At party conferences it is normal to face an airport-style frisk. Although not overly intrusive, it is always done by someone of the same sex, and many people would strongly object on grounds of privacy if it were not.

So it would probably surprise many of the delegates returning from Manchester to learn that the government is considering changes to transgender legislation which would effectively bring to an end the right to be searched by someone of your own sex, and have a much wider impact on privacy between men and women, as well as reducing the protections which society offers to children.

This has come about as a result of the bold recommendations contained in a report by the Parliamentary Equalities Committee in December 2015, now under consideration by Ministers.

The most concerning recommendation is that anyone will be able legally to define themselves as whichever sex they wish through a simple administrative procedure. At present anyone wanting to redefine the sex they were born has to apply for a certificate to a body called the Gender Recognition Panel, and offer evidence to back up their request. This would usually include evidence that they had lived as their chosen sex for a period of time and possibly undergone surgery.

A decision to scrap this would mean that people will simply fill in a form online, and hey presto, they will have changed sex – at least as far as the law is concerned. This will have a profound impact on the rights of others to maintain sex-based boundaries, protections and rights.

The Sexual Discrimination Act seeks equality of pay and treatment in work but does allow employers, in certain instances, to stipulate that they want either a man or woman. For example, somebody seeking a carer for a woman might well stipulate, for obvious reasons of privacy, that the job should only be taken by a female. Those having to undertake physical searches of people, for example in prisons or police stations (or party conferences), have to be of the same sex as those being searched.

At a stroke this will have ended because the effect of this legislation will be to treat ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ as being the same. In reality ‘sex’ is something we are born into and cannot be changed while ‘gender’ is harder to define and refers to the roles which most of us take on as a result of the sex we are born into. In the future, people changing gender will have the right to undertake roles and be in places that are currently reserved for members of one sex.

It is worth bearing in mind that when the Gender Recognition Act was implemented in 2004 there was an assumption that most transgender people would have undergone, or be about to undergo surgery. This is certainly not the case now. Only about 25 per cent of transgender people undergo any surgery at all, meaning that three-quarters of transgender women are in possession of a fully functioning penis. This has already led to predictable problems. In a recent well-publicised case a male prisoner serving a sentence for rape reassigned ‘herself’ as a female. Insisting on the right to be sent to a female prison, ‘she’ was subsequently sectioned after making unwanted sexual advances. We have also heard recently of convicted sex offenders identifying as women while in prison – 11 cases in one sex offenders’ institution for example. Should these prisoners be re-housed in the female estate amongst very vulnerable women?

If the legislation is passed, these invasions of privacy will be commonplace. There will be little point in bothering with male and female segregated toilets or changing rooms because anyone will be able to go where they wish, and any attempt to question this could well end up being seen as an infringement of human rights, and a hate crime as well.

The report does not explain how we can reach a balance between the rights of people to re-define their gender and the rights of those who were born male or female to maintain privacy.

The report also calls for sex-change drugs to be made much more widely available to minors, although this already seems to be happening – a doctor in my Monmouth constituency is being investigated for giving ‘puberty blockers’ to children as young as 12.

Some boys want to play with stereotypically girls’ toys and experiment with dressing up, and vice versa. This reflects a broad range of normal childhood interest and has probably always happened. I believe that the best approach is simply to accept it, and allow children to develop their own interests. Some of the current discourse about gender encourages people to think a child should transition to being the opposite sex if they don’t conform to the gender stereotypes for their own sex and see it as an issue requiring powerful drugs.

Children may want to be different in many ways. Some teenage boys want to build muscle while some teenage girls want to be unhealthily thin. Responsible parents can encourage them to go to the gym or take exercise but would never suggest they start taking steroids or other drugs. We need to encourage our children to love the bodies they have, not to yearn for something else and to take drugs to get it.

Puberty blockers are described as being fully reversible but there is no evidence to support this claim, nor any understanding of the long-term effects on children’s health and their developing brains. Some effects of cross-sex hormones are irreversible. There are sad stories online of teenagers who believed they were born into the wrong body and were encouraged to undergo drug treatment and sometimes surgery before realising that they had made a mistake, and have been left with irreversible effects. Young women who take testosterone are left with permanently deeper voices, body and facial hair and male pattern baldness even if they only take it for a short time.

