MP Nick Fletcher: Doctor Who comment misjudged no matter how much he wriggles

When an MP linked men committing crime to women playing prominent TV and film roles like Doctor Who he must have expected a reaction.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 2:00 pm
Updated Friday, 26th November 2021, 2:23 pm

In a speech on International Men’s Day, the Conservative MP for Don Valley Nick Fletcher called for the need for more positive male role models for young boys. No problem there.

But then he moaned about how male roles were being replaced by women. Doctor Who was one, despite universal acclaim for Jodie Whittaker and scenes shot in Sheffield.

Now Mr Fletcher is wriggling. On Twitter, he said he was in fact not making a link between Doctor Who being played by a woman and men committing crime.

Nick Fletcher MP for Don Valley

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He said his ‘nuanced’ point was ‘misconstrued’ and that he was in fact making the point that the majority of role models on TV for young boys are ‘violent criminals’.

For nuanced point read poorly judged comment. Of course boys need positive role models, but that’s no reason for the Doctor to always be played by a man.

Doctors are people, so they can be played by men or women.

Jodie Whittaker attending the Doctor Who photocall held at the BFI Southbank, London.

So let’s look at what Mr Fletcher said. “In recent years, we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, the Equalizer, all replaced by women. And men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby. Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?”

Nothing much nuanced about that. Seems pretty clear he’s not keen on women replacing men.

Perhaps Mr Fletcher doesn’t like change? He should be careful about that. It was change which got him the Don Valley seat in a former coal mining area which elected only Labour MPs from 1922 to 2019.

That can change again. The good people of Don Valley don’t suffer fools.

Perhaps now Mr Fletcher is in more reflective mood he can congratulate Jodie Whittaker for Doctor Who and celebrate the rise of Rey in Star Wars. These are positive models for both sexes and I wouldn’t fancy Peaky Blinder Tommy Shelby’s chances against either of them.