Feminists vs Gender activists – a story of police bias: Part 1
This is the transcripts of the first of a 4-part series of videos I have made and uploaded to YouTube. The first one can be viewed here.
Hi everyone, I am Maria MacLachlan and this is the video that I have been procrastinating over for quite a long time. Actually, it’s the first in a series of videos because there is quite a bit I want to say. In them, I will explain why and what happened when I reported a trans-identifying bully to the police. In the first one, I’ll talk about the background to my decision.
I hope to go public with these videos all on the same day and be done with them. It’s not a subject I relish talking about. Again I am posting the transcripts of these videos on my blog. The reason I do this with certain videos is that I know that, in spite of my lovely mellifluous speaking voice and my glowing youthful and very feminine looks, some people will never watch a video of mine and some people won’t watch a video at all – unless it’s anime or something. But some of those people will at least skim through a written piece and I want to get what I say in these videos shared as widely as possible because of what I have to say about the police.
This account is one I’ve always known I was going to give. By ‘always’ I mean since last December and I’ve kept finding reasons not to do it.
When a Scottish feminist called Marion Millar was arrested and charged in Scotland earlier this year that gave me another reason to wait and see what happened in her case so I could include something about it in this video.
Marion’s case initially involved a handful of tweets she posted that offended a couple of people I’d never heard of. I’m told one is a male actor and another one – a woman – is an SNP councillor. Those tweets of Marion’s didn’t even break Twitter rules and it’s really not hard to break Twitter rules if you take a pro-feminist position.
You don’t have to do very much to get banned from Twitter if you are a feminist and Marion’s tweets didn’t even meet that very low bar.
When I was in Glasgow with Marion I saw all but one of the tweets that were complained about to the police. Marion showed them to me on her phone – all but the one she’d deleted were still there on Twitter and they were nothing! By Twitter standards, they were less than nothing. One of them showed a picture of suffragette ribbons! The one she’d deleted – if I remember rightly – referred to a notorious litigious transgender activist so I can’t blame her for deleting it.
It beggars belief that the police took this complaint seriously and how they treated Marion. That’s the way to keep public confidence in you! Ask a respectable professional woman if she wanted to hang someone with ribbons because he’s gay. Seriously, that is what Marion was asked at her police interview. For crying out loud!
And it is bizarre that the Procurator Fiscal didn’t throw the damn case out at first glance. This was a trivial and vexatious case that should never have been brought and the real victim here, who has been unjustly punished just by the process even before going to trial, is Marion.
And of course, it never went to trial, the case has been discontinued, which is what I expected from the outset. But why the hell did it take so long?
The nasty man who complained about Marion’s tweets has since done the same to a woman in Northern Ireland and again it looks like he’s picked the wrong woman to mess with. Her name is Ceri Black. If you haven’t already done so, do read the transcript of a speech she made just after police had contacted her, which is posted on Graham Linehan’s substack.
Ceri’s response to being invited by the police to attend a voluntary interview under caution at the police station was:
The police did tell Ceri’s solicitor that, in fact, they weren’t going to arrest but they were sending the complaint straight to the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland. I am recording this on 5th December. A few days ago, she tweeted that the police had knocked on her door in the morning to read her her rights and tell her they are going to report the matter to the Prosecution Service, which Ceri thought they had already done anyway. As she says, the process is the punishment. It seems that all police officers in Northern Ireland are armed. Later in the day of Ceri’s tweet, her wife tweeted that she was still upset that her 9-year-old had been the one to open the door and find a police officer on her doorstep. Why the hell did they send an officer without warning to their doorstep? Disgraceful!
According to Ceri, she tweets about safeguarding children, lesbian love, the erosion of boundaries due to queer theory, women deserving their own sports, etc. When she faced a wall of death threats, rape threats, threats of sectarian violence, violent pornographic photographs and videos, homophobic abuse and calls to go back to where she came from – Ceri is English – on her Twitter account, she reported them to the Police Service of Northern Ireland and they took no action.
Now to the episode that is most relevant to my case and was dealt with by the English police. Kate Scottow made headlines after she was visited at her home by police on 1 December 2018 and arrested in front of her two children. Her crime, according to the newspapers, was referring to a man as a man – calling him “he”. But because he claims to be a woman, this was described as “misgendering”.
I did not believe this story initially. I actually thought she must have done something quite serious because the police considered it necessary to send three officers to arrest her. They seized her phone and laptop and held her in a cell for seven hours before questioning her. When she eventually was interviewed by the police, she was asked about seven messages posted on social media. Seven! Six of them were tweets, which she admitted to posting – the seventh was on an internet forum, which she denied.
The six tweets were directed at a man who holds a Gender Recognition Certificate, the same notoriously litigious trans activist as Marion Millar had directed one tweet to.
And Kate was eventually charged under s.127 subsection 2 of the Communications Act, 2003, which legislates against causing annoyance and needless anxiety to someone by means of electronic communication.
The only tweet that could reasonably be called abusive called the complainant “a crook using the trans façade to ensure they aren’t caught. A pig in a wig”. Another one called him “a very sick individual” and Kate had also called him a racist more than once because he had tweeted to someone, “You know not so long ago people like you had no civil rights!”. The other thing he objected to, of course, was her not using his preferred pronoun. In court he said – or rather yelled – that it was “harassment” and “violated his dignity as a woman”.
So, after she was arrested, the complainant got an interim injunction prohibiting Kate from publicly posting anything else about him and more specifically “misgendering” him. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop her. By the time the case reached court the number of tweets involved had increased to a grand total of 16. If I recall correctly, the complainant said about nine of them didn’t even offend him but they were in breach of the injunction.
