It is abundantly clear I am going to have to take action against Labour. Their continued targeting, harrasment, defamation may have been reflex but the impact on me is not changed by intent. The compiling of list of women to be targeted and monitored by activists who openly fantasize about violence against women, combined with the Guardians willingness to absolve violence and sexual violence against women guilty of awareness of material reality is too far. I am forced to take action and this is a request for witness statements I can use in addition to archived tweets, live tweets and communications. I cannot accept material risk being continually created to us. I have no resources to protect us and they have given license to a deeply disturbed population to explicitly harm us. I can use harassment, defamation laws and media and am forced to take action. They clearly have no insight into risk they continually create, and therefore no potential for change. No willingness to resolve this or recognise the seriousness of seven years harassment of a single mother in poverty. It is abundantly clear a legacy identity as my representative and my status as someone impacted by austerity is leading to a reflex which demonstrates they do not believe the law applies to them or me and they do not understand the boundary of our relationship should be them seeking my vote and then y have no right to cross this line. . There is no awareness they are not entitled to harm me or my daughter. Wes Streeting has been clear he feels this is within Labour’s right and Tom Watson will not respond. It is only a matter of time before someone hurts Rachel or I as a consequence. Two thirds of her entire childhood have been .marred by this, my future and the cumulative impact is too great and cannot continue.
I know am always telling people to be brave and speak up but sometimes other responsibilities take precedence. Guardian again told every rapist and potential risk in the country they can be absolved of sex offences, rape even attempted murder, as long as they claim identity as a woman, as long as its punishment for transphobia. The political party they work with has drawn up a list of women who can be harmed with impunity and a sense if righteousness. I was on that list. Someone is going to get hurt and it appears to be the intent. I am a Twitter addict, I valued it, value the people I speak to but I just do not have the right to court this kind of risk. It is utterly irresponsible and selfish to do so. I don’t know how to deactivate that account without my laptop and its bust again but that Twitter account should be considered dead. This is beyond irresponsible, it isn’t my fault but I have responsibilities and putting chatting with my friends and saying Fuck you to bullies above those responsibilities is not justifiable in these circumstances. I can’t justify it and wouldn’t be able to. Guardian and Labour are using a vulnerable and unstable group to hide from their irrelevance and I can’t place sproglet at this kind of risk. So sorry. Am done.
Gender dysphoria is a treatable adult mental illness. The treatment available is severe body modification, and for some this allows a happy life to lived in a gender different to the sex in which they are born. My belief that these people should be free from discrimination and harmful treatment is unchanged. My understanding that gender is socialised and it would be difficult to live as a woman without this socialization has not changed. But for as long as this mess continues, threats, narcissistic abuse, and political bullying accompanies this I refuse to obscure this. I will not argue womanhood is a treatable mental illness, it evidently is not. I will not conflate and adult mental illness with the normal identity formation of childhood and adolescence. I will not argue women are entitled to boundaries, lesbians are attracted to females, gay men to males, and heterosexual people to the opposite sex. I will not obscure this while obscuring this threatens legal sex based protections. This is material reality. Reality does not change because a mental illness can be treated. If someone believes their identity changes these realities, their disordered thinking requires further treatment. I define mental illness as a treatable disorder which poses a risk to self or others without intervention. I appreciate this may be deemed unkind but courtesy obscuring this reality is causing material harm and the consequences of obscuring this or the severity of the treatment we are discussing is too great. No debate where material reality becoming heresy is normal or healthy. Womanhood is not a treatable mental illness.
