Tag Archives: Nusrat Ghani

Cabinet minister Michael Gove made a RAPE joke* on national radio. Where’s Nusrat Ghani?

A week in politics really is a long, long time. At the start of this week, Nusrat Ghani was demanding an emergency debate in Parliament over Clive Lewis’s use of the phrase “Get on your knees, bitch”. Here at the end, Michael Gove has made a comment that is arguably far worse and neither she nor any other Conservative has anything to say.

Mr Gove is a Cabinet minister – the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

It is not appropriate for him to make such a comment, and an apology after the event –

– is not enough.

The fact that he spoke those words means he thought it was acceptable to do so – belittling the experience of every woman who has ever fallen foul of Mr Weinstein’s unwanted attentions.

Worse still, this attitude to rape seems to be a family trait as Mr Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, has also made a comment that is staggering in its insensitivity:

Has she apologised?

Fortunately for our national character, plenty of people have come forward to criticise Mr Gove’s appalling remark, even if the government won’t. Let’s start with the only question worth asking:

https://twitter.com/AGayLabourLefty/status/924180579456835584

At the very least, as mentioned above, Nusrat Ghani should have something to say:

But the silence has been deafening.

Appraisals of Mr Gove’s own character are fair comment after his own words:

There has been criticism of Radio 4 for allowing it and failing to apologise afterwards:

And there is speculation on the thinking behind it:

Yes he did.

And he has put Theresa May in an untenable position. She has a very small pool of talent (if you can call it that) from which to draw her Cabinet ministers, and Mr Gove – like Boris Johnson – is most likely only a member because he can command the support of a significant number of Conservative backbenchers.

If she sacks him, then he’ll take that support away with him and Mrs May’s position as prime minister will be weakened – it would only take a moment of spite for Mr Gove to undermine her on a crucial issue, possibly triggering the end of her government.

But if she doesn’t, then she is tacitly supporting his words and betraying rape victims – not just those who have made allegations against Mr Weinstein, but everywhere. That could be just as damaging for her.

As for Mr Gove himself, the future of his career is looking rocky, because we now have the perfect answer to every policy announcement, every speech and every opinion he puts forward:

“Nobody cares what you say any more, Mr Gove. You think rape is funny.”

*This is an oxymoron, of course. Let us all be clear that here is nothing remotely funny about rape (unless you are a Conservative Cabinet minister, it seems).


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People aren’t trolling Nusrat Ghani because of misogyny – and the reasons are obvious

Nusrat Ghani.

Tory MP Nusrat Ghani appears to be a little upset at the response attracted by her call for an urgent debate on Clive Lewis’s use of the word “bitch”:

The trouble is that she, along with those others who have been trying to make something of this incident, is pushing a false argument.

Nobody is denying the offensive nature of the words used by Mr Lewis – least of all Mr Lewis himself, who has apologised after being made aware that they did cause offence.

But context is everything, and his remark was made in an attempt at humour, with no offence intended – to a man. This is, at the very least, a subversion of the offensive nature of the words – albeit, in hindsight, an unsuccessful one.

The claim that the words used were gendered is easily defeated as there are many instances of men calling other men “bitch”. Indeed, one definition in the Urban Dictionary states that a bitch is a “modern-day servant; a person who performs tasks for another, usually degrading in status”.  To This Writer, it appears to be the relevant definition when considering Mr Lewis’s use of the term. Note the use of the word “person” – not “woman”. Therefore it can be someone of either gender.

Nobody female who was at the event has come forward to say they took offence at the time (to my knowledge), and my understanding is that the organisers took no complaints at the time.

So Mr Lewis used a non-gendered term of abuse, in a humorous (or attemptedly humorous) manner, while speaking to a man.

And Nusrat Ghani wants us to think it implies hatred towards women.

Yes. I would like to see a debate on the subject.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely:

All things considered, that would be a lucky escape for Ms Ghani.


