Empty vessels make most noise. The prats.
Graham Linehan is a very intelligent & articulate man. He's made some good contributions to the debate & attracted flack from the usual suspects.hence the quantity and lack of quality of emissions from the so-called LGB so-called Alliance and the likes of James Dreyfuss, and Simon (an irritant at best ) Fanshawe or Graham Linehan ,
The above is a good demonstrative answer to your question, why I and others simply do not trust the LGBT activist side in this. It has nothing to do with LGB or even T communities, not least because I don't see activist groups show any evidence that they genuinely represent their concerns. It's about the activists groups who are pushing particular debates and policies in their name are doing a major disservice to those they claim to represent.
As spent at least a week in the papers a few months ago, there are plenty of LGBT people who have now publicly agreed, including several of the Stonewall founders.
I call it a speech code because that is what it is: it is guidance about how and what to say in particular circumstances. Whatever the document calls it, that is a speech code.And I disagree. You keep calling the MoD document a "speech code", even though it goes at great length to explain that it is no such thing. Please, do point out the sections of text that make you most concerned that the document is lying.
You might also explain your position with regards to Section 28? I was an adult when that was put into UK law, you were probably at school when it was still in force, and yet you insist that the MoD putting out a few pages' explanation of how to discuss unfamiliar situations is "using a chainsaw to swat a fly". Perhaps you could explain your position on the subject of UK public-funded schools still following Section 28 policy? What of the Briggs Initiative in the USA, or Proposition 8? Would you still say that the "LGBT activists" have been as successful as the "anti-LGBT activists"?
From my position, your current line of argument is rather like those in the USA who insist that they do not trust BLM activists. They insist it has nothing to do with the black community, not least because you don't see activist groups show any evidence that they genuinely represent their concerns - and it's about the activists groups who are pushing particular debates and policies in their name, and are doing a major disservice to those who they claim to represent.
It's convenient to dismiss activists as "unrepresentative", if you don't want to face an uncomfortable truth about why they are active in the first place.
Agreed, agreed, agreed - we share very similar opinions on all of these things.For what it's worth, because I don't have anything to hide:
- I don't / didn't / wouldn't support S28 because it was a nationally mandated discrimination on bad grounds.
- I don't support faith schools because I think they are too often antithecal to education.
- I do support the right to faith schools (clearly advertised as such) because I recognise that they solve a rights conflict: that religious believers shouldn't have my views imposed on them.
And I agree. How about a document which says something like:I've got a better, more tolerant and understanding solution. Stop teaching people there is a "right" thing to say. Try to understand the person, the situation, the context and the meaning. Stop taking the lazy and ineffective shortcut of regulating the words. With no small irony: do the work.
These documents enables a bullies charter just as much as rules (or guidelines) stating opposing ethical norms - I do not and would not support those, either.
I can speak specifically to the Army / MoD and say it happens there. But this is also exactly what has happened across various companies, institutions and is very widespread in universities in the US/UK. Again, you are suggesting this is theoretically harmless in the face of mounting practical experience that it is used to do harm.
Your questions about Section 28 and BLM. First off, let me posit a question you could have asked instead: I'm curious what is your interest, experience or motivation in this issue? An open question that, I suspect, gets to what you are trying to establish, but doesn't prejudge or imply the answer.
What you actually wrote was a thinly veiled assumption that I support homophobic and racist legislation...Please point out to me the posts that raised your suspicions that I'm actually a badly motivated homophobe, Christian apologist or racist?
Bollocks.Because there are badly motivated actors out there who disagree with you, you assume anyone who disagrees with you is badly motivated. Shame on you
- I think the problem with BLM is (almost) exactly what you describe - the organisation BLM is not representative of either the movement for Civil Rights or the group 'all Black people in America'. What's more, this is both common sense and widely evidenced with plenty of prominent black conservatives objecting to BLM being treated as if it is representative of American Black people, obviously a huge and diverse group. Are you concerned that I believe in objective facts?
Quick reply - don't think I linked to Marion Miller or Graham Linehan, but I may be wrong. Think that was someone else.You're the one suggesting that this will happen as a result of this document - but I don't think you've demonstrated proof beyond anecdata. A Quillette article is about as solid a basis for factual debate on the subject of gender identity, as a Daily Mail editorial; and as for the two people who you linked stories for, they've worked really hard to get noticed, almost as if it was deliberate:
You aren't giving good examples of "innocent people hammered by bullies" - these are cases where someone went out of their way, in a determined effort to achieve their desired effect.
