Philip Davies has earned himself a rather distinct reputation as a filibusterer – and no doubt a tabloid journalist genius has given him the moniker ‘the Philibusterer’ at some point. I would doubt even more than the Member for Shipley wouldn’t be proud of such a glowing review from the left – he’s on record proclaiming he uses their critique as a yardstick for his own success. He is as Tory as they come, basically wrote the book on how to inject the North with some right-wing love, and not unlike the legendary Mrs Thatcher, is not prepared to sacrifice his values to silence the peanut gallery.
At the most recent PMQs, a Labour MP criticised Mr Davies’ rhetorical techniques, calling for their ban. This came after the media questioned Philip’s ability to be an MP after he blocked a domestic violence bill that only stipulated the protection of women aboard. His lengthy speech was decried for being restrictive, anti-woman, and anti-progress in a rambling diatribe in the Guardian, where clearly the assignment brief for said article did not require someone to read the actual exchange. This where the left, and indeed the increasingly abandoned centre, could not be more wrong…
What Philip Davies’ filibustering perfectly demonstrates is the problem with society’s approach to equality. Too often, ‘equality’ is the act robbing Peter to pay Paul (no doubt Ken Loach – who used his BAFTA speech to criticise the government’s handling of refugees – probably has ‘equality’ engraved on the back of a diamond watch) The term has been morphed into a socialist-esque method to take from what is perceived to be the stronger members of society and give to those considered weaker. There is nothing equal about ‘special treatment’, positive discrimination, and women shortlists – they are an insult to women who can get ahead without being placed there by the politically-correct puppeteers, and an insult to men who are being pushed to the side in a bid to put women on a pedestal thrusting their cliched and often ill-informed placards to the sky.
I’ve seen numerous women’s rights activists try to link the term equality with liberty – “women should have the freedom to be equal” – but will happily march in protest of an MP branding him a misogynist, though that’s one of the kinder names I’ve heard attributed to him. To this end, I’m sure Davies would happily have a sensible debate with his colleagues when a Committee for Men & Equality is formed in the House.
With our definitions confused, we now face a situation where it appears that to replace ‘pregnant mothers’ with ‘pregnant people’ is not absurd political correctness gone too far, but it is utterly problematic to make the problem of domestic violence gender neutral. Our priorities, like our definition of equality, is critically misplaced. In a way, it highlights the sorry state of affairs we are in terms of whether our definition of equality is equal – why should an MP, elected to represent his constituents – of both genders – in both his role as an MP and as a member of the select committee – have to result to filibustering as a way to prevent a unilateral bill moving forward, to then have protesters, in all irony, not actually listen to the speech they are complaining about?
The answer is simple: being pro-man doesn’t mean being anti-woman, but it is incompatible with the left’s ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ definition. Society’s sensitivity to the feminism movement is symbolic of a growing ‘out of touch’ approach to answering questions people are afraid to answer – did
Emmeline Pankhurst in her plight to get the women’s vote demand that the voting rights of men be reduced or eradicated? No. Thus, an even bigger problem begins to emerge – the problem is not that things are becoming to offensive, it’s that disputing against the offence summons outrage. I’ve no doubt individuals who ridicule those who posted their praise online regarding Donald Trump’s travel ban happily lambasted the writer, but didn’t think to write to the President, or patrol the airports of America offering support for stranded travellers, as part of their protest.
Like most things Mr Davies says and does, his filibustered push for genuine equality is true-blue Conservatism at its finest – he is teaching feminists to live within their means, and not expect society to give them entitlement over men. In any event, I doubt the Yorkshire MP is losing much sleep over it – if anything the feminist parades of self-pity just goes to show they only care about one thing: themselves and their own fate as a gender. It is a pity that is only one Philip Davies – he is the best thing we’ve got.
Abbie Maguire Linguistics student at Queen Mary, University of London
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty