Coffee House

Diane Abbott to turn Labour’s attention to a ‘crisis of masculinity’

14 May 2013

Diane Abbott has been thinking long and hard of late about how Labour responds to the family. She offers the next instalment of her ideas in a speech to think tank Demos on Thursday, and will argue that rapid social and economic change has caused a ‘crisis of masculinity’ in Britain which manifests itself. Coffee House has been offered a preview of that speech, which marks a significant shift in the way Labour talks about the family.

Abbott believes the Conservatives have occupied this debate for too long, and wants her party to make families and fathers a priority. As a single mother and a left-wing feminist, her intervention is an attempt to reclaim this territory.


She will say:

‘Tomorrow, too many British men and boys will wake up isolated and misdirected by a boundless consumer outlook, economic instability and whirlwind social change.

‘Tomorrow, too many British men and boys who need the space and support to talk about manhood, expectations and boundaries from an early age, at schools, with other boys, and with their parents will remain silent.’

Abbott will argue that ‘this generation no longer asks itself what it means to be a man’ and that instead boys are struggling with a ‘culture of hyper-masculinity’ that involves ‘a celebration of heartlessness, a lack of respect for women’s autonomy; and the normalisation of homophobia. I fear it’s often crude individualism dressed up as modern manhood’.

Her solutions are ones that those on the right will quarrel with: full employment as a solution to many of the problems that young men face, which is an ambitious policy even when the jobs market has stayed impressively robust. And her desire for campaigns targeting men on obesity, sexual health and problem drinking sound excellent, but the money will come from local authority budgets which are already under pressure. But what is significant about this is the desire in the party – exhibited not just by Abbott but by Labour policy chief Jon Cruddas, too – to talk about the family and accept that there are problems with absent fathers. Where Labour previously shied away from this area, arguing that it was no business of government to tell families how to live, Abbott will say:

‘And I believe we need to say loudly and clearly, that there is a powerful role for fathers. The truth is that just as loving fathers are a benefit to children, so loving families are a benefit to men.’

She will still take care not to prescribe what an ‘ideal’ family is, but her emphasis is very much on the importance of Labour feminists articulating that there is a role for fathers, and it isn’t something the Left can ignore any longer. Abbott will give further details about how to end the ‘radio silence’ on masculinity in he speech on Thursday. As shadow public health minister, she’s well worth listening to for indications of how Labour’s thinking on relationships and families is going to develop in the run-up to the 2015 election.

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  • Jim_Watford

    Maybe if her appalling party hadn’t deliberately flooded the place with immigrants there’d be some jobs for men to do.

    Labour just aren’t credible on this, socialists know people will always put family before the state, they know the families will look after each other lessening the need for the state, they know family will counter the leftist crap the schools teach our kids, this is why the socialists have done all they can to destroy families.

  • LordTruth

    There is a certain irony is this business in that like the Savillie nonsense the only people who can give intelligent comments on it are ,indeed must be elderly.

    No one who didnt live through the sixties can talk about Saville and no one one who didnt live through the last sixty years can really talk about the problem of the macho male
    Overwhelmingly causing the changes in every aspect of male life from behaviour to appearance fashion etc is the recent full acceptance of homosexuals in society.
    This instantly sensitizes males to awareness of their sexual orientation and ,if they are not homosexual they will tend to show off their masculinity in aggressive ways.
    However much this may be derided by defenders of homosexuality as a normal aspect of life .it immediately raises male aggression ,macho behaviour and indeed every aspect of the males behaviour and even appearance
    The acceptance of homosexuality has destroyed the most imp[ortant aspect of a males life, male friendship .This no longer exists or rather if it does it is a friendship fraught with an edge of violence with noe of the easy going casual sub affection that existed indays long ago.
    Here the homosexual jumps in saying are but these selxless friendships you describe ,underneath they were really homosexual werent they?
    Well of course they were in the most general of terms but they were ceratinly not homosexual in any physical terms at all.
    It is looking back sixty zears amazing that I like many other fourteen year olds ,would go round to my friend nearly every evening and talk in his bedroom about everything under the sun science school etc.We never talked about girls,even though we were both eager for them .At ten my friends mother would bring up a cup of cocoa and soon I would be walking home…
    That kind of male friendship is impossible today. The neighbours would be talking about the abscense of girls etc.
    The homosexual would say ..But does it matter if you are considered homosexual? Yes it does! I do not want to be considered someone who likes to ……. …… etcetcetc.
    One aspect of the new open homosexual society is the physical ugliness of the male. Most young men like to look as if theareescaped convicts with shaven heads unshaved ugly clothes…I do wonder what their girl friends really think about them havingspent hoursemaking themselves look as pretty as possible only to spend the evening with a convict.

