So Nigel Farge the misguided Craig McInlay and Russ Timpson are clinging to their laddish beliefs that men only hustings are a jolly jape. Like tap-room tyrants they circulate mocking tweets and photographs deriding me for refusing to join their top table because women have been excluded from the audience. Although he didn’t turn up either, Labour’s Will Scobie is clearly scared of unambiguously aligning himself against gender exclusion at a parliamentary hustings; saying to the press he didn’t want to make a “song and dance of it” and he didn’t want to upset the Round Table because of their excellent charitable work.
Well I am deeply ashamed of Farage, McInaly, Timpson and even Scobie. Their pathetic response to the men only hustings might explain why in South Thanet women are paid on average £107 per week less than men; why in South Thanet more women are living poverty than men. It might explain also why the overwhelming majority of MPs, who they aspire to join, have remained tight lipped and silent about flying flags on Government buildings at half-mast to mark of the death of the despot King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. A despot who ruled over a country which treats women like chattels, which publicly beheads and flogs women, which excludes them from politics and bans them from driving. Yes boys it’s so funny to joke about inclusivity isn’t it! But they forget one thing. Ramsgate has a tradition of women’s equality. It was home to the indefatigable Dame Janet. A pioneering female politician, she was elected to the Town Council in 1913 long before most women could legally vote. She became Ramsgate’s first woman Mayor in 1923 and was a staunch supporter of the suffragettes. She was also a major patron of the town.
I wonder how Dame Janet might have felt about women being excluded from parliamentary hustings meetings. I wonder how she might have felt about the immature and jokey way in which most of Ramsgate’s Parliamentary hopefuls have treated this incident.