Yesterday, Guardian columnist Martin Kettle argued persuasively that, if Liz Truss wins the Tory leadership contest on 5 September and becomes Prime Minister, she will have to call an early general election. And, a few hours later, woke Twitter was ablaze after both Truss and Rishi Sunak answered ‘no’ when asked the simple question ‘Is a trans woman a woman?’ at a hustings.
All of which got me thinking about what we can expect the candidates to face, should Martin Kettle be proved right (as I think he will be). So, as it is my mission in life to be helpful to politicians, I have devised the following handy crib sheet. You’re welcome, and good luck.
What is a woman? A woman is an adult human female.
How much does a pint of milk cost? About 85p, which is an increase of more than 100% in just one year. I am still waiting for Jacob Rees-Mogg to claim this as a benefit of Brexit.
Can humans change sex? No. We are not clownfish.
Do bears poop in wooded areas? Yes. People should always wear stout boots when hiking.
Do you agree with Wickes and other retailers that there should there be no LGB without the T? No. Lesbian, gay and bi people have the right to organise and advocate for their rights without having to get permission from Owen Jones or Jolyon Maugham QC.
Is the world flat? No.
Should biological men be allowed to play in women’s sport? No.
Does the Pope wear a big hat? Yes.
Can men grow a cervix if they go on hormone treatment and all the rest of it? No.
Is the sky blue? Yes.
Should men be held in women’s prisons? No.
How much does a loaf of bread cost? The average loaf now costs £1.15, which is 14% more than five years ago. Again, I’ve not heard anything from Jacob Rees-Mogg about this.
Are some people born in the wrong body? No.
Is water wet? Yes.
Is a trans woman a woman? No, humans cannot change sex. A small minority of trans women – those who have sought and obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate – are legally treated as women for the purposes of the sex discrimination provisions in the Equality Act. But that is not the same as being a woman – no law can change the material reality of sex.
Does a fish need a bicycle? No.
What is the minimum wage? The current adult rate is £9.50 per hour, which is just £332.50 for a 35-hour week. We need to make the minimum wage a living wage.
Do men get pregnant? No.
Can pigs fly? No.
What are your preferred pronouns? I don’t dictate how people refer to me when I am not present, but I do like the sound of ‘Secretary of State’.
Does sex matter? Yes, of course it does.
Will the sun come up tomorrow? Possibly not, if Liz Truss gets back into Downing Street and starts a nuclear war with France.