Starmer LGBTQ+ op-ed is dragged by the magazine it’s in

  • Post last modified:July 4, 2024
  • Reading time:9 mins read

June was Pride month, and 4 July – today – is general election day. So, less than 24 hours before voters could hit the polls, an LGBTQ+ magazine has well and truly pulled the mask off the likely next prime minister. Because, once again, flip-flop robocop Starmer has shown he and the Labour Party readily throw trans people under the bus.

LGBTQ+ mag throws shade on Starmer

Keir Starmer has penned an op-ed for LGBTQ+ magazine Attitude.

However, in the time since it received his copy on 23 June, and publication, Starmer has:

  • Said he’d be willing to talk to serial transphobic bigot and billionaire JK Rowling over her views on trans rights.
  • Called discussing gender identity in schools an “ideology”
  • Told the Times that trans women don’t have the right to access women-only-spaces, like bathrooms.
  • Criticised David Tennant for calling out the former Tories’ equality minister Kemi Badenoch over her transphobia.

Given all this, Attitude was loathe to publish his puff piece laying out Labour’s purported LGBTQ+ credentials and pledges. Styles wrote how the publication considered “spiking” the op-ed entirely. Instead though, they did something better.

On 3 July, it posted his soapbox online. However, the publication didn’t post it in isolation. Preluding the Labour leader’s spiel, Attitude’s publisher Darren Styles wrote what was ostensibly a 900+ word take-down.

Specifically, the “context and correction” article delved into Starmer and his party’s swathe of attacks on trans people. And all of it, the Labour leader had carried out in just over a week since Starmer sent his piece to Attitude.

Billionaires before communities

In a show of good faith, the publication reached out to Labour HQ over all this. Styles said that:

Last Friday (28th June), Attitude went back to Labour HQ. We asked that, before we published his open letter, Sir Keir agreed – in due course – to meet with us and Caroline Litman, the mother of Alice Litman, a trans woman who took her own life in 2022 after waiting 1,023 days for her first appointment with the GIC at Charing Cross. An appointment for which, were she alive today, she’d still be waiting.

Seemingly, between offering Labour’s latest billionaire flame a confab, and tearing into trans people in interviews with rightwing rags, Starmer was a bit too busy to get back to them.

So, Attitude rightly tore the Labour leader to shreds over it. In the literary equivalent of empty-chairing the shameless no-show, it dropped the story the day before the election.  Styles wrote that:

in our opinion and in light of events, it is equivocal in parts in that it makes no mention of the trans issues that have subsequently come to light.

And Attitude is clear: LGBTQ+ rights include trans rights, trans rights are human rights and human rights are not political. Or at least shouldn’t be. It’s politicians that make human rights political, and when they do so in search of popularity, support and/or power you have but one chance to hold them to account.

In other words, Attitude rinsed Starmer’s slippery sales pitch to the queer community:

Slippery Starmer LGBTQ+ Section 28 hypocrisy

People on X were forthright in spelling out the blatant grifting in action:

One person pointed out the irony of Starmer boasting on Labour’s history of supporting LGBTQ+ folks:

Of course, his reference to repealing Section 28 fell particularly flat, given he essentially proposed to impose the equivalent for transgender identities. In fact, without irony, he literally blurted out this de facto ban the very day after sending Attitude his pomp. Go figure.

Another person on X was appalled at the Labour leader’s transparent, blatant hypocrisy:

Political pandering has consequences

Attitude’s article laid bare Starmer’s rank egotism, but more importantly, how he’s content to use marginalised communities as a political football when it suits. For the people at the sharp end of the Starmer show – like the trans community – it’s increasingly dangerous. People on X pointed out how his political pander has consequences:

At the end of the day, a party – and prime minister – who will meet with a billionaire bigot, but not the parent of a trans woman who took her own life, is not the party for the LGBTQ+ community:

This election day, vote for people who unequivocally support trans and queer folks. Labour, led by Starmer, clearly doesn’t. And when you come for one community in the LGBTQ+ family, you face all of us – make sure to tell him that at the ballot box.

Feature image via the Canary

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