LEO MCKINSTRY: NHS by Labour government falls to trans extremism

LEO MCKINSTRY: How did an NHS created by a moderate Labour government disappear down the rabbit hole of trans extremism and obsession?

Many of Britain’s most important public institutions seem gripped by a kind of madness.

Through a mix of moral cowardice and ideological virtue-signalling, swathes of management have succumbed to a radical Left-wing agenda.

Nowhere is this more true than in the NHS, which is sliding ever deeper into chaos amid record-breaking waiting lists and dire industrial relations.

All the energies of NHS chiefs should be focused on these problems: the sole purpose of this vast organisation is to meet the health needs of the British public.

Instead, many senior NHS figures seem more preoccupied with making the service an instrument of social engineering.

Nowhere is this more true than in the NHS, which is sliding ever deeper into chaos amid record-breaking waiting lists and dire industrial relations (file photo)


Only yesterday, this paper revealed how new documents from health trusts show the full extent of the doctrinaire outlook that is sweeping through the NHS’s bureaucratic ranks.

As this material showed, in the quest for cultural change, history is being trashed and science denied.

One piece of guidance from hospital trusts in Sussex and Sheffield sounded more like the utterance of a Marxist agitator than the product of a publicly funded group of executives.

‘Globally, many cultures recognise more than two genders,’ it claimed — though tellingly there was little elaboration on this claim.

‘As with sexuality, in the West, binary categories dominate (male/female; gay/straight). In modern-era Western history, these have been imposed on a human experience, which is not binary, through colonial incursion.’

READ MORE: RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Need an ambulance? Dial 999 for gender fluid 

So, it turns out — surprise! — that nasty old British imperialism is to blame.

What does any of this have to do with healthcare? The same question could be asked of so much NHS activity today. The trusts continually bleat about chronic underfunding and overstretched resources, yet they seem to have plenty of time and money to evangelise on behalf of their new creed.

Womanhood is being airbrushed from public discourse, as breastfeeding is replaced by ‘chest-feeding’ and mother by ‘post-natal person’.

Innocence is also disappearing. In 2020 the Velindre University NHS Trust in Wales lent its support to a ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’, performed by someone called Aida H Dee and supposedly for families, as part of the local celebrations for Welsh Pride, though a huge public outcry forced the Trust to withdraw its support.

But the ideological juggernaut rolls on.

The social justice warriors love to demand tolerance, yet they are grossly intolerant of any deviation from their code, which includes the belief that biologically male patients, who self-identify as women even if they have not changed sex, should be allowed to use female-only wards and facilities.

With the grim authoritarianism so typical of the zealots, one trust declares that, if a patient complains, ‘it is they who must move rather than the trans person’.

This aggressive tone should come as no surprise given that, at about 30 NHS trusts, the gender guidelines were written in conjunction with the lobby group Stonewall, which has become notorious for its uncompromising stance on trans issues.

Womanhood is being airbrushed from public discourse, as breastfeeding is replaced by ‘chest-feeding’ and mother by ‘post-natal person’

Its worldview can be divined in the claim from several trusts that male-bodied trans women can be ‘lesbians’.

The impact of the NHS’s cultural revolution goes far beyond the trans agenda.

It can also be found in its neurosis about ‘diversity’, where managers seem far more concerned about the composition of the workforce than the effectiveness of services.

NHS bosses might profess to loathe ‘imperialism’ — but they love creating bureaucratic empires.

Box-ticking, pay-gap auditing and awareness training are now key duties of the modern NHS.

Among the many vacant posts currently being advertised in the NHS are a ‘Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’ at Imperial College NHS on a salary up to £88,880; an ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead’ at Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust on up to £57,300, and an ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Midwife’ at Shrewsbury on £50,056.

READ MORE: NHS staff face pronoun prosecutions as woke guidance says it is ‘oppressive’ to use the wrong term to refer to trans or non-binary patients 

This fixation on the make-up of the staff not only makes the organisations more insular: it promotes a mentality of grievance.


But as with so many public-sector bodies, NHS managers regard such dogma as a badge of progress. So the website for NHS employers, for instance, boasts that we are currently in the middle of ‘South Asian Heritage Month’, while the end of September will see the essential ‘National Inclusion Week’.

All this raises the question: how did the NHS lose its way so badly?

How did a service created by a largely moderate Labour Government under Clement Attlee in 1948 end up going down the rabbit hole of trans extremism and diversity obsession?

The answer lies partly in a profound change in outlook on the British Left that occurred in the late 1960s.

By then, it was obvious that socialism had failed to fulfil its glittering promises of economic growth and wealth redistribution, not least in the impoverished and repressive Soviet Union.

It was heavily influenced by the work of Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist Italian ‘philosopher’ who believed that culture, not economics, was the key to advancing the revolution.

British radicals began to develop an insidious strategy in which they would seize command of key organs of the state, such as the teacher-training colleges, social work, the probation service, university campuses and much of the media.

Many senior NHS figures seem more preoccupied with making the service an instrument of social engineering (file photo)


More than 50 years later, we can see that the drive has succeeded triumphantly for the Left. Even though they are not in office, they still set the agenda.

One recent survey found that 80 per cent of university lecturers are on the Left — one reason they are so addicted to industrial action.

Indeed that is true of the whole public sector: 48 per cent of public workers are unionised compared to 12 per cent of those in the private sector — accompanied by much more turmoil.

Marxist orthodoxy is now so prevalent that even the RAF was found to have unlawfully discriminated against white men in a diversity recruitment drive, while the British Medical Association — the union for doctors — seems to regard itself as the vanguard of the oppressed proletariat.

Indeed, the BMA made a donation to the ultra militant RMT on the grounds of the ‘essential bond shared by organised workers today’.

It sometimes feels, when hearing language like this, that we are living in an asylum — and the lunatics have taken charge.

It should be a source of shame for the Tories that the NHS’s capture by woke extremists has happened on their watch.

God help us if the Labour Party takes over.

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