UKIP are not the only ones peddling dangerous myths about FGM


It would be tempting to dismiss UKIP’s newly-announced manifesto policy on female genital mutilation as simply the latest ravings of a delusional binbag of wingnuts. Unfortunately, this delusional binbag of wingnuts seem to attract a lot of media attention, earn disproportionate platforms and, as you might have noticed, more than occasionally see their ravings slide into the policy platforms of supposedly sensible parties.

So let’s see if we can cut the legs off this particular cockroach before it scuttles into anyone’s sandwich.

UKIP’s promise is to “implement school-based medical checks on girls from groups at high risk of suffering FGM. These should take place annually and whenever they return from trips overseas.”

The point which most on the liberal-left have been making (correctly) is that this would be a horrific violation of human rights, a discriminatory, racially-targeted policy that would impose something akin to strip-search and sexual assault of very young (and less young) children at least once a year. Lest there be any doubt, most FGM scarring is not immediately obvious and could only be detected by a full legs-akimbo, smear-test-stirrups style procedure. Let there be no euphemisms or sugar coating here.

If implemented, the policy would also surely result in all kinds of unintended consequences, including children being taken out of school to avoid the examinations (not necessarily because they have been mutilated, either.)  It would be phenomenally expensive and an administrative nightmare.

Beyond all that, however, there is a bigger point which UKIP need to understand, but so too does almost the entire political and media establishment. It is this:

There is no evidence that any girls in British schools are at ‘high risk of suffering FGM’ in the first place. There is only the most scant evidence that any girls in British schools are at any identifiable risk of suffering FGM at all.

As we have noted before on this blog, for the past couple of years the Department of Health has been building up a database of all British (or British-resident) women who have been identified as having suffered FGM. For the past year, they have also been trying to collect data on whether those women were born in Britain, and in which country the FGM was performed.

From the most recent figures, over 1,200 FGM survivors were newly identified by the NHS. (That quarterly figure has been fairly constant since they began recording.) Of those, precisely 14 were born in Britain, and in only 11 cases was the FGM procedure performed in Britain.

Now, it is still not possible to identify cases where a girl was born outside the UK, brought here to live, taken out of the country to be mutilated then brought back again. Such cases could exist. However the smart money would still be that virtually all of the identified FGM survivors in the UK were cut before they migrated here with their families or as adults.

But wait, there is some new information in the recent figures. Of those 14 cases they did find, 85 percent (I calculate that as all but two) were categorised as FGM survivors because they had genital piercings.

Now, this issue gets a little complicated because there are some cultures in parts of the world which do inflict genital piercings upon girls or women as a form of FGM. (This is categorised as Type IV FGM by the WHO). However, you may recall that when this statistical evaluation was first announced, there was widespread concern that the type of routine decorative (or recreational) genital piercings voluntarily undertaken by many women could be mistakenly categorised as FGM.

It is also worth noting that, with very few exceptions, genital piercings can be easily removed with little or no lasting damage, leading one to question just how relevant they are to the very real horrors of Type 1 or Type 2 FGM.

We don’t know how many of the 12 FGM piercing cases are ‘true’ FGM and how many are harmless piercings (or whether they overlap with the 11 cases where the procedure was performed in the UK.) We also don’t know how old those 12 patients were when they were pierced, which would be very useful data.

The bottom line, however, is that across the entire NHS, the numbers of women being found who were born in the UK to immigrant families and who were then subjected to FGM are tiny. Yes, such cases exist and they are appalling and must be stopped, but they can probably be counted on the fingers of a hand or two, across the entire country.

In turn, what this implies is that far from being a huge socio-medical problem within African or Arabic migrant communities in Britain, FGM (in this country) is a spectacularly rare offence. It is highly likely that if UKIP were to somehow get their policy implemented, the authorities could go for months or even years before identifying a single case of a schoolgirl who has been mutilated while under the protection of British law.