I do not seek to deny that some people feel a deep need to change their sex, and would never want to stop them from living their life as they feel most comfortable. But at the same time we must ensure that by extending the rights of one group we do not deny the rights of others.

I also believe that transgender people suffer from verbal and physical abuse and would strongly support measures to protect them from this. However, we should be able to discuss our feelings about transgender issues without being accused of committing hate crimes, as I recently was. Recently a 60-year-old women’s rights campaigner was assaulted by a transgender activist, presumably a biological male. This violence, which was supported by a number of fellow activists, is equally unacceptable.

The government said after the election that they are going to ‘listen much harder to people’. I believe this and look forward to it. There are clear biological differences between the two sexes. If things that have been taken for granted for centuries are suddenly turned upside down, then at the very least we should be able to discuss our concerns openly without the risk of verbal and physical abuse.


  1. Even if, I was a dysphoria clinician, a fully trained consutant psychiatrist, I wouldn’t feel qualified to talk about this, nor would I dare to, the whole thing is gone between, berserk to totally mental, a thousand people and two thousand different opinions.

  2. I’m appalled that Justine Greening has caved to the identity politics madness with this proposal. There are genuine cases of gender dysphoria which a consultant psychiatrist will recognise, but they account for less 0.01% of the population. There are many more cases of individuals with difficult backgrounds who mistakenly seeing a sex change as a solution to much more complex and difficult problems. Growing numbers of those who proceed to gender-reassignment surgery expect reversal surgery when they realize it has not made their lives any more tolerable. Self-certification of gender is trivializing the issue, and can do great harm by taking vulnerable people who are not genuinely dysphoric away from potential care and support from health professionals. The whole transgender issue has become a campaign seized upon by left-wing identity politics warriors, to the extent that Bath Spa University recently refused to allow academic research about people who decide to reverse gender reassignment operations – because the University was concerned about the agitation and protest that the activists would rain down upon them.

    • Whilst I am quite happy with the rest of your post, I am unsure about the use of the phrase “caved in”.

      I would normally see that as referring to someone doing something that they weren’t really happy with.

      Is there any reason to believe that Justine Greening is not herself promoting it?

  3. ‘The report does not explain how we can reach a balance between the rights of people to re-define their gender and the rights of those who were born male or female to maintain privacy.’

    Suspending discussion, for the moment, of the legal fiction of transgender rights; it is always reasonable to presume that any such report will be unable to strike a balance between the rights of transgender, and the right to privacy of, say, females.

    Take for example, the male-to-female, Robert–to-Roberta, transgendered. Biology tells us Roberta is Robert. Legal fiction (lawful) tells us Roberta should be able to shower with your daughter Jane at school.

    • can you please provide the medical evidence to support the assertion that transgendered people are mentally ill?

      I doubt you can making your position one of bigotry not as a factual stand.

      • Gender dysphoria is an acknowledged mental illness. The textbook definition can be found in the American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

        • Mental disorder, NOT Illness !

          If you take the same tack with other mental disorders then no one would receive any treatment on the grounds that you can’t see it therefore it isn’t happening.

          Remember also that it is not the transgendered people driving this, they are merely being used as the tool of the Fascist Left, and they are the ones who should be the target of your anger.

        • For sure, anyone born as one sex who wants to be another will have some unconventional wiring in their brain. Some will be attention seekers, some will be genuinely afflicted.

          The question then is the best course of action. Do we (a) waste time and money trying to “cure” these people with expensive drugs and electric shocks possibly to no avail or (b) just let them happily get on with their lives if they’re not hurting anybody else.

          I’d go (b) every time. Live and let live. However, the key comment which I hugely support from the writer’s piece stands out : “we must ensure that by extending the rights of one group we do not deny the rights of others”

          • how about (c) we offer them professional psychiatric help to assist them in reconciling themselves to their biological bodies? You didn’t mention (d), provide expensive s*x change operations which generally don’t make them happier (the attempted suicide rate for transexuals is the same pre and post op). There are no easy pat answers but pretending something isn’t true because someone will be offended is not the answer.

