Thomas The Tank Engine is to blame for a lack of female train drivers because all characters are male, claims female Labour MP

Our thanks to J for pointing us to yet another story for the ‘You couldn’t make this s*** up!’ file.

The Thomas the Tank Engine books were written by the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, an English vicar, in the 1940s. Here we have shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh MP convincingly presenting the case for there to be fewer female MPs:

Ms Creagh has clearly been overdosing on the Stupid pills. Let’s analyse a few extracts from the article:

‘There is a preponderance of men in the transport industry and I am very keen to unpack some of the myths that stop women from taking up what are often highly-paid and highly-skilled jobs,’ she said.

Ah, that’s it, highly-paid jobs. She doesn’t care about the ‘preponderance of men’ in – say – the low-paid waste disposal industry, one must assume.

Ms Creagh said that the tales of the little blue steam engine should follow the example of CBeebies series Underground  Ernie, which features a main character called Victoria.

She also suggested that train companies could up the numbers of female drivers by advertising in women’s interest magazines,  or offering more part-time posts.

Advertising in women’s interest magazines. Yes, I can see Ms Fawcett idly flicking through her new copy of Bolshy Harpy Monthly and penning an application after spotting the advert.

Offering more part-time posts. Yes, that would make sense. There’s nothing quite like increasing the number of female employees (part-time ones, in particular) to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of organisations, is there? Such a success in the NHS.

Let’s introduce some FACTS into this, shall we?

Four in seven unemployed people are men.

Unemployment is a bigger driver of suicide among men than among women.

Three times more men than women commit suicide every year in the UK.

Suicide is the #1 cause of death of young men.

Many young men would jump at the chance to become train drivers.

Here are three alternative ideas for Ms Creagh to consider once the effects of her Stupid pills have worn off:

Save long-suffering taxpayers’ money by NOT advertising in women’s interest magazines. British men pay 72% of the income taxes paid in the UK, women only 28%.

Don’t offer more part-time posts.

Preference unemployed young men, and unemployed men who’d previously been their families’ primary breadwinners, to become train drivers and work full-time.

MPs are about to be awarded significant salary increases. If Ms Creagh were on the minimum wage, she’d be overpaid. Maybe it’s time to add another category of awards to our ‘Whiny Woman of the Month’ and ‘Harpy’ awards:

Stupid Woman of the Month

So many obvious contenders. Ms Creagh could be the inaugural winner. Harriet Harman would, of course, receive a Lifetime Achievement award, to sit on her mantelpiece right next to her ‘Harpy’ Lifetime Achievement award:

120401 the inaugural Harpy Lifetime Achievement award

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Frankly I’m quite happy for such pontifications. It really highlights to voters the silliness of some of the “sisters”. Rather more concerning are the positive discriminations in the legal system, education system and employment. The proposed new law on DV being a good example, and the operation of CAFCASS and the family courts being another.

  • Jericho One

    “British men pay 72% of the income taxes paid in the UK, women only 28%.”

    Considering that a disproportionate number of women work for the state, have make-work jobs, or benefit from deliberate infrastructure changes that have, for several decades, shifted resources away from industry into the more ‘female friendly’ service sector – I wonder if a more realistic estimate of net taxes collected is more like 95% – 5%, especially when real commercial labour (on which all prosperity depends) is taken into consideration?

    Women also have the most purchasing power and have gained unearned wealth through divorce/welfare etc., which has artificially inflated female-focused commercial enterprises that heavily favour women in terms of recruitment…

    • Thanks J1, good points. There’s also the point that virtually all corporation tax is paid by companies set up by male entrepreneurs. Women are famously reluctant to risk significant money on new enterprises, they risk less, the enterprises are smaller, they pay little if any corporation tax… I’m told many women seek government grants to set up new businesses, the risk then lying with the taxpayer (i.e. men mainly). So they want the possible upsides of riches, fame, fortune etc. whilst avoiding the possible downsides e.g. bankruptcy, loss of house…

      • Jericho One

        So true. The risk factor is a very important one – though much easier for some to outsource it to the poor taxpayer….

  • I work as a train driver. My work is organised into 2 shifts, earlies and lates. Earlies starts at 2am and lates finishes at 2am. We work 9 and half hours per shift with minimum of half an hour break per shift. I get one weekend off in three. I sometimes have to go 5 hours without being able to visit the loo. I am responsible for safely transporting up to 12 carriage trains across the network, with up to 120 people per carriage mainly without a guard. There aren’t many women train drivers. It is NOT because of Thomas the Tank Engine. It’s because you have to earn your salary.

    • Thanks for this, and I take my hat off to you for doing an important and tough job. Even in lines of work which women flood into – e.g. medicine, where 70% of medical students are women – they’re very choosy about the areas they work in, their hours etc. It costs about £250,000 to train a doctor. Compared with male doctors, female doctors are far more like to quit the profession altogether (because they’re far more likely to have a partner willing to finance that option), they’re more reluctant to work unsocial hours, they’re more likely to work part-time (whether or not they have children) and they’re less keen to work in the really stressful areas (e.g. A&E). The feminisation of the NHS has been a crisis – the cost to the taxpayer has been enormous, and the quality (and availability) of the service has declined. And for what? To advantage a small number of women at taxpayers’ expense in general, and men’s expense in particular. 50% of GPs are women (the proportion is still on the rise) earn an average £104,000 p.a. and are all but unsackable even if lazy and incompetent (as so many are, of course). I’d like to see them pull that scam in the private sector. They wouldn’t last a week.