To put this in grim perspective, it is highly likely that if we introduced routine genital screening of all schoolchildren there would be vastly higher proportions of cases of bruised and damaged genitals from forced sexual child abuse uncovered than cases of FGM, even within communities which are nominally high risk. Now ask whether we would accept all our children being given genital examinations once a year and what UKIP would say if we suggested examining their daughters (and sons) just in case.

There’s a depressing political point to this. It has long been inevitable that a party like UKIP would put forward this policy sooner or later. (I’m just grateful it’s not their near-cousins in the Conservative party.) For years, if not decades, there has been a highly irresponsible narrative pushed by my own friends on the liberal left, including the charity sector and the broad feminist movement, insisting that hundreds of thousands of girls in Britain are “at risk” of FGM. It has always been almost entirely evidence-free, calculated using estimates of the size of ethnic / cultural communities in the UK combined with the estimated prevalence of FGM in those countries. There was never any allowance made for the fact that migrant peoples might change their behaviour at the first opportunity, that they might be tempted to observe the law, to learn from public health education efforts, or that FGM might be exactly the type of problem that they wanted to move to this country to avoid in the first place.

These ‘At risk…’ statistics have been a glittering gift to outright racists and petty bigots from UKIP or worse.  They basically portrayed African and Arabic (or more commonly and more inaccurately, Muslim) communities as brutally patriarchal savages who love nothing more than to butcher the genitals of little girls.

To be clear, FGM is and remains a huge public health problem in some parts of the world and is a horrible, traumatising experience for many or most of those who are subjected to it. There are undoubtedly many thousands of women living in Britain today who have been mutilated and who may need extensive physical and/or psychological interventions to heal. There is also still a desperate need for better research, better data, better understanding of the nature and scale of the problem here. However reducing and eliminating FGM is, overwhelmingly, a matter of public health and education in those countries where it is commonly practised. They do not include the United Kingdom.

UKIP’s policy proposal is ignorant, dangerous and ill-informed and we would expect little else from them. More importantly, it is high time the political mainstream stopped the nonsense and adopted language and approaches that are based upon evidence, not scaremongering.

Comments

  1. StillGjenganger says

    Thanks for a good summary of the (non)problem.

    Might one suggest that the talking up of FGM by the left is part of a not uncommon pattern where rare or distant problems are grossly exaggerated, and conflated with more common happenings here, as a deliberate strategy to gain traction for some cherished but not universally popular political proposal?

  2. Holms says

    UKIP’s promise is to “implement school-based medical checks on girls from groups at high risk of suffering FGM. These should take place annually and whenever they return from trips overseas.”

    Wow. Checking inside the undies of all minority girls every year plus every time they travel abroad, on the negligable chance of catching evidence of illegal surgery. There’s bad policy, and then there’s UKIP policy.

    So, UKIP are on board with massive invasions of privacy in the name of catching potential crimes. Surely then they’d be on board with snooping people’s internet traffic just in case people are accessing anything illegal, or warrantless phone tapping in case crimes are being planned, or surprise home inspections by police in case drugs or stolen goods are being hidden there… no? Just the genitals of brownish girls then.

    Amazing.

  3. Marduk says

    Admiral Ackbar: It’s a trap.

    1. Argue for routine annual genital inspections.
    Listen to it get called unacceptable, dangerous, etc.
    2. Wait a bit, point out this is what happens in ‘aspirational’ European countries like Sweden and Germany anyway as a matter of routine paediatric health monitoring and something that appears regularly in pan-European policy proposals and frameworks..

    @Holms

    “Surely then they’d be on board with snooping people’s internet traffic just in case people are accessing anything illegal, or warrantless phone tapping in case crimes are being planned, or surprise home inspections by police in case drugs or stolen goods are being hidden there… no?”

    Home entry aside, I assume unless they say otherwise UKIP supports those things given all major political parties do.

    https://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2016/11/investigatory-powers-act-imminent-peers-clear-path-for-uk-super-snoop-law/

    When they say ‘security agencies’ turns out they include such vital defenders of the realm as the DVLA, the Food Standards Agency (Scotland) and the Ambulance Service ombudsmen amongst others. In the original plans your local council could have a look too but now they’ll have to put their claims in via other bodies.