          • Good ideas but with (c) we can offer it but they should be free to turn it down. With (d) I do worry that is something which is too easily rushed into and often at too early an age.
            I sympathise with anyone who feels they are in the wrong body, but there seems to be too few people saying “okay, but hold on, take a deep breath and don’t rush headlong into this” – or if they are, they seem unfortunately shouted down.
            And yes, there are many cases of people who continued to suffer depression after their operation, proving that the operation was not the magic cure after all.
            The trouble is, you have all the screeching virtue-signalling attention-seekers on twitter on one side of the debate and the “transgenders are all loonies that should be locked up” type on the other side both making all the noise and drowning out any calm voice in the middle.

          • I see it this way. The harm that may be suffered by someone born biologically of one sex, but wanting to be the other sex, is a harm inflicted by ‘nature’. The harm suffered by children given hormonal intervention because they are ‘effeminate’ or tomboys or the harm suffered by women because biological men have the right to invade their private spaces (and vice versa), is a harm inflicted by human beings.

            The first type of harm is unavoidable and merely unfortunate; the second is man made, the result of wilful social engineering, and entirely immoral.

    • Indeed. The minute we acknowledge we have to strike a balance, the genie is out of the bottle. I don’t support any recognition of them other than medical, and that should be dealt with by the medical profession, not politicians.

  4. Back shortly after the end of WWI Jews in France were required to register with the state for no apparent good reason. Most of them did this in the belief that the state needed this information, and that it would be kept safe. They couldn’t have been more misguided.

    When Hitler invaded France his officers seized these registers and used them to locate French Jews and ship them to their deaths in the camps.

    Anyone trusting the state to keep a register of their difference wants their bumps feeling ! A more dangerous course I cannot imagine, as it is more than possible that one day in the future a groups of people will seize the registers once again with the intent of doing harm.

    By all means call yourself what you like and tell everyone you are as female as Conchita Wurst just don’t tell the government and expect everyone to indulge you.

    • I am happy to be corrected, but was that WW1?

      Post-revolutionary France made civil registration compulsory for all, so Jews in France have their birth, marriage and death events registered in civil vital registers, just like everybody else. The system is still in force today.

      I am aware that prior to WW2 a type of ‘registration’ was part of a wider ranging census type form issued in Germany in which people were asked, not, ‘Are you Jewish’, but, “Is anyone in your family Jewish?”, Which is almost the same, will ellicit the same information, but seems more ‘innocent’ than asking directly if one is Jewish.

  5. As a child, my sister always wanted to be a boy. By her logic, boys led far more interesting lives, I could go out and play, climb trees, play (and fall in) the nearby stream, etc. Girls were generally not allowed this freedom and were kept at home and helped around the house and with the shopping and got involved with cooking the meals. The fact that I was three years older wasn’t relevant to her thinking. All this ended when she went to the girl’s grammar school where they had girl’s sports like netball and hockey and she started to notice the boys in a different light. She married in due course and has three children.
    I wouldn’t like to think about what would have happened to her if someone had taken her seriously when she was at junior school.

    • Indeed. None of us want our children in nursery school to be questioned by the pansexualists thus:

      ‘Are you happy with your right arm? Do you feel comfortable with it?’

      • I can’t see how any genuine assessment of a child’s feelings about their sexuality can be made until a few years after they have reached puberty.

        I also noted recently that one university had blocked a student from carrying out his doctrinal research into individuals who now regretted their gender change.
        So research must not be allowed in case it contradicts currently held opinions. Typical that our so-called universities, which should be places of enquiry, are no longer prepared to allow possible contradictory findings to be evaluated.

    • Yes, ever since transgender became the next manufactured ‘big issue’, I’ve thought about tomboys. I was a tomboy myself before puberty put an end to most of that. My big worry from the beginning of this lunacy has been that such girls nowadays will be pumped full of hormones because they ‘really’ want to be boys. What a world we live in.

