Austerity guru

Jan 6th, 2023 9:03 am | By

Speaking of Jack Monroe, Kathleen Stock is very funny on the subject:

…austerity guru Jack Monroe has a new book, Thrifty Kitchen, to cheer us all up.

Some of the suggested “home hacks” in this book have attracted particular mirth, seeming as they do to involve great effort and even high personal risk for exceptionally low reward. For instance, should you be desperate to get your hands on an egg ring — that is, a metal ring that helps you form perfectly round fried eggs — but unable to afford the £2.10 that would obtain you one from Amazon, Monroe suggests removing the lid and the bottom from a tuna tin, sanding the rough edges away, and washing afterwards to remove “any tiny dusty bits of metal”.

But why would you be desperate to form perfectly round fried eggs? And in the unlikely event that you were thus desperate, why wouldn’t you just trim fried eggs into circles (of course eating the cut away scraps so as not to waste them)?

Should you be poor enough to lack a tin opener, meanwhile — currently on sale in Tesco for 60p — she suggests using a “small sharp knife that you are not particularly attached to, a hammer or mallet, a bit of vigour, some patience and a VERY steady hand”.

So…you lack a 60p tin opener but you do have a hammer or mallet and a small sharp knife you’re happy to ruin opening a tin. Pardon me while I think you don’t exist.

Is Monroe really poor or does she just identify as poor?

In the last year or so, an army of determined internet sleuths has arisen to challenge the official back story of poverty, obsessively documenting internal discrepancies within Monroe’s voluminous Twitter output, cross-referenced with her many heartfelt Guardian op-eds, interviews, and blog posts…

Personally, although I find Monroe’s online persona more grating than — as she might have it — a metal sheet into which you’ve just punched several large holes with a sharp knife, I don’t think she’s a deliberate scammer. She strikes me as more of a disorganised, constitutionally inconsistent type who can’t remember what she last said from one moment to the next. Either way, I’m not too bothered. I’m just grateful for the lolz provided by some of the recipes — and specifically, the juxtaposition of Monroe’s middle-class culinary sensibilities with her cheap, ultra-processed ingredient list.

Like “spaghetti hoops” for instance. Spaghetti whats now? Hoops, which aren’t spaghetti at all, they’re some weird brand-nightmare canned pasta in Horrible Sauce. Canned pasta is of its nature revoltingly overcooked and mushy; it can’t be repurposed into something edible.

A much-derided blogpost of Monroe’s from last year suggests buying a tin of spaghetti hoops, washing the tomato sauce from the hoops, then grating some cheese on top to produce “Anellini Con Cacio e Pepe”. (Readers are also told that the washed-off tomato sauce can be reduced down “in a vigorous boil to concentrate it” to make something approximating tomato purée.) In the latest book, Monroe waxes lyrical about such culinary temptations as “moonshine mash” (Instant Mash mixed with pureed tinned sweetcorn), chicken cooked in Fanta, and cornflake ice-cream.

That’s the point where I had to stop reading to laugh for a long time.

Kathleen goes on to make a case that Monroe is presenting herself as a kind of Ma Ingalls from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, “ingeniously building a succession of bright, glowing homes for herself and her child out of nothing, in the midst of a punishing economic wilderness.” It doesn’t work but it’s a comforting fantasy.

UN Stupid & Dishonest

Jan 6th, 2023 4:53 am | By

So much lying patronizing stupid bullshit in one little tweet.

ALL rabbits have a right to be safe and live free from violence and discrimination – #trans rabbits [aka wolves] included!

To itemize the lying patronizing stupid bullshit –

One: it’s not a “reminder”; it’s a stand-alone announcement that relies on a dishonest label.

Two: we know all too well what “ALL women” means: it means women including men who say they are women – in other words it means women and some deluded or fraudulent men.

Three: trying to shove us into agreeing that men are women if they say they are is insulting as well as dangerous (to us, women) as well as an outrageous injustice.

Four: men are the sex that is the source of most violence and discrimination toward women, so it’s not just ludicrous and insulting to try to push us into pretending some men are women, it’s also a complete negation of our centuries of effort to end that violence and discrimination.

Five: hashtags don’t make lies true. Trans women are not women; that’s what “trans” means.

Six: we do stand up for human rights, but it’s not a human right for men to force women to agree that men are women if they say they are.

Seven: the image of the lantern-jawed guy in lipstick and earrings is just another insult.

