Women in politics – Jen Robertson checks out Caron Lindsay

On the subject of women in politics, which I am, there’s a Lib Dem who seems to be making very good sense – see link below to Lib Dem Voice:-

www.libdemvoice.org/its-the-tories-stoopid-47434.html

I read a few of her other blogs and she seems to have a better head on her shoulders than many far more well known politicians.

“When we disagree, and there’s plenty of potential for that when it comes to the economy and foreign affairs particularly, we should do so by highlighting our liberal values rather than demonising Corbyn.

The SNP needs to do more than get the popcorn & plan Indpendence referendum II, Labour needs to give up habit of a lifetime & quit the toxic factional in-fighting, sense of entitlement to power and tribal hatred of anyone who isn’t them.

As for the Liberal Democrats, we just need to make sure that we are authentically and instinctively liberal in our responses to things. We should not be painstakingly calculating which centimetres of space we should be inhabiting on the political spectrum. We should be boldly advancing a radical and reforming liberal agenda, tackling vested interests wherever we find them. If we can avoid phrases like the meaningless centre ground, then so much the better.”

Somebody put that woman on a policy panel!

Guest Posting by Jen Robertson – Stella Creasy checked out

First an article in the New Statesman – see link below:-

www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/08/stella-creasy-rages-against-political-machine-can-she-break-it

The more I read about this woman the more I seem to like her. Labour’s mistake in their Leadership election wasn’t electing Corbyn, I think it was not electing her. She’d have been a good foil to him (whatever you think of him it is a little dispiriting to see yet another political party being run by middle aged men) and a sign the party was actually going to take women seriously.

A Creasy quote:-

“We can’t afford to waste anyone in the Labour party,” she says. “Most of my adult life in the Labour party it has been Brownite, Blairite, Trot. . . It’s a machine on all sides, that says ‘unless you can conform to our gang, we’re not interested in working with you’. That has got to stop.” – have you ever seen anyone in Labour see their major problem so clearly and cite it so honestly?

Her comments about working on specific issues you believe in with anyone who will work with you is so counter to how I normally see Labour as operating and so much more how these things should work. I don’t agree with her on everything (but then we are sat in different political camps so no big surprise there) but she would have been a wonderful break from the Old Boys Club Labour struggles to escape from.

I also feel Corbyn would have had an easier job selling that cabinet with someone at his side who has such clear and uncompromising passion when it comes to fighting for women’s rights. What really angered me about that cabinet though wasn’t the potential sexism of his choices but that the press didn’t really care if the cabinet was sexist or not, it was just a convenient stick to beat Corbyn with which devalues the very serious, very real, issues that women face in politics.

Tony’s Editors Note:-

The quote above “Most of my adult life in the Labour party it has been Brownite, Blairite, Trot. . . It’s a machine on all sides, that says ‘unless you can conform to our gang, we’re not interested in working with you.” could have been written by me as an observer of the Labour Party in action on Merseyside. Factions that seem to hate each other more than the Tories, tribal beyond belief and ruling clans who guard their fortress walls against all internal Labour members unless they have pledged allegiance to the clan in blood I assume.

Jo Swinson – Equalities Minister but treated by a man as a secretary!

Former minister Jo Swinson has spoken of the “delicious” moment she was mistaken for a secretary by a senior government official.

Jo_Swinson

The ex-MP, an equalities minister in the coalition government, was speaking about the difficulties faced by women in the workplace.

She said the official was mortified when he realised his mistake.

The former Lib Dem MP, who lost her seat at May’s general election, pushed through reforms allowing shared parental leave, seen as one of the biggest changes in employment law under the coalition.

She spoke out against all-women shortlists at a Liberal Reform fringe meeting at the party’s conference in Bournemouth. But she argued that some state intervention and positive discrimination was needed to shift ingrained cultural attitudes, offering an insight into her own experience at the heart of government.

“I remember as a minister, when I was making a public appointment, the officer for public appointments was coming along to discuss who we were going to appoint to this position and the interview process,” she said.

“And basically came into my office and talked to me with the clear assumption that he thought I was the secretary to the minister.

It was wonderful – the look on his face when he realised his mistake.”

And the lesson from this is one for us men not to assume that when we go to a meeting with someone whom we do not know that it will be with another man! Equalities clearly has some way to go.

With thanks to Jen Robertson for the lead to this story.