A cabal of left-wing MPs have, predictably, smelt blood and are going after Jeremy Clarkson. For anyone waking up from a four-day coma, Clarkson is under siege for writing a Sun column railing against Meghan Markle. One paragraph parodied a Game of Thrones scene:
“At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her.”
Given Markle is the least popular member of the royal family bar Prince Andrew, Guido guesses many Brits may have been inclined to broadly agree with the sentiment of the piece. Instead the London-centric Twitter-sphere is apoplectic; getting the column taken down and forcing Clarkson into a sorry-not-sorry climbdown.
Oh dear. I’ve rather put my foot in it. In a column I wrote about Meghan, I made a clumsy reference to a scene in Game of Thrones and this has gone down badly with a great many people. I’m horrified to have caused so much hurt and I shall be more careful in future.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) December 19, 2022
For some reason, lefty MPs feel that this important issue is today’s national priority. Rather than the strikes, the economy, war on our continent, or at the very least just logging off ahead of Christmas…
Tory-in-name-only MP Caroline Nokes has spearheaded a letter on behalf of those “hurt” by Jezza’s “#NotAnApology”, demanding he instead issue “an unreserved apology… to Ms Markle immediately”.
“We further demand definitive action is taken to ensure no article like this is ever published again.”
The letter is signed by 64 MPs, mainly Labour and SNP. Guido notes that whichever of Nokes’s staff formatted the letter isn’t particularly savvy, given the top name of the second column is Clive Lewis. An MP whose primary contribution to feminism thus far was telling a woman to “get on your knees bitch”.
Guido’s no stranger to defending Clarkson in times of career trouble. The BBC, despite dismissing him for a fracas in 2015, often stood by him during rows about things he’d said or written.
Guido’s not so confident that the likes of Amazon – American distributors of his brilliant farming show – will have the same backbone this time around…
UPDATE: Meanwhile, the official letter from MPs accusing the Sun of editorial sloppiness includes signatories spelt as follows:
The history of Parliament Square’s Millicent Fawcett statue is a long, women-driven one:
This potted history was too complex for Sadiq Khan’s Twitter feed…
A self-promoting Khan celebrated International Women’s Day this morning by boasting about all the wonderful things he has done for London’s women – including presiding over the Millicent Fawcett statue:
7/10 women Deputy Mayors. First woman Commissioners of the Met & LFB. First statue of a woman in Parliament Square. Record investment to tackle violence against women & girls. Called for misogyny to be a hate crime.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) March 8, 2021
Today & every day - I'm a proud feminist in City Hall. #IWD2021 pic.twitter.com/9j50owbBdd
It all reminded Guido of the classic Onion article, “Man Finally Put In Charge of Struggling Feminist Movement”. Women hold up half the sky, though Sadiq does most of the heavy lifting…
The Corbynista agitator who stormed a Jacob Rees-Mogg event has been involved in another fracas, this time over transgender issues. Josh Connor, the Momentum brocialist who went nose-to-nose with JRM, took part in a protest against a feminist group in Bristol last week, where, according to witnesses, masked men intimidated a women’s meeting on transgender laws. Sacked Munroe Bergdorf spoke at the protest…
Masked transactivists tried to violently force their way into @JamJarBristol to shut down the #WeNeedToTalk event organised by @Signorella. Here is the moment when one flipped out @ThePosieParker over pronouns and tried to knock my phone out my hand. #FreeSpeech pic.twitter.com/d6vEpw863T
— Magdalen (@MagdalenBerns) 21 April 2018
Sinister indeed. I’ve seen it with those guy Fawkes masks but usually protests are fairly transparent
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) 19 April 2018
I agree – and I do not think these methods are good ways of resolving differences. Which do need resolving. But can’t be if people are subject to aggressive and frightening behaviour.