Send gender-neutral help

Jan 5th, 2023 4:39 pm | By

Welsh language: Non-binary speakers want gender-neutral help

That’s one of the more cryptic headlines I’ve seen today. People who speak non-binary want help with what? What is gender-neutral help? What does Welsh language have to do with it?

Non-binary Welsh speakers have said they feel unable to express their identities in the language due to its gendered nature.

Oh, that.

Here’s a helpful tip: nobody cares. Non-binary Welsh speakers don’t need to “express their identities,” because nobody cares. Nobody cares about other people’s identities. Don’t adults explain that to children any more? It’s the universal truth: nobody cares as much about you as you do. Nobody wants to hear about you as much as you want to talk about you.

They want to see more awareness and use of inclusive LGBTQ+ language.

There is no such language. The TQ+ is an invader. Most people are deeply tired of it.

Many non-binary people use the plural “nhw” as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.

The lack of knowledge of LGBTQ+ terms in Welsh means when people use “nhw” sometimes they are unable to be understood, according to Rowan Gulliver, a 22-year-old teacher in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

You don’t say. If you invent silly new bits of language then people aren’t going to understand what you’re saying. That’s how it flibblez.

Working in a Welsh-speaking school, Rowan – who uses the non-binary Mx prefix and they/them pronouns – had to come out to colleagues in English because they did not feel they could be understood in Welsh, nor did they have the vocabulary to do so.

They who? The colleagues? Rowan? You see the problem here?

“You should be able to speak about your identity and other people in your first language,” they said. “It’s like a little part of you is dying when you have to say it in English.”

Not if your “identity” is silly trendy nonsense.

They deeply sympathize

Jan 5th, 2023 2:26 pm | By

Ah yes, the party of the workers.

Republicans care deeply about those impoverished workers.

Deemed to be an attempt

Jan 5th, 2023 11:55 am | By

Discussion will be a crime.

The Scottish government is on a collision course with the courts again as it prepares legislation criminalising conversion therapy, according to a KC.

But what are they defining as conversion therapy? Oh, only almost everything.

Double silk Aidan O’Neill KC has warned that the proposals would be outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP-Green alliance is considering plans to outlaw any activity – including parental chats, prayer and preaching – deemed to be an attempt to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity.

Just for a start, they shouldn’t put sexuality and “gender identity” in the same law. The two are not comparable. Sexual orientation has nothing at all to do with mutilating the body, while “gender identity” has way too much to do with it. Sexual orientation doesn’t intrude on anyone else’s rights; “gender identity” takes a blowtorch to women’s rights.

The rest of the pieces focuses on religion and its rights, so I’ll stop there.

Drown them out

Jan 5th, 2023 11:35 am | By

“Anarchists” decree that feminist women must not be allowed to speak.

Rich, isn’t it – bring placards and noisemakers to drown them out, also watch out they are violent!!!

From 6.7 inches to 2.9 feet in 40 years

Jan 5th, 2023 9:49 am | By provides an interesting set of figures.

In State of the Climate in 2019, glacier expert Mauri Pelto reported that the pace of glacier loss has accelerated from -171 millimeters (6.7 inches) per year in the 1980s, to -460 millimeters (11 inches) per year in the 1990s, to -500 millimeters (1.6 feet) per year in the 2000s, to -889 millimeters (2.9 feet) per year for the 2000s.

That’s a huge increase in a short space of time. It’s kind of terrifying.

Over the same period of course the global population has increased hugely. Humans go up up up and the stored water they require for survival goes down down down. More humans depend on that stored water, and more humans are why that stored water is melting away.

55,000 glaciers

Jan 5th, 2023 5:15 am | By

Deutsche Welle last July on South Asia and the melting glaciers:

Heat waves are melting Himalayan glaciers on which hundreds of million people rely, flooding villages and leaving residents without drinking water. Climate change heats up Asia’s highlands faster than other regions.

The central Asian mountain region – also known as High-mountain Asia – includes the Himalayan, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains. Stretching from China to Afghanistan, it is home to 55,000 glaciers that together store more fresh water than anywhere else on the planet outside the North and South Poles. The meltwater feeds the 10 biggest riverrs in Asia, in whose basins almost 2 billion people live. The Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra rivers alone are sources of water for the livelihoods of 750 million people, according to a 2015 World Bank report. The Yangtze river in China – the biggest on the continent – and the Mekong in South-East Asia also dependend on Himalayan waters.

