WE haven’t been told what was on the menu at the “informal dinner” between Rishi Sunak and Nicola Sturgeon in Inverness this week.
But if the Prime Minister wants to show he is the leader Britain needs, then I hope he left the Scottish First Minister in no doubt that her new self-identification law would be joining their scraps in the bin.
So far, Sunak has only expressed “concern” about her plan to remove the need for a medical diagnosis to get a gender recognition certificate.
Under the bill, passed by Holyrood in December, applicants would simply have to live in their new gender for three months.
It would also reduce the minimum age to 16, although the process would take longer for under-18s.
But it still needs the Royal Assent to become law, and Mr Sunak’s Government has until next week to decide whether to allow that to happen.
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If the Whitehall lawyers currently examining the bill decide it undermines existing UK law protecting women’s rights, then surely the only option is to veto it.
The problem is the bill is so ambiguous that in trying to solve one problem — the very important issue of making trans women feel comfortable — it is at the same time creating another, which is to leave other women feeling they are potentially at risk.
Women are worried. Worried about using public changing rooms, public toilets, locker rooms and gym changing rooms because of fears some evil men may try to exploit this bill as an opportunity to prey on women.
I have no doubt that all most trans women want is to embrace their chosen gender and be left alone to live their lives.
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But this law raises real concerns in spaces such as prisons, where women prisoners have been assaulted in all-female spaces.
It was with this in mind that JK Rowling felt it necessary to set up and fund a new women-only service for victims of sexual violence in Edinburgh.
It sometimes feels as if women and their rights are being airbrushed out of existence.
We don’t get a look in
You only have to look at the Brit Awards to see the way it’s going.
Last year, as she picked up her gender-neutral Artist of the Year gong, Adele said: “I understand why the name of this award has changed but I really love being a woman and being a female artist.”
There were a few raised eyebrows, but guess what? In a positively you-couldn’t-make-it-up turn of events, this year, only male stars made the nominees for Artist of the Year.
Now we can see exactly what’s meant by “irrespective of gender”. It’s an old school boys’ club.
If there isn’t a category for women, we don’t get a look in.
The dangers are clear.
Legal expert Lord Keen, former Advocate General for Scotland, has said there were “real and widespread” concerns about this new law’s impact on the UK’s Equality Act, and it would be constitutionally improper to allow it.
Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to change the law to allow trans people to self-declare their gender across the UK. But thankfully he is not yet in power.
Rishi Sunak should block this law in Scotland.
And if he does, I suspect he will have in his corner those people who have the most to lose — the women who Ms Sturgeon has failed.
Another moany Harry
IN my household, if you moan about anything meaningless in a “woe is me” tone, we call it “Doing a Harold” after the world’s No1 moaner – Prince Harry.
And the winner of the Doing a Harold award this week goes to another Harry – Harry Spartacus May.
The 21-year-old admitted throwing an egg at the King in December when he was doing a walkabout to meet the public in Luton.
This poor Harry complained that he was “very stressed and traumatised” that he had to spend time in a police station after he was nicked.
It’s a police station, Harry. Not a five-star hotel.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and has been fined £100 and ordered to pay £85 in costs.
The moral of the story? Don’t throw eggs if you don’t want them to end up on your face.
Glittering Jennifer shines above the rest
At 61, Jennifer, who picked up a Best Supporting Actress award for her performance as billionaire heiress Tanya in the deliciously dark comedy, looked a million fabulous dollars dressed in glitter, feathers and crystal-embellished heels.
I love the fact that she clearly embraces life and all it has to offer.
And she clearly has a sense of humour as well.
When asked about her dream role after winning her Globe, she said she’d love to play a dolphin.
White Lotus is one of the best things on TV and she was the best thing in it. Bravo.
Shot a waste, Dave
CONGRATULATIONS to “Dustbin” Dave Clark, who has scooped an award – for collecting photographs of bins.
The handyman, from Norfolk, has amassed more than 10,000 bin snaps in the past four years, many of those sent in by fellow enthusiasts around the world.
He recalled: “I was fascinated going down the tip and watching the bin men collecting.
“Then one day I saw a bin designed like a Fab lolly. That blew me away.”
He claims that his wife accepts his “wacky” hobby. He’s clearly a lucky man and I doubt many others would be as tolerant.
Most women would have him out with the trash.
Ryan’s blue indeed
After being refused more alcohol on the plane and told to return to his seat, Ryan made comments about a flight attendant’s looks, calling her a “chocolate cookie” before grabbing her wrists and saying that he needed to kiss her.
On Thursday he was found guilty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court of being drunk on an aircraft, assaulting a police officer by biting him and racially aggravated common assault by behaving in an abusive way towards the cabin crew member.
Ryan denied the charge and said his behaviour was “playful” – which is frankly sickening.
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A police interview that was read to the court quoted Ryan as saying: “I wish I could ring her up and apologise and offer her some Blue tickets for the next tour.”
After his behaviour he’ll be lucky if anyone wants to see him on stage ever again.
OF all the unnecessary details in Prince Harry’s long-awaited and often toe-curling memoir Spare, perhaps the most cringeworthy is his account of applying Elizabeth Arden cream to his frostbitten penis in 2011.
The same product had been used by his late mother, Princess Diana, and he says the smell of it made him feel like she “was right there in the room” before he applied the cream to his, er, “todger”.
I am sorry to say that my review-in-brief is that the book should have been called Do Spare Us.