Editorial: Father Ted creator Graham ​Linehan speaks out against a very real cowardice

News Letter editorial on Monday September 18 2023
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​​The writer and comedian Graham Linehan says an important thing in our report on page 15 of today’s print paper, web link below

Speaking about his supposedly controversial views on trans issues, the Father Ted creator says: "I just think that's what the vast majority of people really feel."

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He goes on to say: "It's only a few extremists who think that women shouldn't have their own sports and their own private spaces. I'm hoping that their bravery will mean that other people can just say what they think about this subject."

There is a lot in those few lines.

It is of course correct to say that most people have those views on the genders: ie, on the reality of two genders and therefore on the right for private female spaces and for female categories in sport.

Yet it is also true that his career has been damaged by expressing such views and falling foul of woke extremism, and others have had their careers similarly ruined.

This is a form of mania that one day will pass because it is so self-evidently absurd. It would be grotesque and cruel, for example, to dismiss the wishes of an elderly woman not to want to be in a mixed gender hospital ward. But this debate has moved so quickly that not only are such concerns indeed ignored, but a wave of influencers and decision makers and political voices have acquiesced in early transitioning from one gender to another by people who are too young to make such a decision and might ruin their lives in the process.

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Trans, of course, is not the only issue on which woke extremists have suddenly held sway. There are simply fanatical views on other cultural issues, in which business and academic and other leaders have been spooked into silence .

The failure to speak out against such things is a deep, deep display of cowardice by people in authority.

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