Why is the government so fast to act on bank account closures but not transgenderism in schools?

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The government's swift response to the Nigel Farage 'de-banking' scandal contrasts with its dithering over new transgender guidance for schools. Why is that?

Ministers have announced robust action after the exposure of the dossier that Mr Farage obtained from Coutts bank showing his account was cancelled because of his political beliefs. But the political wheels were turning on this issue before the Coutts scandal blew up.

The Free Speech Union reports in its latest newsletter: "When the FSU was de-banked by PayPal last September, we kicked up an almighty fuss in the public square ...We saw this for what it was - the emergence in Britain of a Chinese-style social credit system, whereby if your beliefs don't align with the progressive 'values' of modern banks you lose access to their services.

"We started talking to Andrew Griffith MP, the Economic Secretary, to see what could be done about it. He invited us to submit evidence to the Treasury about how widespread the de-banking phenomenon is. We duly did that, citing numerous cases – many of them members of the FSU.

"The result is that the Payment Services Regulations are now being toughened up to stop banks and payment processors closing people's accounts just because they've exercised their lawful right to free speech."

This is good news for, amongst others, orthodox Christians. The FSU and Nigel Farage have done a significant public service in their stand against illiberal woke capitalism.

But why isn't the government acting to protect children from being targeted by transgender activists in schools and starting on a gender-transitioning journey without parental consent? New government guidance to schools preventing them from allowing children to socially transition behind their parents' backs has now been delayed due to a reported disagreement in the cabinet. 

In her criticism of the delay, Christian Concern's chief executive Andrea Williams articulated the concerns of a growing number of parents, particularly those who send their children to Church of England primary schools where transgenderism promoted by LGBT lobby group, Stonewall, is going unchallenged.

The CofE's transgender-affirming guidance issued in 2019, Valuing All God's Children, even quoted Stonewall research about alleged "homophobic, biphobic and transphobic" bullying in faith schools. 

Mrs Williams said: "No new laws are needed to tell schools to call boys 'boys' and girls 'girls'. Children can't change sex. They can't change legal sex, and they can't change biological sex. Why is it so hard for the government to tell schools this simple fact?

"Schools enabling young children to socially transition is a major safeguarding issue. It is harmful for the children and all the pupils in the class. There is no excuse for the government continuing to allow this harmful unscientific practice.

"If the government had the courage to speak plain common sense to schools in order to protect children I believe parents across the nation would breathe a sigh of relief."

It is unfortunately not difficult to see why the government is acting against de-banking but dragging its feet on the transgender issue. Social conservatives are in a minority among Conservative MPs. The Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, who is relaxed about children gender-transitioning at the age of 16, would have a substantial number of Tory MPs on her side if the issue ever came to a parliamentary vote. With Labour and SNP MPs voting against it, any robust measure to put a total stop to transgender activism in schools would fail.

Asked by Sky News in January if she thought 16 was too young to make a decision about gender-transitioning, Keegan said: "No, I don't think so. I was working at 16, I was paying tax at 16. I could make decisions for myself at 16." 

In this respect, British politics is post-Christian, indifferent to biblical truth about the created order and lacking in moral outrage at the harm transgenderism is causing to children and the trauma parents are being put through. But the Conservative government will act on de-banking because that is about money rather than about family life.

Is that not how politics is bound to play in a Mammon-worshipping society that does not share the Lord Jesus Christ's passion for the spiritual, moral and physical well-being of children?

Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar now an evangelical journalist based in Lancashire.