Introducing Two Minute Reads

Today I’m launching a series of short, topical political videos setting out my views on a range of subjects, including Europe, the NHS, the railways, democracy, economic growth, and much more. The series is called Two Minute Reads You can already view some of my earlier videos on some of these subjects by going to the Two Minute Reads tab on the left.

I proudly invite you to view the series on here, my website, and YouTube. It has been created partly in response to Liam Fox’s One Minute Fox series that has been making headlines recently. My videos are a short and snappy look at topical issues that will engage the audience and prompt further conversation. They set out a radical and popular Green perspective in opposition to Mr Fox’s populist and right-wing point of view.

New episodes of the Two Minute Reads will be released regularly each Monday between now and the election. The videos will respond to topical issues, and issues related to Cambridge and the region. So to keep up to date with them, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or subscribe to my YouTube channel:
Twitter – @GreenRupertRead
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YouTube – Rupert Read

Murphy’s Law: How we can rein in the tax-dodgers and create a UK economy that works for the 99%

Todd Blaisdell, 99% over 1%
Todd Blaisdell, 99% over 1%

The UK’s leading economics blogger, Richard Murphy, will be speaking at a meeting in Cambridge, organised by the Cambridge Young Greens and the local Green Party this Wednesday evening, 11th February.

Richard Murphy, co-author of the Green New Deal, is expected to use his expertise to analyse the state of Britain’s economy and suggest ways to develop a sustainable and just future.

 

Murphy said:

The current political situation is unacceptable with mega-corporations avoiding tax at the same time as the tax burden is being placed disproportionately on those least able to afford it. I’m delighted to be talking to the Cambridge Greens and members of the general public about how we really can now change this sorry state of affairs.

Rupert Read, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, will be chairing the meeting. He said:

I am thrilled that Richard Murphy is able to come to Cambridge. So much of his work chimes with the Green Party’s thinking and its vision for a sustainable future in which we see greater investment in renewable energy and the creation of thousands of so-called green-collar jobs. He has worked closely with Caroline Lucas MP for years on devising laws to stop the tax cheats and to re-balance our economy in a green way, and I’m pleased to have got to know him over the last year. I think his talk will be an intellectual highlight not to be missed.

Murphy’s visit is part of a series of high profile visits to the constituency by prominent individuals to support the party’s campaign there.

Green party leader and deputy leader, Natalie Bennett and Shahrar Ali, Green London Assembly member Baroness Jenny Jones, LGBT rights advocate, Peter Tatchell, environmental campaigner, Jonathon Porritt, and professor of public health, Allyson Pollock, are all expected to visit the constituency in support of the Green Party campaign in Cambridge before the election on 7th May.

Cambridge has been identified as one of the Green Party’s target seats at the forthcoming election and saw the third largest Green vote share across Britain at the 2010 general election. The Greens scored 20% at the European elections in Cambridge with Rupert Read as their candidate. The membership of the Green Party has almost quadrupled in Cambridge since then.

A Clarification Of My Views on Trans Matters

As made clear here already, http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=6662#comment-1120793 , I do not believe, and have never believed, various unpleasant things that have been attributed to me.

First, and with regard to the tweet which started off this difficult chain of events, that tweet has been badly over-interpreted. I am not against the word “cis” – I employ it myself sometimes. And I certainly do not think it is OK, say, for cis-women to speak of themselves as “real women” or anything like that, because that would implicitly suggest, wrongly, that trans-women would not be. I understand that opinions on this terminological matter vary, however, and I am eliciting the advice of LGBT+ groups before making any further statements about this.

Secondly, I certainly and absolutely did not mean to make an offensive point about transitioning gender allegedly being a “choice.” I do not and never have believed that being a trans-woman is a “choice,” though I can see how some of my words failed to make that clear enough, and I apologise for that. What I was trying to get at was only the fact that some trans-people do have surgery or hormone treatment and others do not. What I am about to say has the potential to trigger unwanted thoughts and feelings, because of the painful fact that some trans-people are deprived of the choice of the surgery and treatment that they want – the final decision to have surgery etc. is a matter of choice (for those offered the option), just as any surgery requires the consent of the agent/patient. I did not mean to imply in any way that this is a decision made lightly, nor in any way try to downplay the discrimination and barriers faced by transgender people in our society. And that’s all that I meant by speaking about ‘choice’.

Thirdly, and closely connected to the second point, contrary to some reports, I do not and never have believed that being a trans-woman manifests an ‘opt-in’ idea of what it is to be a woman. My use in the philosophical article I wrote 2 years ago of that phrase – “opt-in” – was an unfortunate hostage to fortune, but in context it should be quite clear that it was intended only as a philosophical hypothetical. I never applied it to trans-women because I certainly do not believe it applies to trans-women, because, again, trans-women typically do not experience their gender-identity as a choice at all. I invented the phrase to discuss only a hypothetical philosophical position that I was arguing against. I apologise for the confusion this has resulted in and for the offence generated.

Fourthly, I do not and never have believed that trans-women are not real women, or are any less women. I regret any phrasing that may not have made this clear.

Unequivocally, I find all transphobia abhorrent. I absolutely do not see transgender women as “dangerous sex pests and predators”, as some people on Twitter have said or implied, though I can now understand why some of my previous comments misled some into thinking that I did.