LibLink: Liz Barker on Trump and his ‘hateful eight’


Lib Dem peer Liz Barker has written a post on Politics Home titled ‘Trump and his hateful eight are condemning women worldwide‘.

She writes:

So egregious is the Trump administration that it is difficult to focus one’s anger and start to plan a fightback.  The thing which spurred me on was that photograph of Trump and a bunch of old white men – the hateful eight – signing the executive order for the global gag.  At the stroke of a pen, a bunch of billionaires condemned women and girls all over the world to misery, illness and, in many cases, death.

The policy originated in 1984 under Reagan and was reinstituted under both Bush governments, all three Republicans. The policy in the past required non-US NGOs to certify that they would not “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” (an anti-abortion lobby standard line), even with non-US funds, as a condition for receiving USAID global family planning assistance

The Trump version of the policy of 23 January 2017 is, predictably, bigger and more insidious.  NGOs who are receiving any US global health assistance will have to sign the Gag Rule, including those running HIV programmes, maternal and child health programmes, infectious diseases programmes, or those dealing with Zika virus – as well as family planning programmes. Moreover, it applies whether the funds come from USAID, as in the past, or from any US government agency or department.

She concludes with this suggestion:

When Trump comes to London let’s do the thing he hates most – ignore him. No demonstrations, no receptions, just lots of donations to International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International and the other heroes who really care about women.

You can read the full article here.


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  • As a woman, Trump and his gang were a shock to the system and I quickly donned a pussy hat in response – a hat I will continue to drag out whenever I feel it is needed.

    However, I have also come to the conclusion that we have to recognise the very real fear of female power that sits behind these attacks on our rights, equality and lives. Some men and unfortunately it is quite a large group feel “castrated” by the women around them and they have good reason to feel that way. When given the chance we can outperform many of them in the working environment. We outperform them in education. We can do our own DIY now and we don’t even need to be in a relationship with one of them to have children should we wish to do so. A large group of men feel surplus to requirements which is surprising when we look at how far away we still are from real equality and as Trump and his team want us to know that they (conservative men) still calls the shots.

    It is only natural that we should want to push back and I’ll still don my pussy hat during his visit because I think it is important for peaceful respectful resistance to be seen. But, I also think we would be better served by holding these men close and soothing those fears rather than telling them that they don’t have the right to feel that way.

    One way to start this is by looking at the underlying structures in our education system that now give girls such an advantage over boys. Our boys can no longer rely (as much) on their male dominance to get ahead and we must be fair to them. This isn’t and shouldn’t be about pursuing female dominance. It must be about pursuing equality.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Feb '17 - 2:18pm


    Your comments are among the most intelligent and compassionate I have seen as a very regular contributor. I do not know if you are a member. If you are or not we need to hear more from you.

    As someone who is absolutely staunch in supporter of women’s rights, the conclusions or stance it can lead to varies and Baroness Barker and other progressive and Liberal or particularly socialist campaigners might not realise the motive .

    I for instance am passionately in favour of limiting the number of weeks for legal abortion , to 18, or 20, still six or eight more than France , a country supposedly to the left of this one. One of my greatest and strongest reasons is the rights of the unborn, and the potential girls and woman deliberately aborted, yes, it happens, more than is possible to find out I suspect, worldwide. Unless , as with your insightful and humane comments, we get behind the headlines, we advance not a bit.

    Ronald Reagan was not to my taste in his politics. But he was a moderate on abortion who as Governor of California signed it into law, rather than veto it, despite his personal views. It is the fear of abortion being a default position in some family planning , particularly in the States, that leads to draconian policies from more extreme types who should not be allowed to dominate the debate.

    When Justin Trudeau announced no members of the Liberal party of Canada would be allowed to stand for election unless they signed up to supporting no change in the almost unique unlimited abortion law in his country brought in by his father and further left New Democratic party , dominated regions and politicians ,supporting it,he ceased to be a Liberal I could support even as I favour legal abortion, because he denied conscience votes. Some taking advantage of the Canadian laws are aborting because they do not want a girl.

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