May 19th 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The real cost of institutionalised child care

EDITORIAL AGL dismisses $250m bid for Liddell Power Station

GENDER POLITICS As Queensland transgenders birth certificates, 300 women quit UK Labour Party

CANBERRA OBSERVED No pressure on Malcolm to call election this year

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Can Greens regenerate, or are they mulch?

POLITICS Conservative shift in the Victorian Liberal Party

OPINION No fairytale ending from the Land of a Fair Go

LAW REFORM The Nordic Model: proven to curtail sex trafficking

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Committal hearing dismisses main serious charges against Cardinal Pell

GENDER AND ETHICS Transgenderism and the dissolution of identity

PHILOSOPHY The supercharged cheetah

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS One Belt, One Road: China's new empire


MUSIC Business as usual: The sweet tinkle of falling coins

CINEMA Avengers: Last Flag Flying and Infinity War

BOOK REVIEW A hungry beast that ate up 4 million lives

BOOK REVIEW Skewed analysis of republic in crisis



CANBERRA OBSERVED Bill Shorten's Budget-Reply speech: for what ails you

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Behind the U.S.-North Korea rapprochement

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As Queensland transgenders birth certificates, 300 women quit UK Labour Party

by Patrick J. Byrne

News Weekly, May 19, 2018

As the Queensland Government moves to allow men to self-identify as women, 300 angry women have quit the British Labour Party over guaranteeing transgender male-to-females on the party’s All-Women Shortlist.

UK Labour’s All-Women Shortlist is the equivalent of the Australian Labor Party’s affirmative action policy to having women preselected in 40 per cent of winnable seats.

  • 300 women quit UK Labour Party angry that men who identify as women are eligible  to be included on all-women shortlists for preselection
  • LNP Facebook protest has  been viewed 650,000 times and had over 14,000 shares in three weeks

The Palaszczuk Government plans to amend the Queensland Births, Deaths and Marriages Act to allow a person to self-identify as Male, Female, Indeterminate, Unspecified or Intersex on their birth certificate. A man could identify as a woman without sex reassignment surgery. (See News Weekly, April 21, 2018)

Annastacia Palaszczuk wants
transgenderism on birth certificates.

There has been considerable dismay at the proposed change. An LNP Facebook post opposing the move reached 650,000 people with over 14,000 shares in three weeks.

Similar moves to change birth certificates were blocked in the Victorian upper house by the Liberals, Nationals, minor parties and independents in 2016. That same year, a similar proposal from the Tasmanian Human Rights Commission was dropped after strong opposition from the Women’s Liberation Front.

To date, only the ACT and South Australia have introduced transgender birth certificates.

Unlike in Australia, there is strong public debate over allowing people to self-identify their sex or gender identity in the UK.

Opposition from organised groups like Fair Play for Women has stalled the UK Government’s proposed changes to the UK Gender Recognition Act 2004, at least for the moment.

The new bill would remove the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria for a person to change to the opposite of their birth sex, and would provide legal recognition of non-binary people (those who do not identify either as a man or a woman).

Similarly, Labour’s National Executive Committee statement allows people to self-identify without the need for medical or other certification that they have changed their gender.

Recently, 300 angry female Labour Party members very publicly quit the party in protest. The resignation letter from the Mayday4Women group was sent to The Times. It said: “We are dismayed at the Labour Party’s support for sex as a self-identified characteristic for all-women shortlists.

LNP Facebook post opposing changes
to Queensland's birth certificate.

“We now face a situation in which any man can simply claim to be a woman and be included on all-women shortlists.

“Sex is not a self-defined characteristic and it is disingenuous for Labour to pretend that it is. Self-identity – ‘I am what I say I am’ – reeks of male authority and male supremacy.

“Over the last 100 years of women getting the vote only 10 per cent of MPs have been women. Women were denied the vote not on the basis of self-identity, but because of their sex.

“Sex remains the reason why women are oppressed under patriarchy.”

Jennifer Izaakson, who helped organise The Times letter, said: “I’m horrified by what is happening to women’s rights in Labour, but also pleased there is so much resistance.

“Women have fought hard for protections and rights, and all-women shortlists that will also give us fairer representation in Parliament are therefore critical to many women Labour voters.

“We could now see those places go to people who have spent the majority of their lives as men.

“By asking women to vote Labour in those circumstances, the party is asking them to vote against their own interests. We all know sex is not a self-identifying characteristic, we all know what a woman is and this is the wilful denial of reality.”

Bitter clashes within the party have seen some women opponents furious at being described as “trans-exclusionary radical feminists” (TERFs).

Germaine Greer ignited controversy with her statement that trans women were “not real women”.

Veteran radical left feminist Linda Bellos was barred from a Cambridge debate after declaring she wanted to question “the power of those who were previously designated male to tell lesbians, and especially lesbian feminists, what to say and think.”

While Labour divides over the issue of transgenderism, concern over attacks on freedom of speech on UK campuses has led to the UK Government announcing a summit to consider banning students from refusing speakers a platform at their universities.

If this happened it would be the first government intervention on free speech on campus for 30 years.

Patrick J. Byrne is the national president of the National Civic Council.

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