Flat White

Greenwich threatens Perrottet’s minority government

22 April 2022

2:55 PM

22 April 2022

2:55 PM

Imagine a government falling because its leader dared to assert that girls should play sport against girls. 

You might not have to imagine it if New South Wales Independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich has his way.

The Liberal Party has 45 votes in the NSW Parliament where it requires 47 for a majority. Greenwich is one of two Independent MPs whose support the Liberals rely upon.

Perrottet was given a fright on Thursday when Greenwich warned he would withdraw his support for the government if the Premier’s rhetoric about children’s sport continued. 

A second Independent, Greg Piper, said he was ‘appalled’ by the Premier’s statements and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, was reconsidering his support for the government.

So, what appalling rhetoric that threatens to bring down a government was this, you ask?

Here’s what the Premier, a Catholic father of six, said:

‘I agree with most fair-minded Australians that girls and women should be free to play sport against girls and women, particularly where there might otherwise be an unfair advantage – it’s a matter of fairness and physiology,’ said Perrottet.

‘The right thing to do is take the concerns of women and girls seriously, not shut them down, and if that means looking at appropriate protections for women-only sports, let’s have the conversation.’

Girls should play against girls in sports where boys have an unfair advantage? Appalling!

Women should be able to voice their concerns without being cancelled? Off with the Premier’s head!

Greenwich, a former LGBTQ+ activist, was predictably outraged, as activists must be.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald:

I’ve maintained a very cooperative working relationship with the Perrottet minority government, but it would be impossible for that to continue if trans youth continue to be picked on by the Premier. Fair-minded people don’t want vulnerable kids bullied by political leaders.’

I’m not sure where Greenwich got the idea that he speaks for ‘fair-minded people’. Then again, when you believe that men can become women by simply thinking it, I suppose everything else becomes possible.

Meanwhile, Piper said the Premier had ‘an obligation to have considered opinions that do not cause harm to vulnerable communities’.

One presumes that Piper would offer himself to advise the Premier which opinions he could safely hold.

And then came the emotional blackmail.

Greenwich warned that it was ‘damaging for transgender people to listen to politicians suddenly claim that they pose a threat to sport and should be excluded’.

On Friday morning, Greenwich renewed his threats against the Perrottet government, telling Patricia Karvelas on breakfast radio, ‘Well I have always been transparent with the government and that is that any attacks on the LGBTQI community and I can no longer have a cooperative relationship with them. What I have been dealing with in the past two days is trans kids asking their parents if they can compete in sport, or does the Premier not want them to?’

He then said that he had heard calls coming in from the trans community with ‘escalated trauma’.

Greenwich is now throwing into question whether or not he will maintain Supply if the Premier maintains his demands that boys play against boys, and girls play against girls in sport. ‘I want them to leave trans people alone.’ When pressured on the point of fairness, he hand-waved it off to the sporting codes. ‘But I would just remind people of the benefit of sport to everybody.’

If Greenwich listened to women, he would know this is not a ‘sudden claim’. Women have been warning about it for years. 

Greenwich says the very idea that girls should play against girls in sports where males have an unfair physical advantage is damaging to the mental health of male ‘women’.

What about damage to the mental health of women when they discover they have no chance of winning gold in their chosen sport because it is dominated by a male ‘woman’?

And what about damage to the physical health of women when they line up on a football field opposite male ‘women’?

Greenwich continued:

The rhetoric adds further to the already high level of stigma and discrimination that has led to high rates of suicide among trans people, especially young trans people.’

And there it is. The ‘people will kill themselves if you don’t do what we say’ argument.

Tell me who is transphobic…

Is it the Premier who says we should be able to have a conversation about what’s fair in sport? 

Or is it the independent MP who says transgendered people are so fragile that they will start killing themselves if there is so much as a conversation about what’s fair in sport?

Greenwich went on:

The government should be encouraging everyone, including transgender and gender-diverse people, to participate in sport.’

Someone needs to tell the Member for Sydney that is it precisely because the government wants to encourage participation in sport that they are so concerned about male ‘women’ dominating women’s sport.

Nothing would disincentivise female participation in sport more than knowing they were up against male ‘women’.

If Greenwich is concerned about sports participation and fairness, then he should recommend a transgendered Olympics be added to the Olympics and Paralympics. 

Men compete against men. Women compete against women. Transgendered people compete against transgendered people. Most fair-minded people would be happy with this.

But this whole transgendered argument isn’t about sport, and it isn’t about fairness, and it isn’t about saving lives. 

This is about power. This is about a tiny section of the community redefining women, sports, institutions, and even our language.

Greenwich reportedly wrote a letter to the Premier requesting an urgent meeting ‘to discuss how to repair the damage from recent comments’.

I suspect that for every Greenwich there will be 10,000 women requesting an urgent meeting to discuss how to protect women’s sport.

The battlelines have been drawn.

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