ConservativeHome has reported the contents of an email sent to close on 1,000 members of the National Convention, apparently in error. It shows the breakdown of men and women on the 'A' List and general Candidates List. It shows that the proportion of women applying to become candidates has remained static at 27% and that more than 500 people are awaiting their Parliamentary Assessment Boards. In addition, it demonstrates that if you're a man you only have an 11% chance of being on the 'A' List whereas if you're a woman you have a 43% chance.
You can look at this from two viewpoints. Either you believe that it is very wrong that men are being disciminated against so overtly, or you believe that the figures justifies the creation of the 'A' List and prove that there is still a very long way to go. I find myself agreeing with both views.
I find it profoundly disappointing that little progress appears to have been made towards the goal of a candidates list of broad parity between men and women. It's only at that point that the 'A' List will become redundant and it seems as though we are quite a way from achieving it. It re-emphasises the need for the Party to get out there and hunt down women who might consider applying to be candidates. Women2Win will have a vital role to play here. The Party really cannot sit and wait for women to volunteer themselves. It should have a taskforce whose sole reason for existence would be to identify women to be approached. For all I know, this may already be happening but the results are not readily apparent.
One or two people have criticised ConservativeHome for publishing this information. Sam Coates, the Deputy Editor, defends the decision to publish...
It was sent to almost a thousand people so would undoubtedly have got out at some point or other. Better for it to come out through a Conservative-supporting website than most of the newspapers. It would have been odd if we didn't cover it, considering our extensive coverage of everything else A-list/candidates related. I believe that the make-up of future Conservative MPs is something Party members should be aware of, don't you? This info would in some people's eyes justify the A-list to some extent.
On balance I think they were right to publish. ConservativeHome is not an adjunct of CCHQ and must guard its independence. But it has consistently taken the editorial line (one I agree with) that the Party should be transparent about the 'A' List.
Some believe that the site strays too far away from the 'party line' on occasion and is becoming an increasingly prickly thorn in the side of the party leadership. I sometimes find the site's tone a little too strident and editorially slanted to a particular agenda, but so what? It would be a strange political blog or website (and a very boring one) that didn't have an agenda. ConservativeHome is there to reflect what activists are thinking and that will always provide a certain amount of discomfort for the leadership. It is to Francis Maude's great credit that he continues to embrace the site and hasn't imposed a Fatwa on it. He must surely have been sorely tempted from time to time.
You can read the ConservativeHome report HERE.
Personally, I always thought the 'A-List' was quite a good idea. Whether we like it or not, a political party that will probably be in Government in the next decade needs to be representative of the population.
A surprisingly large amount of Conservative Party members and MPs are opposed to it, though. Hopefully, Cameron will push ahead regardless of the opinions of one or two political dinosaurs.
"It should have a taskforce whose sole reason for existence would be to identify women to be approached"
You are joking aren't you?
For God's sake, what are you going to do, drag them kicking and screaming onto the list?
Women don't always push, they don't get as excited about politics as men and they are more conciliatory as opposed to combative, which means that those that do make it into politics are generally nasty pieces of work.
I am going to get shot down in flames for this but I don't care. It's true and that is that.
What about approaching lesbians or one legged leprachauns...they are vastly under represented.
I am fuming. Fuming, fuming, fuming. I cannot believe you said this.
Fuming Fruning Graplecard
Fruning, well fume away. If you think the current situation is acceptable then you are deluded. Of course you can't drag people kicking and screaming but you can tap them on the shoulder and ask if they're interested. We don't do enough of that
A blogger on Guido eludes to the high numbers on the list,and those awaiting Parliamentary Assessment Boards as a deliberate strategy by CCHQ to make extra money.
An interesting angle and clearly a lucrative means to lining the pockets of CCHQ.
The party certainly does not need over 1100 on the approved listings.
The point is, to ne an MP, a man has to get ten out of ten. But a women, well she has to be clever (but not too clever), and get a measley twelve out of ten!
THe point is this: We NEED more women MPs. To get more women MPs we NEED more women candidates. To get more candidates, we need more women PPCs!
This is a culture change, and it might take a parliament or four for this to work the miracle we desire. But it has to start somewhere. I think David Cameron is right to do what he is he doing, even if the methodology is a little awkward for us to swallow.
As a male white wannabe PPC, then It is not to my advantage to be saying this. BUt that isn;t the point.
