special disco mention #19: helen grant


Helen Grant is the Conservative Minister for Sport and Equalities. Her remit, then, is a broad one that takes in such disparate issues as Equality legislation, same-sex marriage and the Olympic ‘legacy’. Now, excuse me for being churlish right off the bat, but that seems like quite a lot to cover with one job role. One day you’re out fighting for the rights of homosexuals to marry one another, the next you’re out checking the olympic park’s netball nets are in good nick for the next generation of athletes. It seems equivalent to being the minister for Chandeliers and Immigration -where;s the sense in grouping these things together under one umbrella?  You could just about get away with it if you were a specific expert on both sport and equality. But this is Helen Grant we’re talking about here, and she most definitely is not an expert (on sport, equality or, I’d be so harsh as to suggest – anything at all).

Here’s her being asked 5 general questions on sport – including who the current Wimbledon men’s champion is, how many do you think she got right? Fuck all, that’s how many.

She’s the minister for sport and she doesn’t know who the current Wimbledon champion is? I mean, normally, yeah, OK, is it that Swiss bloke or what’s his name, that Spanish one. But it’s Andy Fucking Murray you daft sod, the Scottish one. It’s Andy Fucking Murray and everyone over the age of 3 across the UK knows that to be the case. It’s just unforgivable ignorance to not know this and to claim authority on the subject of sport in the UK – a straight red card. So, we’ve established that the sports and equalities minister knows nothing of sport.

What about Equality then? In a recent interview with The Telegraph, Grant, when asked about ways of increasing female participation in sport, said: ‘some girls may well not like doing very traditional hockey, tennis or athletics, others might, so for those who don’t want to, how about considering maybe gym, ballet, cheerleading..’

So, then the answer to creating a level playing field in sport is to funnel girls off into cheerleading, ballet. Now, the last time I checked cheerleading and ballet weren’t actually sports, but on top of that – JESUS! Why not just dress them up in tutus and chain them all to the kitchen sideboard? Grant’s views on gender equality seem to have been gleaned from a Victorian rule book. Quite simply, she seems massively under-qualified for the job. But, then, you have to wonder how she ended up in the role in the first place? Grant is the first ‘black’ female MP EVER in the Conservatives, after she was elected in the 2010 election to her seat in Maidstone. That, in itself, is absolutley indicative of the Torie’s ‘old-fashioned’ (read sexist & racist) backbone. For her then to go on to her current role smacks of the kind of cheap thinking tokenism the conservatives are full of – ‘She’s black, she’s a woman, she has a passing interest in sport – let’s stick her in the sports and equalities job, it’ll make us look modern’. It doesn’t. It makes the tories look as out of touch, as cynical as they really are. The cabinet should be full of women, full of people of all races, and it should be on the basis of merit. But, instead, it’s full of white, rich, old men who got there through nepotism and who occasionally throw a bone to the rest of society by promoting someone from outside that group into a job in which they’re hopelessly out of their depth. Nice one Tories! Progress!

So, let’s raise a toast to Helen Grant – pink babycham for the ladies and a pint of ale with a drop of single malt on the side for the fellas.