    • allymax bruce

      H, that’s the best op-ed I’ve read in real masculinity fo a long time. It would be good of you could expand on the main points with accepted examples; like how the Nelson/Hardy ‘kiss meHardy’ paradigm of masculinity comfortable in its own semantic ‘skin’. That, because oftenimism, masculinity has been marginalisef; Nelson is glorified in his heroic courage by winning the battle, but in his dying moments he shoes great masculine power through passing on to Hardy.

  • kridsman1

    Believe not a single word this woman speaks. She is a feminist. All feminists speak with forked tongues.

  • Barbara

    Another load of Political Correctness, and crap. People from all walks of life find their own level within what life offers them, sometimes difficult sometimes easy, that’s life. I don’t think men have had their masculinity diminished at all; what we have seen is the Gay scene become paramount on the public scene to the detriment of the straight man. For myself, I’m sick of it, and for me ‘normal’ men are the thing to seek out for a good society. Its OK for ‘gay men’ to foster their own lifestyles, but they should do it in private as ‘normal’ men do. I say normal, meaning no insult, how else can you describe them?
    This speech for me holds no water, its a speech of desperation.

  • Freeas Abird

    Her tongue is too big.

  • therealguyfaux

    Say this for Diane Abbott– she follows in her namesake Bud’s footsteps, spouting nonsensical bollocks obviously meant to perplex and bamboozle all the poor Costellos out there too stupid not to avoid her like the Devil avoids holy water. I doubt not, that if she thought she could manage to pull it off, she’d likely slip you the old “Have you got two tens for a five?” routine.

    (Hold on– isn’t that one already being tried, by some Westminster swindlers more capable than she is?)

    • Tim Reed

      “Have you got two tens for a five?”

      Small scale quantitative easing.

      • therealguyfaux

        Bud Abbott (to a “mug”): “I’ll even lay you two-to-one odds!”
        Lou Costello (being helpful): “Lay ’em three-to-one, Abbott.”
        Bud Abbott: ” Don’t get carried away there, Lou!”
        Lou Costello: ” What’s the diff, Abbott? They can’t win anyway!”

        • allymax bruce

          That’s funny. I can’t help thinking, that Labour women’, are too stupid to see they are being used as apocalyptic mules; I await for the one that stops in its tracks, and tells Man to get off, and walk. Of-course, the Damascene conversion is applied in isogesus, however, ‘Man’, in this case IS Women; there evil, and stupid women, that journey to enhance Tony Bliar ‘s global war!
          This is why God denounces women in authority roles. Labour women WILL ruin ‘Britain’ forever.

  • anneallan

    Part of the problem is that there are far too many female teachers. Mind you, given the current ‘paedo’ obsession, no male who values his peace of mind or reputation, would touch teaching with a barge pole.

  • RodPolisher

    Diane Abbot would be enough to make the Pope turn misogynist. As for Harridan Harm-men, don’t even get me started…

  • allymax bruce

    Diane Abbot; ‘Crisis of Masculinity’.
    Typical Labour Party b. s.