To ignore the lens through which we view issues, is to ignore distortion created by that lens. To ignore that we are not seeing a true picture. We cannot see context. Twitter provides identities as that lens. I treat interesting, intelligent people with knowledge I do not have, as a lens, and read what they share, take into account their opinions. It’s useful. I keep going back because it’s the best way to talk to friends I have now had for many years. I can’t lie, I have had more than value for money from Twitter, but that is clearly not the full picture. What is also clear is a platform where people can form identity attached to nothing has tendency to extract and amplify narcissism and media and politics organisations unable to accommodate a social dimension to power always defined by one way broadcast are exposed here. No issue demonstrates that more clearly than the issue of gender identity. The trans population is tiny. Off the top of my head there have only been about ten thousand gender recognition certificates issued. That is ten thousand people who in material reality are living outside the gender role of the sex they were born to a point where they are to be treated by others as that gender. This is a population with a risk of suicide that is more significant than the rest of the population who have had treatment for a disorder that is now treatable. It is testament to how far society has come that their right to courtesy, freedom from discrimination, has been virtually uncontested in recent years. But media and social media in their haste have created a toxic lens through which to view an issue which concerns a tiny and clearly vulnerable population and it has amplified a dangerous and disturbing narcissism. This inability to add context is causing harm. This tiny population most of whom I doubt are heard is now supplemented by a number of Twitter accounts which dwarf that number. Through the lens of a medium where identities can be formed without context, and where mainstream media have enormous power they are unable to reflect on, this issue has become toxic, dangerous, and now threatens to quite literally erase protections in law for sex, and sexual orientation. It has harmed children in material reality It is having utterly obscene consequences. Being a woman, being gay, being black, is not having a treatable disorder which carries an increased chance of posing a risk to oneself. It is not an atomized identity facet experienced without the context of material reality that can ever be lived that way. It is becoming clear though the explosion of this issue through social media that this is more complex and it is dangerous to view this issue only through Twitter or media. Intersectionality applies here because of the intersection of poverty, ill health, discrimination that trans people experience. There is overlap with the way we experience inequality because of race, sex, sexual preference and class. But intersectionality has never been about atomized identities existing in isolation, no black women experiences those things separately. Inequality I experience is as a working class woman and motherhood, class, gender, motherhood are not experienced separately and i am seen though one dimensional motif by politics, policy making and media. A society and systems that see only one facet of my identity and me in the centre as a complex person who cannot separate these out. Intersectionslity with regard to the issue of trans rights requires context. Someone may identify as a woman aged 40 but they are also male bodied, and the transition requires treatments which create the intersection of health problems, this is on top of a disorder which causes sufficient distress that treatment is warranted. Material reality exists. Male pattern offending does not go away for those whose lives are shaped by violence. Which is what motivated Crenshaw in the first place. I, as a woman cannot identify out of a world shaped by violence. Or out of gendered power relations a lesbian cannot view a trans women by identity alone. She cannot be attracted to a male no matter how altered by hormones and cosmetic surgery. Same goes for trans men, the female socislisation and body remain part of the complexity of that persons identity and treatment by others. The toxic narcissism of Twitter and a haste to bring together different groups under one ‘trans’ umbrella that can be hastily tacked onto the LGB alphabet and the embrace by media organisations unable to reflect on power has led to a serious and complex situation. Lesbians are being openly sexually abused abused and coerced both online and on campuses as gendered powers relations reproduce. Violent fantasy and acts are being excused and normalised by a left wing press and party who are so used to just being able to identify as someone’s representation without permission they think it is normal. A tiny and vulnerable population have become a stick they can beat people, especially women with, and this tiny population are now what we discuss instead of structural inequality and failing institutions which are generating political instability all political parties will ultimately be forced to address. This has gone so far that violent fantasy about rape and murder is not being viewed as disordered thinking which indicates risk. We are conflating many complex issues. The tangible consequence for me is a political party placing me on a list for activists who believe my wordsare violence which warrant violent response. We are ignoring what we know about the vulnerability of teenagers, especially girls and conflating two distinct populations so we avoid discussing the identity disorder at the root. Ignoring that adolescence is a period of intense identity formation where social pressure shapes decision making and placing vulnerable kids in a situation where they are obtaining celebrity if they undergo irreversible treatments that validate adults who have an identity disorder it is heresy to discuss. Identity without context is erasing the seriousness of treatments at stake and any discussion of material reality comes with threat of violence or suicide. When this has passed still exist. When discussion of material reality brings threats of violence or suicide we are discussing a disorder not an identity. Sexual coercion is not an expression of gender identity it is a sign of disordered thinking. What is brewing on twitter is dangerous, when placed in context disturbing. But viewing this without also viewing the lens distorting it misses the big picture. I have been back on Twitter for matter of weeks. Already material risk is created. Yes, Twitter allows me to view the world through interesting eyes but I don’t have the luxury of ignoring context and when placed in context it does not seem harmless.