    Secure end to end encyption technically doesn’t exist in the UK now although its been pointed out recently to the government if they try and enforce it every scientific and financial institution in the country will have to shut down its system the same day as they will be in breach of international standards. This includes all the nuclear power stations.

  4. Marduk says

    Speaking of the crimes of the liberal commentariat:
    http://ikwro.org.uk/2017/03/violence-survivors-withdraw/

    I had to look very hard to find out what had happened with this because it wasn’t reported anywhere.

    White middle class people seemed to think this was very important when Philip Davies opposed it, now its not worth mentioning now it turns out survivors and at-risk groups definitely don’t want it either?

    Its odd because it was “necessary”, “essential” and “much needed” at the time. In all those comments flying back and forth across Twitter, the pages of the Graun, the Indy and Tumblr, it seems everyone forgot to ask the most important question of all.

    I know I’m throwing you under the bus Ally but me too, I hold my hand up and I’m much chastened frankly. Your ‘outraged liberal commentators’ of Twitter now looks like a list of self-righteous white people who don’t care to ask or listen while insisting they know best. Anyone can make a mistake but burying it is something altogether worse.

  5. That Guy says

    @ Marduk,

    The problem wasn’t the bill being opposed, per se, but Phillip Davies being an arsehole in his doing so, with arsehole reasons.

  6. Marduk says

    6. Sure, I understand that, but what the issue was and what people claimed are were not actually the same thing. People pretended Davies was opposing helping people because he doesn’t want them to be helped. Their rhetoric in reply was that people MUST be helped in this very specific way and Davies is a monster for opposing it. On examination, neither of those things turned out to be true to ironic and problematic effect. I’m just saying there is a lesson here.

  7. Lawrence Newman says

    Funny, I never hear you or anyone else from the Left campaign against the non-medical, illegal human rights violation, sexual suppression and grievous bodily harm that is male “circumcision” (male genital mutilation) that the NHS and private clinics carry out to please Jews and muslims every day.

    It’ll be a cold day in Hell before you do, too.

  8. Marduk says

    Not every time. Not most times. Not often. Just once, prove the point. You could make it about why its never ok to stab someone and smash glass against them while they are presumably writhing in agony but lets not walk before we run. You can say its exceptional, unusual or bizarre. I don’t mind if you make it about Benevolent Sexism, you could make it about old white men in the judiciary, you could even make about it social class. 34 articles about “Girls” in one month, don’t tell me there isn’t room.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/16/oxford-university-lavinia-woodward-stabbed-boyfriend-may-avoid-jail

  9. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    How about saying something like “actually, this is progressive and I can see why this has happened. I’d like to see more of this type of sentencing, particularly for men.”

  10. StillGjenganger says

    @ Carnation
    Simon Jenkins in the Guardian says almost exactly that. And it is a good and convincing article. Still, when a privileged person is treated well where anybody else would be treated badly, both kinds of reaction seem reasonable If a member of the Bullingdon club had glassed some asian waiter and got off with out a conviction, which way would your reaction go?

  11. Carnation says

    @ GJGanger

    Good point, however, I don’t think anyone is saying she shouldn’t have been convicted – just that maybe jail isn’t an appropriate punishment.

    I also think, unpopular as this might seem, that a one-off domestic incident should be treated very, very different to the perpetrator of a campaign of abuse/stalking/harassment.

  12. StillGjenganger says

    @Carnation.

    I’d agree on that. And, FWIW, in the absence of information to the contrary I would assume that the judges made a sensible decision in this case. After all, they mostly do.

  13. David S says

    @Carnation (11)

    I also think, unpopular as this might seem, that a one-off domestic incident should be treated very, very different to the perpetrator of a campaign of abuse/stalking/harassment.

