Being Philip Davies


UPDATED 8.30pm 02/02/17 [see bottom]

Here’s something that didn’t happen in the House of Commons yesterday.

Nusrat Ghani MP had just asked the house for time to present a bill on the topic of “Crime (Aggravated Murder of and Violence Against Women)” when Philip Davies MP didn’t stand up and say:

“Mr Speaker, while I welcome the good intentions of this motion may I ask my honourable friend to consider a minor amendment at this preliminary stage? It is my understanding that according to the Henry Jackson Society, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Forced Marriages Unit, approximately one in four of all victims of so-called Honour Crimes are men and boys, with gay, bisexual or transgender men at particularly high risk of victimisation. Would my honourable friend consider removing the words ‘female’ and ‘of women’ from the terms of her proposal, thereby ensuring all victims of these terrible crimes are afforded the legal and financial protection they deserve?”

What Philip Davies actually said was a lot further off-point and a lot less admirable. He basically promised to oppose a bill which proposes only two necessary measures (firstly to bar official documents from using the phrase ‘honour crimes’ and secondly to fund the prosecutions (and even funeral costs) in cases where British citizens commit family and relationship violence in another country. Given his record of filibustering and talking out any vaguely progressive measure which gets on his wick, we can assume that is not an idle threat. If you watch the footage (at 12.39pm here) you can actually hear the sound of several hundred rolling eyes right across the House. Parliament has long ago decided Davies is a buffoon and they’re not the only ones.

Inevitably, here’s what the political pundits were Twittering about Davies yesterday.

Philip Davies

 

It’s a familiar, sorry picture. And yet here’s the irony. Nusrat Ghani was proposing a bill which – in the initial terms she described yesterday – would indeed be horribly discriminatory and unfair, and those on the shitty end would primarily be vulnerable young GBT men from strictly conservative religious communities. Does Nusrat Ghani or anyone else want to stand up and justify their explicit exclusion from this bill? I very much doubt it. On his fundamental point, Davies was right. So he rose to his feet in the House, surveyed the wide sprawling fields of the moral high ground afore him, complete with a trumpet fanfare to welcome him to this fresh ethical arcadia, and immediately dived headfirst into the ideological gutter.

It was like a little 15 minute cameo vignette of the entire political ideology of Philip Davies. He had a wonderful opportunity yesterday to make an intervention which could have made a real, practical, valuable difference to the lives of extremely vulnerable men and boys. But Davies does not really seem to care about the lives of extremely vulnerable men and boys. Male victims of family violence are not helped in the slightest by preventing progress for women and girls under the guise of an infantile notion of ‘fairness.’ His only concern is adhering to some kind of brainless, infantile, ‘sauce for the goose’ equation.

Despite Davies’s intervention, the motion passed. The nature of backbench legislation is that it is unlikely to become law, but in any case, here’s a very brief plan of action. Between now and the bill’s second reading on 24th of March, I’ll get together with colleagues at the Men and Boys Coalition and suggest we write to Nusrat Ghani, offer our thanks and full support for this important measure, and ask her to ensure that the wording of the bill is explicitly inclusive of male victims. I would very much hope this is something on which we could trust to the support of LGBT charities and campaigns, and also the support of organisations working with victims of family and relationship violence, particularly in South Asian communities. If Ghani and other MPs do wish to explicitly exclude male victims from these measures, let’s put them in a position where they have to spell that out and justify it.

What we have here is a fairly clear example of where lobbying for male victims can be straightforward, winnable and the right thing to do. Let’s not allow Philip Davies to bugger it up for everyone.

UPDATE 02/02/17

Apologies for not noticing this sooner, but after I posted this blog yesterday Nusrat Ghani replied to a Twitter user who asked specifically about male victims. Here are her posts:

Nusrat

 

Just in case your images are turned off, she says “it does include men. Look out for the speech” and then later:  “I spoke to him [Davies] earlier this week & made it clear that I would clarify bill title & ensure all victims r covered. Still objected.”

So, that clears that up. I’m very happy because it saves me some lobbying time. Nusrat Ghani is happy to include male victims in her legislation, everyone’s a winner.

Except take on board the momentousness of what she said. Philip Davies stood up yesterday and objected to the bill on grounds that he already knew were entirely baseless.  He wasn’t objecting to the bill because it was going to exclude male victims. Which leaves us to ponder the question, what the fuck was he playing at?

Comments

  1. Adiabat says

    He pretty much said what you wanted him to say.

    This quote sums up what Philip Davies said in the link you provided:

    I believe that its discriminatory premise is wrong. Not all victims are female, and not all offenders are male. We should introduce gender-neutral legislation that is designed to help all victims of crime, whether they be men or women, and to punish all offenders responsible for such crimes, whether those offenders be men or women.

    Presumably, if the “honourable friend” removed the words ‘female’ and ‘of women’ from the terms of her proposal as you suggest in your bit, he would no longer object. I don’t see the problem. Do you think Nusrat Ghani MP isn’t intelligent enough to figure this out?

    Is your problem just that it was Phillip Davies?

  2. Ally Fogg says

    You’re right to suggest that the difference between what he said and what I’d want him to say is minimal, but it is not trivial.

    His very first words sentence said “I will oppose this bill.”

    That is all it took to destroy his credibility and his moral authority.

    It’s the difference between saying “I support what you are doing but I want to do more” and saying “I won’t support what you are doing unless I get what I want.”

    It’s the difference between being obstructive and constructive. The difference between trying to help those who need it and trying to prevent help going to at least some of those who need it.

    And all of this comes with a context, a background. Davies has explicitly said that he doesn’t want fewer men going to prison, he wants more women to go to prison. It’s not as if he has ever shown any interest in gay men of BME backgrounds getting the help they need, he’s more interested in preventing parliament taking any steps to ensure BME women get the help they need.

    When someone shows me the list of constructive bills, amendments and proposals Davies has made in Parliament to actually create policy improvements for vulnerable men and boys then I’ll recant and apologise. All I have ever seen from him are attempts to block, to obstruct, to tear down.

  3. says

    Adiabat #1:

    Is your problem just that it was Phillip Davies?

    Davies could have managed to make his point without snide and unnecessary reference to “morons on twitter, and some in this house.” (I quote from memory, so the wording may be a little off.)

    He could have done it without equally snide references to “political correctness,” especially given that the use of the word “honour” for such violence is, in fact, the label applied by the perpetrators, who appeal to honour and tradition, which makes the accusation of “PC” usage completely inaccurate.

    He could, if he were truly concerned about the victims he speaks of, have expressed concern with the present wording of the bill without trying to block it in its entirety; an action which, if successful, would have done male victims no favours at all.

  4. That Guy says

    But Davies does not really seem to care about the lives of extremely vulnerable men and boys

    This encapsulates everything I’ve ever wanted to communicate about Phillip Davies, and on top of that

    Between now and the bill’s second reading on 24th of March, I’ll get together with colleagues at the Men and Boys Coalition and suggest we write to Nusrat Ghani, offer our thanks and full support for this important measure, and ask her to ensure that the wording of the bill is explicitly inclusive of male victims.

    Extremely constructive actions and outcomes. This is exactly what campaigning for men’s issues should be about, results that benefit everyone.

  5. Adiabat says

    Ally (2): If you continue with what he opened with:

    I oppose this Bill as it is currently framed. For the benefit of the morons on Twitter, and for some in this House, I should make it clear from the start that obviously, along with everybody else, I oppose women suffering from honour-based violence, but it seems that I am the only one in this House at the moment who equally opposes honour-based violence against men too.

    My bolding. He foresaw your objection and responded to it immediately. It’s not very charitable to then pretend he didn’t say any of that immediately after the bit you quoted. (I like that he pre-empted the twitter morons that you provided a screenshot of 🙂 )

    To me that’s not him really opposing the bill at all. It pretty much says “I support what you are doing but I can’t approve the sexism in the bill”. He states several times that he supports what Ghani is doing. If he doesn’t threaten to oppose the bill what incentive is there to remove the blatant sexism?

    The main disagreement seems to be whether we should pass sexist bills purposely designed to help only some victims of a crime, but which ignore other victims of the same crime because of their gender. There has to be some balance between “taking what we can get” to help even some victims and preventing the increase of institutional sexism in the system (I’m told that’s the “bad kind” of sexism.) If you always give your consent to sexist bills then they aren’t going to stop. If you block them unless they aren’t blatantly sexist then there might be some progress.

    And all of this comes with a context, a background. Davies has explicitly said that he doesn’t want fewer men going to prison, he wants more women to go to prison.

    So he’s on the right, you’re on the left; this is separate from the equality issue. Considering that the legal system was mainly developed with male criminals in mind, it could be argued that how it treats male criminals is the system ‘working as intended’. There’s nothing wrong with going along with how it’s meant to work and insisting that it is applied equally to all genders. That position is just as much “for equality” than insisting on prison reform before you’ll support equality.

    I don’t agree with most of his voting record, but I don’t have a problem agreeing with some things he does and disagreeing with others. You’re never going to get an MP supporting men’s issues who completely agrees with you on everything.

  6. Ally Fogg says

    Adiabat [5]

    So he’s on the right, you’re on the left; this is separate from the equality issue. Considering that the legal system was mainly developed with male criminals in mind, it could be argued that how it treats male criminals is the system ‘working as intended’. There’s nothing wrong with going along with how it’s meant to work and insisting that it is applied equally to all genders.

    There is so, so, so much wrong with the system ‘working as intended.’

    I don’t want the system working as intended and applied equally to all genders if what it is working to do is oppress people, neglect people, fuck up the lives of the vast majority of people to the profit of a tiny minority of beneficiaries.

    I don’t want the system working as intended. I want the system pretty much smashed to smithereens.

  7. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    “You’re never going to get an MP supporting men’s issues who completely agrees with you on everything.”

    As per his voting record, he doesn’t “support men’s issues”, he supports business interests and vandalises anything aimed at supporting vulnerable men (and women), all in the name of opposing “political correctness.”

    Much like yourself, he sees “political correctness” as a true enemy.

    I can see why you and him do, as Stewart Lee put it, “political correctness is sh*t, isn’t it? Being fair to people.”

  8. Ally Fogg says

    Oh, and…

    “I oppose this Bill as it is currently framed.”

    Yes, as I said:

    “It’s the difference between saying “I support what you are doing but I want to do more” and saying “I won’t support what you are doing unless I get what I want.”

    The problem is that underlying threat to oppose the bill (which as we all know, in Davies’s case that doesn’t just mean vote against it, that usually means filibustering and talking it out so no one gets a democratic vote on it.)

    He would get so much further (and be so much more useful for the men he proclaims to care about) if he were to approach these things with friendly amendments rather than cynical obstructiveness.

  9. Adiabat says

    Ally Fogg (6): So you care more about reform than equality.

    I care more that someone encountering the justice system can be assured that they will be treated the same as anyone else who committed the same crime, or treated the same as any other victim of the same crime, regardless of gender. I think that is a fundamental condition of a just legal system.

    Prison reform would be great as well. I just see them as two separate issues and my support for equality isn’t conditional on prison reform.

  10. Ally Fogg says

    As I’ve said many a time before, I’m really not remotely interested in equality. I don’t actually think it exists in any meaningful sense, it is an entirely abstract, nebulous concept that mostly serves to rationalise injustice.

    Equal treatment is when you have a 5’1″ person standing up to their neck in a pool and a 6’1″ standing up to their bellybutton next to them, and you give them both another 6″ of water to stand in.

  11. That Guy says

    Phillip Davies, the man with so much conviction that he’ll use the filibuster to eject the bills he doesn’t like.

    Like, you know, the ones improving healthcare, the ones improving housing, the ones that protect people from violence. It’s not like his tory buddies have similarly talked out bills pardoning gay men for the crime of being gay, isn’t it?