  6. You have described the problems that this obsession with transgender rights has created extremely eloquently. What I really can’t understand is how you can continue to belong to a party which has thrown itself so wholeheartedly behind this crusade. It’s one thing to ensure that transgender people are protected by the law but quite another for your government to promote it as a lifestyle choice to children as young as three or four years old and then to criminalise anyone who questions what is happening.
    Once the lunatics have taken over the asylum (aka the Conservative Party) it really is time to bail out and join those of us who are still sane enough to see what is happening, before you get dragged further down into the gutter. Supporting a political party which is prepared to open such a hornets’ nest without the intelligence to understand the mess it is creating is simply not worth the effort.

    • I understand your thinking. But what’s Mr Davies supposed to do?Join Labour, LibDums, UKIP? Far better to be part of an imperfect party and lobby from within for Conservative values than to be totally absent from the fight. I get the impression there’s an idealogical struggle going on within the Tories. Whether any of these factions has any sway with the general public is another question altogether, especially those generations indoctrinated from birth to be cultural Marxists. I fear the UK will have to taste a dose of Corbynism for the younger generations to relearn the lessons of history. In this respect Tory complicity with cultural Marxism is not helping at all.

      • Why should Mr Davies join any party? I’ve given up on the idea that politicians can change anything, as becoming an MP simply separates these individuals from ordinary people who have to negotiate the ridiculous world they create. I don’t think that Mr Davies can do anything to change the lunacy in his party. The worst thing is that the reason politicians pursue this cause is not because they give a monkeys about transgender people. They simply think they will gain more votes from the so-called progressives. They would be just as likely to support polyandry if they thought it would keep them in power.

    • I am so angry and disappointed with what a basket case society has become that I would relish the opportunity to go ‘out’, guns blazing, in such a civil war.

      I WAS all for tolerance, but this beyond a joke. We see Karl Popper’s ‘Paradox of Tolerance’ coming into effect, not only with this twaddle, but Islam, drugs, homosexual ‘rights’ – which usually means riding roughshod over everyone else’s – and much else: “

  7. As Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
    David Davies, thank you for putting your head above the parapet.

    • Karl Popper: “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

  8. ‘But at the same time we must ensure that by extending the rights of one group we do not deny the rights of others.’

    Mr Davies, MP, the others are 50% of the population (just to keep scales of measurement in perspective).

  9. Here’s another thing, Mr Davies. You Tories really know how to create the maximum aggro for police officers and urinate the public off:

    ‘changes to transgender legislation which would effectively bring to an end the right to be searched by someone of your own sex’.

    If I were a Tory I’d take Mudlark1’s advice:

    ‘Supporting a political party which is prepared to open such a hornets’ nest without the intelligence to understand the mess it is creating is simply not worth the effort.’

  10. Jeez, how has it come to this? The vast, vast majority of people held to ransom by a tiny, obscure minority who, in my opinion, are sick in the head and should be treated as such. Davies, I am relying on people such as you to halt this nonsense before it gets any further.

    • A few years back a transgendered (male-female) Met. officer attempted to stop & search an American at Heathrow. The Yank resisted and said, ‘I’m not gonna be searched by this freak!’

      My recollection is that the search was terminated. I do recall that obe officer said, ‘The public ain’t ready for this.’

      Well, they’re not ever going to be ready ‘for this’. There’s a good, sound, solid, natural law reason for that: the Tories, through police coercion, want the public to divorce themselves from reality.

      That, just ain’t gonna happen.

      • It’s already a ‘industry’, with earnest sounding white coated psycho-babblists, surgeons who should never be allowed near a knife, and media proponents ranging from the BBC to Hollywood, which we know is stuffed to the gills with the rainbow crowd.

      • The public will never divorce themselves from reality, but they can be made to conform through fear of repercussions. This is already happening. The end result is a society with a veneer of compliance, but in revolt under the surface. Vaclav Havel once wrote about this with reference to communist Czechoslovakia.

  11. For goodness sake people, The poor people genuinely afflicted by Gender dysphoria, which even the most cynical do appear to recognise is some kind of medical condition are as much the victims as anyone, if not more so.

