By Jonathon Van Maren
There was a story that circulated during the Cold War about a Soviet judge who was seen walking back to his chambers, chuckling heartily. His colleague approached him and asked him what was so funny. Oh, just a hilarious joke I heard, the judge replied. “Well, go ahead and tell me!” his colleague replied. “Oh, I couldn’t do that,” said the Soviet judge. “I just gave someone ten years for it.”
I was reminded of this little anecdote when I spotted a story in the Edinburgh Newslast week, gravely titled “Edinburgh labourer shouted abuse at transgender woman.” It turns out that one Graham Spiers, a father of two and a construction worker employed at the St. James construction site, was walking past a pub in Bonnington, Edinburgh, with a few buddies, when they passed a transgender woman—a biological male. Although the journalist writing the story goes to great lengths to make it sound as if Spiers was “screaming” at the apparent victim, Spiers and his friends were specifically accused of “pointing and laughing” at the person.