Back in the day, the West Yorkshire constituency of Shipley was the domain of useless-yet-harmless Tory Marcus Fox, who gained a knighthood for little more than being there and doing as he was told. Now, sadly, it has had the singularly repellant Philip Davies foisted on it. Davies is wont to walk out with the appalling Esther McVey, and a more unappealing couple anywhere in politics would be hard to find.
Philip Davies - not a sexist slob, honest
Davis has managed during his time in Parliament to filibuster bills on ensuring landlords the accommodation they rent out is habitable (he’s a landlord himself), protecting women against violence, provide free hospital car parking to carers, and provide first aid training for children. He’s linked to the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, and the far-right Freedom Association. He claims the disabled are “by definition” less productive.
All of this would be bad enough, but in addition, Davis has tried to talk out a bill aimed at stopping “vulture funds” buying up the debt of developing countries in order to aggressively pursue payment through the courts. He’s failed to disclose all his benefits from the gambling industry and had to apologise as a result. He claimed - falsely - that evidence did not show an increase in harm from branded cigarette packaging.
And he might still have been getting away with being a mere back bench irritant, had it not been for the actions of comedian Luisa Omielan, who interviewed Davies for her BBC Three series Politics for Bitches. This was a campaign which turned out not necessarily to Davies’ advantage, after he seemingly lost it with Ms Omielan and tried to seize the camera being used to record the encounter for posterity.
As she later told, “Had the most horrible meeting with an MP today called Phillip Davies. Tried to ask him about country divide, NHS cuts & homelessness. He suspended the interview, called me a left wing extremist Corbynista, ignored me when I told him about my mother & physically blocked me when I tried to leave his office as he wanted to take the camera. I said no chance and ran out, accidentally pushed passed his assistant. He came into my personal space and shoved me a little as I tried to get out the door which he was blocking. It was horrific”. Doesn’t sound good. And there was more.
“I felt shaken and horrible. Genuinely wanted a discussion to hear from his perspective. He just claimed BBC bias and had absolutely no empathy or answers. I’m sure he has faced stronger questions but his physical behaviour was shameful and appalling. This is who is in government”. So what has Davies had to say for himself?
The Mirror tried to get an answer. But “Philip Davies said: ‘I have no faith that the Daily Mirror will accurately report what I say’. He declined to comment further”. And the HuffPost, after adding that Davies allegedly “threatened to call BBC Director Lord Hall”, fared no better. Perhaps they’re both in the pay of those “militant feminists” who Davies claims are after him. Fortunately for him, the right-wing press are ignoring the incident.
But this only reinforces what many had concluded before Ms Omielan had her less than positive experience with Davies: he’s a singularly nasty piece of work.
Hopefully the voters in the Shipley constituency will reward him appropriately. Hint.