By Chris Cornell / Justice / 0 Comments

This week there was a huge debate about whether Jeremy Corbyn muttered “stupid woman” or “stupid people” under his breath during the heated, final Prime Minister’s Questions of 2018. I have no intention of giving that debate any more airtime when the real issue is that your government does not care for people’s suffering, particularly women’s.

It is disgusting that you have sought to make political capital out of this issue. Yesterday you emailed your constituents, calling out the Labour leader as misogynistic and asking them to join the Conservative party instead. Weaponising feminism in this way is deeply bizarre given the current political landscape.

Last month Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, gave an extraordinary report on your government’s austerity policies. He concluded that they have inflicted “great misery” on the 14 million people living in poverty in the UK. He also damned the British welfare system as “so sexist it may as well have been compiled by a group of misogynists in a room.”

How has this government inflicted systematic misogyny on the women of this country? After nearly a decade of austerity it is clear that women are disproportionately shouldering the burden of these policies. This is born out by research carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Women’s Budget Group and the Runnymede Trust demonstrating that women, particularly BAME women, are disproportionately affected by cuts to public services and other spending.

What does this burden look like Helen? It looks like this:

To seek to create political capital over the events of this week when your government has enacted policies that amount to nearly a decade of systematic misogyny is an act of gross hypocrisy. If you actually care about seeing an end to misogyny then please, clean your own house first, women’s lives depend on it.

By Chris Cornell / Latest News / 0 Comments

Name: Ben Hickman


Age: 35


Political persuasion: Left left Labour


Who are you? I’m a lecturer in English at the University of Kent and Chair of Canterbury Constituency Labour Party. I’ve lived in Canterbury for 10 years and I love it.


Kent County Council, what do they do? Well. Right now it’s full of Tories, so at the moment they mainly cut the budgets of public services like schools, social care, buses and the like. But we can change that. The fight to push back the sea of blue in Kent starts here: we can turn the County Council into something that properly represents, listens to and fights for many of Kent, not the few.


Does that mean I can vote then? Yes! You can vote if you live in the area of Canterbury North, and what’s more, if you’re a student you can register in two places — your term address and your address back home. Do it by the end of the month though — that’s the deadline.


If elected, how would you help me? I’m determined to be the first councillor for Canterbury North that listens to you, the people who live here. There’s already plenty to be getting on with, though. I want to fight for a new hospital at Kent & Canterbury, with A&E, and for properly funded social care. I want buses that run regularly and later than 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and free travel for under-25s. I want more investment in early years education so headteachers don’t have to turn special needs pupils away. And I want much more for Canterbury North!


Can you really make a difference? I’ve seen what austerity has done to Canterbury and its surrounding areas — we have to make a difference. It won’t just be me: the Labour Party in Canterbury is a social movement — not only do we have our own MP and some city councillors, unlike the other parties we also have an army of activists that are committed to helping those most in need. We can all make a difference.


Does my vote count? Usually, not many people vote in Kent County Council elections, and young people especially stay away. We’re going to change that next month, but it’ll be tight so your vote really will matter.


Do say: “For the many, not the few”


Don’t say: “Brexit means Brexit”


For more information on Ben and the Kent County Council vote on Nov 15, click here.