Anti-male sexism: a reason not to vote for Ryan Henson, the Tory candidate for the Bedford constituency, at the next general election

There are a number of reasons for ‘small c conservatives’ – and ‘capital C Conservatives’, come to that – to not vote for Conservative candidates at the next general election. Ryan Henson’s party hasn’t represented conservative values – most notably ‘family values’ – since at least 2005, when the woeful David ‘call me Dave’ Cameron was elected leader.

Conservatives – along with others, notably former Labour and Lib Dem supporters, as well as the more than one in three voters in Bedford who didn’t vote in 2019 – will find our manifesto more to their liking than the major parties’ manifestos, that’s for sure.

In 2010 I wrote David and Goliatha: David Cameron – heir to Harman? which went on to become an international bestseller, as did The Glass Ceiling Delusion: The Real Reasons More Women Don’t Reach Senior Positions (2011) and Feminism: The Ugly Truth (2015).

When I worked for the Tory party (2006-8), details here – why am I not Baron Buchanan of Bedford today, in recognition of my generous donation of £11.5 million to the party? – Caroline Spelman, the party chairman, noted that men outnumbered women more than 10:1 as prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs). I doubt the ratio is much different today.

I cancelled my Tory party membership, and ceased being a donor, on the fateful day in the autumn of 2009 when David Cameron announced his intention to introduce all-women shortlists. I was reliably informed that many other members had done the same.

Our thanks to Ken for this. Oliver Dowden, the current Tory party chairman, has swallowed whole Harriet Harman’s toxic feminist ideology and stated that the party’s candidate list should reflect the fact that half the population are women, and the party is committed to “equal gender representation” in the Commons.

The bottom line? The Tory party today officially has the position that 10 men should be passed over so that one woman can become a PPC. This will inevitably lead to mediocre women becoming Tory PPCs – and in time, mediocre Tory MPs – at the expense of many better-qualified men. The party will have more MPs like the woeful ones appointed from all-women shortlists, such as the Labour MP Jess Phillips. The estimable Mrs Thatcher must be turning in her grave.

Mad Hattie, the first Minister for Wimmin & Equalities in 1997, much be cackling into her coffee this morning. Conservative politicians should feel utterly ashamed at this turn of events.

Mike Buchanan

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