But hotter temperatures put them at risk. According to the United Nations Development Program, temperatures in the Himalayas are rising twice as fast as the global average, melting ice and cutting snowfall. If world leaders fail to honor their promise to try to limit global warming to 1.5 C, between half and two-thirds of the total ice mass in the mountains of Central Asia will have disappeared by the end of the century.

World leaders are failing to honor their promise.

World leaders are always too busy worrying about the price of oil, inflation, recession, The Economy, industry, growth, profits, to do anything about global boiling. It’s the short term versus the slower but fatal long term.

The third pole

Jan 5th, 2023 4:56 am | By

Speaking of Himalayan glaciers…CNBC reported a year ago:

Glaciers in the Himalayas are melting at an “exceptional” rate, according to new research that shows the massive ice sheets in the region have shrunk 10 times faster in the past four decades than during the previous seven centuries.

The research, published Monday in the journal Scientific Reports, found that mass ice loss from nearly 15,000 ice sheets in the Himalayas is especially rapid compared with other parts of the world.

The Himalayan mountains are also referred to as the third pole because they hold the world’s third-largest amount of glacier ice, following Antarctica and the Arctic. The ice melt threatens agriculture and water supply for millions of people in South Asia, the report said, and will contribute to rising sea levels that threaten coastal communities across the world.

Oh well, it’s only the disappearance of food and water, accompanied by floods.

The predicted floods are already happening: just ask Pakistan.

There is scientific consensus that human-caused climate change has resulted in accelerated ice melt from glaciers and polar ice sheets, as well as higher ocean temperatures across the globe.

And there is no political consensus that we should do anything about it.

Hope this email will suffice

Jan 4th, 2023 5:10 pm | By

And speaking of violence and threats…

This hunk of garbage

Jan 4th, 2023 5:08 pm | By

Let the bullets fly, eh?

The new Republican majority in Congress has decided to remove the metal detectors that outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi installed outside the House chamber after the Capitol riot on January 6, according to Rep Lauren Boebert.

“When I arrived in Congress two years ago, Nancy Pelosi put this hunk of garbage outside of the House chambers for members of Congress to go through,” Ms Boebert of Colorado said in a video in front of a metal detector being hauled down on Tuesday. “Today, they are being removed and we are turning Pelosi’s house back into the People’s House.”

When Boebert arrived in Congress two years ago it was attacked by a heavily armed mob which injured many people; a few were killed. That’s why Pelosi installed “this hunk of garbage.”

Republican members of the chamber chafed against the presence of the metal detectors, meant to keep members safe in the midst of an increase in political violence in the US and fears that Republican members were carrying weapons onto the floor.

Republicans are in favor of guns everywhere.

More than half gone

Jan 4th, 2023 4:28 pm | By

Climate change means (among other things) running out of water. We’ve talked about Phoenix and water, the Sierras and water, the Colorado River and water…there are also the Alps and water.

Switzerland’s glaciers have lost more than half their volume in less than a hundred years, and the long hot summer this year has accelerated the thaw, a new study shows.

More than half gone and the melt is speeding up, so that’s not good. Since we’re not doing much of anything to stop it, it’s very bad.

The glaciers support ski resorts and attract climbers and hikers in summer, but are also essential to Europe’s water supply. Now, communities across the Alps are worrying about their future.

Climbing and hiking are luxuries. Water, not so much.

The findings are in line with long standing evidence that Europe’s glaciers are shrinking, and that there is a direct link between the ice loss and global warming.

Ice caps are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, so if the earth warms, glaciers are the first to notice, and respond, by melting.

Well they don’t notice, but they react.

Mauro Fischer, a glaciologist at the University of Bern, is responsible for monitoring the Tsanfleuron and Scex Rouge [glaciers]. Every year in spring he installs ice measuring rods, and checks them regularly over the summer and autumn.

When he went to check them in July, he got a shock.

The rods had melted completely out of the ice, and were lying on the ground. His ice measurements, he says, were “off the chart – far beyond what we’ve ever measured since the beginning of the glacier monitoring, maybe three times more mass loss over one year than the average over the last 10 years”.

Glaciers are often referred to as the water towers of Europe. They store the winter snow, and release it gently over the summer, providing water for Europe’s rivers and crops, and to cool its nuclear power stations.

