Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cameron should take heed

Suzy Jagger wonders what happened to the feminist parliamentary dream represented by the "Blair Babes" of 1997 over on The Times.

Are the likes of Caroline Flint and Theresa Villiers the true heirs to Lady Thatcher? What was the “outstanding contribution” to public life that Gordon Brown attributed to Hazel Blears when she resigned from the Cabinet last year?

In part, she answers her own questions. Even though there are more women MPs now than there has ever, the majority of them are neither heard nor seen while those that have been promoted to the front benches - on both sides of the house - have invariably been rubbish at the job.

That is inevitable when the decision on who should get a particular job is not based on whether they have the requisite experience, flair or capability - but simply the fact they are of the "right" gender (or religion, sexual preference or ethnicity).

If there is a lesson to be learned here (and let's face it - the liberals love to tell us how "lessons have been learned") it is that women only shortlists for prospective parliamentary candidates today will mean a dearth of seriously capable politicians available to hold high office tomorrow.

Merit is the only factor that should matter when it comes to choosing your candidate for a parliamentary seat - particularly if it is one you hope to take from the opposition and hold on to. Parachuting some dullard into place on the basis that they fulfil a quota is a bad idea.

Finally, you have to wonder about the hypocrisy of it as well. As a white, heterosexual male I've spent the last 40 years of my life being told that I'm a sexist, racist homophobe by the liberal left - but I'm not the one saying that women are more inclined to vote for women, blacks or more likely to vote for blacks, Asians are more likely to vote for Asians and gays are more likely to vote for gays.

If all that is true, then it is must be true also that women are more sexist than men, blacks and Asians more racist than whites and gays are more bigoted than heterosexuals. Either that or the really racist, sexist, bigoted bunch are the liberals.


Antisthenes said...

It is the law of unintended consequences: I have no doubt that you or other like minded people are not racist or phobic that you are all for equality, justice and fairness. This blind rush by well meaning but thoughtless dogooders mostly of the socialist/Marxist/feminist persuasion to force through ill conceived change is having the opposite effect of that which was intended. What in effect is occurring is a lowering of standards and values and minority sections of society are given rights that seriously effects the rights of the majority. This is only too obvious to the sensible majority and who understandably are not happy with it. However these dogooders will have no truck with anything or anyone who point out the shortcomings of their methods to obtain their laudable aims. They are not open to criticism and bulldozer on shouting down opposition with taunts of racism and phobia. We all want the same thing but in a way that is really equitable engineered so that the fabric of society is not seriously undermined. Sensible open democratic debate if allowed would negate the serious flaws in the current methods.

English Pensioner said...

My wife would certainly not vote for a woman candidate. My daughters, I suspect, both have a very similar attitude, both I know preferring to work for male rather than female bosses.

Letters From A Tory said...

The women at the top of the Conservative Party are not making any inroads into the Cameron/Osborne/Hague circle, although it is possible that 2010 or 2015 might provide a few superb female candidates who rapidly rise up the tree.

Stan said...

It's possible LFAT - but it's equally possible that Cameron's desire to get more women, ethnic minorities and gays into parliament as Tory MPs may mean that more capable AND better qualified candidates are turned away simply because they are straight, white men.

Isn't it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, ethnicity or gender?

Is it not the way of liberals to call those that do racist, sexist bigots?

Or is it OK to discriminate against straight, white men?

What should matter to Cameron is not whether he gets more women as Conservative MPs but whether those MPs he does have are the best he could possibly get.

And then there's the other point I alluded to. Why should it matter whether there are more women, gays and ethnic minorities in parliament? The only thing that should matter is whether the MPs you have are the best you can get.