|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
10 February 2018
|All Else Being Equal
A celebration of 100 years of women struggling to be equal. Yay! Stop.
Celebration? Wait here. The Representation of People Act of 6 February 1918
gave the vote, if…if women were married to a husband who had property, owned
property (oh right), over 30. It meant 13 million were still disenfranchised – but it
was a start, and 10 years later the vote was extended to all women over 21,
giving them the same voting rights as men. 40 percent of Britain’s total
population of women at the time – and to all men over the age of 21. All right;
And to commemorate - Parliament Square outside the Palace of Westminster
has 11 statues of notable, world-changing men from Churchill to Mandela - the
first statue of a woman, suffragist Millicent Fawcett, will be erected this year to
mark the centenary. Oh thank you, thank you, so kind. Note: not a Suffragette
but a Suffragist. Why not represent both then? Oh right. We should be so
grateful for even one.
Simplifying it: there are men and there are women. So, I ask; why is there even
a question, let alone a celebration of men and women being equal? It is actually
utter madness. I’ll try again. Why would more than half the population be less
The endless response is: “Oh, but we’re so much better off and things are
gradually improving.” WHAT?! Improving? Why not equal? Well? Why? Oh
must I say women suffered – lest we forget imprisoned, beaten, force fed,
tortured, sexually abused, putting their lives on the line so that we could have
27.5% of street names after us? I know – but it is symbolic. So we have 3,000
female poets whose work has been ‘lost’? Guess how many women appear on
bank notes world-wide? Wrong. It’s 9%. Progress surely. Where does the UK
rank in the world for parliamentary gender equality out of 193 countries? 39th.
Oh statistics are ultimately pointless really. What will happen 6 January 2019
once the celebrations cease? Rien. Plus ça change. Be proud Iceland – you are
absolved, and you can celebrate every day.
Women of all classes learned how to protect themselves from the extreme male
response. They used hatpins and 'dagger fans', daggers concealed in the
handles. Oh dear. Suffragettes used anything to hand: ropes, umbrellas, dog
whips, and became proficient in jujitsu. Now how impressive is that? And in
those long unwieldy skirts while assuming they kept their hats on.
We owe them the details. Frequently sexually assaulted by police and gangs of
men, "kicked and struck and trampled under horses' hooves". At a meeting in
the Albert Hall in 1908, 25 year-old Helen Ogston was attacked by two men, one
of whom burnt her wrist with his cigar while the other punched her in the breast.
As she tried to leave she was assaulted by multiple men. Gangs eventually
attacked every woman in sight, and Mrs Pankhurst described women after the
meeting as "bruised, clothes torn, false teeth knocked out, eyes swollen, noses
bleeding". Two hundred of them were beaten and assaulted for hours, with
police targeting their breasts and lifting their skirts, making sure the crowds
could see the abuse. Take note: this is what really happened. Not little women
carrying banners and placards. ‘Suffragette’ contains the word ‘rage’. Just
saying. So, rage on….
The details of force-feeding are as shocking as you would imagine. So why
imagine? Here is an account. Sylvia Pankhurst experienced
hundreds…hundreds of force-feedings. Held down by 6 wardresses who
evidently didn’t want equality; "It gradually prised my jaws apart as they turned a
screw. It felt like having my teeth drawn; but I resisted—I resisted. I held my
poor bleeding gums down on the steel with all my strength. Soon they were
trying to force the india-rubber tube down my throat.
"I was struggling wildly, trying to tighten the muscles and to keep my throat
closed up. They got the tube down, I suppose...for at last I heard them say:
'That's all', and I vomited as the tube came up." Not quite as benign as you might
have assumed. Oh and lest we ignore anal and vaginal 'feeding'.
Moving ahead 100 years, Andrew Bazeley, policy and insight manager at The
Fawcett Society: “We’re seeing huge backlash against women in power. There
is resistance to women making their voices heard. Some men say they feel
victimized by the drive towards extra rights for women. Violence against women
and girls is ‘endemic’”. Point made.
Google Consumer Surveys of 42,000 women found that 19% think both sexes
are treated equally. OK. Who are these 19% exactly? What planet are they on?
