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Stranglehold of Stonewall - part 2 looks at influence on political parties - specifically Labour

5 replies

IwantToRetire · 17/07/2023 01:49

Stonewall has a striking track record of latching onto those it thinks are best positioned to influence policy.

While it is — on paper at least — a charitable organisation, in recent years it has become regarded by many as a powerful political lobby group, courtesy of its politicised campaigns to overhaul UK law to accommodate transgender rights. Stonewall rejects such suggestions. 

Much of Stonewall's power stems from its Diversity Champions scheme, through which it 'advises' organisations on 'how to unlock the full potential of their LGBTQ+ workforce'.

... while Stonewall has repeatedly insisted that its Diversity Champions guidance has no bearing on legislation or internal parliamentary discussions, its fingerprints can be found everywhere. 

The charity's presence is felt particularly keenly in the Scottish government. Last year, the then First Minister Nicola Sturgeon introduced new laws allowing transgender people to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis.

This has long been a key Stonewall objective: in 2015, it campaigned for changes to the Equality Act to remove single-sex exemptions, which would allow pre-operative trans women access to female changing rooms and toilets.

In its latest annual report, published in January, the organisation even boasts that it had a direct hand in helping to 'secure a commitment' from the Scottish government to reform its gender recognition laws.

The legislation was ultimately blocked by the British government on the basis that it would have a wider impact on UK equality laws.

Notably, none of the ensuing controversy stopped the Welsh government from pledging earlier this year that ministers will seek a 'devolution of powers' from the UK in order to make Wales's gender recognition laws similar to the legislation approved in Scotland. According to Stonewall, its manoeuvres regarding gender self-ID laws are standard charitable campaigning and not to be conflated with the advice it hands out through its workplace diversity schemes.

Yet its tentacles have also strayed into other areas of policy in Scotland and Wales. In 2021, under pressure from the charity, the Scottish civil service agreed to delete the word 'mother' from its maternity leave policy in a bid to be more 'LGBT-friendly'.
According to documents seen by this newspaper under Freedom of Information laws, the change was made on recommendations from a Stonewall feedback report on the Scottish government's ranking in the Workplace Equality Index — which at the time was 101.

In the same report, Scottish Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans said improving its rating would be a priority and pledged to implement an 'action plan' based on Stonewall's feedback.

Stonewall's annual report this year also gloats of its ongoing influence in Wales, saying it 'supported' the Welsh government to 'develop and launch a 58-point action plan to support LGBTQ+ people's safety, visibility and inclusion in organisations, in sports, in schools across Wales'.

In turn, the Welsh government has emphasised that its position on transgender people is unequivocal. 'Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid,' it spelt out in bold in a policy document in February.

There is mounting evidence that the group is stepping up its efforts to forge links with the party ahead of the next election. Some argue that this won't be a challenge considering that Sir Keir Starmer has been unable to define what a woman is.

Following his criticism of Labour MP Rosie Duffield for saying that only women have a cervix, he clarified his position by saying that 99.9 per cent of women 'haven't got a penis' — implying that one in 1,000 do. One Labour insider revealed to the Mail that Stonewall boss Nancy Kelley held a Zoom call with Labour staff members earlier this year.

According to one attendee, Kelley talked about Britain having a 'gender-affirming health service' and how she wanted the next Labour government to bring in a 'bill of rights' that would put 'non-binary' and 'intersex' terms into legislation.

She went on to accuse the media of manufacturing a war against transgender people that was not representative of the views of the general public.

Three months after this meeting — labelled a 'briefing' by one party source — a document was leaked detailing Labour's policy programme, which was widely seen as a blueprint for its next General Election manifesto. 

It contained a promise to introduce a 'full, trans-inclusive ban' on conversion practices, while also 'modernising the process of gender recognition'.

Clearly aware of the ongoing rub between transgender rights and women's rights, the policy document talks about building consensus and upholding the Equality Act's provision of single-sex exemptions.

But there remains concern among women's groups such as Labour Women's Declaration (LWD).

(I think for many on FWR none of this will be news, but it is good it is being collated as part of the ongoing series. See initial thread here

No wonder Stonewall is targeting Labour's top team

Last month, former journalist Iain Anderson and Stonewall chief executive Nancy Kelley met with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and a group of LGBTQ+ business leaders.

OP posts:
Crouton19 · 17/07/2023 02:36

I had some impression that being a charity precluded a body from this level of political interference - how is SW allowed to get away with this?

ThisTimeIts · 17/07/2023 07:48

She went on to accuse the media of manufacturing a war against transgender people that was not representative of the views of the general public. 🤔

Who manufactures wars on women and isn't representing the majority of the public or their long held common sense on what is a woman?

IwantToRetire · 17/07/2023 16:37

But as I said on the first thread, the problem is that too many will refuse to read or believe any of this because it is in the Daily Mail.

Once again the issue is that the left and liberal politicians and papers refuse to look into and comment on the erosion of women's rights.

OP posts:
MrsOvertonsWindow · 17/07/2023 16:46

It's another good article. The fact that so many political parties are in the pockets of Stonewall ensures that politicians will remain completely silent about VAWG, child abuse / safeguarding breaches / erasure of women's sport / the language of women being erased from the NHS despite the sex based nature of so many health issues if they are linked in any way to Stonewall & other queer theory groups.

Forwarder · 17/07/2023 17:53

Interesting that Stonewall chairman Iain Anderson has jumped from Conservative to Labour.

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