- Marion Miller is a professional political activist; employed by an organisation that campaigns against transgender rights. Unsurprisingly, her supporters will claim that it's all bollocks. Let's wait for the court case, the Procurator Fiscal doesn't generally do things on a whim.
- Graham Linehan seems somewhat vocal on the subject of transgender people; enough that he got himself permabanned from Twitter (which takes a fair bit of effort).
Post 130Quick reply - don't think I linked to Marion Miller or Graham Linehan, but I may be wrong. Think that was someone else.
I reread it - and I owe you an apology for not reading it more carefully. I got to the point where it started talking about Louis CK (who I'd heard of) and switched off. I should have continued to the end. It's a good article, and it makes several good points...I did link to Quillette, but did you read the actual article? The comedian in question (not Graham Linehan) is even less "right-wing" than JK Rowling.
Got it - I did link to articles in which they featured. Didn't remember it because the point of both was: the police did these things that it was promised they would not do. I don't think the identity or politics of those cautioned is relevant (that is, after all, the point of freedom of speech) but the articles clearly featured them. I think my point stands however - I also wasn't promoting their views but the actions against them merely for stating them. This is the "ACLU defending racists" approach (that they have now abandoned), which I support.Post 130
I reread it - and I owe you an apology for not reading it more carefully. I got to the point where it started talking about Louis CK (who I'd heard of) and switched off. I should have continued to the end. It's a good article, and it makes several good points...
...but I don't see how the MoD could become a safe space for predatory individuals - it's too late, as you've pointed out in other threads, because the toxic gits are already there; thriving in an environment where "the only opinion that counts is the senior officer present".
(The examples I'm more familiar with are in Science Fiction, not comedy - the case of "Requires Hate", as a similar worked example. Or the chatter surrounding predatory behaviour on the convention circuit.)
I try to give them a chance. I tried watching Russia Today for a while (probably managed a few hours; it was fascinating as a perspective, but got boring) and Fox News (slightly less before I gave up; I was in the US on business a few years back, found that I couldn't take more than ten minutes at a time). I have a low tolerance for deliberate lies. I'm perfectly happy to read the Daily Telegraph or the Guardian, if nothing else is around; I understand their biases, even if their columnists grate.I am curious about my other question though - how much have you read Quillette (or similar outlets that you may have heard are disreputable) and made up your own mind? I think that question goes to the heart of what we are discussing.
In turn, I'm curious as to how the adding of discussion, to an already-flawed system, will make it worse. Those toxic leaders already have pretty much unlimited power; it's not as if many of them are gay, women, or BAME. There are already gatekeepers, and in/out groups. Just think of the urban myths about cavalry subalterns and their shiny new Ford Capri, or reread General Cowan's letter.You are right about the MOD, but I think it means the opposite of what you do: when a killer who just shot 30 people pauses to reload, you don't hand him a new magazine.
It's not journalism, it's exactly what you describe - an outlet for mostly academics who have been censored in their own universities and fields. It also publishes other writing, including some journalism. But defining itself by what it is against (censorship) is exactly the point, and the number and background of contributors sort of highlights that there is a problem, at least in academia. That's my first point about it.I've not read Quillette before; I've dipped in this evening, and the top article on its current front page isn't exactly quality journalism, more a polemic (perhaps I'm spoiled by Economist articles) and looks at first glance as if the site defines itself by what it's against, not what it's for...they appear (to this hopeless SJW) to have the intellectual rigour of all those early Wavell Room articles about how the Reserves should be reorganised...
"Adding of discussion" is not a problem, exactly the opposite. But these language guides never add discussion: they regulate and police it. By definition anything that does that is limiting, not expanding debate. If yesterday I had the whole English language to choose from, and today the guidelines have either preferred or discouraged particular words, the range of potential expression has been limited. If this guide was one page that said: understanding where other people are coming from is a good thing, create space and time to talk with people about their experiences and consider different ways of experiencing and engaging with your collegagues - then I would be all for it. But you seem to be suggesting that is what it says when it does not. It specifies particular words that are preferable to others. It highlights particular identies in particular ways and thus implicitly prioritises them. It assumes that certain statements are true when a substantial minority disagree with them. All of these are implicit or explicit value judgements. What is somewhat remarkable is that this is exactly the point of much of the academic theory behind DEI - it fails to be neutral and inclusive on its own grounds.In turn, I'm curious as to how the adding of discussion, to an already-flawed system, will make it worse. Those toxic leaders already have pretty much unlimited power; it's not as if many of them are gay, women, or BAME. There are already gatekeepers, and in/out groups. Just think of the urban myths about cavalry subalterns and their shiny new Ford Capri, or reread General Cowan's letter.
