Fishermen? Could we call them fishers, asks Kerry McCarthy MP.

A piece published on the website of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the political party of which I’m the chairman, in November 2015:

We have a very strong contender for the next Gormless Feminist of the Month award.

Are all Labour MPs selected from all-women shortlists, gender-obsessed blithering idiots? We think inevitably of Jess Phillips, who sought to deny Philip Davies MP a debate on men’s issues in parliament, and now we turn to Kerry McCarthy, who was selected from an AWS, and elected by the vvoters in Bristol East in 2005… and 2010… and 2015!!!

Her ‘Early life’ section on Wikipedia, covering until the age of 40, when she was elected:

McCarthy was born in Luton, where she attended Denbigh High School, followed by Luton Sixth Form College. McCarthy studied at the University of Liverpool reading Russian Studies, before studying law at City of London Polytechnic. McCarthy began a doctorate on Labour links with the City of London at Goldsmith’s College, but did not complete it. She was a councillor in Luton and for a short period of time volunteered in the Legal Department of the Labour Party. She was also a member of Labour’s National Policy Forum.

Ms McCarthy is unmarried, and seemingly has no children. Judging by what she had achieved by the age of 40, what on earth qualified her to be a prospective parliamentary candidate, other than her sex? I shudder to think of the qualifications of the women who were judged inferior prospective candidates.

From her ‘Personal life’ section on Wikipedia:

… in a 2015 interview she claimed that she ‘studied Russian at university because Dostoevsky was mentioned in a Joy Division tune’.

Yes, that would be an intelligent reason to start studying a language at university. Give me strength. Does she manage to put on matching shoes most days, I wonder?

The following piece is in today’s print edition of the Daily Mail, but hasn’t yet appeared online.

When Labour’s vegan frontbencher turned to the internet to trawl for a ‘gender-neutral’ term for ‘fishermen’, she was given a battering. Kerry McCarthy, the party’s environment, food and rural affairs spokesman, took to social media to ask for a less ‘sexist’ word. [Note: In all the programmes I’ve watched about deep sea fishing, a highly dangerous line of work, I’ve never see a female deckhand. What point is the daft trout trying to make?]

She said she was meeting some fishermen then tweeted: ‘Shouldn’t say fishermen, but “fishers” sounds wrong as a gender neutral alternative?’ [I wonder how the fishermen felt about her using her time doing this? Maybe she could have spent the time more productively?]

Her missive attracted instant criticism. Some denounded her for carping about gender neutrality instead of tackling the crisis facing farmers.

A former aide to Andy Burnham, Gabriel Scally, suggested ‘fisher folk’ but this was rejected as too ‘twee’. Miss McCarthy – who previously called for meat to be given tobacco-style health warnings – was reminded by one tweeter that the term has biblical origins. It comes from Matthew 4:19: ‘And he saith [not ‘saithe’ sadly] unto them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ Miss McCarthy queries, ‘I wonder if there is a modern version that says fishers of people?’

She also pointed out that firefighter was gender neutral [by the standards of MPs selected from all-woman shortlists, the women’s a genius] which led one Twitter user to tell her to use ‘fishfighters’. Another suggested ‘codbotherer’.

One respondent tweeted: ‘Given your somewhat niche views on food and rural affairs, I’d have thought fish murderers would cover it?’

The writer of the piece, Gerri Peev, clearly had some fun writing it. I spotted three puns in his article, can you find more? A complimentary J4MB wristband (RRP £5.00) to the first person who does, and sends in a comment to be published.

If I listened to Ms McCarthy, I’d want to be hard of herring. When she’s in the House of Commons, she lowers the average IQ in the plaice. The voters in Bristol East really should have got rudd of her back in May. Struggling to think how to bring Chris Grayling, Nicola Sturgeon, and Alex Salmond into this.

I end with a short section from my travelogue Two Men in a Car (a businessman, a chauffeur, and their holidays in France):

The day wasn’t going well, then Paul decided I needed to hear – yet again – his views on law and order. I drank four large beers in quick succession but they failed to dull the pain.

In the evening, after a big pizza at a markedly better restaurant than the one where we’d had lunch, I decided – against Paul’s advice – that we’d join a small party of men night fishing on an old boat. It was a moonlit night. Far away, bells rang out.

Ding-a-ling-a-ling, ding-a-ling-a-ling.

The wine I’d enjoyed during dinner was starting to make itself evident, and I was starting to feel queasy due to the boat’s rolling motion. I hooked and landed a large eel, and tried but failed to determine the species. Paul and I then had the following conversation:

Self:   ‘Paul, what species of eel is that? I’ve drunk too much wine…’

Paul:   ‘That’s a moray.’

Self:   ‘Who do you think you are, Dean bloody Martin?’

The Amazon entry for the book is here.

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