    • allymax bruce

      I’m replying to myself, because I asked myself a question. My answer is, yes, it is ‘crisis of masculinity’ for Diane Abbott, because, according to her ‘appearance in Andrew Neil’s show today, Mz Abbott was felony us, men, that we have not ‘devolved’, the way Mz Abbott had wanted us to. Seems we’re ‘still resisting’ absolute capitulation’ of our instinctial autonomy. Women control men in the social, work, and law spheres, but it seems we are still thinking like men. Well, she can go and take a flying f+@&.


    The specter of a future Labour Government is truly terrifying .
    Why do the native white working class man or woman imagine they have any concern for their welfare . This woman says everything about the NoLonger the Labour Party . I`d rather vote BNP .


    LMAO You could not make it up . They can no longer find jobs . I wonder why , could the 5,000,000 immigrants in the last decade be a factor .

  • jesseventura2

    How many people can remember when West Indian immigrants came to Britain in large numbers and went to work on the railways,the buses, the hospitals,the coal mines etc like the rest of us?
    These were christian people who went to church and on the whole most of the men remained loyal to their wife and children..
    Now look at the different life styles of the black riff raff into drugs prostitution and getting as many women pregnant as possible for a life on welfare benefits?
    The fat Abbott must be aware of this change brought about by the labour luvvies something for nothing culture?
    We welcome their diversity? No we don’t.

    • StephanieJCW

      “How many people can remember when West Indian immigrants came to Britain in large numbers and went to work on the railways,the buses, the hospitals,the coal mines etc like the rest of us?”

      That’s still true of the vaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast majority who you would prefer to ignore.

      Although interesting point. The ones you refer to negatively are the ones who are British born and raised…

  • Hookeslaw

    Perhaps Diane the best future for a family is to send its children to be privately educated?

    (and why is it when I open Coffeehouse for the first time my entire screen freezes for 30 seconds?)

  • AnotherSimpleMan

    Men = Beasts, to be controlled carefully by women. Basic bigoted feminism, nothing new.

  • thanksdellingpole
  • Gary Wintle

    “The jobs market is impressively robust”…really? Has Isobel set foot outside of the poncey media-bubble surroundings of London?

  • Daniel Maris

    Full employment is certain a necessary condition of addressing the problems of young men. Full employment should be the number one policy priority.

    • Gary Wintle

      Full employment is a necessary condition for both genders. The problem is boys, in contrast with girls, are still raised in pretty much the same way they were 50 years ago despite the world having changed, that’s where the “crisis of masculinity” is. Part of the cause of this is dim-witted parents who, while adapting how they raise girls, have not changed a thing when it comes to boys.

      The fault lies with crap parenting. Its worth noting that many successful people were orphans. Parents are not as important as they, or society, likes to think. Self-reliance should be encouraged at a young age; for many young people, parents are an obstacle, not an asset.

      • Tim Reed

        So what should these ‘dim-witted’ parents do to change the way they bring up boys, to stave off this supposed ‘crisis in masculinity’? Teach them not to be so wickedly masculine? A deep sense of self-loathing, learned from an early age, should soon turn them into healthy, compliant, feminist friendly drones.

        Perhaps if those parents are an ‘obstacle’ rather than an ‘asset’, and not as important as we all think they are, we should hand our children over to the state – for a proper, government approved upbringing. That’ll really help with the self-reliance issue, too, I’m sure.

        I can’t quite work out if you’re an angry, resentful adolescent, or just a common variety misanthrope.

  • De Vermis Mysteriis

    She has quite an apocalyptic view of masculinity. She more or less thinks men and boys are destructive and dysfunctional.

    • Tim Reed

      Feminism 101.

      • Gary Wintle

        Well, Abbot’s brand of feminism. Alot of feminists don’t share her views.

        • Tim Reed

          True. Unfortunately, many of the most influential ones do.

  • Austin Barry

    Perhaps she should address the abomination of the sociopathic masculinity of Pakistani men and the vulnerability of young English girls.