Do you think that when they buy a Valentine’s card at Sainsbury’s for their
husbands for £2.50 while if he buys the same card he pays £2.00 they can say
that? ‘For My Husband’ or ‘For My Wife’ are the options. Good that women are
paid more than men then. Time to ‘boy’cott. I know….
All right. The only way to really get the picture, is to use statistics. Sorry, but
rather interesting really. No, really. Let’s start with nearly half believe being born
a man makes life easier. 47% of women over 65 believe this – but it rises to 61%
for those aged 18 to 24. 44% also think they have been discriminated against at
work, rising to 63% among 18 to 24-year-olds. 58% say women are under
pressure to look good at all times. Assuming even when they get out of bed – but
we already knew that didn’t where? “Oh do I still have mascara on? Where’s my
latest pink lipstick?” A recent report in the UK found that over half of women in
every kind of job, every, had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace,
four out of five didn’t report it, and of those that did, just 6 per cent saw a
positive outcome. Celebrate? Oh OK. Let’s.
“But women have come so far.” Business, politics and media were seen as the
worst industries for equality. The UK ranks 48th in the world for parliamentary
gender equality, this is behind countries including Zimbabwe, Sudan and Serbia.
The EU has shown only a quarter of board chairs, presidents and chief
executives in the UK are women. So why not consider Tesco re-stocking as a
career? Oh oops. Women at Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury are paid less than
their male workers of equal value. Maybe not.
Nearly finished. Going global: women's average earnings are almost half those
of men…one in three women worldwide will experience violence against them at
one point in their lives…it is estimated that close to 90 per cent of current war
casualties are civilians, the majority being women and children…and we’re not
even going to mention FGM!
Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst said of the struggle that brought about
the landmark change in the law: “Women have found a new kind of self-respect,
a new kind of energy, a new kind of strength. You must make women count as
much as men, you must have an equal standard of morals.”
ARISE GO FORTH & CONQUER DEEDS NOT WORDS DARE TO BE FREE
Foremost inspirational feminist Theresa – feel free to laugh out loud here -
praised the Suffragettes who fought for the right to vote “in spite of all danger
and discouragement.” How much can we assume Theresa knows about the
plight of the Suffragettes? Let me help: Not much. The same staunch feminist
who said: “There are boy jobs and girl jobs.” Remember? Phil’s a boy and he
takes out the rubbish. Gender pay gap closes 2069. No mention about the bins.
And as for that possible pardon for their convictions, their courage?
Suffragettes, Suffragists, turning in their graves.
Clean Bill of Health
Dodgy Theresa dodges the question she knows the answer to. Oh Theresa. Not
again. At Prime Minister’s Questions on 7 February, Theresa refused to answer
a question whether our NHS would be sold to the US.
Theresa said it was too early to tell what Washington negotiators would demand.
Demand? Did she say demand? Ah little Britain. She said Britain's priority was
to "get the best possible deal". Lost count how many times she has said that?
Possibly hundreds if you ever bother to listen to her.
This “deal”, just two days after The Donald’s tweet claiming a march by 60,000
British people showed universal healthcare is unaffordable. And what did
Theresa do next? Clue: Theresa did not raise his Twitter outburst when having
one of those cosy phone calls they so enjoy. So what did they discuss you ask?
A new US law allowing American authorities to access data held overseas in
order to tackle crime and terrorism. Oh right. More surveillance. Perfect. Just
Oh, and if you have forgotten health service contracts being won by non-NHS
firms increased to almost 70 per cent last year. Selling ‘our’ NHS? Surely not.
We have been the fifty-first state for years now, but surely once we totally
acquiesce to the US, we will be pledging allegiance and wearing those tiny
obligatory American flag pins over our hearts, genuflecting to our president,
while chanting “Donald, Donald, Donald…we love you…”
If you thought things aren’t as bad as you thought? Think again. The latest
YouGov/Times voting intention survey shows: Conservatives up a point to 43%,
from the end of January and Labour down to 39%, from 42%. Hair-pulling out
moment here. Next, on who would make the best PM, 37% of people prefer
Theresa while 29% favour Jeremy. A further 33% can't choose between the two.
