Whatever happened to Happy Valley update
From Dave Boardman
Sunday, 14 January 2024
It is now just on a year since Viv and I returned from our travels to be told that our Labour Councillor was part of attempts to get a fundraiser for our daughter cancelled.
Our daughter had been hounded for her lesbian-feminist views by students who complained that in a one hour lecture on Women in Music she had not mentioned trans issues, instead asking them to discuss it in seminars. The small group of 'non-binary' students complained, searched her social media and found that she thought people with male bodies should not take part in women-only sports events – which had nothing to do with the lecture or her job. Yet they targeted her, threatened violence and hounded the lily-livered university management until she lost her job.
Women in the valley organised a fundraiser for legal costs for an industrial tribunal but the bullying continued and our Labour councillor was part of a move to talk a venue in Todmorden out of holding the private fund raising event. That same Labour councillor said on Facebook that "it wasn't a private party but someone grifting for funds". Grifting can be found in many dictionaries but always means swindling people out of money. For example the Merriam Webster dictionary: "to obtain (money or property) illicitly, as in a confidence game". A serious accusation for which she has refused to apologise.
She also said my daughter had been sacked for 'transphobia', a very questionable accusation – even though such questions are not allowed in 'no debate' Hebden Bridge these days. When I asked the councillor why she was doing this she reported me to the police for harassment, another frequently used tactic of the 'no debate' crew.
(Remember this is the town in which a woman was reported to the police for taking a photograph of a sticker on a poster, both of which expressed legally acceptable views.)
Initially the venue cancelled the private event, which she described as a 'cracking good outcome and said "didn't we just do a good collective intervention?". However, as no rules or laws had been broken, the event went ahead and raised funds towards my daughter's legal costs. The Labour Party in Hebden Bridge supported their councillor rather than the victims of a campaign of lies and harassment.
The employers settle
The employers tried to get the industrial tribunal put off until July 2024 – two years after her dismissal. This is a common tactic when employers know they are likely to lose, which they frequently do in cases against women for their thoughts on gender.
They eventually decided to settle and offered a year's wages. It was a moral victory for our daughter but left her severely out of pocket and without a job. It was an actual victory for those who are trying to destroy education by stopping discussion and debate and my daughter became one of many lesbians hounded out of their careers. She is highly unlikely to work in higher education again.
The employer had to issue a statement: "BIMM recognises that Ms Boardman holds legally protected beliefs in the immutability of sex. BIMM strives to ensure that all protected characteristics are respected in accordance with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010."
After voting Labour at every election since October 1974, my relationship with the Labour Party was over. Rumours and accusations were spread inside the party including suggestions that I am transphobic and even one suggesting I'd visited the councillor and contacted her employer. Lies, simply lies.
I have offered to talk to party officials and to councillors. They have shown no interest. We were so sickened by all this that we left Hebden Bridge. People have asked "did you leave because of that councillor?" to which the answer is "no". We left largely because of the support the Labour Party in Hebden Bridge gives to this and other abusive views expressed by a few of its members.
Another councillor defended her and when I asked to discuss the issues with him, he responded by saying he wouldn't "because the police have been involved". A Labour councillor didn't like being questioned and tried to involve the police then another Labour councillor used that as a reason to avoid discussion of her accusations. The Labour Party supports this behaviour so much they've made him their parliamentary candidate. If he gets elected don't expect answers to awkward questions.
Reporting people to the police is a serious matter. Many of you will know of Graham Linehan, creator of Father Ted. He has been cancelled, his livelihood taken away and the fact that someone reported his legally held views on gender to West Yorkshire police is used as a reason.
Neither me nor Viv nor our daughters would never consider voting Conservative and I've never understood why anyone would. I think that's obvious to anyone who has met any of us. I know it's obvious to Craig Whitaker our Tory MP who, ironically, is the only elected person who has publicly shown any support or sympathy for my family.
However, I can't vote Labour in this valley; I feel disenfranchised. I know I'm not alone in that. There are good people in the Labour Party, they just don't seem to be the influential ones.
I have been accused of harassment for attempting to find out why people harassed my daughter. I have even been told I have no 'legitimate' interest in my own daughter's issues. That is the level of arrogance we've had to face. I have been accused of transphobia, I think, because although the 'pride' movement claims to support lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans people, it is actually the questioning of trans issues and support for women's issues that gets the most backlash. We were trying to support a lesbian daughter who lost her job, something no one in the local 'pride' movement would do.
Misuse of social media
Misuse of social media is at the heart of the growing intolerance.
Misuse of social media is at the heart of the growing intolerance. In fact misuse of social media by someone telling people the private event was happening was believed by the councillor and others. With others she decided the private event was actually a public one. Typical of the misuse of social media. They didn't check reality and tried to get the event cancelled because it was for women only – totally legal in a private event. Women doing things themselves is 'transphobic' according to some.
Because some of this nonsense is generated online by a very small number of councillors, I asked Hebden Royd Town Council to review its social media policy. They did, well done that council and those councillors. The council's social media policy is now available here.