    Nah, she won’t address that issue because she is a coward.

  • Abhay

    She is quite a regular fixture on Question Time and always a reliable source of annoying opinions! Now making her journey to ‘think-tanks’ (another name for ‘pompous vacuity’).

    The ideas she stands for have ruthlessly attacked the traditional family and responsible fatherhood. Indeed the factors that caused damage to family (high rates of divorce, irresponsible ‘fathers’ abandoning women/child serially and so on) got encouraged through misguided fiscal policies.

    People should listen to her rubbish about the 2011 London riots!

    • Austin Barry

      Dianne is so preternaturally dim, that one has to believe that affirmative action is a Lincolnian imperative to confirm that all men are created equal.

  • Tim Reed

    “misdirected by a boundless consumer outlook”
    She’s got the wrong gender here. Around 75% of all consumer spending is female driven. ‘Shop ’til you drop’ isn’t really a bloke thing, is it Diane.

    “culture of hyper-masculinity”
    I’m sure that’s it. That’s the phenomenon that has caused boys to under perform in school in the last three decades, limiting their chances of a successful future. There’s been far too much focus on boys to the point that they’ve become self-involved, arrogant and entitled.

    “a lack of respect for women’s autonomy”
    Nothing to back this up, of course. Just an assertion, without evidence. Assumption, or just bigotry? And even when it’s about men, it’s still really all about women.

    “I fear it’s often crude individualism”
    Yep – Thatcher’s fault (you knew it had to be).

    Now consider the outrage from Ms. Abbott and the sisterhood if a male (and white) politician had dared to take it upon himself to describe exactly what is wrong with modern women and femininity, and then went on to define what it is to be a ‘real woman’, and what a woman’s role ought to be. He wouldn’t last long.

    Feminism Is Socialism with Panties :

  • Austin Barry

    Sorry, chums, but I’m still of the belief that Diane is Idi Amin’s love child.

    My new play ‘Idi Amin is Dada’ is opening in Diane’s old neighbourhood of Harrow next month and I hope as many of you as possible can attend.

    Tickets are free but a small contribution to the Labour Party will be expected.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …would that make her The Last Princess of Scotland?

  • Archimedes

    The thought of Diane Abbott shaping men to be what she wants them to be is a very scary thing indeed. The great difference between men and women is that men do not try to shape their woman, and women insist on trying to shape their man.

    The great “lack of respect for women’s autonomy” is rooted firmly in a man’s horrifying thought of their girlfriend, or wife, being given the power to do to all men what she does to them. Chill out, Diane — the ambitions of wives and girlfriends are humoured on exchange basis. Yours will not be.

    • Fergus Pickering

      That seems very well said , Archimedes. It is indeed one of the most salient differences between men and women and the cause of much violence and unhappiness.

  • David Lindsay

    This is naturally a left-wing cause, and specifically an anti-Thatcherite one. If fathers mattered, then they must face up to their responsibilities, with every assistance, including censure where necessary, from the wider society, including when it acts politically as the State.

    A legal presumption of equal parenting. Restoration of the tax allowance for fathers for so long as Child Benefit is being paid to mothers. Restoration of the requirement that providers of fertility treatment take account of the child’s need for a father. (There is no point saying that Labour abolished the second and third of those. The point now is that the Tories are doing nothing to put them back in place.)

    For repeal of the ludicrous provision for two women to be listed as a child’s parents on a birth certificate, although even that is excelled by the provision for two men to be so listed. (There is no point saying that Labour introduced, etc.)

    And for paternity leave to be made available at any time until the child was 18 or left school, thereby reasserting paternal authority, and thus requiring paternal responsibility, at key points in childhood and adolescence. Of course a new baby needs her mother. A 15-year-old might very well need her father, and that bit of paternity leave that he has been owed these last 15 years.