— Thangam Debbonaire (@ThangamMP) 23 April 2018
Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Thangam Debbonaire have condemned the protests. Before the event Connor tweeted that he would “punch” women who question the trans agenda. He regularly posts Corbynista content and retweets Jezza…
The trans versus feminist culture war has a new battleground: the Guardian newsroom. Owen Jones has been leading the fight for self-defining trans people – those who identify as women without any medical change to their gender – to be allowed onto Labour’s all-women shortlists. This viewpoint is extremely unpopular with many non-millennial feminists, who have serious concerns about whether it really advances gender equality. There is increasing angst among feminist journalists at the Guardian who believe that Owen and other men on the trans side are mansplaining all-women shortlists to them. When Owen gloated on Tuesday that feminists had “overplayed their hand”, a few hours later Guardian writer and feminist Hadley Freeman sent what King’s Place colleagues are calling two epic subtweets:
A senior Labour figure told me one of the main reasons the party has updated their position on trans rights is because of the anti-trans backlash.
In other words anti-trans activists overplayed their hand so much, they made Labour *more* pro-trans rightshttps://t.co/POrWr6VZPN
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) March 6, 2018
Love the idea of Labour punishing women for speaking out about an issue that affects them. What a great tactic to win votes among women!
— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) March 6, 2018
But really, thank heavens for all the men schooling us silly ladies about how all women’s shortlists should work. How would we cope without your manly guidance?
— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) March 6, 2018
Several female Guardianistas believe Owen’s influence and platform pushing the trans issue is causing large numbers of feminists to regard the Guardian as anti-women. They have been sharing Mumsnet chats which show Owen’s campaigning is immensely unpopular among female Guardian readers (Mumsnet, founded by Justine Roberts, the wife of Ian Katz, is at the centre of the Guardianista world). They are noting that this week’s Spectator carries a piece from Judith Green, one of the co-founders of Woman’s Place UK, making the feminist case on all-women’s shortlists. Several Guardian feminists have been arguing internally this week that: “Even the Spectator is more feminist than us”. Owen’s trick of calling feminists who disagree with him bigots is hardly repairing relations with Guardian women who feel feminists are finding it easier to get a platform in the Spectator than the Guardian…
Hundreds of Labour women are planning to cut up their membership cards as the party moves to formalise its policy of allowing transgender people onto all-women shortlists. The NEC’s equalities subcommittee yesterday approved a draft statement on the issue which sparked bitter division among the party’s activists. The measure will now go before the full NEC, where it is expected to be passed. It reads:
“The Labour Party continues to have an inclusive definition of women. In line with the Party’s policy on the Gender Recognition Act, All Women Shortlists and women’s reserved places are open to self-defining women.”
Labour has been allowing gender self-defined candidates onto all-women shortlists for some time – this just puts it in the rulebook. Controversially, the ruling could be used to allow transgender women to join the party’s internal women-only groups and programmes, for example, the influential women’s bloc in the PLP, women’s conference, and access training provided by the Labour Women’s Network and Jo Cox Women in Leadership. Top Shadow Cabinet Corbynistas including Dawn Butler are backing the move. It has outraged many feminists who have long felt at home in the Labour Party…
A crowdfunded campaign, “keep all women shortlists female“, has so far raised more than £25,000 to combat the proposal. Meanwhile, several Labour activists are threatening to take legal action. One group has written:
“Our solicitors have, today, sent our pre-action protocol and submissions letter to the Labour Party in respect of the definition of ‘woman’ for protected positions and all-women shortlists.”
Meanwhile a campaign group called Mayday4Women says hundreds of Labour women will leave the party in a coordinated protest. All of this puts Corbyn in a difficult position. In January he said:
“The position of the party is that where you have self-identified as a woman, then you are treated as a woman”
On those who oppose this, Corbyn said he would “talk to them and see if we can find some way forward.” He hasn’t…
“Queer feminist fight club Femme Feral offers women and femme-identifying people a place to express their rage about the Conservative government through body-slams and dropkicks.” Important investigation from Vice News.