Stephen Nolan’s Stonewall documentary is unmissable

Oct 18, 2021 by

by Gareth Roberts, UnHerd:

Stephen Nolan’s new ten-part BBC podcast documentary on the influence of Stonewall ploughs rich journalistic soil, its length justified by its findings.

It is frequently jaw dropping — you will hear how the Scottish government paid Stonewall to lobby itself, how the BBC’s supposedly impartial LGBT correspondent was moonlighting for Stonewall, and how whistleblowing medical professionals with serious concerns were frozen out by campaigns of intimidation. You could write a brick of a book about what Nolan has turned up but here are some immediate observations.

  • From 2015, when Stonewall decided to add advocacy for transgender people to its remit, it instantly took on board the ideology of ‘gender identity’ rather than biological sex as the determining factor in the difference between men and women. This is a fringe ideology from American academic ‘queer theory’. It obviously has enormous implications for both gay people and wider society, particularly regarding women’s rights, but there appears to have been no thought paid to it at all by Stonewall. They even redefined ‘gay’ to mean attraction to a person of either sex with the same ‘identity’. This bizarre set of ideas, not recognised in law, were simply adopted without question, propagated into institutions such as the NHS, and given credence by Stonewall’s previous good reputation.
  • The behaviour of Ofcom, who used their reporting decisions on viewer complaints (I think probably the right ones but nonetheless) to get higher up on Stonewall’s equality index, and tried to cover up having done so, is reprehensible. This is the place where heads really should roll.
  • The BBC and Stonewall refused to be interviewed by Nolan, or even to answer specific questions from him, and rejected his FOI requests on spurious grounds. This high-handed attitude is very concerning. It’s to the credit of the BBC that it has broadcast Nolan’s investigation, but the lack of transparency from a publicly funded body is deeply shady. What don’t they want the public to know? Why the secrecy?

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