The following speech was delivered by a central committee member to the party’s eighth congress in September.
The fundamental point about how idealism is being pushed onto us in a very systematic and pernicious way has been beautifully made by previous speakers. They also outlined how it is that whilst racism and sexism as things which divide workers are absolutely bound up with class society and the imperialist world order, other forms of discrimination come and go, according to the culture and the times, and therefore they have a different status in that sense.
There is some confusion about this. Comrades think: “Oh, we don’t make support for LGBT+ rights a main plank of our platform, therefore we’re against LGBT+ people.” No, that’s not the same thing, and I think and I hope that has already been clarified, but let me clarify it again: it’s not about people, it’s about ideology.
We who are arguing against the idea that we must have an LGBT+ platform, that’s what we are arguing against: we’re arguing against idealism; we’re arguing against identity politics; we’re arguing against the replacement of class consciousness with individualism.
Our job, as has been said, is to recreate, to revitalise class consciousness in Britain, because without a class mentality, without a collective mentality, we will not stand a cat in hell’s chance of forming a party that can lead a revolution. And that is what we are here for; let us not forget it.
Party discipline relies on frank and open debate
The first speaker opened this debate with a very emotional appeal that we should not support the central committee’s motion because, based on it, he would be summarily expelled from the party. Now, I understand this is an emotive issue for many people, and that has been shown in the debate so far, but that was not a statement of fact.
There’s nothing in the resolution that says it’s wrong for us to have had this discussion. We are in the process of having a discussion, and I hope very much that at the end of it, the party will agree to carry motion 8; to remit motion 7, which is vague – the proposition that we should come up with a good analysis and propagate it amongst the working class is good, but the motion itself I think is not well expressed; and to reject motions 5 and 6 – because they ask us to have a platform and to make a central plank of campaigning for LGBT+ rights, and this is not a necessary thing for us to do.
That’s my hope – that, following this discussion, that’s what’s going to happen. But nothing in motion 8 says that people who have taken part in this discussion, or who have expressed different points of view during this debate, should be expelled. What it says is that, going forward, it must be understood by our members that if this motion is adopted, we will not obsess over LGBT+ rights. We understand that it’s a diversion that has been pushed on us and therefore we simply say: “We are inclusive, we will take anyone who wants to fight for the revolution, regardless.”
How the bourgeoisie creates fake ‘communities’ to mislead and divide workers
There are a few points I wanted to make in relation to this question. When it comes to this word ‘community’, I fundamentally object to the idea that the person you have sex with is so important that it dictates what community you’re a part of.
If we’re going to be Marxists, ‘community’ as a word has to have a meaning. Isn’t it interesting that in a society – a late capitalist society in a state of total disintegration, as ours is – in which we hardly have any such thing as community any more, we are constantly being bombarded with the idea of community in order to have people pushed on us as spokespeople who don’t speak for us.
We hear it all the time. We are told that so-and-so represents the ‘black community’, or the ‘muslim community’, or the ‘Asian community’, or the ‘women’s community’ or the ‘LGBT+ community’, the ‘queer community’, the ‘trans community’ … but there’s no such thing as any of those ‘communities’!
Every muslim is not in one community with every other muslim; of course they’re not, it’s nonsense. What community am I in? If I’m in any, I’m in a community with people who live very close to me; ones that I know. Lots of us don’t have a community like this because communities have become so fragmented and broken down that we don’t know our neighbours.
These communities that we used to refer to hardly exist. I’m in a kind of community around the schools where my kids go to because I meet lots of those people every day; certainly at primary school you do. These are the communities that actually exist. I’m in a community with all of you, because I work with you all the time in the party. We are a community.
One thing I’m not a member of is the married women’s community, I’m not a member of the heterosexual community, I’m not a member of the half-Asian community … I do not identify with, my life is not the same as, I do not have the same interests as, all the people who are also classified under those labels. It’s a nonsense!
Identity politics, if you want a definition, is that which encourages us to identify our differences, our uniqueness and argue from a platform of “Nobody understands my pain but me!” It is, frankly, nonsense, encouraging us to gaze at our navels and tell ourselves what a terrible, awful time we’re having, which no-one else can possibly understand. It’s a recipe for inactivity, isolation and mental illness.
Gender v gender roles
This issue of gender versus gender roles. Again, we see the way that language is messed with and confused; but they are not the same thing.
I don’t have to keep going over it; it’s been expressed very eloquently by other speakers, but it’s really important that we as Marxists use clear language and terminology.
