TFL gender neutral rules are an assault on traditional values, says JAMES DELINGPOLE TFL gender neutral rules are an assault on traditional values, says JAMES DELINGPOLE LADIES and Gentlemen… was there ever a phrase more redolent of the qualities that make us such a civilised nation? By James Delingpole PUBLISHED: PUBLISHED: 00:01, Sat, Jul 15, 2017
It’s good-mannered, it’s old fashioned and it’s generous in spirit. Of course not many of us really qualify to be called a “lady” or a “gentleman” any more – at least not in the sense that we are rich, leisured, landowning folk.
But the phrase charmingly conspires to pretend that no matter how lowly we are we’re all deserving of the same respect.
Often it’s a phrase that precedes one of those formal events we do so well: the Loyal Toast, school speech day, weddings. Related articles ‘PC gone mad!’ LBC caller RAGES at TfL over gender-neutral greetings Transgender people are a tiny minority
And it’s also used in the context of safety announcements whether on aeroplanes, at train stations or on the London Underground.
Or rather it was: London Underground has decreed that from henceforward it will no longer be addressing its passengers as “ladies and gentlemen” on the tannoy.
Why? Because apparently it might be offensive to those customers who don’t identify as either a man or a woman and so prefer not to be called anything so gender-specific. GETTY Tube announcements have changed from ‘ladies and gentlemen’ to ‘hello everyone’
“We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great diversity of London,” explains Mark Evers, director of customer strategy at Transport for London.
TfL, in turn, appears to have been steamrollered into making this decision under pressure from a combination of professional victims, single issue campaign groups and London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Naturally the uber right-on Khan is cocka-hoop about this triumph over the forces of outmoded thinking.
As too are Stonewall and the hitherto little-known Gender Identity Research and Education Society, which claims that terms, such as “sir” and “madam”“belong to yesterday”. London Underground in the 70s/80s Sun, February 5, 2017 1 of 11 London Underground in the 1970s/80s
To those of us of a certain vintage this is the kind of politically correct lunacy which makes us increasingly feel like strangers in own country. But to many younger people it will make perfect sense.
Brainwashed by Left-wing schoolteachers and right-on fellow students at uni, as well as institutions such as the BBC, they actually believe that gender is an outmoded and offensive concept and that there are not just two sexes – male and female – but a whole range of “non-binary identities”.
In the old days this would have been the kind of faddish nonsense that the grown-up majority could ignore. Young people have always liked to signal their difference and rebelliousness by adopting silly haircuts (the quiff; the Mohican) or outrageous costumes (punk, goth, new romantic). But we all knew this was a phase they’d grow out of and felt no need to pander to their whims and tantrums.
This isn’t – let me stress – to make light of that tiny minority of people who feel they were genuinely born into the wrong body. But I do think we ought to recognise that they are just that: a tiny minority.
And yes, like all tiny minorities they deserve to be treated with the respect and sensitivity which a civilised society affords people of difference. Where I’d definitely draw the line, though, is in allowing their cause to be hijacked by Leftwing lobby groups and angry students who see “gender” as the front line of the culture wars and are out to bully and inconvenience the rest of us.
One transgender Daily Express reader even contacted this newspaper yesterday to complain about just this problem, saying that overhyped complaints about harmless phrases make things harder for most trans people who have no interest in pointless protests and just want to get on with their lives. Infuriatingly, in the case of TfL’s ludicrous “ladies and gentlemen” ban, it is the grievance lobby which has won.
It reminds me of those incidents at school where one child does something stupid and, with horrible injustice, the whole class is punished by the teacher. GETTY GETTY Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed the TFL announcement change
Most of us – more than 99.99 per cent of us I’d bet – aren’t remotely bothered by a “ladies and gentlemen” announcement. In fact we rather like its old-fashioned courtesy. But now, without so much as a by-your-leave, it has been peremptorily snatched away from us because some whiny, professional grievance-monger wants to play the victim card and got some lobby group to campaign on his/her/its behalf.
This isn’t a one-off incident, it’s all part of a concerted assault which has been waged for years by the Left on society’s traditions and values with the ultimate aim of destabilising Western civilisation.
This fad for redefining gender is especially pernicious because it undermines one of the most basic observational realities of human existence: that there are two sexes, male and female, each with distinct and recognisable characteristics. Reject that simple truth and pretty much anything is possible. GETTY This fad for redefining gender is pernicious
You can redefine white as black, black as white and remake the world according to whatever bizarre system takes your fancy.
So when TfL and Sadiq Khan play politically correct games like this they’re not really being thoughtful, sensitive and modern: they’re declaring war on the values the vast majority of us hold dear.
Our job, if we’re serious about defending our civilisation, is not to let them get away with it. Related articles