Columnist mocks blind transgender people again, after watchdog complaint

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A columnist who was rebuked by the press watchdog for mocking a blind transgender politician, has again joked about blind transgender people.

Rod Liddle had a complaint upheld against him by the IPSO earlier this year after he joked about Labour’s first transgender parliamentary candidate, Emily Brothers, questioning how a blind person could be transgender.

Despite the IPSO complaint, Liddle has penned another Spectator article this week mocking the idea of “a transgendered guide dog”.

The article was mainly a reaction to the Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain, linking her victory to the topic of “unlimited immigration”.

However, elsewhere in the article Liddle again jokes about blind trans people – joking that all that was missing from The Great British Bake Off “was a blind amputee, beating up his batter with a specially adapted hand whisk, transgendered guide dog wagging its tail close by”.

Elsewhere in the article Liddle appears to call for the end of humanity because of trans people, saying: “There was an interesting news item on the television the other day.

“A transgendered chap was hoping to become the world’s first dual-purpose father and mother to a baby. He had frozen his semen before the surgeons came along with their secateurs and staple gun.

“I turned to my wife and said: ‘One day the chill wind of Odin will blow down from the icy north and cleanse our nation of all purulence and disease’.”

Speaking to PinkNews, Ms Brothers spoke out at the columnist’s latest jibe – having already previously had a complaint upheld against him.

She said: “I’ve not come across the ridiculous notion of a ‘transgendered guide dog’ before Mr Liddle’s preposterous piece; not even the colloquial ‘blind dog’ to which some mistakenly refer.

“I suspect this ‘transgendered guide dog’ hasn’t simply been neutered, but has gone through a transition because how it feels. I can only hope the ‘dogmatic’ columnist might just understand this, having a better rapport with dogs than people.

“I’ve been thinking about getting another guide dog. That involves matching the owner with traits of the dog.

“I hadn’t thought of asking for a ‘transgendered guide dog’ no more than a ‘blind dog’ or one that had triple heart bypass surgery, as I had earlier this year. I’m not sure it would get me very far, not even to the right.”

She added: “Matching Mr Liddle for a guide dog would be a challenge. In fact, it would probably come within the definition of the Dangerous Dogs Act – ‘out of control’.

“That’s why we need effective press regulation, so we see good behaviour rather than nastiness.

“In dealing with the deed, if not the breed, newspapers need to stop promoting intolerance. Surely freedom of speech is better than that?”