Our gender-bender politics

We miss you, Niccolo

On the face of it, the news doesn’t even seem to be newsworthy.

According to Labour, those dastardly Tories make it too hard for children to change sex. Their reasons for such tyrannical practices have to be nefarious, though Labour isn’t quite sure what they may be.

One way or another, those toffee-nosed demons ruin children’s lives by insisting on a medical certificate of gender dysphoria before a boy can legally become a girl or vice versa. That process must be “simplified”, says Labour.

Now, as a matter of general principle, Labour is in favour of medicalising everything: alcoholism, drug addiction, bad moods, criminality, marital problems, you name it. Just as long as you don’t name gender-bending.

The small matter of a child undergoing castration to be legally recognised as something he wasn’t born to be should be off-limits for medicine. Doctors and ideally parents must be taken out of the loop. If little Johnny wants to have his wee-wee cut off so that he can become little Jenny instead, it’s nobody’s business but his own.

Such was the Labour position under Corbyn. However, realising that extremism could scare off the electorate, the party drummed Jeremy out and Sir Keir Starmer in. Seeking electoral acceptability, he has suppressed his innermost cravings (which are similar to Corbyn’s) and mitigated Labour policies by way of subterfuge.

One such policy Starmer has mitigated is on the issue under discussion here. Rather than cutting doctors out of the process altogether, Sir Keir only wants to abolish the medical panel currently required to issue the necessary certificate. A quick diagnosis by a single doctor, he says, should suffice. That doctor may be a specialist, but even a GP would do at a pinch.

According to the NHS Choices website, “GPs spend an average of 8-10 minutes with each patient”. In reality it’s even less, but even the claimed generosity seems inadequate in this case. After all, a GP is about to send a child on a lifelong road from which there is no return.

All this is tediously predictable and, by itself, not worth talking about. We already know that night follows day, trees are green in summer, and our leftmost major party will seek to enter the corridors of power through the left door.

However, the reaction of the Tory Party hints at the real issue underneath it all. Kemi Badenoch, the Women and Equality Minister (don’t you just love such job descriptions) said: “There is no reason whatsoever to relax the safeguards that are in place. Labour should stop trying to weaponise this issue and allow professionals to do their job properly.”

Weaponise to what purpose? Obviously, to gain the upper hand in the forthcoming elections. In other words, both parties are certain that the elections may to a large extent hinge on this issue. That, I’d suggest, is grounds for a fundamental reassessment of basic political theory.

Any expert technician of democratic policies knows that political success comes from the ability to put large voting blocs together. That makes democratic politics a game of numbers.

Giant computers whir into action all over the land, crunching multi-digit numbers and identifying areas where such numbers could be large enough to add up to a voting bloc. Thousands of focus groups are convened and put under intense interrogation. Trained moderators bombard various demographic sectors with a barrage of questions, trying to determine which way the wind of great numbers is blowing.

Pollsters good at their job are worth their weight in diamonds, not just gold. Such mavens see the forest of voting intention behind the trees of seemingly random answers to intricate questionnaires. And they convert what they see into what they recommend to the candidate.

What the latter thinks on the subject has always been secondary and now is not so much tertiary as irrelevant. It’s not convictions but numbers that decide elections.

Are you with me so far? If so, you are way behind the times.

That’s how it used to be when democratic politics was mostly Machiavellian. In those days, electoral promises were determined by coldblooded calculations of sums. Nowadays, however, they are increasingly skewed by obsequious bows to ideologies.

Gender-bending is a case in point. No one knows for sure how many transsexuals grace these Isles with their presence. Assessments vary, but the greatest number I’ve seen was about 250,000. That’s those who doubt they were born with the right sex, and only a small percentage of them will ever do something to correct the injustice perpetrated on them by nature.

This is a drop in the ocean of a 50-million electorate, certainly not enough to add up to any bloc worthy of the name. And yet a Tory minister protests against Labour weaponising the issue, which suggests she knows how destructive to her party’s chances that weapon may be.

This means democratic politics is no longer a game of numbers, certainly not in any straightforward sense. Ultimately elections will always be decided by sums, but we must fundamentally revise our view on how such sums are put together.

It’s no longer just about appealing to the concrete interests of a group perceived to be large enough to swing an election. It’s about kowtowing to an ideology accepted by a vast number of voters regardless of their specific concerns. The public has been brainwashed to applaud virtue-signalling, however perversely virtue is defined.

Ideologies give our increasingly atheist masses a way of reaching the superpersonal without approaching the supernatural. This answers a ubiquitous human need to believe in something greater than oneself. Most people are probably unaware of this craving, but it does exist.

And swindlers of any kind know how to reel in their prey by identifying unconscious needs and catering to them. As a result, people feel good about themselves because they’ve responded to the diktats of a pernicious ideology – and any ideology is pernicious by definition.

People may not account for this in so many words. Nobody will say even to himself that he’ll vote Labour because it’ll make sex change easier. But he may allow himself to be sedated by the aroma of virtue emanating from the whiffs of ideology released into the atmosphere.

Therefore it doesn’t matter how many transsexuals live in Britain. It may be 250,000, 2,500 or 250 – never mind the numbers, feel the ‘virtuous’ ideology.

Generally speaking, it’s wrong to insist that because something happened it was bound to happen. Secular determinism of any kind is usually unsound. Yet the post-Enlightenment fusion of boundless atheism and limitless democracy may well provide an exception. Otherwise it’s hard to explain how transsexuality has become such an urgent concern for so many otherwise normal people.

Niccolo Machiavelli, please come back, we need you. All is forgiven – if it takes a dose of your cynicism to inoculate us against ideologies, we’ll never again say a nasty word about you.

2 thoughts on “Our gender-bender politics”

  1. All too true, but it is considered sacrilegious to question “democracy”. What we used to think of as normal people now sympathize with every woke cause. They want to help every person who makes some distant claim to victimhood or any odd case of perceived persecution. By help, of course, we mean to grant them any and all demands or whims, not to actually guide them on a path to health and understanding. What in the world has happened to common sense and basic human dignity?

    Here in the U.S. we are told the problem is growing, that 25% of teens identify as at least one character in the alphabet soup of sexuality. I tend to think the numbers are inflated – a la Kinsey – but even then I have read that the majority of these poor children are just young ladies who prefer to dress as young men. It certainly can’t be based on hormones and a bit of confusion and peer pressure and the desire to fit in, could it? And there is certainly no pressure exerted from adult groomers on social media. Young teens cannot vote, drink, or get a tattoo, but they can obtain an abortion or life-altering surgery. Makes perfect (modern) sense. Bring me my scalpel!

  2. Hippocrates taught that doctors ought to do no harm. He might have thought that mutilating people (whether children or adults), not to save their lives but to endorse their fashionable delusions, counted as doing harm. He might have thought that doctors who perform such mutilations (whether surgical or pharmaceutical) ought to be banned from practising medicine. He might have thought that a civilisation, in which the public debate is not about whether such mutilations ought to be performed but at what age they ought to be performed, is a civilisation gone mad.

    But most people today probably think that Hippocrates was the inventor of boxes for transporting large riparian mammals, so his principles are unlikely to get much attention.

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