Women speaking truth to power will save this country.
This week saw two women speak truth to power. On Thursday, the brilliant Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central, stood up in Parliament and called out Boris Johnson’s lies, recounting examples, and concluding what so many have said before, that he is a liar. The speech quickly transformed into a table tennis match between the Deputy Speaker of the House asking Butler to retract her statement, and Butler sticking to her guns.
Dawn Butler, “He has lied to this House, and lied to the country over and over again.”
Madam Deputy Speaker, “Order, order. I am sure that the member will reflect on her words just then and perhaps correct the record.”
Butler, “it’s funny that we get tin trouble for calling out the lie, rather than the person lying.”
Deputy Speaker, “Order, order, order! Can you please, please reflect on your words and withdraw your remarks.”
Butler, “Deputy speaker, I have reflected on my words, and someone needs to tell the truth in this house that the Prime Minister has lied.”
Butler was then asked to leave the House. Butler, graciously left, without the need for a mic drop, because she had already said her piece which rung true through the walls of Westminster.
Maitlis, like Butler, is also in the spotlight this week for refusing to apologise for an opening Newsnight speech critical of the Government’s then-aid, Dominic Cummings’ trip to Barnard castle in May last year.
Responding to calls to apologise, Maitlis spoke for many journalists across the country when she said “that’s what we do on Newsnight. We analyse. We interrogate. We investigate. We’re not a public announcement tannoy. That’s not our job.”
Neither Butler nor Maitlis backed down.
The British public is fed up of being lied to, and fed up that countless MPs and Government staff have broken covid19 regulations – they have written – without consequence. So, if the British public is fed up, why can’t their frustration be broadcasted, and why can’t their concerns and fear be represented in Parliament, by the very people elected to be their voice?
It seems such brave and outspoken women will be the saving grace of a country who is like a sick child in need of a hug and some Calpol. Often it is women who pick up the pieces, and in this case, Butler and Maitlis and so many other women have injected some much-needed faith into journalism and politics.
Women who speak truth to power are re-writing the rules in the face of injustice.