Coffee House The View from 22

Podcast: Britain’s masculinity crisis and Osborne’s Foreign Secretary aspirations

1 May 2014

Is the British male in serious trouble? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, the Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington Diane Abbott discusses the topic of this week’s Spectator cover feature with Isabel Hardman. Why are boys written off more frequently than girls? Are males in trouble because females are doing better? And is it now more difficult to grow up as a young boy or girl?

James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman also discuss why George Osborne wants to take William Hague’s job and be the next Foreign Secretary. Does he risk lowering his profile and getting entangled in the sticky business of renegotiating our relationship with Europe? Or does the Chancellor simply love being where the action is?


Plus, Freddy Gray and Fraser Nelson debate whether Beyoncé is a champion of conservative, family values. Does she demonstrate, through her music and public persona, that fun begins (not ends) with marriage? Or is it all just an illusion to sell records?

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  • cartimandua

    They will do and say anything to avoid talking about what a global economy will do to
    the job prospects for men in this country.
    Men in this country are now competing for work with men from all over the world.
    Either the work physically has gone overseas or in every area of work not requiring a British person “others” apply. Employers can now choose the cheapest and there will always be another who is cheaper.
    Men journey about the world for work more than women do.
    None of the political parties will address this at all.
    In the USA you have to prove you have a unique skill which is not present in any US citizen.

  • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

    Dianne Abbott is a disgrace and should be put out to grass. We all know she didn’t get to where she is on the back of her intellect or quotable remarks. DISGRACE.

  • Rillian

    I don’t know why you would give this openly racist woman any air time what-so-ever.

    Diane Abbott: ‘White people love playing divide and rule’

    She’s like a black Nick Griffen.

  • Doggie Roussel

    God, if the Speccie gives column space to the likes of Diane Abbot, we are truly doomed… What is her expenses quotient ? …

    Always a good indicator or an MP’s integrity ….

    • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

      Were there no 12 year olds they could find to give more insight? 12 year-old donkeys that is.

  • cartimandua

    so provide some schooling like the Swiss system.

  • oli

    terrible recording of Diana Abbot interview. Sounded like she was in a busy kitchen. Please make sure those interviewed are in a quiet space so that listeners can hear what they say. If you cant Id rather not hear from them. Not beyond the wit of man or spectator to get this right

  • Smithersjones2013

    So the Spectator thinks that two women (neither of whom have much credibility) discussing (in the usual cheap feminist propagandist tones no doubt) the perceived problems of men is of any value. This magazine is turning into a comic

    • Tim Reed

      Exactly. Consider the reaction there would be to an all male panel discussing ‘what’s wrong with women today’.

      “How dare men decide what the role of women ought and ought not to be”.

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        Abbott doesn’t even sound good, what is the point of her in this discussion?

  • misomiso

    Bad sound with Diane.

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      Turn the volume right down. That will fix it. If you can still hear her, leave the room.

      • Jay_Sands

        I wish I could recommend you more than once.

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        I hope she wasn’t paid for this.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Most women have nannying, controlling tendencies to a lesser or greater extent whereas men tend just to want to be left alone and to have an easy life. Women are frequently intolerant and judgemental. The proliferation of women in politics, strident with zeal and causes (many of them barmy), in education and bringing up male children without fathers or male role models has led us to where we are. A society which appears to both submit to and need a nannying regime. The Americans have a crude term for it. And we are.

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      Wait til you get home.

  • black11hawk

    I can’t believe they allowed that point about the right wanting to penalise single mothers go unchallenged. It is simply not true that right wants to do anything of the sort, what people on the right do (generally) believe is that the nuclear family is the best way to raise children in a stable environment, most sane, rational people realise that sometimes due to circumstances beyond their control women are forced to take on the burden of both father and mother, this does not mean right-wingers want to penalise those women. If she is referring to the desire by many Tory backbenchers to remove to perverse incentives towards single motherhood which exist in the tax and benefits systems, then Sebastian and Isabel should have spoken out and pointed out this is just typical left-wing obfuscation.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Just listened to the Podcast which (btw) sounds like it was recorded in a corridor being refurbished.

    Why oh why oh why (etc) does anyone give houseroom to Abbott? She is intellectually incapable of developing any points and mainly drifts off the issue. She has absolutely nothing of any interest to say about non-black males. As poorly educated white sc^m even I find her an embarrassment in a magazine/site like this. I really wonder what those with an expensively acquired education think about the big fat token.

    • Makroon

      I think the podcast is the Spectator’s answer to the ‘Today’ programme.
      Lot’s of trivia, tokenism and right-on PC.

    • Sebastian Payne

      Apologies about the sound quality we were recording in Portcullis House. Not ideal surroundings!

      • Hexhamgeezer

        The lobby presumably?

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        Why on earth would you give this odious woman a platform?

    • Ralph Hopkins

      I thought it might have been in a cafe. If the Spectator has no money for a studio or a decent microphone at least get in a car and drive to a deserted car park!

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        But Abbott would want overtime and a taxi-faire to her second home.

  • La Fold

    I dont know, speak to the young lads in the work shop and some of them really do worry me.
    Our workshop superviser just told me he cant wiat for next weekend because the eurovision song contest is on. Men!! What happened??

  • Alexsandr

    No comments on the Adams case articles. Who are they scared of?

    • Hexhamgeezer

      Those weapons ‘put beyond use’?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, as they tell us ad nauseam, the Speccie teenagers are stalwart champions of free speech, aren’t they?

  • DavidL

    “A crisis of masculinity”: what a wonderful hook on which to hang a load of journalistic piffle. A few years ago the Times Diarist coined the cliché-busting phrase, “journalistic questions to which the answer is no”. It’s an amusing game for all the family to play. “Is there a crisis of masculinity?” is a palpable hit.

    • oli

      agreed. looking across many industries there is still male chauvinist and sexist behaviour. In science and engineering there are few women entering jobs because many are scared off at school, and those that do make it into the world of work, many would say that it is still a male-dominated world.

  • Blindsideflanker

    No there is a feminist problem who are incapable of leaving men alone to get on and do their own thing. They insist on being included in areas of men’s activity then insist on it being changed to accommodate them.

  • Hello

    I don’t think there’s a crisis of masculinity. Like most men my age, I know my place. At the weekend I get dressed up and go out, somewhere that I can shyly flutter my eyelids at potential matches. Education isn’t so important for us anyway, I just hope that I’ll be able to find an attractive, successful woman that will be able to take care of my financial needs. Maybe settle down and have some children. I can cook too. Behind every great woman there’s a great man you know?

    • Holly

      And without women, all men are *ankers.

      • CharlietheChump

        There’s an App for that

      • Hello

        Is that a “b” or a “w” there?

      • Smithersjones2013

        Well without men woman are lucky as they have all sorts of alternative options don’t they? Animate objects, inanimate objects, vegetables, fruit, animals. Why is it women are less fussy in such matters?

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