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Yes, Nusrat Ghani, let’s have that debate about MPs abusing power – we can look at your fellow Tories [STRONG LANGUAGE]

How can Tories complain about anybody’s attitude to women or minorities when Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary?

Tory MP Nusrat Ghani reckons she will demand an urgent debate in the House of Commons about the incident in which Clive Lewis used the word “bitch” during a social event connected to the Labour Party, a month ago.

Some of us may find it worth comment that she wants an “urgent” debate about an incident that is a month old and is only being discussed now in order to distract the public from the growing list of the minority Conservative government’s failures. Where’s her demand for an urgent debate on her own government’s failure to support the will of Parliament and suspend the Universal Credit rollout?

Here are her tweets:

Oh, right. Using the word “bitch” implies a lack of respect for women. This Writer can certainly get on board with that – but not with the hypocrisy of saying it after reading an article about Mr Lewis on the Guido Fawkes blog, which has a record of abusing that word:

And what about the misogynistic abuse Guido‘s followers heap on women after they’ve been targeted on that website? Here’s an example:

Here’s another:

And there’s this one as well:

The event at which Mr Lewis misspoke was run, presented and owned by women – and no objection was raised at the time. Some have tried to raise indignation because a female voice was heard saying, “This is supposed to be a safe space”. Here’s the owner of that voice:

On top of all the foregoing is the fact that Mr Lewis himself has apologised for his words, which he accepts were completely inappropriate (even though the way they were said ran counter to the misogynistic use that is correctly vilified).

So we’ve established that the fake outrage over Mr Lewis is a storm in a teacup. But a debate could still be useful – to point out the many similar outrages caused by Conservative MPs.

I mean, opponents of the government could raise the obvious policy points:

But let’s admit it – the time would be far better-used discussing the transgressions of individual Tories. Aaron Bastani, whose social media organisation Novara hosted the event at which Mr Lewis said his offending words, listed a few possibles – including, for the sake of fairness, one example concerning a Labour MP:

Boris Johnson is worth an article in his own right – and the Metro has obligingly provided one. In it, Yvette Caster comments on his claim that women go to university because “they’ve got to find men to marry”, that female graduates are responsible for rising house prices – and are making it difficult for other families to get housing, that working women should get back to the home because they are responsible for young people’s antisocial behaviour.

There’s this: “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3.”

I strongly recommend that you visit the article to experience the full horror.

But Mr Johnson isn’t the only Tory transgressor. What about James Heappey?

I wrote an article on Vox Political about this – ahem – “gentleman”, along with Tory Nick Harrington who said Ireland could “keep its f’king gypsies”. What charming men!

Moving back to the Cabinet, what about Michael Fallon, who called a journalist a “slut”, although it seems he would be more accurate if he applied the term to himself:

Fallon’s people have denied that he used the word but they would, wouldn’t they (to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies’s words about another Tory defence minister, in another scandal)?

And then there’s the deputy chairman of Bermondsey and Southwark Conservative Association, Rupert Myers QC. Journalist Kate Leaver has alleged that he “forced himself” on her – and I hope everybody reading this knows what that means. If it is true, then not only should he be imprisoned but he should be stripped of his Tory membership and dismissed from the bar (of the court – although it seems he should also be banned from reputable drinking establishments):

Finally, let’s all remember that the inappropriate misuse of language is not restricted to men speaking about women. Let us consider Anna Soubry:

This incident happened in the House of Commons itself, during a Parliamentary debate. Ms Soubry’s words were not picked up by any of the many microphones in the chamber, but she certainly appears to be using those words.

These are just a few examples of incidents in which, mainly, Conservatives have used their “position of power and establishment” abominably and it could easily be argued that they have undermined Parliament by doing so.

So, yes, Nusrat Ghani – let’s have that debate – and let us use it to expose your Tory colleagues as sexist, misogynist, and criminal vermin.


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