Politics

Tory chair Oliver Dowden attacks ‘obsession with pronouns’ in speech to anti-LGBT+ US think tank

Lily Wakefield February 15, 2022
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Oliver Dowden uses an ironing board to prepare for his speech to The Heritage Foundation

Oliver Dowden uses an ironing board to prepare for his speech to The Heritage Foundation. (Twitter/ oliverdowden)

Oliver Dowden, Tory MP for Hertsmere and chair of the Conservative party, has decried “painful woke psychodrama” in a speech to anti-LGBT+ US think tank The Heritage Foundation.

Dowden, who until last year was the UK’s culture secretary, travelled to Washington, DC, to speak to the right-wing group, which has worked tirelessly against LGBT+ rights and has hosted political figures like Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Priti Patel and Liz Truss.

In his speech, Dowden said that the “values” of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had “shaped [his] politics”, and said that in her own speech to The Heritage Foundation, Thatcher “warned that new dangers to the West were being ignored”.

He continued: “There is another dimension to this crisis afflicting the West that she could not have foreseen.

“Rogue states are seeking to challenge the international order, and at the precise point when our resolve ought to be strongest, a pernicious new ideology is sweeping our societies.

“An ideology that if not confronted threatens to rob us of the self-confidence we need to uphold those very values.”

Apparently, this so-called ideology “goes by many names”.

“In Britain, its adherents sometimes describe themselves as ‘social justice warriors’,” Dowden claimed. “They claim to be ‘woke’, awakened to the so-called truths of our societies. But wherever they are found, they pursue a common policy inimical to freedom.”

Dowden added that “woke warriors take a particular interest in history”, attack free speech and are “engaged in a form of Maoism, determined to expunge large parts of our past in its entirety”.

He added: “For them, nothing is sacred… A West confident in its values would not be obsessing over pronouns, or indeed seeking to decolonise mathematics.”

In his speech, Dowden rallied the Heritage Foundation to unite with his in his war on woke, declaring: “The US and the UK may certainly be different societies but we are joined by the same fundamental values.

“Neither of us can afford the luxury of indulging in this painful woke psychodrama.”

However, his speech may not have made a huge difference, as Dowden was in fact preaching to an anti-woke, anti-LGBT+, right-wing choir.

The Heritage Foundation has been behind many efforts to roll back trans rights in the US, and also opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.

Within the last month, the ultra-conservative organisation has said that Florida’s horrific “Don’t Say Gay” bill would “protect young kids from what is, in effect, sexual grooming”, that Roe v Wade is one of the “greatest abominations in the Supreme Court’s history”, and that insurers in the US paying for gender-affirming healthcare would “erase a key aspect of our humanity”.

PinkNews has approached Oliver Dowden, the Conservative party and The Heritage Foundation for comment.

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