Social media is a massive change. A social dimension added to political communication, when political media rely on insulation from reality and abusive narratives, has bigger implications than the twitter spats which bring thousands of people to rubberneck at this blog. One of the reasons i started to write and blog, was that my working life has been spent subjecto very serious confidentiality and political impartiality conditions. These are not for bad reasons. As a civil servant you are the person required to deliver policy, to remain completely impartial and to be the filter through which policy goes so it is delivered fairly, without discrimination, and within the rule of law. In social work the confidentiality of already vulnerable children is central to everything you do. I recently used the term Baby P and someone pointed out this dehumanised a child, butmy instinct is to do this because I am uncomfortable when a child’s name is made public full stop. My perspective has always been contained within institutions and an important part of the functioning of our political economy is that that perspective is kept completely separate from politicians and policy makers, for good reason.
I have always dealt with the unintended consequences of policy failure, that are an inevitable consequence of ANY policy and it is important that people in that position are not impacting political processes or undermining particular parties with what would be consequence of any political party, not just the villain of the day in power. When I walked out of my job in 2009, it was the very first time in my life I had been free to utter a political opinion publicly. To do so in ANY job I had ever had, would result in gross misconduct proceedings. For this reason my writing was potent, not because I am particularly talented or particularly clever. It was just new that someone with my perspective should be naturally mixing on the same platform as those I would usually be insulated from by many important institutional functions.
This is a change that has occurred, The consequences of this are huge. The implications of this are huge. It means it is no longer possible for policy makers and politicians to be insulated from those who deal with their failures. This is difficult. This is an especially difficult transition when power, prestige, money, is threatened by being in that position. Labour have managed to maintain a legacy identity as the natural representative of the working class, and clearly have a political identity that requires the maintenance of artificial tribalism. They don’t know what to do when faced with the realith that most of the things I discuss are subject to political consensus or when someone reminds them their identity is false.
The mode of atrsoturf, that is the creationo f artificial grassroots movements was their initial adaption to this environment. They assumed they could just communicate outwards, and if they got enough noise on twitter, that was the same as approval in the press. It is not. When someone constructs an artificial identity for themselves, and they are faced with evidence it is false, they lash out as reflex. The response to me was a reflex, I do not believe there has been any thought in those reflexes or that there has been a co-ordinated attempt to target me. But the impact on me does not change of Labour being unable to function in a changed environment where this is possible.
Social media did not only provide an environment where they had to mix with the objects of policy and those who deliver it. It also provided a window into their world, a window into their culture, the institutions which connect around them and exposed the structure of cultures always hidden by media narratives and elite institutions. There was never an argument that could be won between me and Labour. Labour have to adjust to this environment. It is not possible to retain the insulation b etween policy makers and those delivering and subject to policy any more and an abusive online culture cannot sustain this.
We are going through a period where the consensus tribalists orbit is broken, the context has changed around it, institutions upholding it are eroded and an abusive policy reflex has started a reconstruction in people’s understanding of power. This is not the first time this has happened. TRibalism which is an excellent stabilising function is now generating political instability because it is not sustainable. Abusing me, putting my daughter at risk, defaming me, does not change that. It will not and cannot undo that.
In addition I represent and embody tensions which did not exist the last time we went through a crisis of this nature. As a looked after child, and an independent mother, I represent changes that occurred AFTER the last crisis where we had to adjust the belief system at the centre of our political economy in the late seventies. I had waited for this crisis because it is the first opportunity sice the establishment of our welfare state for their to be a synthesis in our understanding of policy in this area. We have never specifically defined these functions or institutions and instead they have evolved through crisis and now we have to synthesise that understanding.
Labour have to adjust to this new environment. So do policy makers. It is not being undone. I have by virtue of who I am been caught on this intersection and unable to control it. By virtue of this blog being a reflection on this, this has become a record ofc the ccrisis in a mediating class that indicates our centre position needs to change. I have understood this for a long time which is why I have maintained the record regardless of teh impact on me. In future this will be needed.
I cannot choose not to embody those tensions, i cannot choose to not be that, I cannot choose not to rerepsent those changes. I could choose not to be articulate it, but I cannot choose not to be aware of it. Nor can I choose to continue to accept abuse and harassment that undermines my ability to meet legal duties to my child beacuse a political party cannot adjust to their new environment. I have no desire to be at war iwth a political party who I know will have to adjust. So Labour have to adapt and if I have to take action to force that adaptation to cease impacting me this way I will do so.
