Starbucks’ new charity associations leave a bitter taste in the mouth Douglas Murray Telegraph 08.02.20
The original article is here.
If you enjoy puddle-like coffee and pastries with the texture of rock-cakes then you are doubtless a fan of Starbucks, the horrible American coffee chain which sits on every high street in the world. Meaning you might be happy to learn that this week a fresh morsel was added to the counter of inedible products in the company’s stores across the UK. These are “mermaid” cookies. And as the faux-friendly writing on all the identikit chalkboards at all the depressing Starbucks stores inform customers, these are cookies with a purpose.
Starbucks have come up with this particular tooth-rotter in the name of something they present sweetly. Purchase a “mermaids cookie” and a full 50p will be given by Starbucks to the charity Mermaids. So sweet. So innocent. Or sickening. Depending what you know.
Personally I view Mermaids as one of the most sinister charitable organisations in the UK. Starbucks simply says that the group supports “young transgender and gender diverse people and their families”. The undrinkable coffee chain claims that all those 50 pences will pay to support a helpline for such people. In fact everything that Mermaids pushes is deeply controversial and with implications which need to be properly interrogated.
Let’s just start with that presumption – put on all those Starbucks boards: what are “gender diverse people”? Does anybody know? Can anybody justify or explain the phrase? I would offer a year’s supply of edible croissants from any of Starbucks’ competitors for anyone who can.
Then there is the lobbying that Mermaids puts out to persuade society at large that children who believe – or are encouraged to believe – that they are in the “wrong body” should be helped to change sex. Something which is presented by Mermaids as though it is not just a right but a doozy. Think you’d like to become a girl? Why not give it a go? Vice versa? No problem!
Whatever societal madness future historians work out encouraged this fiasco, the most striking aspect of it is that on this matter, as on so many others, the adults all appear to have left the room. People do not question the new orthodoxy. If someone says that certain children should be given puberty blockers so that they can transition into approximations of the opposite sex who are we to question it?
So it is fitting that this week the news emerged of a 13-year-old girl applying for a judicial review against Oxfordshire County Council. The cause is the council’s ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’ which Oxfordshire County Council has given to more than 300 schools in the area.
Its advice says – among other things – that girls like the girl known only as ‘Miss A’ should share changing rooms, lavatories and even residential dormitories on school trips with any boy who identifies as a girl. Campaigners against accommodation of such ‘self-identification’ say that this advice poses a serious risk to children.
It will be interesting to see in the months and indeed years ahead who wins stand-offs such as this one. The fact that multinationals like Starbucks can so easily jump on board with the agenda that Mermaids is pushing is just the latest demonstration of how fast this new orthodoxy is being accepted.
Meanwhile parents and others who object to this agenda are wrongly portrayed as backwards and bigoted: people who are trying either to make people murder trans people or make trans people kill themselves. Thus with the language of catastrophism is an actual catastrophe mainstreamed into society.
What studies there are show that around four fifths of children diagnosed with the highly dubious condition ‘gender dysphoria’ will grow up to be perfectly happy straight or gay men or women – happy in their own bodies.
For any sane society this would be just one sign that the claims of the trans extremists need far more investigation than they are currently getting. So how encouraging it is that a 13 year old schoolgirl should try to inject some sense into a debate which nearly all the adults in our society have fearfully, disgracefully ducked.