Thursday, January 11, 2007

Good Old Boy #23

From the comments on Antonia's blog, a contribution of great simplicity and compelling logic. I wish more people thought like this:

"I must start this comment with a statement: I’m a middle-class, married, straight, professional, strongly Blairite, former Tory-voting, 31-year-old white man. May as well be up front about it.

I started reading this post with the strong view that AWS [All Women Shortlists] were wholly wrong, and Kerron’s view was broadly mine. In a nutshell, my view was: people dislike discrimination, so they’d like instead to discriminate.

It’s the pro-death penalty argument - it’s wrong to kill, so we’ll kill you.

However, I’m taken by the strength of feeling for AWS, and the compelling argument that Ms Bance puts forward - how can a Parliament represent a people when it doesn’t (as a matter of fact) represent the people.

I wonder then why the policy isn’t taken to its logical conclusion. I agree with GaffaUK to an extent - in order to redress the balance, why aren’t all shortlists solely for (in shorthand) non-”me” candidates?

The Party could set ‘representative’ targets (on, say, gender, sexuality, ethnicity), and until they were filled, literally *no* other candidate like me could be selected for a seat.

Why not?

In the meantime also, let’s ensure that 51% (rounded down to 50%) of the leadership positions are female. Let’s devise a simple voting system whereby one of the two top Labour Party positions *has* to be filled by a woman.

I’m serious. Let’s stop “me” candidates until the balance is properly redressed, and let’s sort it out now, rather than wait 20 years.

And I’m really sorry Ed Balls, or any other highly capable male currently without a seat (another is my friend Paul Blanchard, a PPC at the 2005 election and a York Labour councillor) - we’ll just wait until the demographics have been repaired before contemplating electing the right “man” for the job."


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