The big sticking point however, is this. Permit me to quote Tim at length:
I believe the jury is still out about whether gender identity is entirely constructed. I question whether the gender pay gap in Britain is as large as is sometimes suggested, and wonder whether it may have as much to do with the way it is calculated and with the choices women make after having children as it does with patriarchy or prejudice (although the government could do more to close the gap by funding childcare better). There is huge work to do to liberate women from the very real yoke of patriarchy. But I would venture – checking my privilege – that this is not a crisis in Britain in way it is in the developing world.Fair enough, Tim has doubts about accepted lefty wisdom when it comes to gender divisions. Surely though the point is not to carry on with doubts but to take the trouble to investigate the issues further. I know it's a rarity in politics generally, but I usually find it helpful to get to know a subject matter before pronouncing on it. That's not a particularly left or right wing course of action, but it's the correct thing to do. What doesn't help Tim's case is the flimsy character of the positions he's built up to write oh-so-controversial words about.
It is not orthodoxy that gender identity is socially constructed. I believe it is and I think the bulk of evidence in this direction is overwhelming, but there are plenty who do not including quite a few feminists. On gender pay gaps, the evidence is there for all to see, irrespective of whether one thinks it's large or not. And it is a nonsense to suggest that feminists aren't aware that caring responsibilities attached to motherhood affect earnings, nor that women in rich, Western societies as a rule are better off than those living in mediaeval hellholes like Saudi Arabia. With a little bit of digging Tim could have found this easily out if he thought it an issue important enough.
Tim then goes on to moan about 'assumption creep': the idea of you have sorted views on one or a range of issues, you'll be sound on everything else. Well, in my experience no one expects this, except perhaps inside the SWP and annoying practitioners of performative piety - you know who you are - on the internet.
And this is the biggest problem with Tim's piece. I don't know what Tim does. He could be a hyper active trade union militant, a volunteer with the Kurdish YPG, the leader of a noisy and radical residents' association, or just a quiet activist doing his bit here and there. I suspect he's not any of these because he would have written about them otherwise. All that matters here is a certain presentation of left self à la Goffman in a world where all that matters are identity markers. Sounds a bit like Twitter, Facebook, or, for the really radical, Urban 75.
If that is what "being left" now means, Tim or whoever wants that label are welcome to it.