    Can you not see that they are being used as a tool of the Fascist Left? Surely it is those Fascists who deserve the anger and rage?

    • You know what? I don’t care. I just feel someone should contain and stop this madness. If we take your assertion at face value, then let them seek treatment, but I refuse to have every thing I consider to be normal turned upside down by a few very sick people being exploited by politicians and the NHS.

  12. I recall getting on a double decker bus one day in London in the 90s. I headed upstairs and as I made my way to the front, I began to sense a most curious feeling of unease, it was palpable in the atmosphere. Halfway up, I noticed a fairly tall person sitting, knees together, in a blouse/jacket/skirt/high-ish heeled shoes, and topped off with a hat. The person appeared to be trying to make themselves ‘smaller’. It was clear this ‘woman’ was a man. I took a seat slightly ahead and on the opposite side to him. Being quite tall, I always sat legs turned out to give my legs room, so I had a fairly good view of him, he sat absolutely motionless, but it was the unease, the discomfort of those passengers who had realised what was afoot that kept growing, almost a tension you could cut: it screamed out, “This is not normal, you are not welcome here’. I still believe that is the view of the vast majority.

    • I am as conservative as the next person. UKIP branch treasurer.

      But the above comment about – presumably – a transvestite is a bit unfair.

      A friend of mine for 50 years announced some time ago that he really felt he was a woman. He is no fool. I know him to be sincere, kind and as conservative as me!

      He now dresses as a woman in his own house. Sometimes he goes out like that. All his friends and family wish him all the best. If he says there is something awry with his genes then we know he means it.

      He is not trying to browbeat anyone into supporting him. People like him may be used by the Left to bully us for our values – but he doesn’t support that.

      It can be difficult all round but I hope he will only ever face understanding as he goes through life. The awkward man on the bus might have been in the same position.

      • I don’t care. I don’t like it, and I reserve that right to do so with something that makes me feel very uncomfortable and I believe is un-natural. I am clearly not alone in thinking this way.

    • So basically, despite the fact that this person didn’t hurt you, didn’t call you names or swear at you, and was simply going quietly about his daily business, you felt a hatred towards him and your super mind-reading skills could read the minds of all the other passengers.

      Tells us all we need to know about your hate-filled tiny brain.

      • You are turning turning into a leftie! You immediately accuse him of hate! Hate crime! He spoke of a sense of unease that was palpable on the bus. This is perfectly normal. I have sensed it in a queue at the supermarket when a transvestite was waiting to be served. This is people processing a weird experience – it is not hatred. I engaged the person in a short conversation and the atmosphere relaxed a bit. And he went happily on his way and suffered no abuse from anyone.

        • Doubt it. Wild horses wouldn’t get me to vote for that dangerous clown Corbyn. The fact that you call me a leftie for calling him out says volumes about you though.

          • What does it say about me. That I go around talking to transvestites and accept that people are uneasy about men dressing as women. You on the other hand have developed a leftie trait of calling people haters. Better have a re think.

          • What does it say about you. That you go around with your tiny pea brain thinking only people of a left wing disposition are allowed to accuse someone else of hatred. Better have a re think.

      • Show me where I write ‘hatred’; I didn’t need ‘super mind reading skills’ to read passengers’ minds, I saw it on their faces and there was a palpable tension in the sir. I suppose you can’t help being bitter, what with those latent homosexual tendencies you try ever so hard to suppress surging through you.

        • I’m heterosexual and happily married. But yet again your post reveals a lot about you. The fact that you use the phrase “homosexual tendencies” obviously intending to insult reveals perfectly your hatred of gay people.
          Call me homosexual if you want. It’s completely wrong but I don’t consider it an insult at all.
          Yes, you’ve just proved I was right the first time.

  13. Davies writes. “If things that have been taken for granted for centuries are suddenly turned upside down, then at the very least we should be able to discuss our concerns openly without the risk of verbal and physical abuse”. No, no, no, because we then acknowledge them, give it a standing it does not deserve, and that is wrong, The whole thing should be lobbed back as the mental disorder it is. It should be a case of fighting back and preserving what we consider normal, otherwise, another wall has been breached and on they march to the next one, and the next. How long before a man is allowed to marry a horse and call it his wife, with full pension rights? Jeez, I am very angry about this, this perversity must be halted.

