal of the Green Party’s toxic culture makes me shudder to the core. Not only was I not aware of the toxicity despite being an ex Green Party member, your appraisal gives significant insight into the wider toxicity of the trans debate/nondebate.

    I greatly respect your courage in upholding democratic principles of debate and free expression and can now see that the toxic elements of the trans debate are seeking to collapse the distinction between biology and culture, that is sex and gender, and by collapsing this distinction, the sexual category of woman is emptied of political meaning in relation to feminism.

    My feeling is that trans extremists seek to collapse this distinction on the basis of ‘the feminine principle’ which perhaps from their unconscious point of view, plays an unconscious role in gender essentialism by idealizing an immutable concept of “woman”.,altered%20by%20time%20or%20environment.

    That said, I left the party in 2016 after experiencing, as a Brexiteer, the ugliness of Remainiac bigotry. It seems this bigotry has not manifested into the trans debate.

    Clearly what these trans bigots fail to understand is that their bigotry creates a huge weakness for the party and any other political organisations that support trans bigotry. Not so much in terms of their dogmatism which is bad enough, but because it renders them incredibly vulnerable to manipulation. For example, I only need to pretend to be a TERF or a transbigot within an online discussion in order to turn people away from the party and its broader ideals.

    In this respect, their culture war is already lost, hence I guess their new found ignorance in the meme, there is no debate. There is no debate because they know they have already lost. Sadly, they have not only lost the trans culture war, they have also lost their dignity, respect, value and worth. Consequently their only solace is to huddle together frightened and petrified in their sad and lonely virtual space.

    I feel sorry for them that they have reduced themselves to such a subhuman level in which the cognitive abilities that they have been bestowed have ultimately been used to narrow their minds and experiences to a wafer thin dogmatism.

    Perhaps now is the time to recreate The Ecology Party. I’d certainly be interested in an evidence based, reason based, democracy based party that seeks ecocentric ideals and one which seeks to give back to the land lifestyles much greater recognition, value, worth, dignity and respect for the contribution and sacrifices we make in order to realise a sustainable, sufficient and resilient future for All.

    Thank you.

    1. Beatrix Campbell Post author

      Steve, thanks for your comments. My own feeling, however, is that the Green Party needs to change – and hopefully it will. We don’t need more splits and rivalries.

  20. Dougie Stevens

    Bea, thank you for a calm and, frankly, nice piece.
    I agree with you that “The authoritarian and narcissistic mantra ‘there is no debate’ is biblical not political”. But, to stay biblical, as thou sow, so shall ye reap.
    Sadly, the Green movement has long since morphed from a political organisation to a quasi-religious one. It is hard to imagine a less scientific statement than “the science is settled”, yet this is the GP’s position and the predictions of climate change models have been enshrined as fact with all the zeal associated with religious dogma. (Has our recent experience with Corona virus not taught us the limitations and dangers of blind faith in models and their predictions?)
    Your welcome injunction to us to be nice to each other needs to be explicitly extended to those beyond the GP fold, the doubting Thomases if you will. Calling those yet to be persuaded of the pressing nature of a climate emergency “deniers”, with its very deliberate echo of holocaust denial, is a particularly nasty thing to do.
    If the GP hopes to improve significantly on its current 6% or so in the opinion polls, it needs to do as you suggest above, engage not insult, persuade not hector, and present an optimistic vision of the future rather than the current emphasis on catastrophism.

  21. Gerald Hartley

    I find this all so sad. A member for 12years and still of the opinion there is no where else to hang my political hat. Like most Greens I know, I’m tolerant of difference and supportive of those struggling to overcome discrimination and oppression. My experience of Trans people is limited, but at Conference some years back I was disappointed that their agenda was so dominant that other issues were not heard. I have a simple conviction that Climate is what is going to make my grandchildren’s lives and the lives of many in more affected regions of the world a great challenge. So trying to fight for action to slow the change and/or mitigate it is my focus. As climate disasters unfold, other issues will start to seem more incidental. Black Lives Matter may become Black Deaths Matter (maybe the pandemic has presaged that) and politically active people may find other issues a distraction that absorbs too much time and resources. The issues are important nevertheless and I am content that experts meet to attempt to determine the best ways forward.
    But I am greatly concerned that we do not agree to policies that we may later regret as affording children power that they may use against their own long term interests. I also have great sympathy for women who instinctively oppose the idea that men can simply declare themselves to be women. If they want to dress, act and appear as women, or even (as adults) modify their bodies to appear more like a women, that’s their affair. They should not suffer any discrimination because of that. But they cannot replicate what women have to experience for the continuation of the species and put simply they are not women. So that may bring me some hate mail, but that’s OK. I’ve suffered from the attention of the police when supporting asian women strikers and stood up to be counted on many issues in a life that’s coming to an end. So i’m not troubled by that possibility. Climate Change and Species Extinction are not our only concern but they must be our predominant ones.

  22. Imogen Makepeace

    Dear Bea,
    I’m sorry you’ve left. I’m not surprised.
    Thank you for your piece- history needs to be recounted accurately.
    If only it were history- the mess isn’t going away any time soon, and it’s sooo exhausting.
    Someone commented above that you must feel relief as well as regret- i hope you can walk away from this towards a future of excoriatingly truthful journalism that is so badly needed, without looking back.
    I feel priveleged to have met you and spent a few hours in your company.

    1. Beatrix Campbell Post author

      Imogen thanks for your lovely message. The feeling is mutual, I felt privileged to spend time with you, too, and totally admire he work you and your and fellow Greens are doing in Lewes

  23. Charles Waterhouse

    What I do not understand is the size and volume of this dystopian trans voice compared to the numbers of trans people. As I understand it 52% of our population are women. While minorities are important and need to be protected, so are majorities. So many people are trying to silence and no platform voices like Germaine Greer, who fought for feminism when it was really difficult. This attempt to shut down informed debate clearly demonstrates that the proponents are unsure of their ground and thus use stalinist, fascist, and inquisition methods of suppressing dissent. I am sure George Orwell would recognise the Newspeak.

  24. Karen Ross

    Thanks for an intelligent and well-argued piece where we could substitute ‘Labour Party’ (at least under Corbyn, I’m still hoping for a more sensible approacy be Keir Starmer) for ‘Green Party’ and it would read the same. You identify one of the key sleights of hands promulgated by Trans Rights Activists (TRAs) which is to elide criticism over self-identifying (I am a woman because I feel like a woman today despite the fact that I have not altered my body in any way, that I still have a functioning penis and stubble) with the suggestion that transpeople should not exist (you are killing me with your transphobia you TERF). At least the present government (I can’t believe I am really in alignment with Boris!) is taking a rather more considered view of the Gender Recognition Act and not jumping on the truthiness bandwagon. In case you (or anyone else reading your piece and the comments) have not come across her yet, Blaire White is a gender critical trans woman who has her own You Tube channel and makes some brilliant arugments laced with humour and sef-deprecation, worth a watch.

  25. Karen Ross

    Bea: apologies, should have checked the text one final time before posting. If you do publish my comment, could you kindly fix the typos in the second line: “…a more sensible approach by….”


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