Here’s a question to ask candidates on the doorstep over the next few weeks when you get tired of discussing the protocol.

Published: 5 April 2022

“Can a woman have a penis?”

This is the answer the leader of the Labour PartyKeir Starmer, produced last week, when asked it by Nick Ferrari of LBC radio, who is notorious for calling a spade a spade. Or indeed, a penis a penis.

Bear in mind as you read it, that Starmer was such a successful barrister (specialising in human rights) that he became a Queen’s Counsel, was named QC of the Year in 2007, appointed Director of Public Prosecutions and then Head of the Crown Prosecution Service, and is a Knight Commander of the Bath since 2014.

He has been a Labour MP and Shadow Minister since 2015 and for two years has been Leader of the Opposition.

So he’s not without experience of asking difficult questions. Answering them, however, is another matter.

Not that this should have been a difficult question.

“Uh, Nick,” he said, “I’m not…uh…I…I don’t think we can conduct this debate with…you know…”

Ferrari asked, “…sorry, have I offended you?”

“No, no, no, it’s just…no, no, I just…”

“…A woman can have a penis?”

Poor Starmer completely lost his bottle. “I don’t think that…um…discussing this issue in this way helps anyone in the long run.”

Many women feel that new, fashionable, ill-thought out concepts threaten their right to safety in, for instance, hospital wards, women’s refuges and changing rooms among other places. Some men hate women, want to humiliate and hurt them.

There always have been and always will be, a few — and a very few is enough — male predators out there who will exploit any opportunity to get access to vulnerable women.

And now there is sport, where men have biological advantages and some are seizing the chance of becoming top competitors through self-identification and taking some hormones, and are supported by vast numbers of idiots who think it discriminatory to have women-only sports confined to…er, women.

Biology has become a dirty word since self-identification became all the rage.

In the Republic, without discussion or publicity, an act was passed in 2015 allowing anyone over 18 to apply to change their gender, with 16 and 17 year-olds qualifying as well if they had the agreement of a parent.

Northern Ireland is on its way: the SDLP was initially persuaded by trans campaigner to leave the words “woman, women, girl, girls, female, or feminine” out of a law on period poverty.

We have reached at terrifying speed circumstances in which a new fad has taken hold, adults are too scared to fight for sanity and common sense, and few obstacles are in the way of vulnerable children being encouraged to take hormones and puberty blockers and then proceed down the path of physical mutilation.

There has been rampant cowardice among senior academics, editors, publishers, actors, corporate bosses and many many more pillars of society who have caved in with nary a struggle to tyrannical, brainwashed young employees who insist that those challenging their newly acquired dogmas are transphobes, TERFs (transgender exclusionary radical feminists) or bigots who pose a threat to their mental health and must be silenced and cancelled.

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, is still being globally abused for questioning the obfuscation of reality by conflating gender with sex.

“People who menstruate,” she famously tweeted. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

She was too valuable a property for her publishers to fire despite demands from activists, but she was disowned by the young actors she made famous and gets death threats by the bucket load.

I completely agree with her, that “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased…It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

Maya Forester lost her job for opposing self-identification, was rejected by an employment tribunal, but stood her ground and won on appeal, when the judge said her “gender-critical beliefs” were covered by the Equalities Act as they “did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons”.

Graham Linehan, co-creator of the sublime Father Ted, has lost his home, his marriage and his career, over his insistence on defending women’s biological rights, and refuses to give up.

Activists hate Debbie Hayton, a trans woman who wrote recently, that “too many people have bought into the idea that magic is real and we really can change our sex. It’s caused all sorts of problems for society, and trans people in particular”.

I think the tide may be turning. A new movement launched last weekend in defence of women-only spaces is saying to politicians: “Respect my sex if you want my X”.

The heading of the article in which the Sunday on Mail columnist Dan Hodges transcribed Starmer’s babblings was headed: “Keir’s doomed if he listens to woke advisers over legions of women voters”.

Boris Johnson, who hates dogma but avoids confrontation, has dared to tell the Commons that “when it comes to distinguishing between a man and a woman, the basic facts of biology remain overwhelmingly important”.

All sane people should join the fray.

It could be a vote-winner.

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