Our thanks to the indefatigable Douglas for this story. He wrote this to his MP:
Dear <name redacted>,
Last week, on the 22nd September, Paul Howell MP, raised a question in the House. I am concerned that he did not receive a truthful answer and that the House was given an incorrect picture of the state of British justice. Paul asked:
“Last week, I had the privilege of meeting my constituents Thomas Gill and his parents, who suffered major injuries as a result of a car being driven by a female driver who was under the influence of drink and drugs. Thomas raised his concern because the sentencing was so low and young women were getting more lenient treatment than young men. Could the Minister assure him that we are equal under the law?”
Guy Opperman (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) answered. I find it hard to think that Mr Opperman would be willing to openly lie to the House but I also find it hard to believe that any minister—particularly one supposedly competent to respond on a question of law—can be unaware of the systemic disadvantages that have existed in the British legal system for over a hundred years, and are being perpetuated today at an increasing rate. He said (emphasis mine):
“I was very sorry to learn of the injuries sustained by Thomas, and it is right that this matter is raised by my hon. Friend. I can assure him and the House that equality applies to all aspects of justice – it always has and it always will.” [J4MB: Douglas’s emphasis]
Would you please find out if Mr Opperman is unaware of the MoJ’s own reports that clearly show anti-male/pro-female discrimination, as well as being aware of justice campaigners and those campaigning for equal rights for men over the past decades, as they try to get what he has told the House already exists, and always will? Could we see a retraction in the House, please, and a correct statement made that shows the government is at least aware that it treats males far more harshly under the law, even as many in Parliament seek to close all women’s prisons.
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