In a move that probably noone actually saw coming, but nonetheless was completely unsurprising, the UK Government today desperately attempted to downplay the EHRC scandal.
We say planted, because its very curious that trans friendly MPs who try to ask questions are frequently denied the opportunity to do so, and yet when it comes to bashing trans people, as usual its open season.
If you don't want to watch the video clip, Coates said :
'The Equality and Human Rights Commission has an important role to play in supporting women in the workplace through its statutory duty to enforce the Equality Act 2010. What support are the Government giving the EHRC as it faces attacks from those who seek to undermine its independence? (905717)'
to which Kemi Badenoch, the trans hostile Minister of State for Equalities who was slapped down at IDAHOT Forum 2021 by none other than Evelyne Paradis (Exective Director at ILGA-Europe) for claiming 'we dont believe in self id', replied :
'I thank my hon. Friend for that really important question. I have to say that I have been shocked by the really disgusting remarks that have been levelled at the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in particular. It is a disgrace that people are attacking the body that is supposed to be furthering equality in this country. No good can come of that.
I am sure that colleagues across the House share my desire for more people from minorities to take part in public life. That is one goal that we all share, but it is in jeopardy when the EHRC chair, an experienced parliamentarian from an ethnic and religious minority, can be subjected to vile, horrific personal abuse simply for encouraging others to comply with equality law. We support her. It is not healthy for our democracy for online smears and falsehoods, especially the ones that have been put forward by Vice News, repeated by those in the mainstream media who should know better, and deliberately designed to undermine public confidence in the independent regulator responsible'
Just let that sink in for a moment.
Here we have a known, trans hostile Minister appearing to use parliamentary privilege to smear a reputable news organisation for a series of stories which are fully backed up by facts and evidence, and appearing to use claims of racism and abuse in order to do so.
Badenoch obviously cannot see the irony in stating 'It is not healthy for our democracy for online smears and falsehoods' then appearing to do the same thing using her parliamentary position.
Still, self awareness doesn't seem to feature very much in any government minister at present.
(Transcript from Hansard available here)