Prefer Theresa. Give one good reason. See. You couldn’t. That can only leave
us with: ‘people are idiots’ and move on to the other favourite of the moment.
Move Over for Moggy
Moggy, aka Jacob Rees-Mogg, touted as the next PM, with his potential fortune
worth an estimated £100m to £150m, the latest on his dodgy dealings include
him as a long-term backer of investment management firm Somerset Capital,
which has “9.6 billion dollars” under management according to its website. OK,
so far so – wait, there is more.
Goodness gracious me. Contender Moggy had to admit that his investment firm
makes money from pills used in abortions. Stop. Avowed Catholic involved with
abortions? Nooo. Moogy, who considers incest and rape as a viable source for
an increase in world population, defended his investment in the Indonesian firm
Kalbe Farma. Moggy's firm holds a £5million stake in Kalbe Farma on behalf of
clients. The Tory toff said none of his own cash is invested. It’s said Moggy has
not personally managed funds at the firm since becoming an MP. Not in his
He is still a partner of the Somerset Capital Management he co-founded in 2007.
Nevertheless, Kalbe Farme produces and markets the drug that is widely used in
Indonesia where abortion is illegal. Ah. The plot thickens.
After the Sunday Mirror exposed him, Moggy said that “it would be wrong to
pretend that I like it, but the world is not always what you want it to be”. He is
convincing, isn’t he? I know. Not even for an 18th century minute. He said:
“Farma obeys Indonesian law so it's a legitimate investment and there's no
hypocrisy. The law in Indonesia would satisfy the Vatican.” Oh yes, his personal
relationship with the Pope. In an earlier phone call, one of our favourite
hypocrites said he had been unaware the company made the drug. Gosh.
Moggy, a ‘leasing-monger’ (liar for those living in this century). Surely not.
Moggy admitted he did profit “in a very roundabout way”. Hmm. The money
simply goes directly into his off-shore tax-dodging holdings then? He didn’t stop:
“This company does not procure the abortion of babies. It's not my money in
these investments and I profit from the total amount of client money we hold, not
the investments we make.” Not giving up is he?
Uh oh. More possible financial irregularities involving Moggy. Have we stopped
counting? Highly-influential European Research Group, set up in 1993, led by
our Moggy, has been funnelling taxpayers’ money into the hardline backbench
pro-Brexit lobby group, a potential breach of the ministerial code. Being called
‘the party within the party’. Shadowy, clandestine, mysterious, illegal. Goodness
gracious me. Influencing Theresa? They have Theresa tied to a chair
threatening her with one of Phil’s black bin bags. “Say it Theresa.
H a r d B r e x i t. Now. Or else…”
February 2017, The Times described the ERG as “the most powerful opposition
force in British politics with “a sense of discipline” that would put even the SNP
“to shame”. Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Sajid Javid – no, really? - and more
than 100 others member. Suella Fernandes and Steve Baker, the group’s most
recent former chairs, are now ministers in the Department for Exiting the EU.
Gasp! Come on now. You know you should. Perhaps a scream would be more
appropriate. 43% are pro-Conservatives. Need I say more?
Saving the best for last: In 2013, Moggy attended a formal dinner where he was
the guest speaker. And…five years on he has issued his regret for his
“mistake”. Shouldn’t he just go to confession?
The Traditional Britain Group is a far-right organisation. Oh not another one!
How far to the right? Any further and it would be in Austria. Here’s a clue: TBG
vice-president Gregory Lauder-Frost is reported by an undercover Hope not
Hate researcher saying that all non-whites should be deported to their “natural
homelands”. He also reportedly referred to Baroness Lawrence as a “n*****”. A
video of his speech was removed from YouTube this month. Just in time for
Cheddar Man. You know. Our original ancestor? Blue-eyed and black. Our
green and pleasant land, his natural homeland. Sometimes the ironies of life are
just deliciously perfect. If the election was held today, Moogy would win. That
paragon of virtue, that quintessence of uprightness, that epitome of ethics. Now
how perfect is that?