Lefty weirdos and Tory bigots: Stewart Jackson MP and sex education

Hannah McFaull wrote a striking piece on Labour Uncut recently about the future of sex education under the Tory-Lib Dem government.  Tory MP Stewart Jackson’s recent comments on the same subject are equally remarkable.

Mr. Jackson tweeted: “Sex education memo to sad tedious sex obsessed Leftie weirdos – you’re confusing me with someone who’s interested.”  So: you may be a Peterborough constituent. You may be interested in sex education (some people think it’s important). But your MP is not. So get lost.

Jackson’s row with the ‘tedious weirdo’, which has been picked up by his local paper, began after he tweeted: “Very disappointing news on STD rates in Peterborough. No doubt our liberal friends will tell us we need more sex education – as it’s worked so well!”

This followed publication of figures by the heath protection agency (HPA) showing that Peterborough has the fourth highest number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the eastern region.

Mr. Jackson is entitled to his prejudices. But one would hope that, in his position, he might also seek to apply a little rudimentary logic. And to condemn sex education, as he has, would only have a scintilla of rationality if sex education were relatively more prevalent in Peterborough than in other parts of the eastern region.

If this were the case, one might conclude that the alternative approaches used in the rest of the eastern region appeared to be working more effectively in relation to STIs than sex education.

Even then, though, there may be contextual factors associated with Peterborough – for example, socioeconomic conditions – that might explain the relative lack of success of sex education there.

To the best of our knowledge, however, no such alternative approaches are used in the rest of the eastern region. In the absence of such alternatives, it is difficult to see Mr. Jackson’s logic. The obvious, normal, reasonable reaction to the HPA figures is that either contextual factors mean that sex education in Peterborough has been relatively less successful at curbing STIs or that sex education has, for whatever reason, been administered in Peterborough in a less effective manner than in the rest of the Eastern region.

Why didn’t Mr. Jackson draw this conclusion?  Why didn’t he commit himself to addressing any such contextual factors and ensuring that sex education is administered as effectively as possible in Peterborough? Which does he hate more: sex education or the explanation of social outcomes – e.g. STI rates – with reference to socioeconomic conditions?

Only one tweet and what a bundle of Tory prejudices. Lefty weirdo, Tory bigot – are they mirror images? Discuss.

3 Responses to “Lefty weirdos and Tory bigots: Stewart Jackson MP and sex education”

  1. Michael says:

    I think you’re (intentionally?) mis-reading his wider sentiment, which was that the drive to ever more ‘sex education’, as a political, educational and ideological orthodoxy, has not, in general terms, been accompanied by a general lessening in STIs. In other words, he thinks the determination to foist ever more sex education, and at an ever younger age, would be exacerbating the problem, not solving it – and he thinks the general trends of STIs (though presumably also of abortions etc) rather support that conclusion.

    My guess is that a rather large chunk of people might have sympathy with that view, and certainly a large chunk of people are increasingly uncomfortable with the direction state-dictated ‘sex education’ is proceeding – it would be naive indeed to assume that such concern is either a sign of bigotry, or is confined to Tories.

  2. The thing is Jackson’s bigotry in his tweets isn’t mis-read. Regular readers of his feed will be all too familiar with it. Constituents have had similar experiences around diverse issues.

    For instance, he called me a liar when I challenged him for not replying to emails I sent regarding the Digital Economy Bill, etc.

    Once you get over it itdoes become entertaining – but a sad indictment of democratic standards!

  3. Sarah Tomkins says:

    Michael, great comment… spoken just as if you were in fact Mr Jackson’s PA, who funnily enough is also called Michael!

    Do say hi to him for me x

Leave a Reply