Who is competent to say?

More from John Nicolson testimony:

KM – referring to assertion of extensive political campaigning of LGBA. Is that the right place for them to go?

JN – yes, but they should be doing some charitable work as well. They are only doing lobbying. I have yet to see an example of their charitable works.
KM – we will hear about that when they give their evidence so you don’t need to worry about that. Now reviewing the correspondence. You refer to their lobbying – are these appropriate avenues to be lobbying.
JN – yes, but they need to be doing some charitable people. Kemi Badenoch in particular was not an appropriate person to be holding the Equality brief, given her gay rights voting record.

I have no idea what that has to do with the question, but it seems KM does.

KM – but they are the appropriate offices and departments to be lobbying,

JN – yes.

KM – going on to ask about JN’s tweets and evidence that LGBA attacks and denigrates others on social media. Tweet sent by JN on 15 April, linking a documentary, commending it 

JN – yes a constituent
KM – goes on to a response from JN that refers to LGBA as sinister.
JN – on that night I got a deluge of abuse from supporters of LGBA and many DMs.
KM – go back to the question, that was the first engagement with LGBA. 

He got a deluge of abuse. What about the abusiveness of an MP calling a lesbian/gay organization “sinister”?

JN – they whip up their supporters and hide behind them, it’s no conspiracy, you can search Twitter and find it.

KM – you describe a group you have had no engagement with at all as ‘sinister’, at 1 am.

JN – perfectly seemly to tweet this.

Really? Perfectly seemly? No problem at all, not even slight? I beg to differ.

The stuff that LGBA then tweets abuse at me. One of their directors has continued obsessively tweeting about me. I have never commented on an individual at LGBA. They impersonated a member of parliament.

KM – That is all I have.
J – any questions from IS

IS – you said that 20% of LGBA supporters are lesbians.
What is your evidence of that.
JN – referring to previous case where Stonewall won, saying that evidence showed only 20% of members are lesbians, have been thrown off two largest fund raising platforms, many off shore followers, tiny accounts.
IS – goes back to campaign documents. Which did you think were worse?
JN – press pause was obviously seen by LGBA as too benign. So they went on to ‘green light to predators’ to get people to read the article. 

Again, it’s interesting that all he can see is the putative harshness of “green light to predators” – that he doesn’t pause for a second to consider the possible truth of the claim. Maybe throwing women’s spaces open to men is in fact a green light to predators. No skin off his nose, he’s not a woman.

JN – The idea that the FM of Scotland a life long feminist with a gender balanced cabinet would do anything to harm women and children is laughable.

IS – anything other comments?

JN – designed to elicit fear, scare women and children, straight from the Clause 28 playbook. 

Yes but what if the source of the fear is real?

Next up is Dr. Belinda Bell, chair of Mermaids.

KM – let’s discuss gender dysphoria. The easiest way to deal with it is through the Cass Review. I’m sure you’re aware of the Cass Review. Undertaken by NHS England, there has been an interim report by Dr. Cass.
BB – just to be absolutely clear, I am not a medical doctor.
KM – obviously
BB – the Cass Review is not in MM area. We do not do medical stuff, we don’t treat dysphoria.
KM – MM supports youth with dysphoria, many of your participants are either referred to GIDS, or are on a medical pathway.
BB – again, we are not a medical organisation.

What is “gender dysphoria” if it’s not medical? Is it psychological? Is there a neat split between psychological and medical?

KM – Dr Cass criticisms of GIDS.

BB – many critical of GIDS inability to serve patients.

KM – Cass critical of many of the concepts, not so much the service capacity. Cass is exploring what gender dysphoria means. I’m exploring this because you said that is one of your areas of focus.
BB – some of our children have gender identity issues, some may have dysphoria. 

KM – directing BB to witness statement, gender dysphoria is one of most important area of focus.
BB – yes.
KM – reading out comments and concerns from interim Cass Review, a clinician may have a position and that impacts their approach.
BB – you said believe, it is position. Belief is a loaded word.

So is “gender dysphoria.”

Jumping ahead:

KM – is it reasonable to be concerned about this treatment given this lack of data?

BB – yes a parent might be concerned about puberty blockers but also about a child about to undergo ‘wrong’ puberty.

But then, Mermaids itself encourages the belief that there is such a thing as “the wrong puberty,” and that it’s not a very rare brain glitch but a quite common body glitch that’s easy to correct via blockers.

KM – so LGBA has an evidence base to be concerned about the lack of evidence? 

BB – we don’t give health care advice, and I would expect that given the difficulty in this area, any charity would be very careful in focusing on this area and would need deep specialism.

So Mermaids is very careful in this area?


KM – now moving on to consequences (lack of fertility) and (stunted penile growth)

BB – are you asking if I have a comment?
KM – are you saying that you have no experience and no concern with the treatment pathway etc that children are put on? If so, I can stop my questions and ask the Tribunal to read the review.
BB – MM meets with GIDS about once a year but I can’t tell what point is appropriate to prescribe puberty blockers.
KM – are you accepting that LGBA has an evidentiary basis for their concern about the treatment of dysphoric youth?
BB – explains that puberty blockers are a pause button, and once off, puberty starts.

Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. I guess this is Mermaids being “very careful”?

KM – I will ask again, do you disagree that it is unreasonable for an LGBA charity to worry about what is happening to lesbian girls?

BB – it is too specialised and technical for them.

But it’s not too specialised and technical for Mermaids. Why is that? Why is it that Mermaids is competent to advise teenagers to meddle with their puberties but LGBA is not competent to advise them not to meddle with their puberties?

They broke for lunch at that point.

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