Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

IN his new au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, My Life, Our Times, for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Gor­don Brown re­calls his fail­ure.

Not the big things about the econ­omy, but about quot­ing Hud­der­s­field’s po­lit­i­cal hero Harold Wil­son.

In 1999, he co-wrote Val­ues, Vi­sions and Voices, with an­other MP to make peo­ple proud of Labour.

But they couldn’t af­ford to pay the copy­right fees for Harold’s speeches and writ­ings, so none were in­cluded.

“The day of pub­li­ca­tion co­in­cided with Wil­son’s death,” writes Brown. “It made sense to re­treat and can­cel our press launch.”

You bet. HE Church of Eng­land has ed­u­cated mil­lions of chil­dren over more than a cen­tury.

I was lucky enough to be one of them, a pupil at All Saints, Nor­man­ton, dur­ing the late 40s and early 50s.

Ev­ery day for six years I had to walk past Queen Street coun­cil school to get to my CofE class­room, be­cause my fa­ther in­sisted that the church would give me a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion.

He was prob­a­bly right, but you cer­tainly didn’t ar­gue in those days – about that or any­thing else un­less you fan­cied a clip round the ear.

These days the roles are re­versed. The child is right and the adult has to ac­cept what­ever it says.

Un­be­liev­ably, this now ex­tends to sex­u­al­ity. If lit­tle Johnny says he is lit­tle Jean, then he is. Just be­cause he says he is. Or she. Most con­fus­ing.

And he/she must be treated as such, say the Angli­can au­thor­i­ties in new guid­ance to teach­ers in their 4,700 schools across the coun­try.

Kids must be al­lowed to dress up This CofE school in Not­ting­ham proudly boasts that ‘to­gether we can achieve’ - what­ever that means in this day and age! in a tutu, a princess’s tiara or a fire­man’s hel­met, tool belt and su­per­man’s cloak “with­out ex­pec­ta­tion or com­ment.”

This is to pre­vent teas­ing and bul­ly­ing, a laud­able aim but an im­pos­si­ble ob­jec­tive. Chil­dren will al­ways rag each other and if they can’t do it at school they’ll do it on­line.

In any event, why en­cour­age kids as young as five to ques­tion their gen­der? Why sow doubt in young, un­formed minds?

No­body at All Saints asked me if I wanted to wear a frock and I got by. I didn’t know what sex­u­al­ity was, un­til my body taught me. That’s na­ture’s way.

The kit is self-ex­plana­tory and I soon caught on.

Quite pos­si­bly, too soon and too en­thu­si­as­ti­cally, as I be­came a fa­ther at 18.

The term “dys­pho­ria” hadn’t been in­vented. Nor “trans­pho­bic”, a strange word. It de­rives from clas­si­cal Greek, pho­bos, mean­ing fear. But there’s noth­ing to fear about such things.

There is a dan­ger here of go­ing too far. Men who pro­claim they are women, while still bi­o­log­i­cally male, de­mand the right to en­ter womenonly spa­ces: chang­ing rooms, do­mes­tic vi­o­lence refuges, sin­gle­sex hos­pi­tal wards and rape cri­sis cen­tres. And kids be­ing given ir­re­versible hor­mone treat­ment. This just isn’t on. Nor is pro­posed leg­is­la­tion al­low­ing chil­dren to “choose” their gen­der, as of right, and with­out their par­ents’ con­sent. It is al­ready the law in Scot­land.

Un­der the bo­gus ban­ner of equal­ity, English law would com­pel the whole of so­ci­ety to ac­cept the ques­tion­able claims of a tiny mi­nor­ity.

It’s too soon to know whether the cur­rent craze for gen­der re­as­sign­ment – a 1,000% in­crease in child re­fer­rals to a sin­gle London clinic over the last six years – is a pass­ing phase or a per­ma­nent shift in hu­man be­hav­iour.

Leg­is­la­tion now would be too hasty, too de­pen­dent on dodgy trends and, well, just too much.

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