    I think it depends a bit on whether the incident is “one off” in the sense of being the first time she has been violent with a partner, or whether it is maybe the first time she has been prosecuted, or the first time she has reached for a knife, or the first time she has been violent with this particular partner. Obviously we have no way of knowing that, and it is the sort of thing that is rather removed from my own, rather sedate, home life. However the impression I have always had is that domestic violence doesn’t usually just come out of the blue, there is a pattern of escalation, and if someone is literally going at it daggers drawn then there would probably have been previous incidents.

    That said I can see that judges can only sentence on the evidence before them, and that even if there was a pattern, helping her deal with it might be better than locking her up. The suggestion that she has been spared because of her potential future career sounds a bit odd though (if it’s true which, given the way the press report these things, is a big “if”). I would prefer it if the medical profession was exercised by people who could be trusted with sharp implements.

  14. Marduk says

    9. Because a feminist activist would never say that. As we’ve discussed before, feminists leave the progressive stack on issues of crime and punishment where they are generally to the right of the Tories and only narrowly to the left of UKIP/BNP (“Bring back hanging”) with occasional exceptions made in cases of ‘intersectionality’. I wanted to see how “zero tolerance” feminists treat this event, the answer is they’ve ignored it as expected because its too awkward. Just like they always do.

    For what its worth I don’t think stabbing someone and then continuing to glass them should ever lack a custodial sentence in any circumstances, you can read the guidelines given to judges to set mitigation in cases like this and she qualifies for none of them. Knife crime is too deep a problem in this country and this sends the wrong message to people in a far more vulnerable and disadvantaged positions. You have to consider the equation being put to a young person thinking about carrying a knife for their own protection, we’re weighting the sure and certain judgement of the law against their own probably not-so unrealistic fears of vulnerability, there cannot be room for grey areas in that. Unlike the judiciary, I care more about them a lot more than I do about her.

  15. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    “Because a feminist activist would never say that. As we’ve discussed before, feminists leave the progressive stack on issues of crime and punishment where they are generally to the right of the Tories and only narrowly to the left of UKIP/BNP (“Bring back hanging”) with occasional exceptions made in cases of ‘intersectionality’”

    Well, it’s probably just as well that judges aren’t noted for their feminist activism then, isn’t it?

    Oh, by the way;

    “feminists leave the progressive stack on issues of crime and punishment where they are generally to the right of the Tories and only narrowly to the left of UKIP/BNP”

    I can only conclude that you’re either ill-informed or rather stupid. Which feminists do you mean? The Green Party? WEP? Or the anonymous ones on blogs with zero power and influence that push your buttons so expertly?

  16. Marduk says

    No, the Judge in this case is a practitioner of benevolent sexism in the face of domestic violence.

    WEP aren’t the best example but lets take a look at their manifesto anyway. God, where to begin. Most of it is basically illegal under UK and EU equalities legislation but in keeping with what I’m saying, they make no mention of prison reform so I assume they are perfectly happy with things as they are (at least not enough to prioritize it), they do however offer a range of new offences including declaring, in certain cases, making ‘abandonment’ a form of domestic violence and making certain types of domestic violence ‘persecution’, putting it in the reach of international prosecutors. Interestingly they will also make all forms of ‘community-based arbitration’ illegal, which aligns them with UKIP, BNP and England First.

  17. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    So, which “feminists activists” do you actually mean?

    Or was it just an idiotic throwaway remark?

    Feminazis, innit?

  18. Marduk says

    19.
    Well you nominated them, they’ll do I guess.
    Know of any prison reform minded feminists who think there are already too many crimes on the books?

  19. That Guy says

    @all I haven’t followed this thread for a while, so forgive my late interjection-

    WRT the domestic abuse case concerned- Wether someone should receive a custodial sentence for a one off instance of violent domestic abuse, I am not best placed to say. Obviously, my lizard braid tells me that someone should be locked up for stabbing and glassing their partner, but I don’t know what the evidence says is the best way to prevent re-offending is in these circumstances.

