Recently, some politicians, including Harriet Harman (Labour’s supposed women’s champion) were seen wearing shirts announcing, ‘This is what a feminist looks like’. Apart from looking tacky and out of place in the House of Commons (why did Speaker Bercow allow this but previously chastise Green Party MP Caroline Lucas for her Page 3 protest apparel?), I question the meaning and sincerity of the message behind it, especially in today’s political atmosphere. Labour touts itself as the party for women. Really?

It is to my bewilderment and disgust that, within this country, crimes are routinely perpetrated against women that include female genital mutilation, sexual degradation, forced marriages, child marriage, denial of education, honour killings, pre-natal gender selection and now, a new one to me, breast ironing. This horrific practice involves pounding heavy and hot objects on the chests of pre-pubescent girls, some as young as 10, in order to disguise or delay the onset of sexual maturity. It is prevalent in Cameroon, which has a diaspora in the UK. It is hard to believe and impossible to understand how any society could inflict such harm and depravity on its young female population. In a civilized society such as ours any right-minded person would be shocked at these practices and anxious for them to be eradicated – they have no place in our society and must not be excused on cultural grounds. They are contrary to British custom and law and are therefore punishable. Ordinarily the charges would include grievous bodily harm, rape and false imprisonment, to name a few. But where is the unified condemnation and concerted action on these matters? Labour, whom you might think would rush to their aid, steps back. Why? There is a shameful reason for this.

Under Tony Blair (a bogus socialist if ever there was one) open-door immigration and the entrenchment of multi-culturism took place. Harman became the first ever Minister for Women and has voiced her feminist opinions frequently. However, despite knowing of the sometimes stone-age barbarity inflicted on, and more general medieval attitudes towards, women in certain sections of society in this country she is strangely mute. Her defence of women seems to go only so far, as does Labour’s. This is simply because they rely to a great extent on the votes from minorities, many of which are patriarchal. This mindset holds that the man is dominant and the women are subordinate – second class at best, property next, trash at worst. Upset the headman and Labour can kiss goodbye to a number of votes. One only has to look at the recent events in Rotherham and the behaviour of the Labour-led institutions involved there to see the consequences of this subservience. UKIP’s Jane Collins has been more strident than sham feminist Harman in calls for officials and still-at-large offenders to be brought to book.

My research tells me that feminism is aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women. There is no suggestion that particular groups are excluded so it must, therefore, apply to all women. Merit is the ideal way to distinguish the worth or otherwise of someone, subject only to the demands of the given situation. Laws have been passed to give powerful backing to the realization of those aims but have been selective in their application.

With the passing of time, the maturing of attitudes and the progress made, it is both strange and disappointing that in the 21st century such a movement still needs to exist. There may be some further improvement to be made but the lot of women in Britain has surely improved greatly. However, any deficiencies there might be pale into insignificance compared to the plight of women from less advanced nations. In addition, men from those communities carry with them their debased views.

All political parties have a keen eye on where their support is to be found but for Labour to callously betray a large, vulnerable section of society on such a scale, while pretending to be the champion of the women, is political expediency of the worst kind. Could a similar attitude elsewhere explain why no banker has yet been prosecuted? It shows just how sullied the mainstream political perspective is in this country: it is simply to acquire power, by devious or dishonourable means if needed, for its own sake and not for the good of the people it is supposed to serve.

The fifth labour of Hercules was to cleanse King Augeus’s stables, which housed 1,000 cattle. Three decades worth of dung had accumulated. The mythical hero accomplished the task, much to the annoyance of the monarch, who had been confident it could not be done. Any insinuation by me of a similarity to the modern political situation in this country is entirely intentional.

We need a new, open, honest and effective relationship between the people and government. It’s time for a change; it’s time for UKIP.

Photo by looking4poetry

Photo by Liz Henry

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