    OH WAIT.

  12. ajay says

    I do not understand what gutter Phillip Davies is supposed to have dived into. He has identiifed that a proposal is deeply sexist which will disadvantage a substantial number of people and suggested the sexism must be removed before the proposal is supported. What is wrong with that?

    The person in the ideological gutter is Nusrat Ghani. What reason has she got for her sexist proposal? Unless we are clear that sex discrimination that seriously disadvantages people is unacceptable and polite and peaceful oppostion to this discrimination is a good thing we are going to get nowhere.

    Ally, as frequently is the case seems more concerned not to upset sexist biggots such as Nusrat than concerned about those who are seriously disadvantaged by the misandrist orthodoxy.

  13. StillGjenganger says

    Well, we have a proposal that is sexist and promotes the principle that women should be helped while men should be ignored – even when their needs are the same. And that also does good things for those (women) it does help. One could decide that the, let us call it ideological, damage outweighs the practical advantage, or that the practical good outweighs the ideological damage. Davies apparently thinks the former.

    Surely good progressive people have used similar logic in other cases?

  14. Groan says

    I don’t agree with all Philip Davies does or stands for. But he is in Parliament and he does, simply by sticking his neck out, get some sort of discussion outside the “gender” echo chamber that has constructed discriminatory policy. Like Tam Dalyell or Frank Skinner just by being awkward issues gat some sort of airing. As in this case the coalition can indeed write a letter, and I hope it is successful. However it will inevitably have been helped by the little prod of publicity generated by Mr. Davies.
    I am in late middle age now and my experience indicates that various agendas are whizzed along behind closed doors frequently with no public airing at all.

  15. StillGjenganger says

    Just for fun, imagine that some conservative politician proposed the introduction of a ‘universal basic income’ – but only for people whose grandparents had been born in the UK. How would you react, Ally? Would you say “I support what you are doing but I want to do more”? Or would you oppose it as blatant and danngerous discrimination?

  16. Sans-sanity says

    To take your example from twitter, he’s not so much saying ‘Don’t throw the life ring, it’s discriminatory’, as ‘I won’t let you throw any life rings unless you throw both of the life rings I see you have there’
    The morality of the issue depends on how likely the gambit is to result in the maximally beneficial outcome rather than defaulting to no one getting help… if any of it was actually likely to help at all.

    You say: “The nature of backbench legislation is that it is unlikely to become law”
    So really, no one’s getting any help. Davis wasn’t holding women’s safety hostage, he was holding a gesture hostage. But, he wasn’t actually going to help men either, he was only making a gesture of his own. In doing so he gambled (or spent) the credibility and goodwill of the men’s movement (for lack of a less tarnished term). You’ve got your own approach to try and get men included in this gesture that doesn’t gamble anything. Do you like your odds of winning this concession better than Davis’?

    (On the balance, I think that you do. If Davis had used his position to ask nicely and they refused him they’d be the ones who looked like they were putting gender politics ahead of people’s well being – which would be a much more powerful position to take than the empty bluster he went with)

  17. That Guy says

    @17 Sans-sanity

    If Davis had used his position to ask nicely and they refused him they’d be the ones who looked like they were putting gender politics ahead of people’s well being – which would be a much more powerful position to take than the empty bluster he went with

    Absolutely 100% doubleplusgood yes yes yes this is exactly the point. For those of you who think Phillip Davies is doing some kind of favour by gaining this ‘publicity’, consider this- he’s gaining publicity by behaving in a manner that is harmful, petulant and selfish. Are these the values that you really want people to associate with a movement you support? Like, do you go about your daily lives being absolute pricks to people at every opportunity? How do you think that works out?

  18. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger –

    Just for fun, imagine that some conservative politician proposed the introduction of a ‘universal basic income’ – but only for people whose grandparents had been born in the UK. How would you react, Ally? Would you say “I support what you are doing but I want to do more”? Or would you oppose it as blatant and danngerous discrimination?

    I don’t think that analogy really works because Universal Basic Income would be replacing some other kind of state pension scheme and the whole business would be far too complex to compare.

    A much better analogy would be if an MP proposed an initiative to provide prosthetics to disabled services veterans, and proposed a bill which referred throughout to ‘men,’ ‘servicemen’ etc.

    Imagine two feminist MPs stand up. The first says “I welcome this necessary proposal but would ask my honourable friend to remember that our armed forces are not all male and that there are also ex-servicewomen who need this help.”

    Feminist 2 stands up and says “I oppose this bill as it is currently framed…” and then goes on to spend 15 minutes rambling on about how terrible a time women have in the armed forces and threatening to talk the bill out unless it is rephrased to specifically include women.

    The question is not which feminist MP is right or wrong. The question is which feminist MP is more likely to secure your sympathy, co-operation and agreement?

  19. 123454321 says

    And the ration of men and women in the services requiring prosthetics compared with the ratio of violence against women as opposed to men is…..?

  20. 123454321 says

    “Imagine two feminist MPs stand up…..”

    Happens all the fucking time. Literally. Over the past several decades. More than two.

  21. 123454321 says

    This is the think you see. There is a pattern. Women, like Nusrat Ghani, start conversations and present Bills that are fundamentally based around male exclusion – they ignore men. Then when they are challenged, in whatever way, particularly by mavericks like Davies, they are criticised, beaten and slammed off the track as being uncooperative, wrong, deluded, politically incorrect and misogynistic. But the real fuckwit here is the person who could have ever so easily included men and boys in the first fucking place. Get it?

  22. 123454321 says

    “It’s the difference between saying “I support what you are doing but I want to do more” and saying “I won’t support what you are doing unless I get what I want.”

    This is what women are doing all the time (the last part). They didn’t want Davies on the Equalities committee because they say they want women’s issues to be prioritised and fixed first. People like Caroline Lucas, Jess Philips and co. (too many to count) have literally said that outright without a hint of remorse.

    The Davies comes on and you literally lambast him. Nah, something’s not right. Too much pussyfooting. Won’t work. Hasn’t ever worked before. Will never work in the future.

  23. WineEM says

    Thing is Ally Phillip Davies is one of those incredibly rare politicians who are prepared to engaged with ‘the great unwashed’ (i.e. the general public). So one idea might simply be to write to him at his UK Parliament address and ask him why he didn’t believe at the time that the minor amendment route was viable or desirable. That, instead of sounding off before you’ve got his thinking on that idea. For come on, let’s face it, these matters of procedure can actually be bl**dy complicated! Presumably one could have said the same thing about the Istanbul convention debate and bill, but there’s also the question of whether MPs were actually likely to vote for this said amendment, as I don’t think we can simply take for granted that they would have. I can quite well imagine the feminist (and feminist sympathist) MPs might well have said ‘no, this is our bill for women, if you want something for men you can bring in your own legislation’, we simply don’t know. I that case, presumably, the discriminatory legislation would have simply gone through without any opposition – to add to all the other deliberately discriminatory measures we already have. (Also, I don’t think your asking now, after the fact, would count as a controlled experiment as to whether it would have worked in the first place).

    We do know for sure that people like Phillips and Lucas, portrayed by the liberal left as all sweetness and light, don’t believe that the govt. equality committee should be there for discussing men’s issues. Davies asked this morning whether said committee could be renamed the ‘equality committee’, yet predictably gynocentric MPs gave short shrift to this idea. So we do also know that the route to equality is not simply going to be gained merely by asking nicely.

  24. Adiabat says

    Ally (8): Don’t MP’s say all the time that they will oppose a bill unless some amendment or other is made? They aren’t supposed to say “hmm, well, I’d like this to be different but I’ll vote it through anyway even if you don’t make the changes”.

    As for filibustering: yeah it needs reform so it’s not possible. But for now that’s how parliament works, and it’s up to them to stop that.

    (10): So you don’t think that all should be equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law? Controversial.

    I guess its fine to disagree with the UN Declaration of Human Rights, nothing is infallible. But permitting unfair discrimination in the law until you manage to ‘smash the system’ in a few decades time would be unacceptable and immoral for me, and I suspect most people.

    It’s also no different to saying “I won’t support what you are doing unless I get what I want”. Except what Davies wants is the simple and reasonable removal of sexism from a bill, and what you want is a massive overhaul of the justice system.

    That Guy (18):

    he’s gaining publicity by behaving in a manner that is harmful, petulant and selfish. Are these the values that you really want people to associate with a movement you support?

    I disagree that he is behaving in the manner you describe, but assuming it’s true: I’d extend the same question to those who support Black Lives Matter, or Feminism. But I guess we could argue all day about our personal impressions of movements and their supporters. It’s always different somehow, some minor detail that excludes them from the same judgement when it’s someone or something you support. That’s just human nature, and a bias we all have.

    I’m not concerned with the people you mention who will make unfavourable associations. The only people who seem to making these associations are those who already seem to oppose whatever he does, however he does it. I don’t think he could do anything without being criticised by them: He literally predicted the twitter morons blatantly misrepresenting his position, made it explicit at several points he wasn’t opposing tackling honour killings but opposing sexism in the bill, and they still lied. Because that’s what they do.

  25. ajay says

    RE: 19
    “Imagine two feminist MPs stand up. The first says “I welcome this necessary proposal but would ask my honourable friend to remember that our armed forces are not all male and that there are also ex-servicewomen who need this help.”

    Feminist 2 stands up and says “I oppose this bill as it is currently framed…” and then goes on to spend 15 minutes rambling on about how terrible a time women have in the armed forces and threatening to talk the bill out unless it is rephrased to specifically include women.”

    The problem is that what Phillip Davies actually did, and I suggest you reread Hansard to confirm this, is very close to the first feminist. He is focussed and gives evidence directly related to honour killings. He definitely does not ramble around general mistreatment of men.

    Even if Phillip Davies did ramble (which he clearly did not) It is bizarre to criticse the person who is seeking to make the legislation non-discriminatory rather than those who stubbornly insist on the discrimination.

    This is a problem I repeatedly have with this blog. It seems more concenred with ctiticising the imagined poor manners or tactics of advocates of equality than those who are nakedly sexist and discriminatory. In the case of Phillip Davies his actual speech is an exemplar of clarity, rationality and politeness so the critiism is paticularily groundless.

  26. Ally Fogg says

    Adiabat (25)

    (10): So you don’t think that all should be equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law? Controversial.

    Nah, you misunderstand me, which may be my fault for not explaining a complex concept very clearly.

    Equality is a fine and noble goal. You don’t achieve it by treating people equally when they’re not equal to start with. On the contrary, if you want to achieve equality as an ultimate end point, the first thing you have to do is to stop treating them equally.

    A really simple example of this. If a billionaire and a beggar get into a fight and each is convicted of the exact same affray charge and each is fined £1000 as a punishment, have they been treated equally?

    Of course they haven’t.

    Same applies, only in much more complicated and obscure ways, at every level of public policy and the judicial system.

    “The law, in its infinite wisdom, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the street and steal bread.” – Anatole France.

  27. Marduk says

    You’ve got no chance Ally.

    Read the motion carefully on its own terms without preamble, there is a good reason why they are aiming this at women and will not under any circumstances change it. The trick is to make it about the victims, not the perpetrators. If it becomes universalist in character, you can’t do that because (lets not piss about) Ghani has a certain set of victims and perpetrators in mind here even if the Bill doesn’t identify them. There is a prickish reading of the bill where we pretend we don’t know the context and wonder why it would be that if, say, Philip Davies hit his wife, the police would likely consider it ‘culturally sensitive’ and whether she is at more risk in their Provence holiday home than in Britain. What it ends up saying taken literally is that everyone should be treated like everyone, and then implies everyone isn’t treated like everyone, which again makes no sense.

    I’d argue a better solution actually is to broaden the definition of ‘Honour violence’ and go about it that way, nearly all groups in society do practice this in reality, its just that we only call it that in some cases that the Bill is unable to define.

  28. 123454321 says

    “Equality is a fine and noble goal. You don’t achieve it by treating people equally when they’re not equal to start with. On the contrary, if you want to achieve equality as an ultimate end point, the first thing you have to do is to stop treating them equally.”

    But they weren’t equal to start with because you didn’t treat them equally to start with. Not treating them equally to start with is what gets you into the mess in the first place and then you suggest to continue not treating them equally. It’s a non-sequitur. Let’s just start treating everyone equally, right here, right now. Simple.

    “A really simple example of this. If a billionaire and a beggar get into a fight and each is convicted of the exact same affray charge and each is fined £1000 as a punishment, have they been treated equally?”

    Yes, of course they’ve been treated equally. It’s just that the punishment is not applicable. There are plenty of other ways to address that situation using equal and fitting punishments. Issuing community service to each of them for example for, say, 200 hours, would do the trick. Come on, Ally, quit with the gotchas. Davies is looking for true equality, and all he’s done is attack in a finely executed manner, some bigoted zealot for excluding men once again after the fiftieth millionth time.

  29. redpesto says

    Fogg:

    Feminist 2 stands up and says “I oppose this bill as it is currently framed…” and then goes on to spend 15 minutes rambling on about how terrible a time women have in the armed forces and threatening to talk the bill out unless it is rephrased to specifically include women.

    Philip Davies is one reason that we get Feminist 2 more often than Feminist 1, and hence fewer examples of gender-inclusive policy-making.

  30. WineEM says

    @31 Well that’s highly speculative isn’t it. Not least since, bizarrely enough, back in the late 90s and early 2000s, when the New Labour feminists were in their absolute element, Philip Davies – or any individual like him for that matter – was not speaking out about gender issues in parliament (Davies himself only first being elected in 2005). Fairly clear to anyone who might give it a second’s thought, that Harman, Jowell et al would have carried on with their modus operandi regardless, quite indifferent to what anybody else said or thought. (And how strange too that while they carried on with their ‘wimmin’s agenda’ that manufacturing was, infamously, run down at twice the rate as under Thatcher. Who could have contemplated that the two things might have gone hand in hand?)

  31. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally

    Equality is a fine and noble goal. You don’t achieve it by treating people equally when they’re not equal to start with. On the contrary, if you want to achieve equality as an ultimate end point, the first thing you have to do is to stop treating them equally.

    I would not necessarily disagree with that. But the advantage of taking equal treatment as the default assumption is that it forces you to justify explicitly *why* these groups deserve to be treated differently in each case. Taking unequal treatment as your starting point leaves too much space for special pleading.

    As a case in point I have yet to hear exactly why women who are deprived, often mentally ill, and have families, ought to get shorter prison sentences, when men who are deprived, mentally ill, and have families, apparently do not.

  32. WineEM says

    Davies just re-tweeted this from his account:
    https://twitter.com/mxwmxwmxw/status/827203235890999296

    @EverydaySexism @guardian @PhilipDaviesMP Correction. “After attempting to get equality & a bill that defends EVERYONE” – Moron.

    So he clearly believes he has made steps to do this. Perhaps now would be the time to ask him what those steps were, before concluding he had no interest in any reasonable way forward?

  33. Ally Fogg says

    Everyone, before you argue any further, please note a very important edit to the OP at the top of the page!

    Ta,

    A

  34. 123454321 says

    “Which leaves us to ponder the question, what the fuck was he playing at?

    Opportunity. Raising awareness. It worked. It also teaches her not to forget half the fucking population next time she goes to task. Job done and good night!

  35. says

    Ally,

    I don’t understand why you are interpreting the available information most favourably toward Ghani, and most unfavourably toward Davis. The sequence of events as best I can gather is as follows.

    1. Ghani publishes a bill offering protection to exclusively female victims of so-called honour violence.

    2. At some point last week Ghani spoke to Davis, and told him that she would “clarify” the bill and ensure all victims are covered. “Clarify” is a tendentious word: the unamended bill is already clear. It explicitly protects only female victims

    3. On January 31 she presents her bill to parliament, in its unamended form, which, four times limited its protections to female victims. She does, in her speech, acknowledge the existence of male victims in a single sneeze-and-you-miss-it sentence, but says nothing about amending her bill to protect them as well.

    4. Davis then speaks saying that he “oppose this Bill as it is currently framed.”, explicitly giving its exclusion of men and boys as his principle reason.

    5. She responds to a twitter thread by first falsely claiming that “it” (in context, “it” refers to the bill) “does include men”. It’s only when called on this falsehood that she says anything in public about amending the bill or that she had had a conversation with Davis earlier that week. Her remark that Davis “still objected” can reasonably be interpreted as referring to Davis’ opposition earlier that day in parliament.

    But Davis was objecting to the unamended bill, which is the only bill before parliament. Moreover, opposing the bill was the only way Davis could have spoken to the issue. Ten minute rule bills allow one speech in support and one in opposition. and that’s all. Ally suggestion that Davis could have proposed an amendment would have been procedurally out of order.

  36. Marduk says

    But it doesn’t include men and she didn’t clarify that point despite giving assurances. It just makes the Davies intervention look even more justifiable, he played it your way and it didn’t work.

    #19 Yet there is a substantial history of people opposing half-measures and incrementalism on progressive grounds sometimes of principle (if we want equality, giving us better terms but actually re-asserting and rubber stamping an ongoing inequality is not OK) and sometimes just to send a message to legislators to be braver. I believe issue of gay rights often has this character.

    JS Mill wrote about the Reform Act in this way when he was an MP and set out a series of tests and conditions for backing half-measures versus opposing half-measures. The point being even as a utilitarian, even he didn’t uncritically apply crude utilitarianism to this sort of situation. I think you need to go a bit deeper because otherwise no Bill can ever see controversial improvement so long as it does something for somebody. The gay age of consent would be 19 right now.

  37. says

    Jeez, is this thread bugging me.

    Here’s the order of Parliamentary business for 24th March. The day is given over entirely to the consideration of private members’ bills. Ghani’s is be the 30th bill out of 31. There is zero chance that this bill will succeed. There is zero chance that it will even be discussed, or that amendments can be proposed. Davis’ support or opposition then will make no difference whatsoever.

    The only opportunity for him to comment was at the ten minute rule stage, and only way for him to get the time to speak was to oppose the bill.

  38. says

    It’s the difference between saying “I support what you are doing but I want to do more”

    This is the wrong framing. Davis is demanding a qualitative change – an end to discrimination against men – not merely a quantitative one.

    and saying “I won’t support what you are doing unless I get what I want.”

    That’s exactly what the Montgomery Bus boycotters said.

    Perhaps there were others back then who said to the bus company “we support what you are doing but we want you to do more”, but if so, history does not record them.

    The problem here isn’t that Ghani introduced a bill which erases and discriminates against male victims. The problem is that we live in a culture which erases and discriminates against male victims. Ghani changing her bill will in reality change nothing, because Ghani’s bill will be followed by another dicriminatory bill. And another.

    Your proposed letter to Ghani is like asking to be tossed a bone from a table from which you are excluded. It may get you a few bones, but it’ll never get you a seat at the table.

    It’s the difference between being obstructive and constructive. The difference between trying to help those who need it and trying to prevent help going to at least some of those who need it.

    Ghani tried to prevent help going to some of those who need it. The gendered words in her bill had no effect other than to exclude male victims from its protections.

    The difference between Ghani’s attempt to prevent help going to some of those who need it, and Davis’, is that Ghani reinforced a cultural injustice, while Davis seeks to overturn it. Yet Davis gets excoriated while Ghani is to be treated with kid gloves.

    And all of this comes with a context, a background. Davies has explicitly said that he doesn’t want fewer men going to prison, he wants more women to go to prison. It’s not as if he has ever shown any interest in gay men of BME backgrounds getting the help they need, he’s more interested in preventing parliament taking any steps to ensure BME women get the help they need.

    Davis explicitly stated in his speech to parliament that he would suppport a bill which offered its protections to both male and female victims. I see no reason not to take him at his word. After all, you took Ghani’s word on twitter that she’s reword to bill to include male victims.

    When someone shows me the list of constructive bills, amendments and proposals Davies has made in Parliament to actually create policy improvements for vulnerable men and boys then I’ll recant and apologise. All I have ever seen from him are attempts to block, to obstruct, to tear down.

    This is a familiar trope. Opposition to discrimination against men is somehow invalid unless accompanied by a record of positive activism in support of men. No such demand is made of individual feminists protesting against, well, anything.

  39. says

    Just seen this:

    My bill proposes support for all victims of domestic violence & aggravated murder

    This was a lie. Irrespective of what she might have done with her bill following its introduction, or might do in the future, the bill she introduced to the house limited its support to female victims.

    In the same tweet, she links to this article, which contains two more lies within the first three paragraphs. First, regardless of what he may have done in other debates, Davis did not filibuster Ghani’s bill. It’s not possible to filibuster of a ten-minute-rule bill. Second, he did give an example of a male victim – Ahmed Bashir. Moreover, he gave statistics from credible sources that showed a quarter of all victims of these crimes are male.

    Anyone who knows me will know that I do not toss the word “lie” around lightly. There really is no room here for good-faith error.

  40. Ally Fogg says

    Daran / Marduk, the paper that was published ahead of the speech on Tuesday was not a bill.

    We cannot say what is and is not in the bill because the bill hasn’t been published yet. It probably hasn’t even been written yet.

    The document that was available to be read was nothing more than a “motion to present” that sets out the broad topic that the bill will cover.

    Now two things happened on Tuesday that contradicted each other. One was Ghani got up and gave a speech which specifically included mention of male victims and implied that she was talking about them too. At the same time the title of her motion mentioned women but not men and there was a phrase “female victims of domestic violence” used at one point.

    Now the context to that is the the Home Office and other government departments (as all our regulars here know) classify intimate violence against men – including DV, forced marriage and honour crimes under the banner “violence against women and girls” despite the actual legislation being gender neutral.

    As we all know that is wrong and confusing and offensive and I’ve been working harder than anyone to get that changed, but it remains how it is.

    So, on Tuesday, the motion was ambiguous WRT male victims. It was perfectly reasonable for Davies or anyone else to seek to clarify whether or not the Bill would indeed cover male victims.

    I assumed that when Davies stood up, he genuinely didn’t know the answer to that question, so the blog above basically welcomed the fact that he was trying to get that clarification, while slamming him for the alienating, clumsy, politically inept route he took to finding out.

    Then it emerged that he already had the clarification and the assurances he needed that the bill would cover men too. So all we are left with is the clumsy political ineptness.

  41. says

    Daran / Marduk, the paper that was published ahead of the speech on Tuesday was not a bill.

    Yes it was, and yes it is.

    We cannot say what is and is not in the bill because the bill hasn’t been published yet. It probably hasn’t even been written yet.

    The document that was available to be read was nothing more than a “motion to present” that sets out the broad topic that the bill will cover.

    You have the wrong idea of what a bill is. According to Parliament’s own website “A Bill is a proposal for a new law…, that is presented to Parliament.” Whatever Ghani intends to present at the second reading. which may or may not have been written, hasn’t yet been presented to Parliament and is not yet a bill.

    However there is a bill before Parliament. What you are calling a “motion to present” meets that definition. Moreover it is the only document that meets the definition. It is the bill.

    I grant that at this stage, the bill is nothing more than a statement of purposes, and that it will be very different should it ever reach the later stages of its passage through parliament. But it is still a bill.

    Now two things happened on Tuesday that contradicted each other. One was Ghani got up and gave a speech which specifically included mention of male victims and implied that she was talking about them too. At the same time the title of her motion mentioned women but not men and there was a phrase “female victims of domestic violence” used at one point.

    The title of the bill is “Crime (Aggravated Murder of and Violence Against Women)” which is rather bizarre grammatically. It appears to parse as “(Aggravated Murder of Women) and (Violence against Women)”. “Violence against Women” is a term-of-art, albeit one which is ill-defined and obfuscated. It does not mean what its component words mean. As you go on to point out, it is sometimes used to refer to violence against people who aren’t women. On the other hand, “Aggravated Murder of Women” is not a term of art and so must be understood to mean just what its words say.

    Now the context to that is the the Home Office and other government departments (as all our regulars here know) classify intimate violence against men – including DV, forced marriage and honour crimes under the banner “violence against women and girls” despite the actual legislation being gender neutral.

    The fallacy here is the assumption that the phrase “violence against women” has a well-defined meaning that is understood to include men by everyone concerned, every legislator, every civil servant, every judge. This seems highly unlikely

    In any case, The title of the bill must yield to its content, which, as it currently stands before Parliament is as follows:

    …to make provision about the aggravated murder of, and aggravated domestic violence against, women, who are citizens of the United Kingdom, outside the United Kingdom; to prohibit the use of the term honour killing in official publications; to require the Government to arrange for, and meet from public funds the costs of, the repatriation of the bodies of female citizens of the United Kingdom who are victims of aggravated murder outside the United Kingdom and the provision of assistance to female citizens of the United Kingdom who are victims of aggravated domestic violence outside the United Kingdom in order to enable them to return to the United Kingdom; to provide for the prosecution in the United Kingdom in certain circumstances of citizens of the United Kingdom who commit the aggravated murder of, or threaten or incite domestic violence against, women, who are citizens of the United Kingdom, outside the United Kingdom; and for connected purposes.

    My italics. Four of the five specified purposes are explicitly restricted to female victims, the sole exception being the prohibition on the use of the phrase “honour killing”. The inclusion of these words are not accidental. They’re not scrivener’s error. The bill was deliberately written to apply only to women.

    So, on Tuesday, the motion was ambiguous WRT male victims.

    No it is not. As presented to parliament, (and quoted by me above) it unambiguously excludes male victims from the ambit of four of its five specific provisions.

    It was perfectly reasonable for Davies or anyone else to seek to clarify whether or not the Bill would indeed cover male victims.
    I assumed that when Davies stood up, he genuinely didn’t know the answer to that question, so the blog above basically welcomed the fact that he was trying to get that clarification, while slamming him for the alienating, clumsy, politically inept route he took to finding out.

    I totally understand – and regret – that Davis’ approach to his intervention was inept and ineffectual in many ways. I also understand that Davis has a poor record generally on social issues. He is a Tory after all. What I do not see is anything to indicate that his opposition is motivated by animus toward women despite numerous smears to that effect.

    Then it emerged that he already had the clarification and the assurances he needed that the bill would cover men too. So all we are left with is the clumsy political ineptness.

    According to a narrative presented by someone who has lied about the content of her bill, and linked to more lies about what Davis did. We haven’t heard his version of that conversation.

    In any case, Davis’ opposition did nothing to harm the bill, and could have done nothing to harm it. With or without Davis, the bill’s passing at its first reading is inevitable. Equally inevitable is its failure at the second reading. With or without Davis, there will be no further parliamentary discussion about this bill

    The only effect of his decision to oppose the bill was to give himself ten minutes to raise awareness of male victims of so-called honour killings on the floor of the house, and to challenge the culture which systematically erases and discriminates against male victims, while calling it . I regret that his approach was so inept and ineffective, but I do not regret that he did it. I would have done it too.

  42. ajay says

    43 – Ally ..”Then it emerged that he already had the clarification and the assurances he needed that the bill would cover men too. So all we are left with is the clumsy political ineptness”

    The problem is that this is nonsense. This point was raised in the chamber and dealt with by Philip Davies – from Hansard: “People are saying that that is what my hon. Friend the Member for Wealden said, but I am looking at the annunciator screen, which reads: “Crime (Aggravated Murder of and Violence against Women)”. There is no mention of men. It is no good saying that this Bill includes men; it does not. That is there on the screen for hon. Members to see, if they cannot hear what is happening. They clearly have not read the Bill.”

    Clearly Nusrat Ghani talked with Phillip Davis knew that it was discriminatory and did not adddress male victims but she decided not to change the wording but continue with a women only version. Phillip Davis addressed what was written and presented in the house of commons. What else can he do?
    What is intensely depressing is that a woman can make a deeply discriminatory proposal with no justification whatsoever, without even the justification of ignorance and have essentially no criticism at all yet a man who politely points out the discriminatory nature of the proposal is criticised even by those such as Ally who claim too be opposed to the discrimination concerned.

    Ally clearly has a problem with anyone who presents male disadvantage in anything but the most abject grovelling terms but this problem is mirrored in wider society. The wider problem is that discrimination against men is widely beleived not to exist or if it does exist not to matter. Ally’s may have severe cognitive dissonance on the subject but at least accepts there is some sort of problem. There is no usch acceptance in society as a whole. In this regard Phillip Davis is a significant force for change, by being awkward and raising the reality of anti-male discrimination he will receive a lot of criticism but he will raise awareness and that will have a long term effect.

  43. says

    Clearly Nusrat Ghani talked with Phillip Davis knew that it was discriminatory and did not adddress male victims but she decided not to change the wording but continue with a women only version.

    To be fair to Ghani, she probably couldn’t change the wording at that point.

    But this only shifts her culpability backward in time.

    Phillip Davis addressed what was written and presented in the house of commons. What else can he do?

    Be silent.

    What is intensely depressing is that a woman can make a deeply discriminatory proposal with no justification whatsoever, without even the justification of ignorance and have essentially no criticism at all yet a man who politely points out the discriminatory nature of the proposal is criticised even by those such as Ally who claim too be opposed to the discrimination concerned.

    Let’s not be sexist about this. Any person, man or woman, can (and both sexes do) make deeply discriminatory proposals with no justification.

  44. ajay says

    47 -Daran

    ” Let’s not be sexist about this. Any person, man or woman, can (and both sexes do) make deeply discriminatory proposals with no justification.”

    Yes any one can make such a proposal. Yes men and women can be stupid, mendacious, malicous etc but how they are treated varies dramatically on wether the proposal is discriminatory against men or women. Those proposals which are discriminatory against men are given a free pass not given to proposals targeted at other groups and yes women are given a paticular license in this regard although it is true of men and women.

  45. says

    This entire discussion is bugging me to hell, so at the risk of being somewhat repetitive, I would ask Ally to address these points:

    You’re right to suggest that the difference between what he said and what I’d want him to say is minimal, but it is not trivial.
    His very first words sentence said “I will oppose this bill.”
    That is all it took to destroy his credibility and his moral authority.

    He had so say those words, or words to equivalent effect, if he was to speak at all. The only purpose Parliamentary procedure allows for a second speech to a ten minute bill is to oppose it. Those words were as much boilerplate as the words “I beg to move that leave be given to bring in a Bill”. Moreover this was the only opportunity he would to speak on the floor of the house about this bill. It will never again be formally discussed by Parliament. It’s too far down the order of business.

    It is seriously your position that a person who objects to proposed laws which intentionally deny men the equal protection of the law loses his credibility and moral authority if he says anything at all to parliament in response to a bill which does just that?

    It’s the difference between saying “I support what you are doing but I want to do more” and saying “I won’t support what you are doing unless I get what I want.”
    It’s the difference between being obstructive and constructive. The difference between trying to help those who need it and trying to prevent help going to at least some of those who need it.

    He did not try to prevent help going to anyone, because the bill isn’t going to help anyone. Not a single man, and not a single woman either, because it does not have, and never has had any chance of becoming law whether or not Davis opposes it. That Davis’ opposition had no chance of stopping the bill made it a double nullity, in so far as it had any tangible effect.

    The tussle that took place on the floor of the house had nothing to do with the passing or blocking of a bill. It wasn’t between one person trying to help women, and another trying to stop women being helped. It was between one person who presented a bill (with no chance of ever becoming law) purporting to help female victims but which was unnecessarily and deliberately worded to erase and exclude male victims, denying them the equal protection of the law; all of this taking place against a cultural backdrop in which male victims are routinely erased, excluded and denied equal protection, both legally and practically, and it is socially and politically acceptable to do so.

    And another person who objects to this cultural situation and seeks to end it.

    And all of this comes with a context, a background. Davies has explicitly said that he doesn’t want fewer men going to prison, he wants more women to go to prison.

    Which you oppose, as do I. In fact I entirely agree with your position articulated in this comment. Consequently I disagree with Davis’ position on this matter. But that’s not the point. The point is whether Davis’ “tough of criminals” stance toward both men and women is grounds to doubt the sincerity of his expressed concern for and desire to assist both male and female victims of so-called honour crimes. I can’t see that it is. “Tough on criminals, compassionate toward their victims” is pretty much Conservative orthodoxy. Davis differs from other Conservatives only in that he applies it consistently to both sexes.

    On the other hand, the introduction of a bill deliberately worded to deny male victims the equal protection of the law does most certainly contradict Ghani’s expressed concern of male victims, as well as any support she has ever expressed for gender equality.

    So why are we questioning his motives? And why are we not questioning hers?

    he’s more interested in preventing parliament taking any steps to ensure BME women get the help they need.

    I knew little of Davis before I came to this thread. I’ve done a bit of searching since then, not much, but enough to lead me to expect that if I were to research his parliamentary activities in depth, I would find much that I would not like. He is a Tory, after all. But nothing I have found, and nothing which has been drawn to my attention in this thread and elsewhere leads me to conclude that he is not sincere when he says that he would support a bill which would protect both male and female victims.

    When someone shows me the list of constructive bills, amendments and proposals Davies has made in Parliament to actually create policy improvements for vulnerable men and boys then I’ll recant and apologise.

    Have you seen any such bills, amendments, and proposals from Ghani? Because all I’ve seen from her is a bill which explicitly and deliberately excludes men from its protection. I’ve also seen her falsely claim that her bill includes men, when in reality it does precisely the opposite, falsely frame the problem with it as one of “clari[ty]”, when the exclusion of male victims is crystal clear, and repeatedly link from her twitter account to lies about what Davis did.

    One lie is particularly egregious:

    Philip Davies MP complained, to groans from colleagues, that so-called ‘honour-based violence’ against men was being ignored.

    However he gave no examples of male victims of ‘honour violence’ to back up his case.

    The problem here is not that the statement that he gave no examples of male victims is literally false (although it is). The problem is that this passage implies a lie, namely, that Davis’ case lacked factual backing. If that were true (and if the bill had any chance of passing, and if Davis’ opposition had had any chance of stopping it) then the case against Davis would have been strong. He would have tried to frustrate a real attempt to help real victim in the name of vacuous equality.

    But it’s not true that his case lacked backing. And Davis did much more than give an example of a male victim; he cited undisputed Government statistics showing that a quarter of recorded victims are male, a fact about which the author of this piece is careful not to inform their readers.

    This is a clear example of something you commented on before, the systematic, structural erasure of male victims. And by linking to this article, Nusrat Ghani is promulgating this erasure. To paraphrase the last question with which you end your post, what the fuck is she playing at?

    And what the fuck are you playing at? The article I quoted is just a part of an on-going and systematic effort to smear Davis in order to reframe his opposition to the bill from the principled stand against male victim exclusion that it was, into naked misogny. The article I quote is one example. here’s another. And you appear to have bought the lie and are selling it on. Why?

    I’m well aware of your record of advocacy on behalf of men in general, and male victims in particular, and that you have been instrumental in bringing about welcome changes. Hats off to you for that! I don’t doubt for a second your sincerity or commitment to the cause. Nor do I doubt that you believe what you have argued in this thread. But I have to say, on this specific issue you have become the useful idiot of those who seek to preserve the very culture of male victim exclusion we are both trying to change.

  46. says

    Davies could have managed to make his point without snide and unnecessary reference to “morons on twitter, and some in this house.” (I quote from memory, so the wording may be a little off.)
    He could have done it without equally snide references to “political correctness,” especially given that the use of the word “honour” for such violence is, in fact, the label applied by the perpetrators, who appeal to honour and tradition, which makes the accusation of “PC” usage completely inaccurate.

    I entirely agree with these two points. Davis rendered his opposition less effective by engaging in this rhetoric. I wish he had not done so. But neither of these points impeach the sincerity of his expressed concern for both male and female victims.

    He could, if he were truly concerned about the victims he speaks of, have expressed concern with the present wording of the bill without trying to block it in its entirety; an action which, if successful, would have done male victims no favours at all.

    Your inclusion of the phrase “if he were truly concerned about the victims he speaks of” indicates that you think this does. Issues of Parliamentary procedure aside, A person who is truly concerned about victims of both sexes might nevertheless feel that not trying to block it in its entirety would leave him complicit in a culture and a political system which systematically erases and denies equal protection to men. He might also take the view that challenging that culture by trying to block the bill will bring long-term benefits that exceed the short-term cost.

    The latter argument is particularly compelling where, as here, the short-term cost. Blocking a bill which has no chance of success anyway harms precisely nobody.

    But what of her? She could, if she were truly concerned about male victims, have not written her bill so as to exclude them in the first place. She could, if you were truly in favour of gender equality, have not written her bill so as to exclude them in the first place.

    Explain it to me again. Why are we questioning his sincerity, but not hers?

  47. says

    My last comment should have read “The latter argument is particularly compelling where, as here, the short-term cost is zero“.

  48. HuckleAndLowly says

    I think you’re in the wrong here, Ally, and Daran’s comments explain why in a very clear way. I’d be interested in hear your response to what they’ve said.

    As a minor point, you write

    [Ghani says] “I spoke to him [Davies] earlier this week & made it clear that I would clarify bill title & ensure all victims r covered. Still objected.”

    So, that clears that up. I’m very happy because it saves me some lobbying time. Nusrat Ghani is happy to include male victims in her legislation, everyone’s a winner.

    Except take on board the momentousness of what she said. Philip Davies stood up yesterday and objected to the bill on grounds that he already knew were entirely baseless

    So Ghani tells Davis she will “clarify bill title” so that it doesn’t limit protection solely to women. Davis then sees the bill presented with no changes in the title. It seems reasonable to him to object to this presentation, especially since she told him it would change. Presumably he objects not only because he disagreed with the title, but because he was told the title would be changed and it wasn’t changed. Ghani’s statements don’t make Davis’s objections “baseless”, instead, they make them stronger and leave Ghani appearing somewhat underhanded.

  49. ajay says

    ” But I have to say, on this specific issue you (Ally) have become the useful idiot of those who seek to preserve the very culture of male victim exclusion we are both trying to change.”

    The problem with ally is that this is not an isolated example there seems to be a pattern of seeking to minimise and hide significant discrimination against men by Ally. The case that springs to mind was the frankly embarassing criticism by Ally of an analysis of the difference in the treatment of male and female prisoners from sentancing through prison and release. A natural and straightforward analysis gives a shockingly large difference in the time spent in prison for men and women convicted of the same offence. The analysis attempted to check for any possible biases in teh analysis and was refershingly open and honest about these possibilities while showing they wre likely to be small and not significant compared to the size of the effect. Ally minimised and dismissed this as having ‘[the] foundations of a unicorn fart’ but failed to identify any substantive reasons why the analysis was wrong. http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2015/03/03/what-if-we-sentenced-male-offenders-to-the-same-standards-as-women .

    The question is why does Ally collude in hiding and dismissing substantive discrimination against men? The answer is I think that in both cases the protaganists were right wing conservatives. It seems that when faced by a choice between supporting a wight wing source with an accurate and honest apprasial of male disadvantage or hiding and covering up substantial discrimination against men Ally prefers to criticise the right wing source and hide the discrimination.

    My only knowledge of Phillip Davies is been through his appearances before the womens and equality comitte and his recent speech referened in this thread. I think he has been impressively grounded and evidence based while avoiding any hint of misogyny. Mike Buchanan on the other hand, Ally’s other targe,t has a series of ill-judged ‘awards’ for whiny and lying feminist of the month. However that even Allyknowledgeable in the area and supposedly committed to addressing substantive male disavantage routinely hides discrimination shows we have a very long way to go.

  50. Ally Fogg says

    Right, let me try one more time to explain my point. You don’t have to agree with it, but I think a couple of you are not understanding it.

    Daran [49]

    “He had so say those words, or words to equivalent effect, if he was to speak at all. The only purpose Parliamentary procedure allows for a second speech to a ten minute bill is to oppose it. Those words were as much boilerplate as the words “I beg to move that leave be given to bring in a Bill”. Moreover this was the only opportunity he would to speak on the floor of the house about this bill. It will never again be formally discussed by Parliament. It’s too far down the order of business.
    It is seriously your position that a person who objects to proposed laws which intentionally deny men the equal protection of the law loses his credibility and moral authority if he says anything at all to parliament in response to a bill which does just that?

    This is difficult to address because on the one hand you are saying this doesn’t matter because it is never going to become law anyway, but at the same time it does matter because it is discriminatory. I don’t really buy that because if it not going to happen then there cannot be discrimination.

    So what you seem to be telling me here is that – at this stage of the debate at least – you are not concerned about the rights and wrongs of the issue the bill discusses, what you are concerned about is that someone stood up and made a (in your view) entirely pointless speech which paid attention to female victims of so-called honour crimes and completely ignored the needs of male victims.

    I’m telling you that I couldn’t really give a shit about that. Meh. Shrug. I have bigger things to worry about. Yes, I would rather she didn’t do this, yes I think it is worth reminding people that male victims also exist, but what I really care about, when it actually matters is when it comes to policy and action and law and all of that real stuff. That is where I want change to happen.

    I guess this comes down to whether we are considering this 10 minute bill as a rhetorical campaigning effort to highlight the issue (which it probably was in practice) or a formal attempt to introduce legislation (which is what it is in theory)

    The only purpose Parliamentary procedure allows for a second speech to a ten minute bill is to oppose it./blockquote>

    Yes, I accept that, although this does not change the fact that in standing up, Davies becomes the one and only MP who is – as a statement of procedure – opposing a legislative attempt to (at most) highlight the needs of the victims of honour crimes.

    It comes back again to his tone, and as I said earlier, the difference is minimal but not trivial. He is doing men and boys – least of all male victims of honour crimes – no favours at all by presenting male victims as obstacles to help for women and girls. Can you really not see and hear how he alienated LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE in the chamber as he was speaking? Don’t you see how that is a problem?

    And while he may have needed to formally oppose the bill in order to earn himself a speech, did he actually need to make a speech at all? He would have been perfectly able to make his point with an intervention / point of order, no?

    On the other hand, if we think about this issue not just as a pointless speech about hypotheticals, but as a serious attempt at legislative change, then the issue is not what the wording is on the original 10 minute bill, but what it would look like when it finally gets through to law (if not this time, then next time, as often happens with PMBs). This issue, as far as I’m concerned, is far, far, far more important than the wording of a 10 minute bill.

    And this is where it does become relevant what conversations Ghani & Davies had with each other in private. Because the subsequent exchanges reveal that Ghani had already taken on board that there were male victims and that any legislation arising from her efforts would indeed include male victims (it is worth remembering that all criminal legislation relating to domestic violence and honour crimes in the UK has always been gender-neutral and there has never been any suggestion this would change.)

    He was the equivalent of the hijacker standing up on a plane and shouting “I DEMAND YOU FLY THIS PLANE TO CUBA” only to be told by the Captain “But we’re already going to Cuba.”

  51. Ally Fogg says

    Daran [50]

    But what of her? She could, if she were truly concerned about male victims, have not written her bill so as to exclude them in the first place.

    Yes, absolutely and I’m very happy that she was challenged on why she did that and hopefully won’t do it again next time.

    If you want me to speculate, I would guess that Nusrat Ghani has a more immediate and pressing concern about honour crimes affecting women and girls, being an Asian woman and all that. She has probably encountered a lot more cases like that and it may well have been incidents involving women and girls which sparked her interest in this issue in the first place.

    I’m absolutely cool with that. She’s perfectly at liberty to have her own focus. Personally I have my own focus on male victims, and that is fine too.

    “She could, if you were truly in favour of gender equality, have not written her bill so as to exclude them in the first place.”

    There’s that meaningless ‘gender equality’ construct again. Meh. Shrug.

    I don’t care about gender equality. I care that people are being oppressed and murdered and left without the help and support they need from the British government. I want better laws covering family-based violence both here and abroad and the quicker those laws can start protecting people the better.

    I want no one to spare any efforts to ensure that all the people who could benefit from such laws receive those benefits as soon as possible. That might mean amending legislation as it goes through Parliament to ensure (in this case) male victims are covered.

    Philip Davies appears to be trying to obstruct such laws on the basis that “if the boys can’t have cream then nobody should have cream.”

    That is the ethical framework of a five-year-old.

  52. Ally Fogg says

    HuckleAndLowly [52]

    So Ghani tells Davis she will “clarify bill title” so that it doesn’t limit protection solely to women. Davis then sees the bill presented with no changes in the title.

    No, the 10 minute bill that was to be proposed in parliament was published and could not be changed at that point.

    Then Davies spoke to Ghani and clarified that if the bill proceeded she would explicitly include male victims

    Then she made her speech in which she explicitly included male victims

    Then Davies stood up and talked about the text that had been published before he spoke and listened to her, while completely ignoring the fact that she had already told him he could have exactly what he was asking for.

  53. Ally Fogg says

    Ajay

    Ally minimised and dismissed this as having ‘[the] foundations of a unicorn fart’ but failed to identify any substantive reasons why the analysis was wrong.

    Dude, we went over that across about 300 comments over two blog posts and every single thing I said in the original turned out to be absolutely correct. If you are too wilfully obtuse to understand the problems with Collins’s analysis then that is not my problem. Even he admitted in the end that he couldn’t justify his own data.

    The fact that Mike Buchanan and his fanboys are STILL quoting the same utterly false statistics says more about him and you than it does about me.

  54. David S says

    @53
    There is probably little point in rehashing old arguments, because anyone not convinced when the subject was first discussed is unlikely to change their mind when that discussion is revived. However the analysis of male and female sentencing to which you refer was not “natural and straightforward”. It was a load of old codswallop that rested on a massively implausible assumption, which its author made not the slightest attempt to justify. Collins, the author of the report, acknowledges that, when different categories of crime are examined, it is evident that men are proportionately more likely to offend in categories attracting higher sentences (for example burglary is more male-dominated than theft). The rest of his argument rests on the assumption that this willingness to risk higher sentences, which is so blindingly obvious when comparisons are made between offences, will magically disappear if comparisons are made within an offence. In other words despite the general tendency to more serious offending, men’s thefts will be no more and no less serious than women’s, their robberies will also be of equal seriousness as women’s, and so on. Collins response, when it is pointed out to him that he has made this assumption, is simply to admit he has made it, as if that somehow solves the problem.

    In one respect, I suppose, Colllins’ analysis does address an important gender imbalance. If one follows arguments about gender issues it is sometimes easy to imagine that academic feminism has cornered the market in statistical bullshit, often resting on high profile publications that contain statistical howlers that, in any other academic discipline, would be unacceptable in an undergraduate essay. Collins has levelled the playing field a little by giving the MRAs a bit of statistical cobblers of their own to play with.

  55. David S says

    @Ally(57) Ajay(53)
    I’ve obviously got more free time than is healthy for me, because I went back to the blogpost by William Collins, which you referred to in your own post about sentencing disparity, and had a look at what he is saying about disparities in U.S. sentencing. Collins makes reference to a paper by a chap called David Mustard and he (Collins) says that

    He [Mustard] too concluded that women were markedly less likely to be sent to prison than men. In terms of prison sentence length, Mustard showed that men’s sentences were double that of women after controlling for offense severity

    Collins backs this up with a table (Table 3 in his post) which I can’t reproduce here because I don’t know how to do tables on this site, and which puzzled me because I couldn’t initially relate it to Mustard’s data. I think I have now worked it out, and it is somewhat interesting. The first two rows in the Collin’s table are taken from data set out in Table 5 of Mustard’s paper, and show average sentences (before any correction), and offence levels (a measure of the severity of the offences committed) for crimes committed by men, women, blacks, and whites. The next two rows seem to contain figures calculated by Collins himself, and which do not, so far as I can make out, appear in Mustard’s paper. These figures show the disparity of sentencing between genders that you get if you assume that, in the absence of any such disparity, the sentence length would simply be proportional to the offence level. This is odd because

    (a) It is silly to assume that sentence length would just be proportional to the offence level. As Mustard points out, there are other factors to consider. In particular the criminal history of the offender (i.e. the number and severity of the previous crimes they have committed) will play a role, and most people, I suspect, would argue that it ought to play a role.

    (b) Mustard himself has performed a much more detailed analysis that does include criminal history (Table 6 in Mustard’s paper). The results of this analysis do indeed show that, after correction for offence level and criminal history, women do indeed receive more lenient sentences than men, but the difference is nothing like the factor of 200% that Collins is claiming. In fact women spend about 12% less time in chokey than men. In other words there is a genuine issue to worry about, which has been obfuscated with hysterical and exaggerated nonsense. This seems to be an MRA trope.

  56. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally, David S

    Yoi can see even from a distance that Colins conclusions are greatly exaggerated, and he admits that he does not really know whether the (undoubted) difference sentencing is justified. But in fairness, surely you do not know that either? As Collins puts it, it depends on whether the crimes committed by men that fall into categories like ‘fraud’ or ‘theft from a vehicle’ are systematically much more serious than those same types of crime committed by women. And since nobody has reliablle data on this, all we are left with are rough estimates (Bayesian priors, if you like). If Collins conclusions are as substantial as nicorn farts, are yours really better than unicorn horn – seemingly more solid, but founded on nothing?

    You may not care at all about equality, Ally. Though how consistent is that? Are you really intensely relaxed about men geting the lions share of promotions, film roles, cultural exposure? If so you are a are bird. People care intensely about inequality, and any evidence of inequality is used in politics to press for antidiscrimination measures in favour of women, and minorities. As a traditionalist I do not mind too much about differences in social roles and consequent treatments. But surely we should be consistnet about our approach, and not end up with ;heads – women win; talis – men lose’?

  57. says

    Right, let me try one more time to explain my point. You don’t have to agree with it, but I think a couple of you are not understanding it.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I can see from it and other comments you made that I did not (and perhaps still do not) fully understand your position. Equally I can see that you do not fully understand mine. I would consider this discussion worthwhile even if the end result was only that we do understand each other without either of us persuading the other. And I still hope to persuade you as well.

    It may take several iterations before either goal is achieved.

    This is difficult to address because on the one hand you are saying this doesn’t matter because it is never going to become law anyway, but at the same time it does matter because it is discriminatory. I don’t really buy that because if it not going to happen then there cannot be discrimination.

    I’m not saying that this doesn’t matter. I’m saying that opposing the bill is cost-free in a certain respect.

    Imagine that I was an MP in some alternate universe where this bill had passed through its various stages as was now facing its final vote. Of course at this point it is no longer a short list of purposes, but a lengthy collection of concrete proposals which give effect to those purposes and which continue to exclude men from their protections. Lives, exclusively female ones, will be saved if this bill passes. Suppose further that there was intense opposition to the bill, and it’s going down the wire. My vote will determine whether it passes or fails. Would I vote for or against?

    I am genuinely struggling to find an answer that question. I am, as I sit here, feeling physically sick just thinking about it. This is the ticking-bomb scenario as far as my personal principles are concerned. Of course I want to save lives, if I can. Of course I want to spare people violence and misery and to make their lives better. And it honestly makes no difference to me whatsoever what sex those lives are.

    Yet to support that bill would go against my deeply held personal principle that you do not combat injustice by perpetrating injustice.

    In this universe, last Tuesday, had I been an MP, I would have voted against the bill in a heartbeat. Nobody’s life went unsaved, because the bill passed 99-1 instead of 100-0. Nobody’s life went unbettered. No injustice was perpetrated. The fact that Davis opposed the bill cost nothing in this respect. (I agree that the manner of his opposition has a cost, but it’s a cost to men’s interests, not to women’s.)

    So what you seem to be telling me here is that – at this stage of the debate at least – you are not concerned about the rights and wrongs of the issue the bill discusses,…

    I’m not “not concerned”, if by that you mean that I don’t think these are important issues that should be addressed by parliament. I do think that it it is critically important that they are addressed in a gender-inclusive way.

    what you are concerned about is that someone stood up and made a (in your view) entirely pointless speech…

    I don’t doubt the speech had a point, i.e., a purpose. I’m just not particularly interested in it. I’m more interested in the speech’s effect.

    which paid attention to female victims of so-called honour crimes and completely ignored the needs of male victims.

    Against a political, cultural and social backdrop in which the needs and indeed existence of male victims are routinely and systematically minimized, erased, ignored, and denied.

    And the effect of her speech, if left unchallenged, would have been to perpetuate, reinforce, and normalise that cultural backdrop.

    The effect of criticising it, (which he could only do by formally opposing it) was to undermine that cultural backdrop.

    I’m telling you that I couldn’t really give a shit about that. Meh. Shrug. I have bigger things to worry about. Yes, I would rather she didn’t do this, yes I think it is worth reminding people that male victims also exist, but what I really care about, when it actually matters is when it comes to policy and action and law and all of that real stuff. That is where I want change to happen.

    If I read you right, the “bigger things” are actual policies which discriminated against male victims, actual actions, actual laws, and bills with real chances of becoming law. I agree these things are important. If your goal is to maximise your score at whack-a-mole, it make sense to target the high-scoring moles, and maybe ignore the lower-value ones.

    But I have a bigger thing to worry about. My ultimate concern is the fact that we are playing whack-a-mole at all. Why are there all these moles here? Why do more moles keep appearing? If your goal is to target the system that produces moles, any mole is as good as any other.

    I guess this comes down to whether we are considering this 10 minute bill as a rhetorical campaigning effort to highlight the issue (which it probably was in practice) or a formal attempt to introduce legislation (which is what it is in theory)

    It was a rhetorical campaigning effort. So was Davis’ opposition to it.

    Yes, I accept that, although this does not change the fact that in standing up, Davies becomes the one and only MP who is – as a statement of procedure – opposing a legislative attempt to (at most) highlight the needs of the victims of honour crimes.

    to (at most) highlight the needs of three quarters of the known victims of honour crime. She outright ignored the needs – and barely acknowledged the existence – of the other quarter.

    It comes back again to his tone,

    Acknowledged. But that’s not the issue here. What we are debating is your claim that Davis destroyed his credibility and his moral authority by saying “I will oppose this bill”.

    If that’s true, then nobody could have replied to the bill with credibility and moral authority, regardless of what tone they set.

    And while he may have needed to formally oppose the bill in order to earn himself a speech, did he actually need to make a speech at all? He would have been perfectly able to make his point with an intervention / point of order, no?

    Are you seriously claiming that he would have set a better tone if, instead of waiting for her to finish her speech then making one of his own, he had interrupted hers with requests to intervene and bogus points of order? Would that have silenced the (false) claims that he filibustered and sought to stifle debate?

    On the other hand, if we think about this issue not just as a pointless speech about hypotheticals, but as a serious attempt at legislative change, then the issue is not what the wording is on the original 10 minute bill, but what it would look like when it finally gets through to law (if not this time, then next time, as often happens with PMBs). This issue, as far as I’m concerned, is far, far, far more important than the wording of a 10 minute bill.

    It wasn’t a serious attempt at legislative change, so your hypothetical here is…, well,… pointless.

    And this is where it does become relevant what conversations Ghani & Davies had with each other in private. Because the subsequent exchanges reveal that Ghani had already taken on board that there were male victims and that any legislation arising from her efforts would indeed include male victims

    That’s a charitable interpretation of her remarks.

    A less charitable one would be that she told Davis that her bill included men, but when he read it for himself he saw that it didn’t. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one, not even if the person making the claim is the owner of the dog. Davis acted accordingly.

    Now I’m all for charitable interpretations, generally speaking, but I have to ask, why are we being charitable toward Ghani, and completely uncharitable toward Davis?

    (it is worth remembering that all criminal legislation relating to domestic violence and honour crimes in the UK has always been gender-neutral and there has never been any suggestion this would change.)

    If by “relating to domestic violence and honour crimes” you mean legislation which uses these terms to frame the issue, then this might be true. On the other hand if you mean legislation that these crimes are typically charged under, then it isn’t. For example the sexual offences acts 2003 and in Scotland 2009 both treat the case of a woman having PIV intercourse with a non-consenting man very differently from that of a man having PIV intercourse with a non-consenting woman.

    He was the equivalent of the hijacker standing up on a plane and shouting “I DEMAND YOU FLY THIS PLANE TO CUBA” only to be told by the Captain “But we’re already going to Cuba.”

    That analogy so utterly misses the point, that I can only refer you to my substantive points above.

  58. StillGjenganger says

    @Ally et al.

    On second thoughts, I think this discussion would be clearer if we stepped a bit away from the details.

    It seems a fair bet that Davies does not particularly care about the plight of young men taken overseas for forced marriage, nor for the need to ban the expression ‘honour killing’. And by speaking against the bill in the way he does, he is undeniably reducing its chance to have an effect. What he most likely does care about is to counteract feminist arguments and policies generally.

    Now if you (like, I think, Ally) share the general feminist goal of a society where sex/gender is irrelevant for public life, like your haircut or the football team you support, it does not matter too much which of the many steps in the right direction you take first. And Davies is heinous on two counts: He is sacrificing a good and positive measure for his political argument, and his argument is itself going in exactly the wrong direction. Which makes him a hypocritical saboteur.

    If you do not share the goal of a genderless nirvana, you will notice that feminist successes are objectively making society ever less comfortable for men, and reducing their life chances. At a minimum men are being forced to adapt to a different and ever more woman-friendly state. As an important driver in this process, progressive people have made it the received wisdom that women are disadvantaged and need positive discrimination – by appealing to equality where this suits their goal, and by completely disregarding equality where this is more effective. Insisting on consistency is a way of weakening the feminist – do we call it narrative? – and maybe of pushing back against programs like HeForShe and the efforts to make sure women get half of all the good jobs whatever their CVs. Seen in that light the measure is more about reinforcing the women-are-disadvantaged story than about making specific improvements (that would not happen in practice anyway), which makes it perfectly reasonable for Davies to oppose it.

    The real argument is not about what Davies is doing. We just judge him differently because we disagree about what is in the interest of men, and where we want to go.

  59. Ally Fogg says

    Gjenganger [61]

    Yoi can see even from a distance that Colins conclusions are greatly exaggerated, and he admits that he does not really know whether the (undoubted) difference sentencing is justified. But in fairness, surely you do not know that either?

    You are quite correct I do not know what the actual difference is, because the data one would require to conduct that analysis is not available, and even if it were, calculating a reliable estimate from it would be a massive task. Probably someone with a 3 year PhD project could track down a sample of a thousand almost identical crimes committed by 500 men and 500 women under almost identical circumstances, with identical offending histories etc etc etc, and then use those to calculate an estimate of the size of the male/female sentencing discrepancy. To my knowledge no one has ever done that at least in this country, so for now we are all clueless.

    However the difference between me and Mike Buchanan is that I have not said “well, we don’t actually know how big the sentencing disparity is so I’ll just go on national TV and spout any made-up facts I like because no one can prove they’re not true.”

    However there are some aspects to the analysis that we do have numbers for. Such as, for example, we know that sexual offending ALONE accounts for around 15% of all male prisoners and only about 1% of female prisoners, so in order for it to be true that if male offenders were sentenced with the same leniency as women 5/6 male prisoners would not be inside, you would have to release literally all male prisoners who are not sex offenders. You’d have to be arguing that not one single male murderer, armed robber, burglar, drug dealer, terrorist etc should be in prison.

    So even without knowing what the true figures are, we do know enough to state that the claims made by Collins simply cannot be even anywhere close to being true.

    But I reiterate, my issue on those blogs were never with William Collins, who I think made a perfectly honest attempt to calculate his answer, he just got it wrong. My issue was always with MB for endlessly repeating this wildly and obviously untrue statistical claim as fact.

  60. Ally Fogg says

    Daran [62]

    I’m afraid I don’t have time now to go through a point-by-point fandango, but thanks for your comments and I have considered them with genuine interest.

    But let me offer one alternative scenario which might have made us both happy.

    Supposing PD had stood up and said something like:

    “I regret that I have to formally oppose this bill for one reason and one reason only, the wording in front of us explicitly excludes male victims of so-called honour-based family violence, whom the evidence shows account for about a quarter of all victims.

    However I am happy to report to the house that yesterday I had a friendly chat with my honourable friend the member for Blah… who made clear to me that she does not intend to exclude male victims from this bill and that when the bill is presented for a second reading she will be happy to present it with a revised title and text. With those reassurances, I very much look forward to withdrawing my opposition at the second reading and joining my friends on both sides of the house in supporting this necessary measure”.

    I would have applauded him for that, wouldn’t you?

    But this brings me on to why he didn’t make a speech of that tone…

  61. Ally Fogg says

    Gjen [63]

    It seems a fair bet that Davies does not particularly care about the plight of young men taken overseas for forced marriage, nor for the need to ban the expression ‘honour killing’. And by speaking against the bill in the way he does, he is undeniably reducing its chance to have an effect. What he most likely does care about is to counteract feminist arguments and policies generally.

    Yes. This is absolutely 100% correct. Davies is not on a mission to help boys and men and address male-specific gender issues in society. He is on a mission to be the scourge of political correctness in all its manifestations, starting with feminism. He speaks up on behalf of male victims of intimate crimes not because he cares particularly about those topics or because he wants to improve life for those affected, but because he wants to disrupt and counteract feminist efforts to speak up on behalf of female victims of intimate crimes.

    Now if you (like, I think, Ally) share the general feminist goal of a society where sex/gender is irrelevant for public life, like your haircut or the football team you support, it does not matter too much which of the many steps in the right direction you take first. And Davies is heinous on two counts: He is sacrificing a good and positive measure for his political argument, and his argument is itself going in exactly the wrong direction. Which makes him a hypocritical saboteur.

    A bit simplistic as an analysis of gender, but pretty much, yeah!

    If you do not share the goal of a genderless nirvana, you will notice that feminist successes are objectively making society ever less comfortable for men, and reducing their life chances. At a minimum men are being forced to adapt to a different and ever more woman-friendly state.

    Yes, I’m pretty sure this is exactly how Davies sees it and yes, this is pretty much a pile of steaming bollocks on toast.

    The real argument is not about what Davies is doing. We just judge him differently because we disagree about what is in the interest of men, and where we want to go.

    Agreed.

  62. Ally Fogg says

    Just one more

    Gjen

    You may not care at all about equality, Ally. Though how consistent is that? Are you really intensely relaxed about men geting the lions share of promotions, film roles, cultural exposure? If so you are a are bird. People care intensely about inequality, and any evidence of inequality is used in politics to press for antidiscrimination measures in favour of women, and minorities. As a traditionalist I do not mind too much about differences in social roles and consequent treatments. But surely we should be consistnet about our approach, and not end up with ;heads – women win; talis – men lose’?

    In all honesty I think I’m pretty consistent. It is one reason why I don’t bang on about the gender wage gap, for example, it really doesn’t interest me and I don’t think it is especially important. What is important is how we socialise boys and girls into different arbitrary power-based gender roles and expectations, which is the main reason we end up with the gender wage gap.

    I also care about human fulfilment and self-actualisation as the central objective of social policy. If men and women are being made miserable, ill, being abused or victimised as a consequence of social structures then I want to change those social structures, and one of the ways we can measure that is if, for instance, more men are taking their own lives or more women are being sexually assaulted or whatever.

    To illustrate, ask why we might want more support & counselling services for male survivors of sexual abuse. Do we want those services because there are thousands of men who need help and who are not getting it, or do we want those services because women get them and so it is only fair that men do too?

    And in the abstract this can look like quite a theoretical distinction but it has immense real world applications.

    For example, if your goal is equality you can get closer to that by closing down Rape Crisis services for women.

    If you are following an equality agenda, this comes out as a good thing. If you are following an agenda based on any kind of humanity & compassion then it is monstrous.

    Again, back to our old pal Philip Davies, who stands up at MRA conferences and talks about the unfairness of the judicial system and sentencing. He wants it to be more fair. But he wants to make it more fair not by imprisoning fewer men but by imprisoning more women. And again that, in my opinion, is monstrous.

  63. 123454321 says

    “Yes, I’m pretty sure this is exactly how Davies sees it and yes, this is pretty much a pile of steaming bollocks on toast.”

    Me thinks you’ve got Davies completely wrong. I reckon you don’t like him cuz he’s conservative. If he were a leftie you’d have kept your gob shut. So he’s a conservative. Get over it. And by the way, grilled fanny flaps on toast are far more tasty, just don’t do the tomato/brown sauce part.

  64. Ally Fogg says

    I reckon you don’t like him cuz he’s conservative.

    May have escaped your notice that Nusrat Ghani on the other side of this debate is also a conservative.

    FWIW I have no particular feelings about Philip Davies as an individual, but you’re more or less correct – I despise his politics because his politics are conservative. They are also for the most part reactionary, spiteful, petty, harmful and ill-considered, all of which are pretty good reasons to despise them.

  65. David S says

    @Marduk(60)

    Starr estimates it at 60%, she explains in the text what is wrong with Mustard’s analysis.

    Thanks, that’s interesting, and Collins does seem to have summarised Starr’s research correctly, even if he hasn’t done so for Mustard’s. On the basis of a quick skim-read, it seems to me that Starr doesn’t exactly come up with a different answer to Mustard. Instead she asks a different question. Starr’s research question is “Do otherwise-similar men and women who are arrested for the same
    crimes end up with the same punishments?” whereas Mustard’s seems to be more like “Do otherwise-similar men and women who are sentenced for the same crimes end up with the same punishments?”. These seem to differ because a lot of stuff goes on in the interval between someone being arrested and turning up in court, and the result seems to be that if a man and a woman are arrested for similar offences, the man is likely to end up in court being tried and sentenced for a more serious offence than the woman.

    I guess the question that would lead on to is whether the offence that someone is arrested for is a better indicator of what they really did than the offence for which they were sentenced. Starr seems to think it is, and I would hesitate to argue with her, since I don’t know much about how these things work. However it does seem to possible to express some doubts. Arrest is the point at which someone enters into the justice system, and I wouldn’t have thought there was much incentive on the arresting authority to get the charges exactly right at that stage. Also the scope for the arrestee (or their lawyer) to query the precise details also seems limited. If have been arrested for breaking into a house and stealing a TV worth £500 pounds, then it might be in my interest to argue about whether I broke in at all, but it’s probably not a good idea for me to try to claim that the TV was only really worth £100! I would imagine that charges at the point of sentence have been thought about and argued over in rather more detail, so they might be a more reliable guide.

  66. David S says

    @Glenganger(61) Ally(64)

    You can see even from a distance that Colins conclusions are greatly exaggerated, and he admits that he does not really know whether the (undoubted) difference sentencing is justified. But in fairness, surely you do not know that either?

    Well, if the question is whether there is any bias against men in sentencing, then I don’t think I have claimed to know the answer to it. If someone put a gun to my head and told me to answer either “yes” or “no” then I think I would probably say that yes, it does look as if men might get a rawer deal than women. But I am unconvinced by the numbers that Collins puts to that, or the process by which he arrives at them.

    As Collins puts it, it depends on whether the crimes committed by men that fall into categories like ‘fraud’ or ‘theft from a vehicle’ are systematically much more serious than those same types of crime committed by women. And since nobody has reliablle data on this, all we are left with are rough estimates (Bayesian priors, if you like). If Collins conclusions are as substantial as nicorn farts, are yours really better than unicorn horn – seemingly more solid, but founded on nothing?

    Collins analysis assumes that men who commit a given offence will, on average, commit no more or less serious an offence than women who commit the same offence. I will admit that I can’t prove that this is false. However it does seem unlikely. If you look at differences between offences, even offences within the same general category (acquisitive offences for example) there is a consistent tendency for men to be more willing than women to commit offences that tend to carry higher sentences. For example burglary is more male-dominated than theft. It would be odd if this effect did not play out when differences within an offence where examined – in other words it would be odd to find that the ratio of male to female thieves was the same for thefts valued at less than £100 and for thefts valued at greater than £10,000. In any case, as Ally has observed, neither he nor I have been going around making grand statements that rely on Collin’s assumption, so it’s not really up to us to disprove it.

    Regarding the existence of reliable data. It seems to me that the authors of the US studies that we have discussed probably do have data on the variations in the seriousness of different instances of the same offence, because they make use of a numerical measure of offence severity that is sufficiently fine-grained that it would take different values for different occurrences of a given offence. If Collin’s assumption was true then the ratio of male to female sentences would vary in a rather odd step-wise manner. Changes in offence severity that did not correspond to changes in the actual offence charged would produce no change in the ratio, and then you would get a sudden jump when the difference in severity actually did result from a different offence being charged (even if it was a numerically small difference). This would be an odd pattern, and no one seems to have noticed it happening (although I would take the point that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).

  67. StillGjenganger says

    @David S

    There is not that much left for us to disagree about. We all agree that Collins original numbers are way out of line, even for a rough estimate, and the MB is wrong to use them. We also agree that there is at least some minimal pro-female bias in the system (some of it is even explicit). The truth must be somewhere between Collins original assumption that (very roughly) the sexes commit equally serious crimes in each category, and the opposite assumption that the difference in prison time is entirely due to men being more criminal. But where? To my mind it is a bit like the perennial debate on ‘false’ (I prefer ‘incorrect’) accusations of rape. We know they can happen. It is highly unlikely that they could be over 50%. But the data do not allow us to know with any certainty whether they are rare enough to be disregarded, or common enough that you must always keep the possibility in mind.

    As for charges at the point of sentencing being more reliable than charges at the point of arrest, I am not sure that holds in the US, of all places. Mind you, I have not read the Starr or Mustard papers. But the US is notorious for making extremely serious charges at an early point, and then using plea bargaining to whittle down the punishments – often quite dramatically. Clearly the process works differently for women than for men. Arguably the charge that is left at the point of sentencing could already reflect a decision on how much punishment the accused should have.

  68. Adiabat says

    Whilst there isn’t a known link between the truly horrendous fire in London and the Human Habitation bill

    The bill would’ve targeted private landlords and Grenfell Tower was social housing so there’s no connection, dumbass. Couldn’t you at least have waited a few days before ignorantly trying to make cheap political capital out of the tragedy? What’s wrong with you?

