​‘Complains of nil’.  Would that be a fitting epitaph?  Pause for laughter …  A genuine comment pertaining to me but on a medical level: the dentist was updating my ‘file’ and reporting back to the nurse.  Rest assured, it did make me laugh and I told her that I would note it in my Quote Book for posterity.  That I have done.
Perhaps I should address the obvious humour in the suggestion that I complain of nothing.  I am the first to hold my hand up and admit that the choice of words could do with a little tweaking but, in my defence, there is a hell of a lot to bemoan about life, in general, in 2017 and it is all up for debate.  Never one to shy away from an opinion, I do consider my sense of humour a great strength and the ability to laugh at oneself can never be under-valued.  Believe me, I cannot help but chuckle as I go through my array of multi-coloured post-it notes from the last couple of weeks, each with a scribbled reminder of an ever more ludicrous topic.
‘This Morning’ has a lot to answer for in this particular window of time and, once again, the jury is out on my opinion of Phillip and Holly.  Suffice to say, when at home, I tend to have the television on in the kitchen of a morning moving from the topical debate of ‘The Wright Stuff’ to the aforementioned and on this particular day, 11th September, I heard the word ‘transgender’ as Phillip and Holly were interviewing a couple who have removed their two children from a primary school which has refused to address their concerns as a second little boy – aged 6, I believe – chooses to wear a dress and adopt a girl’s name.  An explosive issue in today’s climate governed with a rod of iron beneath the guise of political correctness.  Dare anyone to have the courage to disagree!  Dare anyone to have an opinion or be brave enough to speak out!
The couple in question, Nigel and Sally Rowe, struck me, immediately, as being mild mannered and intelligent.  Phillip and Holly, on the other hand – the ‘unbiased’ hosts – were, very obviously, on the offensive.  Without wishing to go into too much detail, for my part, I was still trying to reconcile the fact that the subject of transgenderism in primary school was even an issue!  I was, however, more interested in the treatment of these parents who have been vilified for voicing their concerns with regard to the ensuing confusion of their youngest son as, like his older brother, he tries to understand why one of his friends now wants to be a girl.  As a six year-old boy, wouldn’t one question one’s friend’s attire – and his name?  Anyway, reading up on the background, this all took place in 2015 and the Rowe’s two sons are now being home schooled by their mother as the furore continues.  Basically, Nigel and Sally believe that it is wrong to encourage transgenderism at such a young age not only causing confusion among fellow pupils but also putting the child in question in a position of vulnerability.  They maintain that people are afraid to speak out for fear of the very barrage of hatred to which they have been subjected.  Interestingly, ‘This Morning’ ran a poll questioning whether boys should be allowed to wear dresses to school – the result was 50/50.
The following morning, the programme began with the announcement that there had been a viewers’ uproar following the Rowe’s appearance and first on the sofa were a mother and her transgender son – aged 8, I think – and Susie Green, CEO of the transgender charity, Mermaids.  Spot the bias!  Where was the counter view, the person speaking up for, if nothing else, Nigel & Sally Rowe’s right to an opinion?  Once more the ‘tyranny of tolerance’ rears its ugly head.  It is nothing short of bullying.  Why not go one step further and restrain them in stocks so that all those who disagree with them – or are too afraid to speak up – can hurl stones or abuse?!  Phillip and Holly?  Sometimes the quest to be cool is over-riding.  I, for one, am not impressed.
Actually, I have just found the transcript of a tweet (about said item) I found online which supports my view … ‘Whether you agree or not, people have different opinions.  We push everyone to think like the masses now and bully those that don’t.’
The tyranny of tolerance?  The turn of phrase was coined some years ago and attributable, in my book, to a man of the cloth whom I heard on the radio discussing the vilification of the couple who ran a Bed & Breakfast and turned away a gay couple.  Of course, uproar ensued but one cannot force one’s views on anybody else and bullying, in any shape or form, must never be condoned.
Before I leave the subject of the Rowes and transgenderism in schools, let me impart a little more of the back story or, at least, some more facts I have found on the subject.  The Rowes are suing the school in response to a five page letter they received in which it was stated that said school was ‘legally bound to respect the wishes of the (transgender) pupil and parents involved’ and to adhere to the Equality Act 2010.  They were told, by the school, that they were guilty of transphobia and in breach of the law.  The Rowes, however, argue that the school has misinterpreted the Act.  Interestingly, the Head Teacher is alleged to have said that she could lose her job if she does not comply.
The Department of Education has committed £150,000 to tackling the issue of children being referred to gender identity clinics.  The money has been made available to the LGBT Consortium being a 12-strong collective of transgender groups who visit schools and other publicly-funded organisations to teach, train and advise.  According to figures published in July, the number of children referred to gender identity clinics has quadrupled in the last 5 years. 
Finally, Chris McGovern, Chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, has warned that transgenderism has become ‘an industry’.  He is quoted as saying that ‘people are making a career out of encouraging children to question gender at an age when they need to be left to be children.’  Amen to that.
‘Complains of nil’?  The material just keeps on coming!  On that same programme of 12th September, time was allocated to Samantha, the sex robot, and her co-creator.  There she was, sitting on the couch, a cross between a blow-up doll and a Stepford wife and a most frightening insight into the future.  The owner/co-creator of Samantha had the look of a man who has spent too much time in a sex shop or on the internet – enough said – and, happily, justified Samantha’s place in their home, whether it be as part of a threesome with his oriental wife or sitting on the couch watching telly with his children.  Don’t worry, Samantha can be switched to ‘family mode’!  I am saying nothing bar mentioning the statistic of £250 million – the annual revenue attributable to the sex industry in the UK.  Perhaps this, too, goes some way to explaining why the Family Planning Association is advocating that the subject of porn be ‘discussed’ in schools from a neutral standpoint – a topic of discussion on ‘The Wright Stuff’ that very same week.  Apparently, 94% of 11 year olds have watched porn … that’s alright then.  Let’s be PC about this and condone it, regardless.
‘Complains of nil’?  You must be joking.  I absolutely refuse to swallow that pill!
‘Political correctness is tyranny with a happy face.’    Charlton Heston.
This is Trish, signing off.