Comedy scriptwriter Graham Linehan — co-creator of Father Ted — has been given a verbal harassment warning by police after ‘deadnaming’ a transgender activist on Twitter.
The Guardian reports:
Linehan was told by West Yorkshire police not to contact the activist Stephanie Hayden, after a row on Twitter.
Hayden reported him for transphobia after he referred to her as “he” and for “deadnaming” her by referring to her by names used before she transitioned.
The pair had been involved in a dispute on Twitter about gender identity, resulting in the writer retweeting a post to his 672,000 followers that gave Hayden’s previous names with pictures.
The irony here is exquisite beyond measure: for Linehan to fall foul of the identity politics mob is a bit like Stalin being done for showing insufficient Socialist zeal or Genghis Khan being criticised for taking a kid gloves approach to rape and murder.
Almost no celebrity on Twitter has enforced the values of identity politics, Social Justice, and political correctness more rigorously, implacably and, indeed, unpleasantly than Graham Linehan. But now, in the form of Stephanie Hayden — a transgender activist formerly known as Tony and Steven — Linehan has finally met his match.
What I can’t quite decide is whether to gloat or come out hard in Linehan’s defence.
On the gloating side, Linehan really has behaved like a very nasty piece of work over the years. In my case, for example, he refers to me as Gollum (based on a single picture taken of me when I was particularly emaciated with my Lyme disease, whereas all the other pictures ever taken of me show that I am radiantly gorgeous) and once helped promote an unpleasant rumour about me and dogs…
He’s also the most terrible bully, more than happy to punch down from his millionaire celebrity eyrie at anyone who dares disagree with him.
In 2016, Charlie Nash recounted at Breitbart how Linehan had ridiculed and posted a private picture of a 21-year old student as punishment for being — in Linehan’s view — on the wrong side of Gamergate.
So in many ways, we should all be rejoicing at Linehan’s comeuppance — except for one detail. In this particular instance, he is on the right side of the argument.
Linehan is properly concerned about the excesses of the more extreme members of the transgender movement. He doesn’t agree, for example, with the radicals who say that transgenderism should merely be a process of self-identification (ie if you say you’re a woman you should be treated as such, regardless of whether you’ve had your bits cut off).
According to the Guardian:
Linehan highlighted a petition he had signed calling on Stonewall, an LGBT charity, to acknowledge the conflict that exists between “transgenderism and sex-based women’s rights”.
The petition calls for a respectful debate on the issue, and contends that Stonewall is failing to recognise the diversity of viewpoints on transgender issues, including among LGBT people.
Linehan had given his backing to a support group of trans women who are opposed to self-identification and said he would back their campaign on social media.
In other words, what Linehan has somewhat belatedly realised is that identity politics is a race to the bottom: it’s a game in which professional victims compete to see who can demonstrate themselves to be the most oppressed groupuscule. Invariably, the winners in this game are the people who are the most batshit crazy.
And for years, Linehan has been one of the celebrity world’s useful idiots — the Wankerati, as I call them — who has done most to stoke this bonfire of insanity.
We are living in revolutionary times — not as bloody, yet, as the latter stages of the French Revolution, or as Stalin’s terror, but driven by the same destructive urge to make the world anew by rejecting all the logic, the hierarchy, the traditions, the commonsense that have gone before.
What invariably happens in these revolutions is that the Robespierres and the Zinovievs — the people who imagined that their revolutionary zeal would protect them — end up on the guillotine or before the execution squad just as surely as all the class enemies they’ve been persecuting.
Perhaps this will be a wake-up call to Linehan — and to SJW celebrities like Linehan.
But somehow I doubt it.