    In fact part of Philip Davies’ opposition was that the bill didn’t address the bigger problem of poor maintenance of social housing, as you can see in his closing remarks during the second reading of the bill here: https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151016/debtext/151016-0002.htm#15101634000003 (about 3/4 of the way down the page).

    Maybe people should have listened to him instead of publishing hit pieces for gullible fools to read.

  69. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    Oh, and here he is! Defending Philip Davies…

    Wow. And you’re, true to form, totally incorrect. He didn’t get drawn on whether, or not, he wanted a bill for social housing.

    He said, in effect, that private landlords (like himself) are covered by existing laws, in other words, it’s all hunky dory.

    Stay classy, Prince.

    Enjoy your budget gym. You’re clearly as bereft economically as you are intellectually.

  70. Adiabat says

    Oh, and here he is! Defending Philip Davies…

    Okaaay. What do you think you’re achieving with this reply?

    You tried to use the Grenfell tragedy to smear someone you don’t like (on factually incorrect grounds no less – this bill would not have targeted Grenfell) while the fire was still burning and they were still pulling the bodies from the building. And you’re response to someone seeing it and correcting your smear 2 days later is “Oh, and here he is! Defending Philip Davies” followed by incoherent rants.

    I’ll ask again: What the hell is wrong with you?

    Do you think you are the better person in this little exchange?

  71. Carnation says

    Okaaay. What do you think you’re achieving with this reply?

    Accurately pointing out your political and moral bankruptcy.

    “You tried to use the Grenfell tragedy to smear someone you don’t like (on factually incorrect grounds no less – this bill would not have targeted Grenfell) while the fire was still burning and they were still pulling the bodies from the building.”

    Actually, I pointed out that there was no known link. You must have seen this.

    “I’ll ask again: What the hell is wrong with you?”

    Absolutely nothing, thanks for asking. I’m as fit, happy and well adjusted as I was yesterday, if not more so.

    “Do you think you are the better person in this little exchange?”

    Absolutely. You’re a Brexit supporting, Philip Davies defending, right-wing clown. I’m a liberal, left-wing egalitarian, who supports progressive policies that will help and support the many, not the few. Of course I’m a “better person” for you – there is no person, no cause, too despicable for you to support, so long as it maligns those you feel inferior to; SJWs/feminists.

  72. Adiabat says

    Accurately pointing out your political and moral bankruptcy.

    Aww, you actually believe your incoherent rants achieve that. That’s just sad in so many ways.

    Actually, I pointed out that there was no known link.

    Nope. “Whilst there isn’t a known link…, it’s worth remembering…” forms a concessive clause. You know this, at least intuitively, as an English speaker. Without the clause your post becomes a pointless, incoherent mess with no reason to bring up the fire at all.

    Now you’re going to play dumb and double-down.

    I’m a liberal, left-wing egalitarian, who supports progressive policies that will help and support the many, not the few.

    You’re someone who used the death and loss of home of up to 600 of the most disadvantaged people in the country to smear a politician you don’t like because he voted on a bill that has no link with it (by your own later admission). You did this while those poor people were still dying. When you were corrected you tried to use that person’s supposed economic misfortune, as imagined by you and based on very little, in an attempt to hurt them. Someone else had to flat-out ask you to stop abusing them in the other thread.

    You are not “a liberal, left-wing egalitarian who supports the many”. That’s a story you tell yourself.

  73. Carnatin says

    “Aww, you actually believe your incoherent rants achieve that. That’s just sad in so many ways.”

    It was rather short for a rant, wasn’t it? More like an accurate rebuttal.

    “Now you’re going to play dumb and double-down.”

    Nope, just pointing out the simple truth of what I said. An MP, who’s a landlord, who’s opposed in general to regulation, opposed a bill increasing the responsibility of landlords. That’s a fact. Another fact is that he’s defended by you. Another fact is that he’s an anti-feminist, like you.

    I’m not playing dumb, nor am I “doubling down”, I’m merely expanding the point in response to very weak criticism.

    You are the one resorting to lurid terminology. I just pointed out some facts.

    Your next pang of emoting contains so many falsehoods that I will respond to them in brackets.

    “When you were corrected (I wasn’t corrected) you tried to use that person’s supposed economic misfortune, as imagined by you and based on very little (based on what you’ve said on this blog – namely that you can’t imagine spending £50, or whatever, on a meal for two, and the fact that you are a member of a dire, dire budget gym, in an attempt to hurt them (you’re a big anti-feminist hardman, I new it wouldn’t hurt a tough guy like you). Someone else had to flat-out ask you to stop abusing them in the other thread (such snowflakes…)

    You are not “a liberal (yes I am), left-wing (yes I am) egalitarian (yes I am) who supports the many (yes I am)”. That’s a story you tell yourself (nope, it’s just the truth).”

    In fact, I am so much the things that I listed above that I earnestly and truly hope that you and people like you aren’t too badly affected by the economic hardship you will have brought upon yourself.

    You supported the Tories in the last election. You defend Philip Davies. You support Brexit. You regularly tweet/re-tweet stories/articles/memes that add to the tidal wave of Islamaphobia in the UK.

    You are, in short, not a very nice person. Angry, parochial and exploited by people with money and power that you will never have. But you support them, and that is a tragedy.

  74. Adiabat says

    It was rather short for a rant, wasn’t it? More like an accurate rebuttal.

    A rebuttal would address what I actually said. You didn’t rebut my point that Davies brought up the poor maintenance of social housing in his speech opposing the bill. As always you avoided addressing anything relevant. And yes, I would call any incoherent post saying confused and irrelevant things a rant, however short. You rant a lot.

    That bill has nothing in it that relates to the Grenfell incident at all. It wouldn’t have applied to that building, nor did it address anything in the realm of cladding or stairwells. Yet while the fire was still going on you thought the best thing you could do was to come here and somehow relate the fire to an unconnected bill to attack someone you don’t like.

    Liberals don’t engage in blatant attempts to smear people. Liberals don’t take advantage of poor people’s tragedies. Liberals and egalitarians don’t mock (what they believe are) poor people for being poor just because that person disagrees on political issues. And liberals discuss issues instead of just branding people who have different views as “bad”. Judging you on your behaviour you simply aren’t a liberal or an egalitarian.

    (such snowflakes…)

    It’s not going to happen. You lot are trying so hard but you’re never going to be able to turn that one around anywhere outside your safe space echo chambers. Every time I see some social justice idiot try, it just comes across as forced.

    It would help if you understood how to use it correctly.

    You supported the Tories in the last election. You defend Philip Davies. You support Brexit. You regularly tweet/re-tweet stories/articles/memes that add to the tidal wave of Islamaphobia in the UK.

    I don’t whose twitter you’re reading but a quick look at my recent tweets/retweets shows tweets mocking the alt-right, calling the Tory manifesto “awful” and calling May a “tyrannical bastard”. Are you just ignoring those and getting triggered because I dare criticise “your sides'” nonsense as well?

    And yes, I defend people against baseless attempts to smear from ideological dipshits like you. It’s something a liberal would do.

    Your intolerance towards opinions that differ from your own would be bad enough in a teenager, but at least they can credit that to being young and thinking they know everything. They don’t realise that things are more complicated than they think and that people can reach different views without being bad people. But you’re approaching middle age; don’t you think it’s time to grow up a bit?

  75. Adiabat says

    I don’t *know* whose twitter you’re reading…

    Edit button would be nice btw, FTB.

  76. Carnation says

    @Adiabat

    You’re just repeating yourself, and it’s getting very boring. I can’t be bothered wading through your desperate musings, so I’ll be brief, then we should just wrap this up, yes?

    “Liberals and egalitarians don’t mock (what they believe are) poor people for being poor just because that person disagrees on political issues”

    I don’t mock “poor people”, I point out that someone like you, of limited economic value and scope, supports people with vast wealth enacting policies that will make *you* (and most people) worse off financially. You do this and bizarrely claim victory.

    I am looking at *your* Twitter. The same Twitter feed that endorses Sargan of Akkad, so don’t claim you mock the Alt-Right. It’s a lie. The one that describes the election result as “the best we could have hoped for.” The one endorsing @LadiesForPhilipDavies. The one with anti-Muslim memes, 4-Chan and embarrassingly puerile memes that would not be out of place on a MGTOW Reddit.

    That is who you are, Adiabat, and all your bluster about snowflakes, triggering, liberalism et al does not change the fundamental truth about you. You are a turkey voting for Christmas, an economically disadvantaged man for whom the voices of anger and resentment are far louder, and make more sense, than the voices of love and tolerance.

    And that, Adiabat, is why you support the things that you do and endorse the people that you do. You’re manipulated and you can’t even see it.

    Oh, as for approaching middle age… I’m within two years of you… Your Twitter handle gives your year of birth, presumably.

    Love is the answer, Adiabat xx

  77. Adiabat says

    You’re just repeating yourself, and it’s getting very boring

    Isn’t it strange that not rebutting points I make leaves them standing to be used again? Funny how that works./s

    I don’t mock “poor people”, I point out that someone like you, of limited economic value and scope

    What I’ve never been able to figure out is if you convince yourself of your bullshit, or if you’re just really, really dumb.

    I am looking at *your* Twitter. The same Twitter feed that endorses Sargan of Akkad, so don’t claim you mock the Alt-Right. It’s a lie.

    Wait, you think Sargon is alt right?! Lol, I guess that answers the question above I said I’ve never figured out. Seriously though, get out of your echo chambers; they aren’t healthy. You’re a twisted individual because of them.

    But regardless: https://twitter.com/mindthet/status/872924110870982656 is mocking the alt right. It’s the fifth tweet on my timeline (posted on the 9th, before this conversation started). Again, what’s wrong with you? Why are you so delusional that you’d rather make such an easily disproved claim of me lying instead of just conceding a point?

    The one that describes the election result as “the best we could have hoped for.”

    That’s the one where I say the Tory manifesto is awful and the result should stop them from implementing much of it while not having a change of government just before brexit negotiations, right? That’s a sensible position to anyone who isn’t a mindless ideologue.

    The one endorsing @LadiesForPhilipDavies.

    It’s an image of the head of the WEP “accusing” Philip Davies of thinking ‘equality means treating people equally’. It highlights that the head of a party with “equality” in the name doesn’t know what equality is. It’s mocking the WEP more than “endorsing anyone” (but I guess in your simplistic ‘goodies vs baddies’ worldview that’s the same thing).

    The one with anti-Muslim memes, 4-Chan and embarrassingly puerile memes that would not be out of place on a MGTOW Reddit.

    Hey, the Shia Lebeouf HWNDU flag stuff was hilarious! Not sure which “anti-Muslim” stuff you’re on about, but as always I suspect whatever it is it’s being filtered through your limited ideological lens.

    Oh, as for approaching middle age… I’m within two years of you… Your Twitter handle gives your year of birth, presumably.

    Nope. I’d mock you for presuming too much based on too little, like with everything else, but that one’s intentionally a red herring.

    How can you reach 40 and still have the simplistic politics of a teenager where people who disagree with you are just ‘bad’ or “manipulated”? Don’t you think it’s time to grow up a bit?

  78. Carnation says

    @ Adiabat

    I’m going to leave you to stew in 4 Chan and Reddit whilst looking on at Sargan, Milo Y and Infowars as being brave radicals. Just to give you an update, hating on feminism has been a thing since the 1970s. Hating on immigrants and immigration has been a thing for much longer. I’ll grant you that Brexit is more modern (or post modern), but you’re basically just a Johnny-come-lately who has voted to reduce and decline your own and others standards of living. Oh, and any effects that it has on immigration will not be to your liking.

    At the end of the day, when all is said and done, yours is an ideology and a mindset bestowed upon you by those you regard as enemies. It’s sad.

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