Open Letter: McCarthyite smears & false allegations


London, UK – 22 February 2016

Peter Tatchell writes:

I am very happy to face criticism based on fact, but not the torrent of falsehoods in this Open Letter:

See my itemised rebuttal below.

My critics smear me as a racist and transphobe, yet they have failed to provide a single quote from me to back their claims. 

Please go to my website, which records my news releases, speeches and articles: Nothing there supports these accusations.

The Open Letter is full of falsehoods and distortions.

I never said I was no-platformed by the NUS. I said I was NOT no-platformed.

I never said I was censored or silenced.

I defended Fran Cowling’s right to not share a platform with me. If she does not want to speak alongside me, that’s her right. I respect her choice. I said this from the outset.

My sole objection was that Fran had falsely accused me of racism and transphobia and spread these claims to multiple people. When asked to provide the evidence, she refused.

I have never ‘vilified’ her or ‘encouraged others’ to do so. In fact, I condemned people who harassed or bullied Fran.

I never said that Fran ‘posed a threat to Enlightenment values.’ I was talking about the sectarian, intolerant atmosphere in some universities.

Fran claims the letter I signed in The Observer supported the right of feminists to be ‘openly transphobic’ and to ‘incite violence’ against trans people. The letter did not say this. Written in support of free speech, it did not express any anti-trans views, let alone condone anti-trans violence.

For decades, I have opposed feminists such as Germaine Greer who reject and disparage trans people and their human rights.

For over two weeks, from 26 January, I politely emailed Fran, seeking a private, amicable settlement. She refused.

I have a right to defend myself against malicious, untrue accusations. I have done so courteously and truthfully, unlike many of my critics.

I support feminism and trans rights. I also support free speech and protests against misogyny, racism and transphobia. I oppose all prejudice and discrimination. Bad ideas are best and most effectively defeated by good ideas, rather than by bans and censorship – except when people endorse violence against others. That is my red line. 

I never said ‘A twitter mob who vowed to kill me’. That was a press headline written by an editor against my wishes, not by me. In fact, I said people sending me hate messages and threats were not representative of trans people.

I have not called for the banning of ‘hate preachers’ – only those who endorse and incite violence, which is a criminal offence.

I do not ‘target’ Muslims. I campaign against all religious homophobes – Anglican, Catholic, Jewish and so on.

Raw Nerve Books refused to republish a book that contained grave untrue allegations against me. The authors were asked by the publisher to provide evidence for their claims. They failed to do so, because there was none. See:

My ‘legal team’ put no ‘pressure’ on the publishers. I don’t have a legal team.

Routledge refused to republish Scott Long’s essay on Iran because it contained 20 serious unsubstantiated allegations against me. They asked Scott to provide sources for his claims. He was unable to do so. See:

Scott Long admitted fabricating allegations against me. See:

Scott Long left Human Rights Watch soon afterwards. It is believed that he was sacked because of his false accusations against me. I never made any ‘legal threats’ against Human Rights Watch.

None of my staff have ever harassed Scott Long or anyone else – another claim for which there is not a shred of evidence.

I never ‘sought support’ from Milo Yiannopoulos or Brendan O’Neill. I oppose their politics.

I wrote the article in the Telegraph because they asked me. I would have written in the Guardian or Morning Star but they never offered me a column. Ken Livingstone wrote for the Sun. He and I should be judged on what we wrote, not on who published us.

Please read my article which sets out my side of the story:

Thank you.