I’ve recently had an interesting exchange of emails with a leading political commentator. At the end of one of them, sent to me this morning, he wrote an intriguing line:
P.S. You are attacked in this week’s New Statesman. Assume you have seen it.
I hadn’t seen it, but was intrigued to learn more. Those not of the British persuasion may be unaware that New Statesman is required weekly reading for Lefties who like to consider themselves well-informed on current affairs. They’d be far better informed if they read the Daily Mail or Spectator, to be honest, but that’s something else. The piece (on page 8) was penned by Helen Lewis, the 29-year-old deputy editor of the periodical. She writes:
Attention, all you downtrodden men! There is now a party just for you, to offset the terrible, all-encompassing female dominance of the ruling coalition (subs please check). Quentin Letts wrote about it in his Daily Mail column on 28 December, naming its leader as Mike Buchanan, a 55-year-old who plans to stand against Harriet Harman at the next election.
Buchanan, Letts solemnly informs us, “is not some fruitcake of the Monster Raving Loony Party ilk. A bookish fellow from Bath, he has recently given evidence to a parliamentary select committee.”
A quick visit to Google shows Buchanan to be the author of Feminism: the ugly truth, the first chapter of which is available to read for free on Amazon’s website. It contains unimprovable statements such as “it would be dishonest to deny the evidence before us – that feminists are generally less attractive than normal women” and “my theory is that many feminists are profoundly stupid as well as hateful, a theory which could readily be tested by arresting a number of them and forcing them – with the threat of denying them access to chocolate – to undertake IQ tests.”
Nope, definitely not a fruitcake. Still, ten points to the commenter who write underneath the article: “I was shocked to learn that over 50 per cent of people in Britain are now WOMEN. No doubt BRUSSELS is behind all this!!!!”
Now I hardly need comment on the piece, which of course seeks to rely on the only weapon feminists have in their armoury. It’s an increasingly ineffective weapon generally, and utterly ineffective with me: shaming tactics. Water off a duck’s back, and all that. But I was intrigued by her careful selection of the comment in her final paragraph, so here again is the link to Quentin Letts’s piece, which currently has 51 comments added by Mail Online site visitors:
Of the 51 comments, 43 are positive overall, 9 negative. The most positive comment has a rating of + 232 points, the most negative – 165. Helen Lewis may have given the commenter she chose ten points, but visitors to Mail Online awarded it – 44.
Ms Lewis makes a factual error. Quentin Letts doesn’t say in his piece that I’ll be standing against Harriet Harman personally. I’m considering a number of seats. For one thing, we don’t know whether she plans to defend the seat in 2015. I’ve emailed her this very question, and await her reply. Also, a prominent lady supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous for the time being, is straining at the leash to be our candidate and contest the seat, assuming Harman decides to defend it. Now that would be an interesting battle, and I know where I’d put my money…
I leave you with files of the two chapters from which Helen Lewis drew excerpts, so you can draw your own conclusions about the content:
We thank Ms Lewis for her piece.