But even if Labour could not have anticpated this, the treatment of me indicates some very serious dysfunction in their culture. It is not normal to lash out in a way that puts kids at risk, it is not normal to lash out to abuse, and defame when your false identity is threatened. That is indicative of deep cultural problems. I don’t know how this ends but this week I will seeking legal advice bec ause i cannots ustain this. Sevenn years of abuse on behalf of a major political party is beyond me to sustain, and I do not have the choice t fail to act. The implications of social media for politics and policy making go way beyond twitter likes and facebook approval. The days of political communication forcing people to accept things that are not true, or to accept abuse are over. I am an example of teh way Labour treat people they believe have been removed grfom citizenship.
None of the changes I represent can be undone. A political belief system where you just abuse people until they are silent will not do that. Labour will have to adapt to an environment where they mix with people like me. I will not have to change anything.
Good. If the sight of millions of women, pouring onto the streets, asserting themselves as a political force, a united force, even with all our differences, asserting that the world has changed and we can do this across borders, made you feel unsafe…Good. That march was for people like you. That march was to tell you to be afraid because the world has changed and women are a political force who will pour out onto the streets, with all our differences, any time we like. The ONLY reason that march made anyone feel afraid was they are afraid of women doing that. If you were afraid and that march made you feel unsafe, that is precisely what it was intended to do and you need to deal with your need to keep women subjugated because those days are over.
It started when I was invited to speak at Oxford University in 2010. I was then invited to speak at a trade union funded event about austerity, I only discuss political consensus because all these systems are ALWAYS subject to absolute consensus.
Immediately defamed by organisers of event, Netroots. You can find the video of me speaking there under Lisa Ansell, Netroots. This was then followed up by regularly gaslightinga nd abuse by hundreds and hundreds of twitter accounts, constantly.
Smear placed in New Left project stating I was too thick to understand democracy and demanding that I be ashamed and stating I was a radical for discussing political consensus.
Guardian asked me to write about austerity and would only pay me if I interacted with the abuse below the line. They woudl edit articles so that discussion of political consensus was removed and it looked like this was only Tory policy. It never was. It couldnt be because these systems are always subject to consensus.
Radical left, currently at the heart of Novara: Decided I was a scab because social workers put money into strike fund on courthearing days and their primary responsibility is to children. This was a month of targeted abuse online, including local antifascists targeting my house. My daughter had to leave the house several times.
Owen Jones threatened by me eloquently discussing consensus, regularly, often on a weekly basis defamed me, and would use twitter to showboat to his followers so they would abuse me. These episodes would go on for 6-7 hours.
Toby Young searched for himself on twitter and made a tit of himself so defamed me in teh Spectator, citing evidence from a woman who at that point was not only stalking me but working with this man.
I told the Spectator they had put us at risk, and they would not change it. I asked New Statesman editor at the time, Mehdi Hassan for advice and the women cited was placed at the centre of a New Statesman campaign about online abuse and harassment. They were at that time taking articles they had requested about austerity. Were fully aware of how vulnerable I was. Helen Lewis used this article and this campaign to build her reputation as a feminist, fully aware of the risk I had been placed at, and then blocked me when I asked her to remove it,
Because of teh publicity the police would not believe me, and their activity went into overdrive. My daughter again put at risk of violence and I was smeared as being responsible for bullying them. This went on for months, and had huge consequences for me later that I dont want to discuss here. But the family courts are not great with care leavers who mix with people who put their kids at risk. Owen Jones later went onto use this man and his accomplice to defame me and when told that it had put my daughter at real risk maintained it was true.
I asked the Guardian to remove my contributor page, and they would not.
I ceased writing for the political press and moved twitter accounts so I could not be accused of having a public profile in the hope it would stop it.
In the period since I was subject to abuse and harassment through what eventually became Corbynism because they had a false identity and wanted to project the image that political consensus on welfare, social care and child protection changes did not exist. THis has been relentless for seven years,
Constant defamation. Owen Jones defamed me regularly, accused me of stalking even though the onlyc ommunication he had had from me was me saying I would not attend an event because it might make him uncomfortable. He contacted the Telegraph when they published me and ask they not do so,. I was at that point in very deep poverty.
All of this has been done openly. THis has not stopped for more than 8 or 9 weeks in seven years. Because they were ashamed of their treatment of me, they defamed me so that finding employment was difficult because me having to respond to this appeared to be me arguing on twitter and the culture around policy making are inherently linked with these people.
