The government having a conversation with itself

This explains a lot – trans activism gets massive government funding while feminist resistance to the parts of trans activism that harm women gets…can you guess?…zero funding.

It’s called “policy laundering” according to Mary Harrington. Useful term.

In its most blatant form, policy laundering looks like government departments using taxpayer money to pay lobbyists to influence government…

Let us consider an example: the Scottish Trans Alliance. This is a project funded by the Scottish Government Equality Unit and delivered by the Equality Network, which is largely funded by the Scottish government as well as by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (funded by UK government).

The project delivers research, advisory, and training, including to government-funded bodies, who in turn repeat the ideas received via reports, training and consultancy back toward policymakers. Thus, a nested series of public sector grants has enabled government to conjure into existence a body that shapes public sector policy. Meanwhile, the pronouncements and statistics produced by this arms-length government body are treated by the (government funded) BBC as though emanating from independent civil society voices.

See what I mean? Explains a lot. I’ve been wondering for a very long time how all this incoherent bullshit got such a purchase on the minds of politicians, and this seems to answer that question.

The whole cycle amounts to a process of laundering, by semi-independent bodies, a series of policies the government already wanted to adopt so they look as though they come spontaneously from the society upon which they will in due course be visited.

Mind you, that introduces the question all over again. Why did the government already want to adopt trans policies?

The result looks like a thriving voice for civil society in the national debate. But in reality it is more like the government having a conversation with itself, via a series of proxies. Meanwhile, that part of civil society without insider status sits scratching its head trying to work out which form to fill in to get a seat at the table.

Under those circumstances, you might expect differences to emerge between the official conversation and what people actually think and feel on the ground. Taking our example of transgender activism: in 2018 then-Equalities Minister Maria Millar launched a consultation on changes to the Gender Recognition Act. The proposed changes would effectively have turned legal recognition as the opposite sex from a bureaucratic years-long procedure involving medical testimony into a simple matter of form-filling.

The initial proposal was developed in consultation with government funded LGBT charities, but included little input from women. Opposition to the GRA reforms first gained traction on the parenting messageboard Mumsnet and over 2018 morphed into the campaigning organisation Fair Play For Women (government funding: nil) and swelled the ranks of Transgender Trend (government funding: nil).

These groups, aided by a coalition of social conservatives, radical feminists, transsexuals, ordinary concerned women and the occasional man, challenged the GRA reform campaign led by Stonewall (2018 UK government grant funding: £233,000, Scottish government funding £90,000, earnings from delivering paid-for training courses to the public sector: higher still).

They’ve got a lock on the money.

It explains a lot. It’s depressing as fuck.

Via Kathleen Stock:

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