For the second time in my life I’m writing to my MP

Open letter to my MP regarding his support for Nadine Dorries’ appalling proposed Sex Education (Required Content) Bill:

Dear George Eustice,

I am writing to enquire as to your reasons for voting to take Nadine Dorries’ appalling proposed Sex Education (Required Content) Bill forward to further debate.

While I believe that there are some problems in parts of the country with teenage pregnancy etc, I fundamentally disagree with the reasoning Ms Dorries gives for seeking to reduce these problems, and am deeply suspicious of her motives for doing so.

From what I have seen and heard (and yes, that does include reading the content of the debate in Hansard) both in the House of Commons and in the media, Ms Dorries seems to be blaming the bulk of the problem – and hence placing the bulk of the responsibility – on young girls, and that these problems can all be solved by the simple act of saying “no” to someone – assumed by Ms Dorries to be male – who wishes to have sex with them. This claim is demonstrably false, and evidence from countries such as the US – where they are cutting back on abstinence programs that are shown to not work – shows that this is a pointless exercise in the terms of the aims Ms Dorries claims to want to achieve.

Ms Dorries has spread a number of falsehoods in her campaign, including the ludicrous claim that seven-year-old girls are being taught how to use condoms using bananas, which she has selectively (mis-)quoted from a teaching curriculum for children up to the age of sixteen. The fact that Ms Dorries has to rely on such obvious nonsense only serves to highlight how ridiculous her crusade is.

Most horrifying of all, on Vanessa Feltz’s chat show today she implied that if young girls were taught abstinence then there would be fewer instances of sexual abuse. I don’t even know where to begin in describing my utter disbelief at this. It demonstrates that she either has a breathtaking ignorance of the facts of the issue she is seeking to address, or a willful disregard of those facts in order to advance her own deeply flawed, fundamentalist, ideological agenda. Either way, I am disappointed that my elected parliamentary representative chooses to associate himself with this campaign.

I would appreciate it if you could explain why you have chosen to support Ms Dorries in promoting this horrendous bill through the Commons.

Yours sincerely,

Gregory Eden