    What does irk me, is the language around this case, and the classism therein. IF the perpetrator hadn’t been an aspiring surgeon, and instead had been a waitress, or unemployed, or working the checkouts at the local poundland, would she have been banged up then?

  20. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    So, basically it was a typical MRA comment, hyperbole, relating to the feminist entourage who reside in your collective MRA conscious?

    Do you know any politically significant prison reform minded MRAs? I’ll give you a clue – there’s only one MRA of political significance (albeit, limited) and he’s very much against prison reform.

    You guys are so achingly pathetic.

  21. Marduk says

    22. Please stop abusing me Carnation, can’t believe I have to start requesting basic manners from you again.
    I answered your question, if you don’t want to answer mine, fine.

  22. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    That’s abuse, is it?

    OK, I’ll rephrase.

    You said “feminists leave the progressive stack on issues of crime and punishment where they are generally to the right of the Tories and only narrowly to the left of UKIP/BNP”

    I asked for examples of which feminists you referred to, you were unable to give me examples. I suggested the Greens and WEP, you obfuscated, then concluded that “Interestingly they will also make all forms of ‘community-based arbitration’ illegal, which aligns them with UKIP, BNP and England First.”

    Having a specific policy aligned with that of UKIP does *not* make a party right-wing. This is painfully obvious. To prove your point, you’d have to demonstrate why that particular policy is right-wing or illiberal. This is really basis debating principles.

    Now, I’m able to comfortable state that MRAs are indeed right-wing. Their most prominent and powerful figures are Tories in the UK and Trump republicans in the US. MRAs have demonstrated zero interest in progressive or liberal attitudes to men caught up in the justice system.

    And you, Marduk, just ignore all of that and instead buy into fantasy. And in doing so, say rather a lot about yourself.

  23. Marduk says

    24.
    I’m not an MRA Carnation, Hetpat’s first and only real rule is that you don’t get to call me names like that as a substitute for thinking. I’m not interested in MRAs, I’m interested in people.

    Most people would say multiculturalism and religious tolerance is liberal as is allowing people to enter into a form of binding arbitration of their choice. In general I would say many feminist groups are authoritarian in outlook and believe a secular state should intervene in people’s lives over and above their private choices. The irony that they should ultimately call upon the authority of a violent patriarchy is their problem to explain, I have no idea how they square the circle. They would say, and I’m not entirely unsympathetic to this, that they are doing it for the right reasons. But every tyrant says that and its a very dangerous trap to start normalising this kind of narrow self-serving behaviour, its the victory of an agenda over values.

    It didn’t used to be like this and its something I lament, I think its actually very short sighted and I think you can see in the US that questioning free political speech isn’t as popular as it was this time last year amongst so-called progressives, they’ve gone very quiet about this very quickly. The hypothetical reason you never mess with this, that was always going to happen sooner or later, happened sooner. I hope if anything good comes out of Trump and now its Mike “electroshock” Pence who has strong opinions about what people do in private, they might learn a few lessons in general about the resilience marginalised groups gain from liberalism as opposed to the fleeting expression of authority.

  24. WineEM says

    Incidentally, who is this very articulate and insightful writer on the subject of Corbyn? #MEGALOLZ

    “What is certain is that if he did one day become PM, he would be unable to implement any genuinely socialist reforms.

    Leaving aside the ever-increasing web of international law and treaties which cement governments into neoliberal economic policies (of which the approaching TTIP is but the latest example) there is a more brutal, less subtle outcome on the horizon – the corporations, the bankers, the traders could and would simply pack up the bulk of the nation’s wealth and up sticks to a more “conducive” market and bankrupt the country in a retributive act of grand larceny.

    A Corbyn-led government in 2020 would therefore be a bitter disappointment at best and economic calamity at worst – not because Corbyn would be running the country, but precisely because he wouldn’t be. And all of that is why I cannot in good conscience make myself part of an internal, Labour party leadership election, it would help to dignify a process in which I have no faith.”

