Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Spectator, of all magazines, is reporting that the Guardian has been prevented from reporting on a question asked in Parliament, including who asked it, who will answer it, who injuncted the Guardian and why. Never mind, other people not yet having had proceedings taken out against them seem to think it's Carter-Ruck, a collection of lawyers that, as regular Private Eye readers will know, make Wolfram and Hart look like fucking Aslan.

The article reports this as being their best guess at being the offending question.

From Parliament.uk, “Questions for Oral or Written Answer beginning on Tuesday 13 October 2009″

N Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.

And here is the Guardian article on that Minton report. So yeah, Carter-Ruck seem to have managed to stop a newspaper reporting on business in Government about press freedoms to report when big companies massively fuck-up and then try to hide the evidence. Let everyone know, yeah?

These injunctions-which-include-you-not-being-allowed-to-tell-people-that-there's-an-injunction-against-you are worrying, even if they tend not to work on the Internet. Andrew Marr, the BBC journo, has one which is apparently about him fathering a child with a journalist he had an affair with.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Posting this on behalf of others, so I am not one of the 'we', though I know some of them and support all of them:

London trans activists call for boycott of sham demo on October 17th

We are a group of trans activists who wish to make known our concerns about a demo, claiming to support the depathologisation of trans people, in London on 17th of October. The facebook group for the demo can be found here:


The description of the event reads:

"Being transgendered is not a mental illness. We are simply part of the diversity of humanity. Gender Identity Disorder is therefore not a valid diagnosis. Homosexuality we removed as a mental health diagnosis diagnosis in 1987. For us to achieve true liberation and recognition we need to throw off this unjust stigma. We are not ill, just different"

A large number of people were invited by the demo organiser, a non-trans man by the name of Dennis Hambridge, and some of us were initially concerned by the rationale for the demo. In particular, we were worried that campaigning for the removal of Gender Identity Disorder as a medical diagnosis without proposing an alternative mechanism by which transsexual people would be able to access medical transition resources was premature and dangerous, especially in a climate where NHS primary care trusts need only a minimal excuse to deny funding for our hormonal and surgical procedures. We do not support the labelling of our gender identities as disordered, and realise that our relationship with the medical community is far from ideal, but do not wish to support a movement which may give the impression that we seek complete divorce from the medical community.

These concerns were put to the Facebook group by a number of trans activists. Rather than address them, Mr Hambridge entrenched his position, making claims that gender dysphoria was an artefact of society and the medical community, and that removal of any form of classification of gender dysphoria by the WHO was "non-negotiable".

In moves more reminiscent of the actions of transphobic radical feminists than supposed allies of trans people, Mr Hambridge started deleting some of the comments from those trans people who were concerned about our future access to hormones and surgery. Subsequently he banned a number of those trans people from the group, silencing them in that space.

To reiterate - Mr Hambridge, who is organising a demo which is allegedly supporting the rights of transsexual people is using his position as a group organiser to silence and shut out the voices of the very people he claims to support.

In light of Mr Hambridge's intransigence and refusal to listen to the voices of actual transsexual people, we are calling on all activists who support the concept of transsexual people having a say in our own medical care to boycott this demo. We further call on Mr Hambridge, who is not trans himself, to stop claiming to speak on our behalf when he is ignoring our protestations and silencing our voices, and to call off his demo.

Please spread this open letter widely.

Roz Kaveney has more information here and Aunty Sarah here.

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Friday, October 09, 2009

It worries me to be seen to agree with conservatives so instead I will simply say "It is my intention to bring peace to the whole world. Can I have my Nobel Peace Prize now?"

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Lily Allen has been saying some very silly things about piracy recently. Dan Bull has a response. [via Bloggerheads]

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Johann Hari gets it spot on: If we care about the BBC, we must fight to defend it.

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