One line that jumped out at me is: "Town councillors must not bring the council into disrepute including through content posted in a personal capacity". If you feel that a councillor's use of social media is abusive and feel that it reflects badly on the council you can now contact the town clerk by writing to the council or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
But what about the actual issues? Both my daughter and myself have been accused of transphobia, even though there has been no criticism of actual trans people. Consequently, I feel entitled to let people know what my actual views are. I think people should be able to make up their own minds which is why I'm against stopping discussion, cancellation of people and unsupported insults. So, here goes, what do we mean by 'trans'? It is used in many ways, here are just a few:
Trans 1: People who go through surgery/hormone treatment. Happy to stand by you. I have no prejudice against anyone who is undergoing or has undergone surgical and hormone treatment to change their sex. I know many will say you can't change your sex but I am happy to use the pronouns her/she, him/her for those people.
My main interest is sport and I don't think anyone who has been through male puberty should compete in women's sports tournaments. I play football, badminton and occasionally cricket and have no problems with both male and females participating in games together. But then these are games for recreation, not medals or prize money. That makes a big difference and many women are cheated out of medals and prize money which goes to men.
When someone says, 'but aren't trans women, women' I have three responses. Firstly, anyone who has used terms like 'cis-women' and 'trans-women' has already identified a difference, so why shouldn't others do the same. Secondly, I know actual trans people who think transwomen should not compete in women's sports tournaments because of those differences; one I consider to be a friend. She knows better than me, but she'd be called transphobic in the current climate in Hebden Bridge. Another example of the madness.
Remember equality for all, and 'vive le difference': that's what diversity is all about. To those people who talk about diversity but fail to see the variety of people under the initials LGBT or fail to understand differences between people who have always been women and people who have recently become women, then please explain what 'diversity' means to you.
Trans 2: Self ID or 'Men in frocks'. I'll stand by your right to dress however you want; full clothing rights for all. I know men who like to wear traditional women's outfits, good luck to them. Most women I know wear trousers much of the time. However, apparently the majority of 'self ID transwomen' are still male bodied and many have no intention of changing that. They are men who identify as or with women. They are not women. I would happily stand next to them in the urinals in male toilets. I am a bloke and don't use female facilities and I don't agree that other men should feel entitled to just because they have a dress on and 'identify' as a woman on that particular day.
Who should be allowed into female facilities? Don't ask me, or any other man, it's not our space. I standby women's rights to define what is safe for themselves.
Trans 3: Those men who identify as women who think that have a right to use lesbian dating sites. I think they are missing the point of lesbianism. I can't see any difference between those men and the men of INCEL who are generally regarded as a low form of misogynist.
Trans 4: Men who commit sex assaults on women then use 'trans' as a reason to go to women's prisons. Not standing by you. I won't stand by anyone who supports rapists etc either.
You stand by who you like, but be grown up enough to ask yourself whether they deserve your support. Many do, many don't. That's diversity.
Education: There are those who say I don't know enough or say I'm wrong. I have asked people to talk to me. They have refused. I'm happy to be 'educated' because I strongly believe in education, having worked in it for over 40 years, so talk to me, but don't just throw unnecessary and unsupported insults about.
Dave has shared with the HebWeb evidence to back up claims made in this post - Ed
Tuesday, 16 January 2024
Yes whatever happened to it?
Very good articulate post and spot on.
There is nothing transphobic about you (or any other posts)
Also the recent Rachel Meade judgement is very clear, to have gender critical views is not transphobic and you cannot harass people from one side of the debate
The concluding paragraph of the judgement in full. It should be read by every employer contemplating disciplining an employee for expressing their protected gender critical views:
"We consider it wholly inappropriate that an individual such as the Claimant espousing one side of the debate should be labelled discriminatory, transphobic and to pose a potential risk to vulnerable service users. That in effect equates her views as being equivalent to an employee/ social worker espousing racially discriminatory or homophobic views. The opinions expressed by the Claimant could not sensibly be viewed as being transphobic when properly considered in their full context from an objective perspective, but rather her expressing an opinion contrary to the interpretation of legislation, or perhaps more accurately the amendment to existing legislation, advocated for by trans lobbying groups to include, but not limited to, Stonewall."
From Jez Watson
Sunday, 21 January 2024
100% in agreement with you in your views expressed. Personally have experienced around Hebden Bridge this cancel culture from social Media forums where you are banned for expressing/ holding views that are not in agreement with the administrators of those forums.
HebWeb News: Whatever happened to Happy Valley - the article from April 2023 by Dave Boardman which caused extensive discussion and controversy.
HebWeb Forum: Whatever happened to Happy Valley (April 2023)
HebWeb Forum: Redacted on Hebweb (April-May 2023)
HebWeb Forum: Pride artwork at Town Hall (July-August 2023)
HebWeb Forum: Calderdale Libraries Hides Feminist Books
Real Voices of Happy Valley podcast hosted by Dave and Viv Boardman