How Labour MPs should have responded

Many on the left are up in arms over the responses given by Labour MPs to remits Young Labour got through two regional conferences to full fund gender reassignment surgery (we currently fund four a year). Quotes from Labour MPs included:

  • Andrew Little – “I’m quite happy with my gender.”
  • Stuart Nash – “”I don’t think it’s an issue that’s important to the people of New Zealand”
  • David Shearer – “What is it?”
  • Grant Robertson – ” didn’t feel strongly about the funding of gender reassignment surgery”

Here’s the answer they should have given, which wouldn’t have offended their supporters – “I think it is a good thing that some gender reassignment surgery is publicly funded and it would be nice to extend that, but there are many worthy health procedures to fund, and we’ll consider what the priorities are in future”.

The substance of the answer is much the same, but less dismissive of those who are on the waiting list (which is currently 30 years or so at 4 a year).

And kudos to Young Labour for pushing the remit at Labour conferences. Youth wings should not just be quiet little helpers to parties, but should push their own views on policy, and represent the views of their members.

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