In February of last year, 2020, I attended her two-day trial at St Albans Magistrates’ Court and I returned a week later to hear the verdict. She was found guilty. I subsequently made a video sharing my thoughts. In a nutshell, I was disgusted but not particularly surprised at the verdict as I had long since come to the conclusion that, when it comes to conflicts between trans activists and women’s rights activists, the police and criminal justice system in England and Wales are not on our side.
I wasn’t sure back then about Scotland or Northern Ireland but I am now.
Months later, I discovered that I had been quoted in the Sun newspaper after the verdict saying:
Now, I have no recollection of speaking to any British journalists but that’s probably an age thing. In any event, I absolutely stand by that comment. Insults do not concern me – I reserve the right to insult anyone I think deserves it and I defend other people’s right to insult me, however much I might dislike it. I’m pretty much immune to it by now anyway. Imagine if everybody who insulted anyone on social media got prosecuted! Well, it just couldn’t happen – the resources aren’t there. So the police are very selective and, if I may say so, very biased in deciding which cases they will proceed with.
And yet – as I discovered later – the individual I reported to the police called me a hypocrite for what I said to that Sun journalist and I assume that this is because he is unable to distinguish between an insult and a lie – by which I mean telling deliberate falsehoods about someone knowing either that it definitely isn’t true or that there is no evidence to support it. That, as an allegation, it wouldn’t stand up in court.
Lies, especially when they are told with the intention of stirring up hatred against someone – which is what this person did otherwise why do it? – they do concern me.
Having been persistently lied about by countless nutters since 13 September 2017, which is the day I was assaulted by three young men in Hyde Park, I had already received quite detailed – and free – legal advice and I knew I had a case for a civil action against a number of individuals. However, in order to take out a libel suit, you have to be prepared to risk a hell of a lot of money and while, if you win, you would supposedly recover your costs and then some, what if the people you sue don’t have two pennies to rub together? What if they lose the roof over their heads? And what if they have children? I was never interested in getting money from these people – I just wanted the abuse to stop. Telling vicious nasty lies about people is abuse and those who lie about me are abusers.
The other thing you have to be prepared for if you do decide to sue is a hell of a lot of stress and ultimately it felt that, if I successfully sued any of them, it could be a bit of a hollow victory in that it could be twisted and used against me because that is the kind of thing they do. JK Rowling – with every justification – gets a couple of lawyers’ letters sent out to people or newspapers making false and disgusting allegations about her and she’s painted as the villain because she has the funds to do that.
This despicable individual is an infamous Twitter bully who has posted countless nasty, vicious tweets mostly about women – including a few about me – over several years now. He has just faced a Medical Practitioners’ tribunal, which found his fitness to practise impaired and suspended him for a month, which I admit is more than I expected. In fact, having seen the stuff that he and his mate posted about one of his victims – a woman called Caroline Farrow – I don’t think he should ever work as a doctor again. That’s my opinion. I’m deliberately being careful what I say about people because I do expect this series of videos to be targeted by the bullies.
Now, as I understand it, Caroline did seek help from the police several times and they failed her.
Anyway, this doctor previously had to apologise for comparing JK Rowling to a very famous man who notoriously took advantage of his celebrity status and reputation for charity work to sexually abuse countless children of both sexes and many young women, some of whom were extremely vulnerable.
This other despicable individual – Morgane Oger, a Canadian trans activist who campaigned for the defunding of Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter – describes JKR as a bully for threatening to sue for this most disgusting smear imaginable. These are the kind of people we are dealing with in this war.
I have no doubt that all I’d need to do to silence the bullies who target me is get lawyers to write letters – they’re not going to try to defend the indefensible in court. But lawyers’ letters don’t come cheap and I don’t see why I or anyone else should have to fork out to stop people lying about me. But I never say never.
And if a feminist like Kate Scottow was going to be treated like a dangerous criminal for such a small number of tweets – “unkind” and “annoying” as they may have been – why wouldn’t an ongoing hate campaign against a feminist at least be given due consideration? As I told Venice Allan on camera at a protest outside the court after the Scottow verdict had been delivered, I would certainly be talking to the police about some of the harassment I had been putting up with over the previous two and a half years. It would be an opportunity to expose the police for what was clearly a failure to provide a consistent service for those of us who are victims of bullying and harassment.
OK, that’s the end of part 1. In part 2 (posted here) I will explain why I selected that particular individual to report and I’ll show some of the abuse he metes out. Bye for now.
To receive email notifications of future blogs at Peakers Corner, please subscribe. See top of right-hand column.
I am permanently banned from Twitter so please also follow and share announcements by the @trans_peak Twitter account (run by my husband).
“Is this the Scotland you want for your children?”
Last night police were called to the Doctors bar in Edinburgh. Five officers turned up and ejected a group of about a dozen women who’d been quietly sitting eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company.
Apparently one of the women had been wearing a T-shirt proclaiming that “women won’t wheesht”, which naturally offended the woman-hating member of the bar staff, who is a self-confessed porn-addicted autogynephile.
You may be getting a sense of déjà vu here. It isn’t the first time people have been offended by T-shirts bearing anodyne slogans worn by women who have been victimised as a result. First, there was Rebecca Wershbale then the National Theatre debacle. In the latter, the group who were discriminated against initiated legal action. One member of the group eventually posted that the action was discontinued after “constructive conversations” with the theatre.
But that was in England.
Scotland is a place where a woman can be arrested and charged for tweets that are so innocuous they don’t even break Twitter’s draconian anti-women rules under which countless women – including me and some of our male allies – have been permanently banned, while the accounts of hateful, abusive bullies are allowed to remain. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the woman in question – Marion Millar – and many others who had gathered in Glasgow to support her on the day her plea hearing was supposed to take place, having already been rescheduled from a month earlier. A few days before the rescheduled date, the hearing was postponed again but those of us who decided to go anyway had a wonderful day. Continue reading