Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

We’re on Maya’s Side Here

We’re on Maya Forstater’s side here for two different reasons.

A tax expert who lost her job for tweeting that transgender women are not women yesterday took her case to an employment tribunal arguing that her dismissal amounted to discrimination against her beliefs.

Maya Forstater, 45, lost her job from the Centre for Global Development (CGD) in March this year after she was accused of publishing offensive tweets questioning government proposals to allow people to self-identify as the opposite sex.

The unprecedented legal dispute will act as an important test case in the UK on whether having ‘gender critical’ beliefs – the view that one’s sex is a biological fact which cannot be changed – is a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010.

Neither reason is that we support, or don’t support, her actual belief. As it happens we largely do but that’s not the point at issue at all for us. For we would support her if her actual contention was entirely the opposite.

The first reason is that, while Ms. Forstater is wildly to our left in near all matters she is one of the good people. Anyone who dishes Alex Cobham good and proper is obviously one of those.

The second reason is, well, we’re actually in favour of discrimination around here. But we also insist that discrimination only happen when it is sensible, rational. A greater monitoring of West African derived populations for sickle cell anaemia is sensible as it is also discrimination. Cervical cancer checks for women like Carrie Bradshaw is not sensible and is also discriminatory.

Our fundamental belief is that anyone should be allowed to employ anyone they like – or not employ them – for any reason they like. As long as all are consenting adults that’s that. That isn’t, though, the world we live in. We have all sorts of laws about who may discriminate on what grounds. And when we do so we therefore support the idea that disagreeing with current fashionable nonsenses isn’t a firing offence.

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