Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tory Women Off to Washington

News from Washington, where, following hot on the heels of William Hague and George Osborne, a formidable group of 18 senior Tory women will be hotfooting it to the American capital next week (followed by myself, three weeks later!). I hear they are trying to get one up on the Shadow Cabinet team and secure a meeting in The White House, albeit with the First Lady. The purpose of their visit is to learn how the Republicans have won back the womens’ vote. Fiona Hodgson, who chairs the Conservative Womens’ Organisation, is leaving no stone unturned in her quest to get more women involved in politics. She’s set up meetings with Republican Party chairman Ken Mehlman as well as a host of pollsters and consultants and Bush’s Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. Now there’s a lady who would tick two boxes for the Tory candidates ‘A’ List. Ms Chao is the first Chinese-American to make it to the Cabinet – quite an achievement for a lady who arrived in the US from Taiwan at the age of eight speaking not a word of English. Something she has in common with her President then…

A few days before the trip the CWO is holding a seminar on green politics where they will be addressed by Zak Goldsmith. It seems to me that Fiona Hodgson is doing what some of her predecessors have failed to do and making the CWO a little more political. This can only be a good thing. I always felt that part of their problem was that they couldn't break out of the traditional image of a Tory woman (or should i say 'lady'), and were therefore never taken seriously by the Party. From what I have detected, Fiona Hodgson and Margot James, the new Vice Chairman for women's issues, are making quite a difference.

1 comment:

Bob Piper said...

I wonder if they will all be shunted in through the servants quarters too!