    That authority and responsibility require an economic basis such as only the
    State can ever guarantee, and such as only the State can very often deliver. And that basis is high-wage, high-skilled, high-status employment. All aspects of public policy must take account of this urgent social and cultural need. Not least, that includes energy policy: the energy sources to be preferred by the State are those providing the high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs that secure the economic basis of paternal authority in the family and in the wider community. So, nuclear power. And coal, not dole.

    Moreover, paternal authority cannot be affirmed while fathers are torn away from their children and harvested in wars. Especially, though not exclusively, since those sent to war tend to come from working-class backgrounds, where starting to have children often still happens earlier than has lately become the norm. Think of those very young men whom we see going off or coming home, hugging and kissing their tiny children.

    You can believe in fatherhood, or you can support wars under certainly most and possibly all circumstances, the latter especially in practice today even if not necessarily in the past or in principle. You cannot do both.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      You and that ugly socialist woman should get a room.

      • David Lindsay

        Do you even know who she is?

        I expect that “they” all alike to you, anyway.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Well, whatever “they all alike” means, I dearly hope there’s nobody else who looks like her.

          But she’s perfect for you. You socialist nutters belong together.

    • Hexhamgeezer


    • Wessex Man

      Yes David a very pertinent point abo zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Damon

    “And her desire for campaigns targeting men on obesity, sexual health and
    problem drinking sound excellent… .”

    Because obviously, it’s only us useless men that drink and get fat.

  • Curnonsky

    From the headline and the photo it sounded as though she was undergoing a personal masculinity crisis.

  • Colonel Mustard

    “…struggling with a ‘culture of hyper-masculinity’”

    Really? I would have said that they are struggling with the complete opposite. A culture of hyper-feminism that having destroyed the family and created a generation of wet men and kidults now wants to peddle a masculine role as defined by feminists in order to try to repair the damage.

    Abbott would probably be outraged if a right wing male politician set out to define the role of the female in families in this way.

    • David Lindsay

      Only a generation ago, a single manual wage provided the wage-earner, his wife and their several children with a quality of life unimaginable even on two professional salaries today.

      This impoverishment has been so rapid and so extreme that most people, including almost all politicians and commentators, simply refuse to acknowledge that it has happened. But it has indeed happened. And it is still going on.

      • Gary Wintle

        That is not the fault of feminism, it is the result of Neo Liberal low-wage fiat money economies. Witness the idiotic belief that rising house prices is a good thing in a country where wages are falling.The fact that we are also forced to subsidize Germany’s rail network does not help.

        We do have a “hyper masculine” culture which fetishizes alpha males, the financial crisis was the direct result of dick-swinging alphas. Gender segregation is still rampant; girls are brainwashed with Mills & Boon princess crap while boys learn one thing at school; suck up to the bullies or be crushed.

        When Alpha male’s (CEOs, PMs, Ministers, etc) mess up, the rest of us, men and women, have to bail them out, because the alphas make everyone else pay for their mistakes.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Gender segregation? Brainwashing? Oh dear. You sound like a nutty, humourless zealot. The sort who has re-defined our society and policed up our language – and not in a good way.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          Do you not realise that Student Grant in Viz wasn’t meant to be a role model?

      • JamesdelaMare

        David – Very true, but there’s a reason for this. We’re in an era of accountants in which cost cutting and profit making take priority over local provision of goods and services or employment. This is an import from American business practice that’s been boosted due to the changing balance of trade after 1945 when the US became dominant, and, what’s more, has been seriously fuelled by a huge influx of East Europeans (generally Jewish) and their descendants with ruthless and skilled commercial abilities. Mrs Abbott’s black male countrymen don’t stand a chance in those conditions.

      • StephanieJCW

        “Only a generation ago, a single manual wage provided the wage-earner, his wife and their several children with a quality of life unimaginable even on two professional salaries today.”

        Bollox – not according to my grandparents!


