06/10/2018
6 Oct 2018

The gender dilemma

6 Oct 2018

The gender dilemma

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Features
Madeleine Kearns
Don’t tell the parents

How can we help transgender children? This is a question greatly exercising politicians and many are confused about what to do. In Scotland, children are now expected to ‘demonstrate an understanding of diversity in sexuality and gender identity’. The Scottish government supports a new classroom resource that tells primary school children that they may consider themselves to be a boy, a girl, or neither.

Don’t tell the parents
James Kirkup
The march of trans rights

Your 13-year-old daughter tells a teacher that’s she’s uncomfortable with her body. She prefers trousers to skirts, football to ballet. She says she thinks she’s a he and wants to be treated as a boy at school. Would the teacher tell you your daughter wants to change gender? Your 11-year-old granddaughter comes home from school upset. Changing after gym, another girl stood watching her undress and playing with her penis.

The march of trans rights
Jonathan Miller
Jean-Luc Mélenchon isn’t the future of socialism, he’s an irrelevance

Jeremy Corbyn is promising to forge closer ties with his French counterpart Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the hard-left La France Insoumise party. The pair met at the Labour conference in Liverpool, and some commentators have hailed the start of a beautiful partnership. The conceit is that this pair of pensioners are together somehow the future of European socialism. Well, Corbyn might become Britain’s prime minister for all I know, although I prefer to doubt it.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon isn’t the future of socialism, he’s an irrelevance
Simon Barnes
These otherworldly birds stopped breeding in Britain centuries ago. Now they’re back

The RSPB regularly gets calls from people who have seen ‘a funny bird’. ‘It’s got a red head and it’s feeding from the bird table.’ ‘That sounds like a goldfinch.’ ‘No, no — it’s standing on the ground and feeding from the bird table…’ Cranes can stand as tall as a man. They became extinct as breeding birds in this country and stayed that way for damn near half a millennium. But astonishingly they’ve come back, and of their own accord.

These otherworldly birds stopped breeding in Britain centuries ago. Now they’re back
Ysenda Maxtone-Graham
The joys of Neglexit

The new political buzzword is ‘Neglexit’: the state of being in which, because the government is so wrapped up in Brexit negotiations, Britain is barely being governed. No big, visionary new policies are being launched. Gone are the days when every parliamentary session included an NHS Bill, a Criminal Justice Bill or an Education Bill. ‘The UK is stuck in political and bureaucratic torpor. The country — as an administrative entity — has virtually stopped working… ministers just don’t have the time to attend to the needs and ambitions of ordinary citizens,’ said a report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

The joys of Neglexit
Jonathon Bond
Greek tragedy

‘Now Greece can finally turn the page in a crisis that has lasted too long. The worst is over.’ With these triumphant words, Pierre Moscovici, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, declared an end to the EU’s eight-year €289 billion bailout programme to Greece, the largest rescue in financial history. Except Greece’s financial crisis isn’t by any means over — and the EU’s blithe and self-congratulatory announcement is a stain on Brussels’s moral authority.

Greek tragedy
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