The news item is from August, but I don’t think global warming has gone into reverse since then.

Truth in headlines

Jan 4th, 2023 3:34 pm | By

Just one thing about that…


Sad with catsup

Jan 4th, 2023 12:05 pm | By

Deep rifts.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican congressman-elect who rose to prominence under former President Donald Trump’s wing, went rogue after the former president endorsed GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy of California for House speaker.

Gaetz told Fox News Digital that Trump’s endorsement of McCarthy for speaker has not changed the congressman’s view on the former president or GOP leader, nor has swayed his vote.

“Sad!” Gaetz said in a Wednesday statement. “This changes neither my view of McCarthy, nor Trump, nor my vote.”

What happened to loyalty? What happened to payback? Where would Matt Gaetz be without Trump??

Gaetz wants the shirtsleeves molester guy.

Gaetz has led the House Freedom Caucus charge against the GOP leader’s speakership bid, where he and 19 other Republican members have frozen the House in opposition to McCarthy while solidifying their support behind Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.

They’re quarreling over who is the absolute worst so that they can elect the winner.

Stigma removal service

Jan 4th, 2023 10:20 am | By

All the despised groups should have euphemisms, all of them. Murderers should be re-branded as population controllers and rapists should be called admirers of women. Jo Bartosch at spiked:

Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Police Scotland were blasted for referring to those who abuse children as ‘minor-attracted people’, or ‘MAP’, in a report for a European Commission project.

As euphemisms go, that’s a pretty terrible one, because of course the issue isn’t attraction, it’s abuse. The issue with rapists isn’t attraction, it’s rape, and it works the same way with the rape or molestation of children.

After an online backlash, Police Scotland were quick to point out that the phrase ‘minor-attracted people’ was a quote from the EU’s proposals for the project, which was set up to tackle child abuse. In a statement, Police Scotland said that it had lobbied against the use of the term MAP at a meeting of European partners in September 2022.

Notably, MAP is the word preferred by groups who campaign to remove the ‘stigma’ associated with adults who want to sexually abuse children. It is a term often used by dangerous people who believe they have been victimised by a hostile society

See, some kinds of stigma exist for good reasons and should not be removed.

Who exactly advised the European Commission to adopt this kind of language remains a mystery, but there are several organisations that push it.

The US-based group B4U-ACT, which was founded by convicted child molester Michael Melsheimer, describes itself as helping professionals to ‘learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma and fear’.

Notice that it doesn’t describe itself as “helping professionals to ‘learn more about wanting to fuck minors’.” When in a tight spot always deploy the euphemisms.

B4U-ACT is not the only such group to have links to academics. California-based Prostasia, which advertises itself as a ‘child-protection organisation’, runs a ‘support club’ for ‘MAPs’. In its 2021 annual review, Prostasia says it acts ‘as a watchdog on extremism in the cause of child protection’ to address ‘the human-rights impacts of child-protection laws and policies’. Prostasia works with several universities, including Nottingham Trent in the UK.

Libertarianism run mad again – “extremism in the cause of child protection” is a real gem. Tucker Carlson crossed with Jimmy Savile.

Still processing the information

Jan 4th, 2023 6:10 am | By

Scandal in Wisconsin:

Early in 2020, an Indigenous artist urged the owners of a new music venue in [Madison] to change its name. 

It was called The Winnebago, after the street on which it stands. Many Indigenous people and allies let the owners know that wasn’t the best name for a white-owned music venue. One of them was nibiiwakamigkwe, also known as Kay LeClaire, a founding member and co-owner of the queer Indigenous artists’ collective giige, and budding leader of Madison’s Indigenous arts community.

I don’t think it’s all that clear that using indigenous names is bad if you’re not indigenous. You could be promoting awareness of indigenous culture, which could be not bad, it seems to me.

Anyway the owners eventually changed the name.

“I’m glad the owners have decided to no longer profit from the identities of Indigenous peoples,” LeClaire wrote in an editorial for Our Lives Wisconsin. “I’m glad the name is going, but I’m not happy the institutions that allowed it to be stolen in the first place remain. For over 500 years, Indigenous Peoples have not controlled our narratives and representations. Our exclusion has been built into inclusion for others.”

But there’s a catch: she’s not indigenous. It’s one of those stories.