    A Masculinist movement hey! Would it be as mad and as destructive as feminism though? How would the first speech at the first masculinist meeting sound? Perhaps something like this:

    “Men! Brothers! The modern individual family is founded on the open or concealed slavery of the husband! Within the family the wife is the bourgeois and the husband represents the proletariat! Men are now clamouring for revolution! For many of us the call for revolution comes before the call for the liberation of the oppressed male! The New Left has been the forcing house for most movements and so the liberation of the brotherhood is dependent upon the coming classless society and the withering away of the state!”

    “The oppressed male must wait for the success of world revolution for his liberty! What will then follow is a better life assured for all by the correct political means! Hopefully this speech will be seen as subversive; hopefully it will draw fire from all the articulate sections of the community! The conventional moralist will find much that is reprehensible in the denial of the Holy Family and in the denigration of
    traditional fatherhood, but the ends justify the means!”

    “As men, we are the victims of centuries of oppression and exploitation! We must rise up against the oppressor woman, rise up against the oppressive family and rise up against the slavery of wage-earning, of duty, protection and fatherhood! By day you are the boss’s serf, by night the slave of your wife and her children! Why should you engage in mind-numbing, back-breaking toil in order to provide woman with a home and all the comforts therein!?”

    “It is time for a cultural revolution! We must abolish the very notion
    of fatherhood and familial duty, honour, protection and love!”

    Hmm, perhaps masculinism would be just as mad as feminism. Why did educated women fall for such insanity when men so obviously would not?

    Hat-tip: Karl Marx, Germaine Greer.

  • Austin Barry

    Abbott is primarily speaking about Afro-Caribbean men, but implies that it is relevant to all men.

    It isn’t. It’s all about the inane, misogynistic, women-and-kids-are-disposal ‘dis’ culture, in’it?

    Diane can only face facts if are they detached from any ‘racial’ implications – well, unless they’re pejorative traits which she can ascribe, unfairly and inaccurately, to old whitey.

    • Wilhelm

      African culture is polygamous. Race Hustler Darcus Howe had 7 children from 3 different women, and then wonders why is family is dysfunctional. ”The 2005 Channel 4 documentary Son of Mine examines Howe’s relationship with his 20-year-old son Amiri, who faced jail for charges related to stolen passports”

      President Zuma has 20 children from 7 different wives, Mandela’s father was also polygamous.

      Incidentally, the not very bright oaf Darcus Howe played the race card on comedian Joan Rivers and called her a racist on Radio 4 several years ago, he didn’t expect Rivers explosive come back . 7 minutes.

      • dalai guevara

        Henry 8 was a jaffa – why must this still concern us today?

        • Wilhelm

          Because the taxpayer, whitey, picks up the bill for educating their many, many, many off spring and after that, their prison stay.

          • dalai guevara

            Give a black man a fair chance on an Irish building site and you would not need to worry so much in your sleep. But you choose not to, so your sweet dreams are of you own making.

            • chan chan

              my irish father ran a building company with a couple of hundred employees, and he didn’t employ many blacks, as he said they were “lazy bast*rds”. The only job they’d ever do was painting and decorating “as they can take long breaks and give the excuse they’re waiting for paint to dry”. Any blacks he employed were usually fired not long after. I’d say about 30% of his blokes were Indians, 30% Irish, and the rest, English blokes.

              • StephanieJCW

                Nice to share your story of your racist father – he probably is the type of guy who would whine and moan about the prejudices faced by Irish people.

                Luckily most employers are a little less stupid.

          • StephanieJCW

            Fool. Black people are taxpayers too.

            93% of children in the UK have their education paid for by the taxpayer.

            A tiny minority of non whites end up in jail.

            The reproduction rate of most ethnic minorities is not different to that of whites. At least try to make sense in your racist rantings.

            • Wilhelm

              Stephanie dear, you seem to be suffering from a combination of adolescent petulance and PMT.

      • StephanieJCW

        There is no such thing as African culture.
        Darcus Howe isn’t African
        President Zuma is one man in one country in Africa.
        Polygamous relationships are limited to African countries and African cultures (see the Middle East, Mormons, our not too distant past when mistresses were a normal acceptable part of life)

        E- try harder.