The only way I can think of it being "a new magazine" would be one of the first women to command an infantry battalion, turning out to be utterly toxic (but hiding it in the same way as generations of toxic men) - the US Navy had an instance of that a few years ago (and sacked her anyway). Or perhaps the stories I read on this site about a legendarily incompetent British Army Officer and self-claimed helicopter pilot with a double-barrelled name, who shamelessly played the race card for a few years before detection (and stripey suntan).
I just don't see how a document declaring support for inclusive language is going to affect such situations. The toxic sh!t with a commission just doesn't need it, they're doing fine with the OJAR.
Finally to all these bits I haven't addressed here.I was suggesting that you ignore the evidence when it doesn't support your position. I have no reason to believe that you are any of those things; but it's a reasonable question, because so many of the most vocal on this subject do support bigoted legislation (but only ever framed in a helpful way, of course: "protecting our children and womenfolk", etc, etc).
When it comes being offended by "thinly-veiled assumption", I'd suggest that you're a hypocrite.
- You were the one who suggested: "you are not on the right side of history, you are on the side of those Germans who happily excused the Nuremberg laws" (post 87), in your very first reply to me.
- Carried this on with "...was totally appropriate in the case of actual attempts to censor, control speech, expel particular people from society, etc etc. If you like, other examples are available. There is a relatively small range between Red, gulag and concentration camp Guards." (post 95)
- Continuing later with "I'm not sure what has happened, since I thought you used to be quite sensible, but recently you are behaving like quite the troll." (post 123)
I'd say that I did rather well, before I started to bite.
- My first post in this thread was a reply to you was an attempt to treat the subject with a bit of humour, suggesting that straight white blokes possibly weren't the best-placed to ridicule efforts at inclusion, and pointing out depressing HCDC evidence on the lived experience of women in the armed forces (post 15).
- When you decided that a comparison with Nazism was appropriate, I tried to carry on the debate without accusation (post 94).
- Where I've tried to provide evidence the claims (see links in the posts above), your response is that this is apparently "general handwaves that are mildly unrelated" (post 143)
I was attempting to use your own words to highlight the similarity of your argument with those used in different debates. The "but XXX isn't representative" and the "look, there's an X person who disagrees with them" argument may be true, but it is also irrelevant. Campaigns for civil rights haven't always been sensibly run, or effective; and some of their activists have been right nasty b**tards - but that doesn't devalue the underlying cause. NICRA had a point. BLM has a point. Stonewall has a point. And there are reactionaries who don't like it.
I think you believe that you deal in objective facts. But as I pointed out in an earlier post, where I was trying to build towards agreement (post 140), I now understand better that your background lends you different interpretations of the same data.
It specifies particular words that are preferable to others. It highlights particular identities in particular ways and thus implicitly prioritises them. It assumes that certain statements are true when a substantial minority disagree with them. All of these are implicit or explicit value judgements.
... For me this starts with a value judgement: free speech and expression is still the best system we have of arbitrating disagreements without violence, and advancing ideas and knowledge. What has become the prevailing wisdom about free speech (that it is not and has never been absolutist) is wrong. The logic of free speech is absolutist, in both directions. My freedom to speak is what guarantees your freedom to speak. That does not allow for either of us to limit the other. If we do, the logic reverses: If I don't allow you to speak, why should you allow me to speak? The fact that most legal systems have regardless imposed speech limits does not disprove that - it just means those limits degrade the system. Sometimes (yelling fire in a theatre) they degrade it less than they mitigate bad actors exploiting it. Sometimes (Soviet political correctness laws) they benefit only a tiny elite and contribute to societal disasters (see: Chernobyl). That confusion of the existence of speech limits and the desirability of speech limits has been used to undermine the fundamental logic of speech rights.
Now increasingly we find ourselves in an environment where limits on speech are doing exactly what free speech logic predicts: each side no longer accepts the right of the other to speak, disagreements multiply, violent resolution becomes more likely. Look at the current state of political debate in the US/UK and deny that is happening.
Excellent, I get to write a shorter reply, because I agree with much of what you say, as you're firing at a different position.Our side is that of reason and free speech! Theirs is but submission to dogma and ideology! And repeat.
When I'm trying to make sense of a tricky situation, I resort to motive - are these arseh0les trying to tell everyone else how to live their lives (the Soviet model), or are they actually trying to let people live their own lives without being hassled?