My last twitter account after regularly being engulfed in abuse and pile ons specifically by the people at the core of NOvara and Corbynism including Matt Zarb Cousins, Sam Kriss, Ash Sarkar, was ended. When I emailed Ash Sarkar to let her know the serioousness of teh consequences, she immediately defamed me publicly and said I was a harasser and abuser.
Stella Creasy defamed me for discussing teh relationship of debt and welfare, while she was triangulating on laying out austerithy priorities with a campaign against payday loans.
She again defamed me and encouraged otehrs to abuse me last year. I apologised to Stella when I dismissed her claims about abuse when I found out how seriously she had been targeted.
The reflex demonstrated repeatedly was a narcissistic reflex. That is to abuse someone and then accuse them of it so it appears they are doing it,. This is because they have a false identity as my representative and my realit challenges it.
My account was finally ended when someone reported a tweet which was a direct quote from a violent transactivist, that I didnt use quotation marks for. Twitter woudl not reinstate the account.
I considered leaving twitter for good but missed talking to my friends. I have only used this twitter account for that. Over christmas I ended up devastaated when I realised my PTSD meant I coudl not apply for the policy jobs I wanted, and had worked to get an Msc from the LSE to apply for, because I knew that people in that world lash out and put you at risk when you threaten their identity.
I have not had more than 8-9 weeks without harassment and abuse from Labour representatives in seven years. During this time i have stood up for Labour women when they have been abused in the same way and still tried to support Labour, notably sending Jess Philips my dissertation when it was done in case it could assist her in Labour policy to women.
Today I woke to find I was on a list of women Labour will be targeting and encouraging transactivists to target.
This is not minor. This is not a twitter spat. This is not ok. I am a single mother, extremely vulnerable and this has impacted my health, my mental health, my career, my future. It has to end.
I am not a Labour member, I am not associated with the Labour Party in any way, outside the treatment of me after they recruited me to discuss austerity. Ih ave been given a spreadsheet where my name is listed along with several other women and i want to know why. I asked Lily Madigan via twitter, this is the ONLY time i have ever approached the Labour Women’s Officer, and was blocked immediately. I want to know why I am being targeted, I will be contacting Labour and I will be seeking legal advice.
Queen Elizabeth first learned, after her sister fried protestants that you cannot open a window into men’s souls. Policy makers, monarchs, politicians, they all learn this eventually, Here is what equality legislation cannot do:
It cannot impact someone’s perception
It cannot cover people’s right to association
It cannot cover how people identity themselves
It cannot control thought
It cannot override sexual preference
It cannot override sexual boundaries.
It cannot remove anyone’s right, ability, or tendency to risk assessmenty.
If this is hwat you think gender recognition law or ewquality legislation can do you will abuse and harm women.
Any law which attempted to do this would fail, very quickly, because the rest of our legal frameworks would kill it. It would not be a basis for any type of sustainable rights, and any belief that legislation could do this, is nothing more than an indicator you need to reflect on the limitations of your own identity.
Equality legislation is recognition equality is contested, it can cover how you are treated in limited places, by your employer, by businesses, by services. That is it. Nothing more. Nothing. Gender recognition, can also do this, but cannot go further. Equality legislation and gender recognition legislation cannot be used to make sure your identity is validated and it cannot override other law or any of these things.
I am writing to demand that you apologise to the family of the victims of Lauren Jeska and the athletics clubs she ran for. It was not acceptable for you to describe a brutal premeditated double stabbing, linked to amateur athletics clubs children use, staffed by people who it turns out literally gave their lives, as a warning for transphobia.
You do irreparable harm to trans women when you minimise a brutal double attempted murder. You conflated trans rights with the right to murder. Lauren Jeska was well known to be trans and got no trouble for it in Todmorden and how dare you suggest she was justified in a premeditated attempted double murder. How dare you do that to trans women. How dare you do that to the victims of those attempted murders and how dare you do that to those families and to the people for whom their hobby and passion for amateur athletics became something terrible. I demand that you apologise to those people and do it publicly. You should be ashamed of yourself and you should be using the pages of the Guardian to make amends for that.
When you literally provide hagiography for double murder you tell every violent man on the planet that just becoming trans is enough to be absolved. You invite violence, you undermine trans women and you set the rest of us back decades on dealing with violence. There is NOTHING a premeditated double stabbing is an acceptable warning for. NOTHING.