  25. WineEM says

    @25 “you can see in the US that questioning free political speech isn’t as popular as it was this time last year amongst so-called progressives”

    You sure about this? Seems to me it’s actually got worse since the election, and there’s been a complete witch-hunt from the left targeted at all the people who helped win Trump the victory.

    If you look at the MSNBC cable channel for instance, Morning Joe was still heavily biased towards the Democrats in the run-up to the election but did still occasionally let the Trump campaign have a say. Now they’ve banned Conway completely from the show (in outrage at her ‘alternative facts’ – wow, from a spin-doctor?!), whereas before Trump’s election they conceded all kinds of compliments about what a great person she was; role model to women as the first head of a presidential campaign team, highly poised and articulate etc. etc.

    Mika herself said she had been threatened by the Clinton campaign team with being pulled off air for not being sufficiently polemic in favour of the Democrats, but now they don’t seem to give a damn. It’s extraordinary.

  26. Marduk says

    27.
    The first amendment states that the US government can’t interfere with your speech, practice your religion, protest etc. MSNBC can do whatever they like and I couldn’t care less really.

    When Obama was in power it seemed very tempting to regard the 1st amendment as something of an outdated institution and jealous eyes looked north to the Canadian Human Rights Commission and its various antics. Wouldn’t it be better to get rid of these pesky ‘rights’ granted to people we don’t like and instead to instill in law a few ideas that we do like? After all, only Tea Partiers, Birthers and Militias protest against enlightened governance and religion is really another word for codified patriarchy.

    Like I say, this is something that you meddle with at your peril. The right to speech and protest is the last form of resilience against oppression. Thank god they weren’t more successful or you’d have Mike Pence bring in blasphemy laws, flag burning laws, and banning ‘right to choose’ advocates from offending him. Baffling short-sighted.

  27. Marduk says

    26.
    I dispute this idea that corporations can ‘simply pack up’ the bulk of the nation’s wealth. They’ve had every inducement to do so for 30+ years. Everyone who wants a Swiss bank account, a Turks & Cacos Islands passport or a Buglarian tire factory already has one. There are few if any steely eyed captains of industry who stay here out of pure sentiment. The nation’s wealth lies in its physical resources, its networks, its well educated people and its systems of law and governance. One might also add to that its markets and its consumers. There are very good reasons why they are here, the question never answered here is where they’d actually go. If you’ve noticed bankers sounding a little less Brexit gung-ho its because they’ve worked out with the taxes, regulations, salary caps, bonus caps and the pan-EU Tobin tax they are going to wind up earning little more than estate agents in a putative escape to Paris or Frankfurt.

    If they can indeed leave that easily and if indeed they have that much power (neither is true), then of course the obvious thing is to seize their wealth as quickly as possible and start imprisoning them and their families to stop them escaping. It isn’t hard to manufacture charges. This is exactly what would happen in large parts of the world they pretend they are going to flee to and who could blame us if they seek to blackmail us over things like whether the state controls the education system or a printing company does.

    In short its utter nonsense. What the government does do however is to shape the terrain in which corporations and institutions make decisions. I’d point out to you that ‘socialist reforms’ are not guaranteed to be unattractive to these parties. Things like rule of law and literate employees effectively supplied at zero cost and the absence of having to run colossal health insurance schemes come to mind as does an energy network that doesn’t brown out every 36 hours. But I’m sure if you want to go to Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe’s door is always open.

  28. WineEM says

    @28. It’s a good point. I do wish, to be honest, that we had the right to free speech enshrined in some kind of UK constitution as well. The malicious communications act is already horribly vague, and we’ve seen feminist groups like the ReclaimTheNet alliance trying to promote this as a means to crush any dissent – not to mention police and crime commissioners using the concept of ‘misogynistic hate crime’ to put a big state magnifying glass over any behaviour a woman apparently doesn’t like.
    Sometimes it would be great if Two Ronnies sketches would remain Two Ronnies sketches and not clairvoyant predictions of the future.