  14. But Mr Davis, in a mature democracy like ours it is surely only right and natural that the 99.9% turn their language, habits and lifestyles inside out to accommodate the demands of the 0.1%. After all we have already done it for plutocrats, feminists, gays, blacks, religious groups, combinations of all of the above, and any other “-ist” you can thing of. I say it’s time to embrace the spirit of the times and found the Straight White Men party, to campaign against the systemic oppressions faced by SWM. After all, if you can’t beat them…

  15. There used to be a househusband in our village. My wife would meet him everyday at the bus stop with the other mums waiting for the school bus.

    Some days he dressed as a man and others as a woman. My wife describes him as being a truly unpleasant individual. All the mums had nothing to do with him because his wife was a social worker and they were afraid of the power his wife had over their children.

    I asked my wife how his kids were turning out and she described them as completely messed up and off the wall, but even the teacher was afraid of the family. Losing her job if she said anything un-PC about the guy and losing her children to social services if she criticised the kids.

    What a lovely world we live in. 1970s East Germany? In many ways that matter, we have already lost more freedom and we are more afraid of the State.

    The only way we will get them back is less State. Whole areas of State needs to be rolled back or abolished and whole sections of law repealed.

  16. Thank you for writing this article and standing up for truth. The truth is that we are not assigned a gender at birth – we are born either male or female and biology and science affirm that. Gender is a constructed identity of left liberal idiots, who seem to have great power to turn the minds of politicians and their ilk.
    I wrote to Justine Greening with a copy to my MP over this issue. Received no reply from my MP. Received a garbled letter from the Department of Education informing me that there overwhelming goal in life is the happiness of transgender people. There was no concept of how damaging (as I had pointed out in my letter) this would be to children when they are forced to accept unreality as a truth. This has happened in the Isle of Wight where parents have withdrawn their child from school and also Rev David Robertson in Dundee has blogged about a family whose daughter had come home upset as she thought she would magically turn into a boy.
    I also informed them as many others in this sight are commenting that the Conservative party should not be progressing over a cliff. And did they really want to take on parents and grandparents on this issue. Because I for one will not stand by and let them destroy my grandsons life.

  17. As the marvellous Jordan Peterson points out (watch his chat with Camille Paglia for a better understanding of this pathology), the irony is that “gender change by bureaucratic fiat” not only degrades, threatens and denies the existence of women, but it also trivializes transgenderism itself.

    There is, perhaps, a powerful claim to be made that there are some people who, for biological and physiological reasons, are fundamentally trapped in the bodies of the wrong sex. These people suffer enormous trauma, and perhaps there is some role for the state to assist them. But reducing that process to nothing more than a subjective and trivial bureaucratic procedure turns that into a joke, a bit like awarding everyone in the country PhDs. It opens up the process to abuse.

    Mind you, if Marxist May suddenly announced that every child in Britain was to be given a PhD, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  18. Don’t worry, David Davies, this is plainly never going to happen, and for reasons that your colleague, Philip Davies has already alluded to. If gender reassignment can be sought merely by clicking a box online, or filling out a form, there will be no way for the all powerful feminist lobby to maintain the exclusive advantages for women in terms of public services that they have already secured. The examples that Philip Davies has highlighted have been in the justice system, yet of course there are many others.

    On the plus side, what this will cause is an internecine war amongst the radical hard left, as they try to determine whether discriminatory treatment in favour of women or “gender fluidity” should take precedence. Mainstream politicians, meanwhile, will have no such doubts and quickly back those feminist groups who want special measures for women – and only for women – as a class.

  19. You can change shape and appearance, at least to some extent, but you cannot change sex; all you can do is turn yourself into a freak with bits added on or cut off. But that is not a sex change: it is a form of mutilation at worst and of dishonesty and confusion at best.

Comments are closed.