A substantial minority can disagree with my atheism. Fair enough, so long as they don't insist that I can't get married (because I'm an unbeliever), my words shouldn't be trusted in a court of law (because how can I take an oath on a Bible?), or can't be allowed to work with children (because I'm obviously amoral).
- Sixty years ago, the debate was whether heterosexuality should be discussed at all, or even taught in schools. There was a substantial minority who disagreed with this. They sought to equate sexuality with perversion, to create disgust and gain support.
- Thirty years ago, the debate was whether homosexuals should be treated equally. There was a substantial minority who disagreed with this, who did not believe that they should exist (or at least, not in public). They sought to equate homosexuality with child molestation, to create disgust and gain support.
- There are transgender people who are now living in what they believe is the "right" body. There is a substantial minority who disagree with this, who do not believe in their existence. They seek to equate transgender people with predation, to create disgust and gain support.
On the other hand, a substantial minority disagree with religion. Fair enough, so long as they don't insist that the religious aren't allowed to wear their headdress (because it's not uniform), shouldn't be trusted in a court of law (they only answer to the Pope, not to the Queen), can't be trusted in a position of authority (because their judgement will follow their religious beliefs, and not the law of the land).
From my perspective, do the people concerned abide by the laws of the land? If so, the disagreement is irrelevant. Do the reactionaries oppose their individual behaviour, or their group identity? If the latter, they can do one IMHO.
There are significant (not huge) numbers of honest, decent, transgender people who are trying to live as normal a life as possible. There are rather fewer loudmouthed gits making a big deal over their identity (be that race, gender, or sexuality), in an attempt to escape responsibility of their actions, or to gain status / power over others; perhaps they're honest but clumsy, the people who tear the arse out of whatever they support - but the existence of an few w*nkers does not invalidate the arguments for the rights of the majority (unless you're the CSM and into group punishment).
I'm not sure that Chernobyl is a good example of a language code; "political reliability" in Soviet terms was about a whole lot more, the words were merely an excuse. Perhaps the Terror of the French Revolution, the Red Army in the Stalinist era, or the Cultural Revolution in the PRC would be better examples, you counter-revolutionary wrecker and capitalist running dog, you....
Never forget that the UK was vetting BBC employees until at least the 1970s, and surveilling those of... "dubious politics". I wonder how likely you'd be to get a job today in the Security or Intelligence Services if you're a card-carrying member of the CPGB (an entirely legitimate UK political party). Is that a limit on free speech? Or worse, a limit on the thoughts in your head?
Look again at the OJAR, or any corporate annual review - all of them are effectively "free speech", all of them carry sanctions, and I'm sad to say that most of them are irrelevant - the promotions or bonuses all too often depend on "they're like me" and "I like them"; ducks choose ducks, the paperwork is just an excuse. The removal of Confidential Reporting in the mid-90s, and the terrifying thought that the
victimsubject might actually get a copy of what you wrote about them? Unpossible!
I'm not sure whether I should be arguing that you as a free speech enthusiast should support CR over OJAR; or whether the resulting changes and speech limits generated an improvement in reporting standards, thus supporting my position rather than yours...
The current state of political debate in the US/UK is made possible by inequality. There's chaos and uncertainty in the air, and those who point the finger and shout "Your poor situation is all their fault" have demonstrated that they tend to get votes and power as a result. Anger is a convenient lever to get ticks against your name at the ballot box.
Farage blames immigrants and the EU; the Daily Mail blames immigrants, the EU, and working mothers; Commies blame Tory Scum, merchant bankers, capitalism, and Zionism; Thatcherites blame the idle poor who won't get on their bike and Sharia Law; etc, etc. None of this is IMHO to do with civil rights, or appropriate language - those are just a handy vehicle for attacking "the other", a convenient rallying cry.
yet here you are actively supporting people who call for genocide< chin stroking edge fascism apologia >
Your final paragraph - this may all be correct, but it's also only partially relevant. A febrile atmosphere (clearly exists) means we should all be more cautious about how we conduct discussion on fundamental rights, but it does not inherently mean we cannot conduct discussion on fundamental rights, or indeed follow rational processes to establish, test and balance them where they conflict. If there has been a "best practice" process on the trans debate in the UK so far, it's been the courts (note this does not mean blanket agreement). But that is a poor condemnation of our political, media and activist scenes, because the courts should not be deciding public policy, but error checking it.
Can I suggest you look back over this last page and see Sarastro and Gravelbelly having a sensible discussion/debate/argument? The fact that they are willing to engage with each other gives them a reasonable chance of changing the other's mind and the minds of people reading.yet here you are actively supporting people who call for genocide