Since at least 2017, Kay LeClaire has claimed Métis, Oneida, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, Cuban and Jewish heritage. Additionally, they identify as “two-spirit,” a term many Indigenous people use to describe a non-binary gender identity. In addition to becoming a member and co-owner of giige, LeClaire earned several artists’ stipends, a paid residency at the University of Wisconsin, a place on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force and many speaking gigs and art exhibitions, not to mention a platform and trust of a community – all based on an ethnic identity that appears to have been fully fabricated.

Not to mention being “non-binary”/”two-spirit” while also being on a missing and murdered women task force.

LeClaire made an evasive “statement”:

“I am sorry,” they wrote. “A lot of information has come to my attention since late December. I am still processing it all and do not yet know how to respond adequately. What I can do now is offer change. Moving forward, my efforts will be towards reducing harm by following the directions provided by Native community members and community-specified proxies. Currently, this means that I am not using the Ojibwe name given to me and am removing myself from all community spaces, positions, projects, and grants and will not seek new ones. Any culturally related items I hold are being redistributed back in community, either to the original makers and gift-givers when possible or elsewhere as determined by community members. Thank you.”

Given to her by whom, one wonders. She was asked, but answer came there none, nor did she specify what “information” came to her attention.

LeClaire graduated from Hamilton High School in Sussex, Wisconsin, where they were known as Katie Le Claire, in 2012 (despite later telling a Capital Times reporting intern that they were raised in Northern Wisconsin). They apparently attended the University of Wisconsin and in the summer of 2018 married fellow Hamilton alum Adam Pagenkopf, a research specialist at UW. 

What pronouns does Adam Pagenkopf use??? We’re not told.

It’s not yet known exactly how much money LeClaire made by claiming Indigenous heritage, but it’s clear they worked their way into many institutions and exhibitions. 

Which is very bad if the institutions are indigenous and you’re not, but stunning and brave if the institutions are female and you’re not.

Why is that?

Guest post: Heads we win tails you lose

Jan 3rd, 2023 5:27 pm | By

Originally a comment by Holms on Marjorie.

For the last twenty years or so, there has been a strong push for movies, tv shows, theatrical productions (etc.) to have more widely representative characters and casts. Fewer male characters, more female; fewer white, more of every other ethnicity; fewer straight, more of other sexualities. It was emphasised that these characters were not to be reductive cliches. Further, this popular push emphasised that this was especially applicable to the lead role.

The reasoning was simple, and well understood by the left. People of demographic combinations other than ‘white male’ deserve to see themselves represented in movies, and not as insulting caricatures. Kids especially deserve to see their sex and/or skin colour as the hero, as the genius, as the object of desire, as the virtuoso, and so on. Broader representation was positive, perhaps even inspiring those kids to push themselves to become that themselves.

But bring up female representation in sport and all of that goes away. I’ve seen it argued for example that a person that needed to see champions demographically similar to themselves in order to be inspired to push themselves was never particularly interested in the first place. But worse is when that reasoning goes away for women but remains in force for trans women. Actual women are weak if they need someone else to feel validated and inspired, but trans women need to have visibility in sports so as to have heroes to admire and aspire to become.

Up with representation of demographics that aren’t straight white men! Then sotto voce: but feel free to forget about the female sex. Supplant them in sports, it’s a net positive because it helps males that wish they were women.

Guest post: The re-enforcement mechanism is very clear

Jan 3rd, 2023 4:31 pm | By

Originally a comment by latsot on Where are the skeptics?

Harald Hanche-Olsen@22ish

Your point reminds me of the characterisation of social media as Skinner Boxes, which I’ve written about here before. The re-enforcement mechanism is very clear and obviously designed to encourage people to take increasingly outspoken positions in the everlasting hunt for likes as returns diminish.

And of course once you’ve gone down one trouser leg of validation, it’s rather hard to come back. I don’t think the sunk cost fallacy is quite up to describing this effect because the increasing apparent conviction is based on diminishing returns for increasingly wild claims.

This is the only explanation I can come up with for the constant over-reaching of gender identity ideology and politics. If activists were to say, for instance, that TWAW is a linguistic argument; that we should change what “woman” means because of some greater good, then we’d have something to talk about. I wouldn’t agree, but we’d have the basis of a good argument about how to determine public policy, at least.

But that doesn’t happen. If arguments like that are ever made, they are motte-and-bailey’s or switched bait.

To make an actual, coherent, evidenced, logical argument, the proponent would have to inch back up toward the… er.. crotch of the trousers of validation (I now regret making that analogy). Every step in that direction loses more in terms of validation than even the decreasing returns gain in heading to the turn-ups (these are 80s trousers, in my analogy).

This is an obvious weakness of human brains. Arty talked about it in the latest Mess as brains being hacked by arseholes. The way it’s done could well be as simple as diminishing returns in likes, I reckon.

I think you were being a bit too glib about this, NiV; it’s easy to see what PZ does as a performance now that we have reason to condemn it. Of course there was always an element of performance, but the questions have always been about the crowd to which he was performing and whether and how that changed. And to what extent he was complicit in it.

My silly abstract model might be right as far as it goes. It might help us gain some insight into how people of conviction can so quickly and easily forget what they were actually convinced about in the first place and embrace the opposite. Or it might not.

But it’s not enough.

Hopeless hapless combat

Jan 3rd, 2023 10:53 am | By

Robert Reich points out that the Republican party veered into incoherence when it tried to combine libertarianism with cultural conservatism.

That kind of incoherence is inevitable though, when you have on the one hand two political parties and on the other hand more than two political philosophies or orientations or whatever you want to call them. It applies just as much to the Dems – they’re way too conservative on most issues for my liking, but they’re all there is.

The party line became confused, its message garbled, its purpose unclear. It thereby created an opening for a third and far angrier phase, centering on resentment and authoritarianism.

Or centering on whatever exactly it was that they saw in Trump. Greed? Conceit? Cruelty? Rage? Pussy-grabbing?

Enter Donald Trump, the con artist with a monstrous talent for exploiting resentment in service of his ego.

Trump turned the Republican party into a white working-class cauldron of bitterness, xenophobia, racism, anti-intellectualism and anti-science paranoia, while turning himself into the leader of a near religious cult bent on destroying anything in his way – including American democracy.

I think that’s pretty accurate. Trump doesn’t really have any politics, he just has that urge to be the worst loudest guy in the room.

What we are seeing played out today in the contest for the speakership of the House involves all of these phases – what remains of the small-government establishment, the cultural warriors and the hate-filled authoritarians – engaged in hopeless, hapless combat with each other.

Cheery stuff.

Targeted by sexual predators

Jan 3rd, 2023 10:14 am | By

Julie Bindel at Unherd:

In 2007, I spent time in Blackpool investigating the disappearance of Charlene Downes, a 14-year-old whose body has never been found. She was one of hundreds of girls in the town targeted by sexual predators who would groom and then rape their victims before pimping them to multiple men in exchange for alcohol, cigarettes and food.

Blackpool, one of the most deprived parts of England, is rife with child abuse and home to a higher number of convicted child sex offenders than anywhere else in the country. It is thought that predatory men gravitate there to seek out vulnerable children. They don’t have to look far — there are three times the national average of children in care in Blackpool.

That’s bad enough, but then there’s a plot twist.

But there is one thing I didn’t know about Blackpool, which I learned from listening to Inside the Gender Clinic, a podcast  about the much maligned Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock. The  majority of referrals to the clinic are not, as one might assume, from the South, or from Brighton, but from Blackpool. This is surely the last place you’d expect to see so many trans-identified children. After all, the voices we so often hear on this issue in the media tend to belong to upper middle-class kids raised in liberal families.

But transing would be a refuge from abuse, wouldn’t it…at a horrendous price.

Claire*, who grew up in Blackpool, is working for a charity that supports female victims of male violence. She tells me that the links between the rise in young females being referred to gender identity clinics and the realities of growing up in places like Blackpool are obvious. She cites high levels of poverty and the normalisation of the exploitation of women and girls in the sex trade.

As a child, Claire, who was raised in Blackpool, was subject to men’s violence and consequently wanted to “opt out of girlhood”. She says: “The option to be removed from the harms of men would be appealing to most survivors. I am furious that we are allowing girls who need care and support to go down irreversible paths.”

Cheaper, easier, quicker – just cut their tits off.

Blackpool seems to offer a clear example of how vulnerable, damaged children are being drawn to gender ideology because it offers a “one stop shop” solution to the pain of living as a female in a hellish world of abuse. “These girls have been horrifically betrayed,” says Norma. “Why are we sending them for irreversible, damaging treatment, when what they need is protection from sexual violation and abuse?”

Because cheaper, easier, quicker, plus they’re just girls?