Toby Young

The Royal Mint’s transphobic decision to snub Enid Blyton

The Royal Mint's transphobic decision to snub Enid Blyton
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Who knew the Royal Mint, of all places, had been captured by the cult of political correctness? According to the Mail, the Mint’s Advisory Committee decided not to put Enid Blyton on a 50p coin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her death because she is 'a racist, sexist, homophobe and not a very well-regarded writer'.

That’s an odd statement, since it suggests that had she been a better-regarded writer, her racism, sexism and homophobia would have been overlooked. Perhaps that’s the Mint’s rationale for not removing Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare from the £10 note and £20 note respectively, in spite of their liberal use of anti-Semitic caricatures.

The criticism the Mint will now face is not from defenders of Enid Blyton’s literary reputation – are there any? – but from members of the Left, obviously, who will chastise it for being insufficiently Woke. It will only be a matter of time before Caroline Criado-Perez, who launched a campaign against the Mint in 2013 for not including enough women on banknotes, traduces the Advisory Committee for discriminating against Blyton for sexist reasons. No doubt she will draw attention to the fact that the Committee is chaired by a man – Lord Waldegrave of North Hill – and only four of its 15 members are women: 'Would this largely male Committee have described AA Milne as "not a very well-regarded writer"? I don’t think so!'

More importantly, the trans lobby will surely swing into action, pointing out that Enid Blyton should be celebrated for introducing the first trans character to children’s fiction – George in The Famous Five. George hated wearing dresses and was constantly complaining about being described as a ‘girl’ by her companions. She was clearly a boy trapped in a girl’s body! If only the Tavistock had existed back then so she could be prescribed a course of testosterone. So expect trans activists to denounce the Royal Mint for this blatant display of ‘transphobia’, a more heinous sin these days than racism, sexism or homophobia.

The solution is obvious. The Mint should apologise for its transphobic decision – 'We would like to unreservedly apologise for the offence caused… teachable moment… all staff will undergo unconscious bias training… etc., etc.’ – and announce that Enid Blyton will be given pride of place on the new 50p coin that’s being issued to celebrate the UK’s independence on November 1st.

Written byToby Young

Toby Young is the co-author of What Every Parent Needs to Know and the co-founder of several free schools. In addition to being an associate editor of The Spectator, he is an associate editor of Quillette. Follow him on Twitter @toadmeister

Topics in this articleSocietyracism