Do not use the word ‘gender’ when you mean ‘gender role’; it’s not the same thing. ‘Gender’ is a material thing, ‘gender role’ is a social construct – let’s agree that they are two separate things.
The mass trans delusion is hurting our children
I want to finish, comrades, by reading you something very short that I wrote about the trans movement which sums up how I feel about it.
I hate to say this, but ‘as a woman’ and ‘as a mother’, these things have touched me and touch me now quite deeply as I watch my daughter coming to terms with the fact that the ‘gender role’ that’s pushed on her doesn’t conform with how she feels. But that doesn’t mean that she is in the wrong body!
I wrote this in reply to a comrade who was accusing us of being reactionary when we should be progressive:
“Try to remember that ‘progressive’ in the context of the class struggle, means that which moves history forward. It doesn’t mean everything that a liberal says it means. It has a real meaning.
“If you’re a Marxist, you understand the word ‘progressive’ not the way the bourgeoise tells you to understand it, but as Marxism explains it – and that means anything that strengthens the socialist revolution.
“There is nothing progressive about trying to convince the working class that biology is irrelevant to sex. It’s obviously absurd. Our job is to tell the truth and not to follow fashion.
“The petty-bourgeois academic obsession with identity politics has been nurtured and fostered by the ruling class to take the place of class politics. That is a reactionary development, not a progressive one.
“It can be seen in a very effective way that this has caused division between better-off workers and poorer workers. The better-off workers are thoroughly brainwashed in the petty-bourgeois identity politics ways of thinking by their education. The masses revile the smug insanity of the people who come and lecture them about their ‘white privilege’ and their ‘transphobia’. They think it’s stupid and they’re right.
“The trans movement, in my view, is the absurd apotheosis of identity politics.
“Now please understand I’m talking about the movement. We do not deny that there are a tiny number of people born with some malformation of chromosomes or genitalia, and, like any disability or birth defect, such people deserve humane treatment. But they are not the basis of the modern trans movement – we have to understand that. They are being used by that movement to justify its existence, but they are not its basis.
“This is based on self-identification (that is, as another comrade pointed out, on denying reality). In my view, and I’m sorry if people here feel this as a personal attack – it’s not; in my view, this [mass gender dysphoria] should be treated as a mental disorder that requires help and support to recover from, not trumpeted as proof that girls are born in boys’ bodies and vice versa.
“It is a twisted society that makes people feel so alienated that they even wish to escape their own bodies, and an even more twisted one that pushes them into a lifetime of expensive drugs and surgeries that will leave them infertile, while solving none of the problems that led them down that path in the first place.
“To my mind, it is plain child abuse to tell little children who don’t like the gender stereotypes being forced on them that they are in the wrong body, rather than teaching them the resilience to ignore those stereotypes and find a way to be comfortable in their own skins.”
Other women comrades spoke earlier and I know we all feel the same about this. I, my mother and my daughter could all have been candidates for the vultures who push this sick idea onto kids who don’t fit the social expectations of what a girl or a boy or a man or a woman should be like.
It’s a sign of a society in total collapse – utterly bankrupt and unable to offer workers anything useful or fulfilling to do with their lives, or any hope of a better future. It has obvious parallels with the last days of Rome in its decadence and absurdity.
As an ideology, this is being pushed by some big financial backers, from the United States in particular, who have identified it as a massive medical money spinner. Believe me, when you read the articles, when you look into where the backing has come from, there are some particular families in the States who have realised they’re onto something very profitable.
What in all of that is progressive?
Who can join the party of the working class?
I welcome the chance to debate these ideas at congress. Clearly, many people have been suckered by the liberal idea that one must never question the feelings of others, even when those feelings demand that everyone around them should share their delusions.
As far as ‘putting people off’ goes, we welcome into the party anyone who wants to work for revolution. We don’t discriminate on any basis apart from ability and willingness to serve the working class and build the party.
We also consider religion to be a delusion that denies reality, yet we are quite happy to allow religious workers, whose number is far, far greater than self-identified trans workers, to join the party. But they do so on the basis that they have to square that contradiction for themselves, not on the basis that we will start telling everyone there is a god after all, so as to make them feel happy.
We are not against trans people, we are against a society that has produced this delusion and the leeches who nurture and feed off it. We are against lying to the people in order to gain the approval of the political correctness police.
We are the purveyors of truth. Let us not forget it, comrades.