We’ve had moments like these before, dear reader. You know the ones. Like the time when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, prompting Tom Lehrer to wryly declare satire “obsolete”? Well, today is one of those of days. Now take a deep breath. Are you ready? Philip ‘Dismal’ Davies, the Tory member for Shipley and flatmate of Esther McVey, has been elected unopposed (sic) to the Commons Committee on Women and Equality. No, you didn’t misread that. A man who is opposed to equality has been elected unopposed (sic) to a committee on equality. Is that a postmodern turn or what?
So who is Philip Davies? Well, he’s on the hard right of the Conservative Party but he’d call himself a ‘libertarian’. He’s one of those libertarians who denies freedom to others. A lot of them do it. Since entering the Commons in 2005, Dismal Davies has made it his mission to support the interests of the powerful over the weak. In fact, when it comes to those most in need, you’ll always find Dismal in the Commons filibustering a bill that’s designed to protect them.
As a defender of personal freedoms (freedom from poverty or disease excepted), Dismal was once the Parliamentary spokesman for the equally dismal, but now thankfully defunct, Campaign Against Political Correctness. In this role, he bombarded the Equality and Human Rights Commission with a series of trolling letters asking silly questions on topics like blacking up (sic). The Guardian reported:
Davies regularly addresses Phillips as Sir Trevor, leading the EHRC chair to eventually add a handwritten note to one reply: “Thank you for the ‘knighthood’ but HM has – probably rightly – never extended that honour to me!!”
With an obvious track record in attacking feminism and spitting in the faces of the disadvantaged, The Cat wonders how Dismal’s presence on the committee can be anything but disruptive. More importantly, how was he elected unopposed in the first place? That says a lot about our democracy. Doesn’t it?