Programming note: Tonight, Monday, I'll be joining Tucker Carlson live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific â€“ with a rerun at 12 midnight Eastern. I hope you'll dial us up.
~One of the occupational hazards of this line of work is that at a certain point you've seen it all before. For example, not many people outside the United Kingdom retain any memory of Gordon Brown, Tony Blair's woeful and short-lived successor as prime minister. Mr Brown led the Labour Party to defeat in the 2010 election. Here's what I had to say about it at the time:
The official "defining moment" of the campaign was Gordon Brown's unguarded post-photo-op dismissal of Gillian Duffy as a "bigoted woman." Mrs. Duffy, a plain-spoken working-class granny and lifelong Labour voter, had made the mistake of asking Mr. Brown, her party leader, a very mild question about immigrants from eastern Europe. He got back in his car and wrote her off, forgetting he was still miked. So she's a "bigot." He's not. That's why he makes all the decisions for her, and she just makes the best of them. What part of that don't you understand?
Now we have another of the Queen's first ministers writing off the citizenry - everyone's favorite Bollywood bridesmaid and friend to illegal immigrants partout, Justin Trudeau:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a woman who heckled him about illegal immigrants at a recent rally in Quebec that her "racism has no place" in Canada. The exchange was caught on video, and is now making the rounds online.
"I want to know when you are going to refund the $146 million we paid for your illegal immigrants," shouted a woman in French at the prime minister at an event in Sabrevois, Quebec on Thursday.
"Ok, Madame," Trudeau responded. "This intolerance towards immigrants has no room in Canada."
In fairness to Gordon Brown, he waited till he was back in the car with his minders to dismiss Mrs Duffy as a "bigoted woman". Eight years on, M Trudeau is telling citizens to their face in public that there is "no place" in their country for people with their views. He doesn't actually get to decide that: Ever since the creation of Canadian citizenship on January 1st 1947, someone born in Canada is a Canadian, and there's nothing the Prime Minister can do about it. He can choose which polygamists and clitoridectomy-practitioners and vehicular-homicide aficionados he wishes to import, but he has no choice about those who are Canadian by birth.
The lady was manhandled away, with borderline Harvey Weinstein finesse, by the Bollywood bridesmaid's heavy-handed security guards. She lives in Saint-Anne-de-Sabrevois, a small Quebec town I have known very well almost my entire life. It sits just a few miles north of the Vermont border, and therefore, unlike M Trudeau secure in his official residences at Sussex Drive and Harrington Lake, this woman sees the consequences of his pitiful virtue-signaling.
The western world's leaders - Trudeau, Merkel, Pelosi - are bored by their own people. And they're making it ever plainer that the replacements they have in mind are not just newer and different but better. We spent much of last week discussing the ongoing war on statuary. But, as Trudeau's remarks make plain, ultimately it's not about removing statues, it's about removing you.
~Three years ago, during the unveiling of Caitlyn, I noted a big change in how what we used to call transsexualism has been viewed:
Back then the object of having a "sex change" (also as we used to say) was to change from being a man to being a woman. There were still only two teams and you were simply crossing over to bat for the other side. The trans-life had little in common with "gay pride" - because the object wasn't to come out of the closet, but to blend into it so smoothly no one would know you hadn't always been there.
The creation of a distinct public third "gender" is a revolutionary act - which is why I headlined my column "The Birth of the New", and said it's no longer "about the right to choose which of the two old teams you want to play on":
It's about creating a cool new team. The "T" was always the relatively sleepy end of LGBT, and didn't ostensibly have much in common with the other three-quarters of the acronym. The company it keeps only makes sense if the object of transitioning is not to "pass" but to create a new assertive identity group in and of itself...
We are being invited to admire her not as a woman but as a transwoman - and to accept, as perforce the creator of the now passĂ© Vagina Monologues has been forced to do, that there is such a thing as a woman with a penis.
That was in 2015. Three years on here's the lead headline at The Spectator in London:
Is it a crime to say 'women don't have penises'?
Remember the way old-school feminists used to go on about how this and that was "phallocentric"? Some of them are a bit shocked to find that somehow the wily old phallus outmaneuvered them and that women themselves can now be literally phallocentric. So a UK feminist group called "Liverpool ReSisters" has begun distributing stickers insisting that "Women don't have penises".
This is Britain under a so-called Conservative prime minister. Whether or not Theresa May is one of the increasing number of women with penises, she certainly doesn't have any cojones, at least where Brexit is concerned or Boris's burqa jokes. So the reaction of the state to this provocation has been swift and merciless. Merseyside Police have announced that they're investigating, and the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has declared that he will "identify those responsible".
As I always say: Oh, you can laugh, but none of the people who matter in our society are laughing - like the police and the politicians and the judges and the "educators"... So in nothing flat we are on our way not merely to the abolition of the sexes but to a world in which it is no longer permissible even to suggest that someone hung like a horse is not a woman. As Justin would say, such views "have no place in our country".
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, including a belated posting of my exchange with Tucker re the Creepy Porn Lawyer's run for president. Click below to watch:
We also enjoyed a pre-Steyn Cruise reprise of me and Michele Bachmann. Our Saturday movie date marked the ninetieth birthday of director Nicolas Roeg (and my own small connection to his oeuvre), and our Song of the Week celebrated Aretha Franklin, songwriter. If you were too busy packing your steamer trunks this weekend, we hope you'll want to check out one or two of the foregoing as a new week begins.
Speaking of that inaugural Steyn cruise from Montreal to Boston, we hope you'll want to join me and not only Mrs Bachmann but also John O'Sullivan, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, and special musical guest Tal Bachman, as we attempt some seaboard versions of The Mark Steyn Show, Tales for Our Time, our Sunday Poem and other favorite features. If you're thinking of joining us, don't leave it too late, as the price is more favorable the earlier you book.
Thank you so much for all the Steyn Club subscription renewals over these past few weeks. As our second year cranks into top gear, I know very well that I would not have survived the last hellish eighteen months without the support of our members around the world. For more information on the Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our limited-time Gift Membership.
Catch you on the telly tonight with Tucker live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific.