Reds in her head

If you had any remaining doubts that trans people are the go-to bogeymen for the bigoted, the venal and the incompetent, look no further than disgraced former prime minister Liz Truss. Despite only being in office for 44 days before resigning, Truss managed to spook the markets, send borrowing rates into orbit and tanked the value of the pound: she was unable to stay in power long enough to outlast an iceberg lettuce in a blonde wig, a real thing that was created by the Daily Star to mock her intellect and political nous.

Earlier this month Truss rolled out the age-old excuse for the damage done and the fact that she couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery: it wasn’t me. Instead, she was the victim of “a very powerful economic establishment, coupled by a lack of political support.” When that didn’t fly, she decided on a new claim: it was the trans what done it. Truss is now telling appreciative audiences of far-right US republicans that she was the victim of a UK deep state and a civil service packed full of “trans activists” and “environmental extremists”.

It’s easy to mock her, and we should: sharing the story earlier I captioned it “and are those trans activists in the room with us right now?”. But it demonstrates something wider: this is the former equalities minister, whose job was to represent LGBTQ+ people, and she is an anti-trans ideologue and a fantasist for whom trans people are her very own reds under the bed.

Those are qualities that apply just as much to her former equalities sidekick and current equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, who is currently facing multiple questions over her own competence and in particular her uneasy relationship with telling the truth. The bulk of the scrutiny is over her lies about the Post Office scandal, but Freedom of Information requests have also demonstrated that she lied when she claimed to have consulted extensively with LGBTQ+ groups; the only groups she met were two anti-trans groups. Meeting requests by real LGBTQ+ advocacy groups were refused in letters whose tone was very different to the friendly and cheerful messages her office sent to anti-trans activists.

When unhinged anti-LGBTQ+ politicians are repeatedly given responsibility for LGBTQ+ people’s legal protections, LGBTQ+ people’s safety and LGBTQ+ people’s human rights, Occam’s Razor surely applies: the simplest, most likely explanation is that this is being done deliberately and it is being done maliciously.



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