6 February 2014: ‘Question Time’ discussions on anonymity for men charged with sexual assaults, and all-women prospective parliamentary candidate shortlists

Last Thursday’s Question Time was more interesting than usual, mainly due to the inclusion on the panel of the historian and broadcaster Davis Starkey, and Professor Alison Wolf. Tessa Jowell MP was predictably awful, George Galloway MP spoke some sense and some nonsense, and Matthew Hancock MP’s contribution was barely worth listening to, as he was toeing the Conservative party line so closely as to send viewers to sleep. The programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03twwfg/Question_Time_06_02_2014/

We’ll be putting up separate files of the two important discussions on our YouTube channel in the course of the next few days, but in the meantime the following should help guide you through the content:

ANONYMITY FOR MEN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULTS (00:00 – 15:52)

An important piece in the wake of the recent scandalous show trials of two Coronation Street actors, one of them 81 years of age. Both men were cleared on all charges.

00:00 – 00:54 Introductions

1:15 – 3:29 George Galloway MP. A surprisingly good contribution to the debate.

3:30 – 5:24 Tessa Jowell MP predictably didn’t give a damn about men’s lives being ruined by false rape allegations.

5:25 – 7:33 Alison Wolf, Professor of Management, King’s College (London). A very impressive contribution to the debate.

7:34 – 10:54 David Starkey. An impressive contribution, followed by some nonsense from George Galloway.

10:55 – Matthew Hancock MP. The Coalition reneged on its agreement to re-introduce anonymity for people charged with sexual assault, and Hancock’s contribution to this debate was little short of embarrassing. It’s worth suffering his piece just to get to a little later material.

ALL-WOMEN PROSPECTIVE PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE (PPC) SHORTLISTS (46:24 – 57:18)

I spent more than a little time yesterday posting comments in response to a piece on ConservativeHome in which contributing editor Andrew Grimson was calling for the Conservative party to adopt all-women PPC shortlists. Pleasingly, almost all the comment stream consisted of hostile opposition. A link on a blog piece yesterday will take you to the article and the comments stream.

46:46 – 48:25 Tessa Jowell. More embarrassing drivel from Ms J. The Labour party plans to adopt all-women PPC shortlists for half the seats they deem ‘winnable’ in 2015.

48:26 – 51:10 Matthew Hancock. More embarrassing drivel including statements such as:

I’m a passionate supporter of having more women in parliament.

How many viewers realised the implications of the statement? He may as well have declared:

I’m a passionate supporter of having fewer men in parliament.

We suggest Hancock lead by example, and give up his seat for a woman in 2015. Nearly two years ago we presented him with a ‘Toady’ award:

http://fightingfeminism.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/we-need-to-talk-about-the-rt-hon-matthew-hancock-mp/

51:11 – 53:14 Alison Wolf. Another very solid contribution.

53:15 – 54:45 George Galloway. He’s not a fan of all-women PPC shortlists given that all but two of the 101 ‘Blair Babes’ – new female Labour MPs elected in 1997 – voted for the Iraq wars. He wants shortlists to drive up the number of working class people in parliament.

54:46 – David Starkey. Another excellent contribution, followed by a comment by Tessa Jowell – about people invited to dine at 10, Downing Street – which was mind-numbingly stupid even by her standards.

If Tessa Jowell’s intelligence level could somehow be doubled, it would then be half Alison Wolf’s intelligence level.

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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  • herbkr

    Having watched this in its entirety, my immediate reaction is thank god we have a society in which intelligent people can speak for reason. Starkey and Wolf spoke the balm of truth and intelligent common sense, which contrasted with the stale feminist rhetoric of Jowell, and the pap of the other two speakers. However, what struck me the most was the obvious concern of the audience at the current state of affairs, and the obvious agreement of many of them with what Starkey and Wolf were saying. If they are anything to go by, it seems to me clear that the general public is not behind what is going on; is not behind anonymity being granted to complainants and not the accused, and I suggest this is reflected in another thing we need to be thankful for: the jury system. It is imperfect and it is flawed, but it is the last bastion we all have against the naked abuse of power by politicians, feminist propagandist organisations passing themselves off as charities, and by those who should serve justice, not ideologies – and I mean the CPS who are now nakedly following an agenda of increasing rape convictions against men. I am convinced that the trials of these old men (with one exception) are show trials. After Dave Lee Travis’s acquittal today, the cry from the press pack was “witch hunt” and that is what I believe we are witnessing: a feminist-inspired witch hunt against old men, engineered to pick off prime examples of the very thing the feminists and their fellow traveller so deeply hate – patriarchy. These men are quintessential examples of patriarchy and they have been singled out and hounded with lies. This is a time when feminism and all its foulness is showing its true colours. Three acquittals now: two to go (Max Clifford and Rolf Harris) I sincerely and deeply hope that there will be a clean sweep for justice against this malign ideology at work in our society today. I sincerely hope that this is a turning point when this hate-filled, divisive ideology will finally be faced off. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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  • I was reassured by Starkey, Wolf and Galloway, and I suspect that the public seeing some of their favourite media characters pilloried over alleged events so many years ago may turn the tide. It’s certainly worth noting that there appears to be space for ordinary people to make their views known.

    • Agreed. Galloway’s point about 99 out of 101 ‘Blair’s babes’ voting for the Iraq wars was an interesting one, I think. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn there was more opposition among male Labour MPs.

  • Indeed even though I find Galloway hard to take I do think there is a truth to his point about the growth of the professional politician. Wether it be working class or older people (Wolf) our current parliament has too few with wisdom born of doing something else in life prior to election. More and more the “Westminster village” is pursuing an agenda divorced from the lives and aspirations of people but in total accord with in group preferencing. Balls Cooper, Dromey Harman, the Bercows and so on , all a jolly little club with the luvvies and media . Starkey and Wolf were pithy and pertinent . It put me in mind of Frank Feild’s observation that people voted for labour because they believed it would improve their lives materially and so were willing to tolerate social engineering while it appeared to affect few people ( for instance even if every gay couple married it would still be a tiny minority, women bishops not really a big issue and so on) However with family breakdown, positive action in school and work, demonisation of men. Maybe the tide will turn.