That GRA announcement!

The real story behind Liz Truss’ verbal sleight of hand

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Portrait of Marie Antoinette (c.1775) whose response to popular unrest was to proclaim “Let them eat cheese!”: public domain

Following the statement to the House of Commons on the GRA this week, a recording of an interesting conversation between Minister for Silky Locks, Liz Truss, and an unnamed adviser has come into our hands.

We have no way of telling if it is accurate. But there is a certain ring of authenticity to it.

You decide.

(Scene: an office in the heart of Westminster, it’s walls painted as grey, as cold, as the heart of the Minister that sits within them)

SPAD: Minister?

Truss: (peevish) Yes. What is it?

SPAD: Sorry: didn’t mean to disturb you. But I have the statement our dear leader wants you to read out in the House tomorrow.

Truss: Our dear leader? Boris?

SPAD: No, Minister. Cummings. You don’t imagine the PM could be arsed dealing with trans issues!

Truss: (laughs bitterly) I suppose not. So what am I announcing? Am I supposed to bend over backwards and give them everything they want?

SPAD: No. Quite the opposite. It is now officially a controversial issue.

Truss: OK

SPAD: So the less said about it the better.

Long story short: we’re not giving them anything. But we’re reducing the price on gender recognition certificates…

Still-Life with Fruit, Nuts and Cheese by Floris van Dyck (1613): public domain

Truss: …a sort of Asda-price budget deal, but with grc’s instead of cheese…?

SPAD: (winces) Yes, Minister. But…how can i put this? There is NO cheese.

Truss: And we leave them to get on with the rest of their lives in peace?

SPAD: That’s right.

Truss: And I must be nice to them?

SPAD: Afraid so, Minister. Dominic insists.

Truss: But I thought he hated trans people?

SPAD: Well, yes: he does. But then, he hates most people.

But he only cares about hating trans people when it is an election year.

Truss: Am I allowed to curl my lip in disgust as I make the announcement?

SPAD: A little. But would anyone notice the difference?

Truss: Good point.

SPAD: And you need to mention the shiny new GICs we are creating.

Truss: You mean the ones we announced last year?

SPAD: Yes.

Truss: The ones that only tackle 10% of the waiting list?

SPAD: Yes.

Truss: But what’s the point of that?

SPAD: None. But it plays well with the media.

Truss: Won’t they ask awkward, searching questions…?

(Pause. SPAD eyes their Minister sadly)

Oh, no. Of course they won’t.

SPAD: Look, Minister, if you REALLY want to stick it to the trans…

Truss: Oh, do I!

SPAD: How about re-iterating your commitment to the Equality Act and trans kids?

Truss: How does that help?

SPAD: Do you think a single trans person will believe you?

Truss: No.

SPAD: Or that they won’t read your remarks as subtle hint that you might be about to roll back their rights?

Truss: You have a point! I could even state my commitment to the EA and at the same time mention “reasonable exemptions”!

SPAD: There’s the spirit!

Truss: You know, I could actually get to like doing this.

SPAD: Good for you, Minister.

Truss: And I am going to curl my lip…

SPAD: I know you will…

Truss: Now where’s that statement…?

Feminist, writer, campaigner on political and sexual liberty who also knows a bit about IT, the law and policing. Not entirely serious…

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