It is worth remembering that we came through a civil war to establish the principle that revenues should be levied and disbursed by the House of Commons. If the Fawcett Society wants a different budget, its members should put themselves up for election and argue their case. Then again, why go to all the trouble of persuading the voters when you can simply subvert the democratic process through the courts?
Indeed, although this seems a petty argument to make when Parliament has so willingly signed away its power—the power, I might remind you, that it borrows from us—to another unelected QUANGO, i.e. the European Union.
So, what is the Fawcett Society banging on about this time, bunch of miserable whining bitches that they are?
The coalition government's emergency budget could be branded unlawful after a groundbreaking legal case was launched in the high court. Papers filed on Friday claim that Treasury officials broke the law by failing to carry out an assessment of whether the plans for heavy spending cuts would hit women hardest.
The action is being taken by the country's leading women's rights group in what is believed to be the first ever legal challenge to a British government's budget. The Fawcett Society, which believes the plans "risk rolling back women's equality in the UK by a generation", is being represented by barristers from Matrix Chambers, which was co-founded by Cherie Booth, wife of the former prime minister Tony Blair. It follows research that suggested women would shoulder three quarters of the pain inflicted by the budget.
Karon Monaghan QC, one of the country's top equality and discrimination lawyers, will argue that by law MPs should have been able to look at such a study before voting on the budget. If there was any suggestion that moves would discriminate against women, then ministers would have had to take "urgent action" to mitigate the impact.
"This is not something we would do lightly," said Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society. "We are really concerned that the government did not carry out a gender equality assessment and we believe they did not. That is why we are seeking a judicial review."
Goddard argues that the government should not only have carried out the assessment but made it public for MPs to consider. "There is a point of principle here. The question is – had the government followed the proper process, would parliament have voted for the budget? If they had known that 72% of the cuts would be borne by women, would they have voted for the budget?"
Why challenge this in court? Why not just have a swift vote in the Commmons?
After all, our MPs now know that 72% of the cuts would be borne by women, so why not get them to vote again? Oh wait, is it because you know that they'd do precisely the same thing? Yes, I think that it is.
Just for a bit of a giggle, shall we look at the Fawcett Trust's latest accounts [PDF] and see how much the Fawcett Trust received from the government in the last couple of years?
Received in 2009
Government Equality Office: £4,500
Electoral Commission: £80,879
London Development Agency: £5,000
London Councils: £17,965
Total: £108,344 or 17% of the £629,582 total income for 2009 or 29.3% of all "Incoming Resources from Charitable Activities".
Received in 2008
Electoral Commission: £10,866
Department of Communities and Local Government: £19,950
The Home Office: £42,000
Equal Opportunities Commission: £10,000
Total: £82,816 or 28.9% of all "Incoming Resources from Charitable Activities".
Grand Total for 2008 & 2009: £191,160
There are also a few other trusts and funds in there which are largely government funded, such as the City Parochial Foundation—gifted £10 million of our money in 1986—and which generously gave the Fawcett Society £35,000 in 2009 and £26,250 in 2008.
There are a few other interesting names in there too, including a couple of unions (which are massively funded with our cash).
- Amicus Unite gave £5,880 in 2009, and £2,940 in 2008.
- UNISON gave two awards in 2009, one of £2,000 and £65,432; in 2008, they gave a mere £15,938.
So, could it be that the Fawcett Society is trying to have one last gasp before its funding is slashed to the bone and its collection of pointless succubi are put out of work? One can only hope so.
In any case, the Fawcett Society's argument is easy to counter.
In a nutshell, it is that women are disproportionately hit by the cuts in benefits and jobs.
Which, of course, means that women were disproportionately awarded benefits and jobs.
Therefore, the previous government—having disproportionately awarded said benefits and jobs to women—was actively discriminating against men, and there should be reparations. Since there is no money left and, alas, the ministers responsible cannot be held financially accountable personally, then there really is only one option...
All of the women who received disproportionate benefits and jobs must be made to pay back all monies which they received over and above the equivalent male population.
Because this is about equality, isn't it, my Fawcett darlings, and not about wimmin. So, given that you love equality, you will be demanding that the government claw back the money from these women who have benefited from a sexist policy, eh?
Well, what a fucking surprise.