  29. WineEM says

    31 Holy Cow, Theresa has somehow managed to get some young people to stand behind her with placards. How on earth did she manage that, bribe them with free tickets to the opera or something?!

  30. Marduk says

    30.
    This is a tricky issue. I prefer the common law system where, essentially, if its not illegal, its legal. The idea here is the state only has the right to intervene if its serious enough and there is a reason. Government does not as such grant us enumerated rights because it is only our servant.

    On the other hand, I think we have far too many laws on speech and I completely agree they are dangerously broad. This is really in their lineage; they supplemented laws that already addressed the severe and fairly clear cases that were used as justifications so there was really nowhere else for them to go other than outward and creating more and more criminals.

    I prefer a system where if someone says something hateful, I can tell them to fuck off without any reservations. I believe in this because I trust normal people to get it right ultimately and the mechanism we use to get it right is free and open discussion. This is more important, cold bloodedly, than hurt feelings in the moment. If you look at the last hundred years, people have been remarkable in their ability to reach fair minded settlements and changes in society, in all cases ahead of governments. Unfortunately the authoritarian left and right don’t trust people and power (ultimately violence) must be used to force them to behave. Personally I look at Amber Rudd and I don’t see a moral titan who should decide things on my behalf, and she certainly does not know better than all of us put together.

    I was thinking this reading this bonkers article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/04/gay-irish-prime-minister-leo-varadkar-fine-gael-taoiseach
    Its has a lot of BTL commenters frankly a bit puzzled. But I realised eventually what the belief behind this is. Emer O’Toole doesn’t trust other people, fundamentally. Everyone else is past that and think he should be judged on his policies, as he wants to be himself. And of course it is the likes of Emer O’Toole who think we should be forced to not say (and in the case of Canadian Human Right Commission) forced to say certain things because we can’t be trusted. In a way, she is the last person clinging onto the prejudices she claims to abhor.

  31. Marduk says

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T0SlrjaP00

    I thought this was interesting (trigger warning for Carnation, yes its Jordan Peterson).
    The question I ask is not whether he is right but why it is you’ve never, ever heard this fairly reasonable argument made before anywhere. Certainly there is more visible evidence for it than there is for a global conspiracy. It can be reasonable and false but that isn’t the point. Why isn’t this considered entertainable if only as a null hypothesis.

  32. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg

    Off topic, but why the animus towards George Galloway? I’m genuinely interested, I’m not pro GG either.

    Very curious…

  33. Marduk says

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/11/the-weaker-sex-science-that-shows-women-are-stronger-than-men

    Women are intellectually, emotionally and physically stronger than men.
    When women have a problem, given their inherent superiority in all things, its because of misogyny and social forces.
    When men have a problem, including suicide and homelessness, its because they are genetically ‘bad at surviving’ (tough luck).

    Well I’m glad that’s cleared it up.

  34. Marduk says

    In other “who knew” news, it turns out a solid performance from Corbyn means that Chuka, Yvette et al. should all be given important jobs and people loyal to JC should make way for them. That the reward for shameless treachery should be power is treated as completely logical. Yet their brand of politics has been decisively rejected by their party at large, the financiers/stakeholders of the party and most importantly the general public, it is unclear what power base it is we are supposed to pretend they call upon. None the hacks making blithe assertions seem to want to say either and seem to hope we’ll nod along through force of habit. I see no reason for their elevation from the back benches at all. They are marginal, fringe members outside the mainstream now, there is no “civil war”, they’ve been annihilated and the people around them with new seats or larger majorities know which side their bread is buttered. I swear if Chuka wasn’t black, people would be wondering rather more loudly what the hell a right wing Tory was doing in the Labour party at all. In any case, he can’t have any sort of job because he got too clever in his resignation letter about the burdens of collective responsibility, there is no way back for him now and if I remember that, sure as shit the Tories and the Daily Mail haven’t forgotten either.

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