Whenever it comes to Europhobia, there is always one person willing to make a futile gesture, and that person, all too often, is the loathsome Toby Young, aka “Westminster’s village idiot”. Tobes will say and do anything, no matter how stupid and pointless, in order to progress the anti-EU cause, and in the process generate More And Bigger Self-Promotion Opportunities For Himself Personally Now.
And, seeing Gina Miller, the ultimate object of hate for Europhobes, being allowed to contribute to the Guardian - well, that was just too much for The Great Man. So off the end of the pier, in no style at all, he went. Wrongly. Again.
Ms Miller had Tweeted “#Women's rights at risk after Brexit - Female parliamentarians, businesswomen, campaigners & others sign a letter in the Guardian highlighting real risk of losing hard-won rights after Britain leaves the EU”. Most pundits are allowed their point of view. But not Gina Miller. So off went Tobes with his allegedly masterful reply.
“Europe, that great bastion of gender equality! Except women only got the right to vote in France in 1944, Italy in 1946, Greece in 1952, San Marino in 1959, Monaco in 1962, Andora [sic] in 1970, Switzerland in 1971, Portugal in 1976 and Lietchenstein [sic] in 1984. The UK? 1918”. Yeah, that showed her. Except it didn’t.
Robert Goodsell gave a hint as to why Tobes remained an idiot. “Nice Cherry Picking. Finland in 1906, Norway in 1913, Denmark in 1915, Russia in 1917, Austria, The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1918. Germany, Latvia, Sweden, and The Netherlands in 1919. 60% of UK women excluded until 1928”. Oh dear, Tobes!
So let’s summarise the Tobes idiocy, for anyone not yet up to speed (like Tobes).
1 San Marino, Monaco, Andorra, Switzerland and Lichtenstein are not in the EU.
2 As Goodsell points out, Tobes has indulged in cherry picking.
3 No member state of the EEC, EC or EU has had other than universal suffrage for both men and women during the term of their membership.
4 Also, as Goodsell suggests, Tobes is misleading to claim that the UK had universal suffrage for both men and women from 1918. It did not. Only women over 30 years of age were given the vote, and there was a property qualification. Only 40% of women had the vote between 1918 and 1928.
5 And before Tobes kicks off about the USA, full universal suffrage there was only truly achieved with the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Small wonder that one Tweeter rebuked The Great Man with “We know you were too stupid to win a genuine place at Oxbridge. You don’t have to prove it. Every day”. Quite.
Toby Young is still Westminster’s village idiot. No surprise there, then.
Also, Portugal was a Fascist dictatorship until 1974; there was no suffrage, male or female.
Petty. Cherry picking of your own doesn't seem to bother you. Also 1928 stills sounds better than 44, 46,52 etc. Better not call some one stupid unless you can prove them completely wrong. As things stand this Toby guy was not really wrong, 'europe doesn't have some great history of gender equality' based on the evidence presented here.
Who did what first with rights isn't the point.
Losing rights is the point.
His tweet was completely irrelevant though. Gina was referring to EU introduced rights that are being repatriated to the UK for possible abolition. Female suffrage wasn't granted by the EU and at no risk of being taken away. Not even by the present government.
It's only cherry-picking if you're picking the cherries in order to support a bogus argument. It's not cherry-picking when you pick out some others to show why that argument is bogus. Yes, 1928 is better than 1944. But Toby's argument was that "Europe" had a bad record on women's suffrage, and the UK's record was better. As the counter-examples demonstrate, that's nonsense. The UK has a better record than some European countries, and it has a worse record than others.
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