Last week, the comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig, announced that she plans to launch a feminist, Women's Equality Party in time for the next election. In the meantime, the UK's only anti-feminist men's rights party, led by a former Conservative Party member, will be contesting two seats in today's general election.
The idea of a men's vote has gained little if any traction this election, even though 47% of the 17 million people who didn't vote last time were men. Neil Lyndon's Telegraph Men article and the Fatherhood Institute's report on how the major parties' manifestoes talk about fathers, being notable exceptions.
Here one of our regular readers, Michael McVeigh, shares his thoughts on the electoral prospects of the UK's only anti-feminist, men's rights party.
Are people willing to support the western world’s only declared and unashamed pro-male political party?
Justice for Men & Boys (and the Women who love them) is launching its first foray into UK politics with two candidates standing in the seats at Ashfield & Broxtowe.
The party’s leader, Mike Buchanan, 57, worked most of his life in business including a two year stint in 2006-8 with the Tory Party. Since 2010 he set about fighting "radical feminism" including writing 3 books & starting the Campaign for Merit in Business in 2012. J4M&B was registered in February 2013 with the intention of pushing back against what Mike sees as a feminist controlled political system in the UK.
Mike is standing in the constituency of Ashfield which is the current seat of Gloria de Piero, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women & Equalities, held in the 2010 election by just 192 votes.
Ray Barry, is standing in Broxtowe which is currently held by the Conservative, Anna Soubry, with a 389 majority in the 2010 election.
The party’s manifesto which was published last December has the following issues as its heart:
- An end to male genital mutilation (circumcision)
- A presumption of shared parenting after divorce/separation & shared financial responsibility
- Asset division after divorce to only include assets accrued since the start of the marriage
- Automatic paternity testing (DNA) on the birth of a baby
- Limit abortion to a 13 week term
- Discontinue government support for women to enter STEMM subjects
- Discontinue affirmative action in employment including women on boards
- Equal funding for shelters for male victims of DV
- Help for homeless men
- Government initiatives to reduce male suicide rates
- Prison – gender neutral sentencing guidelines
- Anonymity for men accused of rape
- More male specific health initiatives
- Minister for Men to be introduced
For Men’s Rights Advocates, many of these concerns are their motivation & indeed anyone would be hard pressed to rail against most of these issues. For the general public, however, these issues are probably not as important as things like the NHS, defence, benefits, tax, etc.
Mike has been very successful in attracting lots of publicity by way of appearing in more than 100 television and radio shows to complement his YouTube channel and Blogs. On the way he has attracted criticism from feminists and derision from traditional political parties. Typical of some of the critical comments is this piece in The Guardian while a more unusual pro-article written appeared in The Telegraph.
Coming from such an anti-feminist stance, Justice for Men & Boys is bound to find an uphill struggle fighting for votes with many voters seeing an anti-woman party. But, perhaps there are enough people in Ashfield & Broxtowe who will think that men and boys do face discrimination and have issues which need to be addressed although also realising that a vote for J4M&B will be a wasted vote as there is just a snowball’s chance in hell of either Mike or Ray being elected. Anyone putting an X in the box will be a person who has very strong beliefs that there is an imperative need for such a party getting support. Mike’s target figure of 400 votes is not unachievable.
So the question is – will Mike achieve a sufficient number of votes in these 2 constituencies to set his party far enough above what the Monster Raving Looney Party would get? Are there enough ordinary people who feel strongly about men’s issues to use their precious vote to make a point?
I await the results from these two constituencies and wonder if there will be but a derisory 10 or 20 votes or will Mike get over 100.
There is no greater power than “the ordinary five eighths” exercising his or her voice in a democratic election and when polling closes and our fellow citizens have had their say, the number of votes which Justice for Men & Boys attain will be a gauge of support for the simple idea that men and boys are in crisis and need help from government.
Michael McVeigh, loves the sea where he works & interested in areas where men & boys are losing out due to society's apathy towards males.
insideMAN does not support a specific political party and we are happy to receive articles about men, masculinity and manhood from writers of all political political parties
The views expressed in these articles are not the views of insideMAN editorial team. Whether you agree with the views expressed in this article or not we invite you to take take part in this important discussion, our only request is that you express yourself in a way that ensures everyone’s voice can be heard.