        • Wilhelm

          That’s right luv, there’s no such thing as African culture or the continent of Africa or even men, they don’t exist, they’re social constructs.

          • Simon Semere

            The part of Africa I’ve been to didn’t display or indicate in any way that polygamy was accepted as the norm or even that they celebrated multiple offspring. She’s right when she says there isn’t an ‘African culture’, it’s a big place and too assume they all abide by ONE culture is far-fetched Wilhelm, even for you

            • dalai guevara

              What of course is true is that the slave trade knocked ‘family values’ out of its subjects. As soon as family structures were seen to emerge amongst the workforce, the overseer would know what to do.
              Again, the Irish will have a story to tell. Go on, tell your story, you do-gooders…

            • Wilhelm


    • Shazza

      Don’t they call these Afro-Caribbean men ‘babyfathers’?

    • chan chan

      Didn’t you know, Austin? Everything is The White Man’s fault. All of it. Nobody else is responsible in any way for their actions.

    • StephanieJCW

      No she’s not – she’s speaking about men in general. Unless you have anything to suggest otherwise.

      • Tim Reed

        …which of course makes it OK – for a woman to generalise about men in such negative terms. Reverse the roles. I’m sure you’d be OK with that, too.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    ‘Diane Abbott has been thinking long and hard’

    I got that far, laughed, and gave up.

    • Daniel Maris

      “Diane Abbott has been thinking long and hard while eating bumper bags of maltesers.” would be more credible.

      • Julian_F

        Aren’t Maltesers meant to be “the lighter way” to enjoy chocolate?

  • CortUK

    Haven’t Labour’s stupid nasty women spent 30+ years telling men they are useless and pointless and that children don’t need fathers?

    • Adrian Drummond

      Yes, and unfortunately they’ve been assisted in their vendetta by weak white-knight males who’ve been an utter disgrace to their own masculinity.

    • Tim Reed

      “it cannot be assumed that men are bound to be an asset to family life
      or that the presence of fathers in families is necessarily a means to
      social cohesion”

      Harriet Harman – ‘The Family Way’.

      • Gary Wintle

        What is so controversial about that statement? You can’t assume that anyone can be an asset to family life. Its a logical statement, and I say that as someone who has little time for Harman or Hewitt.
        It seems many people are so pea-brained they think the solution to any problem is to go back to the past, forgetting how rubbish the past was.
        The problem is that society still fetishizes alpha male behaviour (thuggery, bullying, selfishness, narcissism).
        The Louisa May Alcott said both genders must escape their predefined roles in order for humanity to truly flourish.She was spot on then, and she is still spot on now.

        • Tim Reed

          “What is so controversial about that statement?”

          Imagine the same said of mothers. Would you consider that controversial? It’s controversial, offensive and discriminatory because it assumes that fathers are disposable – an unnecessary part of the family. The same is not considered of mothers, however, as no statements were made of their assumed lack of worth to the family unit. Nor would such statements ever be made.

          “It seems many people are so pea-brained they think the solution to any problem is to go back to the past”

          Strawman nonsense. Who wants to go back to the past? Why do people assume that anyone who wishes to address the stigmatising of all things masculine and the discrimination faced by men in certain areas must be advocating ‘a return to the 1950s’ blah blah. An end to the parade of misandric falsehoods of ‘toxic masculinity’ would suffice for now.

          “The problem is that society still fetishizes alpha male behaviour (thuggery, bullying, selfishness, narcissism).”

          Another one. You must live in a different society to the one I experience day to day. These types of behaviour receive nothing but scorn. Where do you see them portrayed in a positive light in wider society, outside the pages of trashy lads magazines? It’s also noteworthy that you automatically assign the unpleasant characteristics of thuggery, bullying, selfishness, narcissism to the male of the species. You need to get out more, pea-brain.

          “both genders must escape their predefined roles”

          One this point, I agree. Let’s start with an end to the knee-jerk shaming and assumed disposability of half of humanity.

        • Adrian Drummond

          “both genders must escape their predefined roles”

          Society – even assisted by New Labour – can’t so easily manipulate millions of years of evolutionary biology.

        • Colonel Mustard

          There is a fair bit of nature in those “pre-defined” roles. Men and women are simply different in so many ways. The socialist attempt to make them indistinguishable but at the same time create politically re-defined identity groups for them has been disastrous to society.

    • Patricia

      “Haven’t Labour’s stupid nasty women spent 30+ years telling men they are useless and pointless and that children don’t need fathers?”
      Yes, indeed the Labour Government seemed more than happy to take on the role of husband and father with little thought to the social consequences.

  • monty61

    Blame Harriet Harridan and the m’learned sisterhood for much of this.

    While the Thatcher de-industrialisation of the north and Scotland destroyed much of working class male self-respect (hard to have self-respect when you or your sons have no work), the NuLab sisterhood’s takeover of Family Law left fathers with no rights at all, only pay-through-the-nose responsibility.

    Hence mass family breakdown as mothers got wind they could take everything (house, kids, pensions, and half the man’s salary) with impunity. (This of course hit respectable family men hardest as the workshy and feckless always find a way to dodge any consequences).

    It’s no point Diane Abbot decrying these problems now when her and her kind were responsible for them in the first place.

    • Gary Wintle

      Do we really want to go back to the crappy old system which made men and women’s lives miserable and made them slaves?

      Considering women have been shafted for centuries by the church and the state, the response from women once freed from that abomination has actually been rather mild.
      Working mothers tend to be better parents than stay-at-home “Hermit Mothers”, who tend to deliberately turn their offspring, especially their sons, into social outcasts so they can “keep them” forever. Working mums have a broader outlook, are less paranoid, and don’t stifle or try to stop the growth into adulthood.

      • Tim Reed

        “Hermit Mothers”, who tend to deliberately turn their offspring,
        especially their sons, into social outcasts so they can “keep them”

        Christ – You don’t seem to like men or women.

        Do you have any evidence for your sweeping generalisations, or are they just convenient, baseless assertions designed to forward the lazy, student-like posturing that you pass off as argument.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Looks like your problems might be rooted in your own upbringing and mother. Don’t lay it on us or project it as societal generalisation thanks.

    • StephanieJCW

      “Family Law left fathers with no rights at all”

      Bollox. And I say this as somebody whose brother took his ex to court to gain access to his daughter. And was awarded it.

      And women end up financially worse off after divorce. You are letting a few high profile cases of a few uber rich people distort the reality.

      • monty61

        Not at all I’m speaking from direct experience. Your brother’s case must have been pretty extreme.

  • James

    And they say Farage is a clown. How dare she talk about children needing fathers when her own government refused to give men automatic contact to fathers who wanted to see their children after separation and they refused to enshrine equal rights in court – despite the evidence presented that children are damaged by losing contact with fathers. I despise liars and useless politicians.

  • Russell

    Unlike yourself, myself and many like myself do not feel that Abbott is worth listening to about anything and detest the racist, hypocritical, bigoted women, Isabel.

    This women ranks alongside Brown, Balls & Blair in the detestability stakes.

    • BigAl

      Agreed, spot on. Wast of Spectator time…

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Agreed, but you forgot Ed and Yvette Balls. They really are detestable.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Well, she’s hard on the eyes, that’s for sure. They used to say about some kids: “You’d have to tie a pork chop around her neck to get the dog to play with her.”

      • Airey Belvoir

        She would have eaten the pork chop long before the dog could get anywhere near it.

    • jesseventura2

      The vomit inducing Oona King has got to be included for her gardeners questions in parliament that even embarrassed Tony the phony Blair?

      • Russell

        Agreed, another repulsive National Socialist Labour party dreg.

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