You cannot be certian you have the best man for the job when the best man might have just been a women who didn;t get the chance to stand!
Now, everyone duck - I feel Verity might have something to say on the matter!
Fuming - I got tapped up and asked if I wanted to join the Masons. I was flattered, thought about it and declined due to lack of time. But I would never have thought of applying in a million years - so theior approach to me had some success I suppose as it got me thinking about something I would not usually have considered!
If we see a women we think is ideal material, why shouldn't we ask them to consider it!
I think you are being very condescending to women. If they cannot get off their arses of their own accord they don't deserve to be candidates. Do you seriously think Maggie would have agreed with this madness?
Look at the blogs. Your contributors are mostly men; outnumbering women, I would say, in a ratio of about 10 to 1.
What is exactly unnaceptable? The fact that women are less motivated?
Or is it that you favour positive action? This has failed.
If you are saying that we must stop discrimination I am with you. But look over at Guido's. What sort of message is it sending to women when every female candidate is scrutinised, not for her policies but for her totty quotient?
Every female who goes into politics is going to be picked over for every last bit of her appearence. She is going to be called a slag, a lezza and everything else.
So, having your nice very touchy feely "approach" is not going to do anything about the very real and often unpleasant discrimination women get when they do chose to become politicians.
"I find it profoundly disappointing that little progress appears to have been made towards the goal of a candidates list of broad parity between men and women."
Iain, women don't want "broad parity" between men and women in politics. Politics is hard and cruel and most women can easily find other careers in which they don't receive a metaphorical punch in the chops every time they open their mouth.
Second, what you have to realise, dear Iain, is, women do not necessarily want to be repesented by women. I do not know why this is so hard for men to understand. It is this old thing of "I know what women want better than women know what they want! Har har har har!"
No. You don't.
Here is something men don't understand, but any other women here on this blog will, I'll bet, back me up: Women understand other women only too well. Many women with a bossy nature only get as far as the floral arrangements committee in the town hall, where they're harmless. I do not want them given a leg up so my life is being dictated by the Cabinet Coven - aaaargh! Tessa Jowell making up rules for me to live by! Harriet Harman and her fat smug face! Patricia Hewitt telling me how many drinks I can have! Oh, God, please n-o-o-o-o!
Women are too busy. They want to order other people's lives. Look at Blair's wife and Clinton's wife. They are from the Dark Side.
Women are mummies. They know what's best. Women, by and large, think small. And thank heavens that is part of female nature.
Margaret Thatcher, Edwina Currie, Ann Widdecomb are combative, articulate. Those types of women will fight their way into Parliament without party nannies. The others, the vast majority, - trust me - we do not want.
What has a Blair's Babe ever done since elected but, if this is possible, given polyester an even worse name?
You are trying to force women who aren't that driven to stand, on women voters who don't want them. Why? Why? Why? The windmilled roofs of Notting Hill are not where such decisions should be made for the folks of Yorkshire, Co Durham, Cornwall, Somerset, you name it.
Dear Iain. If you are a woman and you have an 43% chance and if you are a man you have an 11% chance, that makes 54%
Who might I enquire makes up the other 46%?
The problem with ConHome is too many headbangers and anti-Tories.
Fuming: You think you are describing the problem, but actually, its the symptom!
Firstly,I dispute your 'broad' point that women are less interested in politics. But, even if this were the case, the reason why is BEACUSE of things you describe - the sexism, the jobes, the patronising 'totty=tastic' comments. Women are not interested in politics because they feel they will not be taken seriously!
That is why, so far at least, the only successful femals politicians are those with real balls!
But what does this mean? It means one of two possible things: 1. Politics is hard nasty game and should only be open to those able to cope with it, or 2. politics in the UK is condusted in a way which wholly unaceptable to the majority of people in this country. In no other field of life would women be subjected to the abuse, discrimination and general 'glass ceiling' that we have in politics. THerefore, changing this culture is an imperative.
This is NOT about positive action - it is about challenging a culture which discriminates against women and effectively blocks them from fullfilling their potential - and as a result, makes politics a poorer place.
This is NOT about over promoting women. This is not about quotas, or 'filling lists with anyone, as long as she is a bird'. This is about righting an historic injustice and making things even for women, and offering them the opportunity to reach the political potential they have, just as they are offered the same opportunities in business, law, medicine and academia.
Why should we tolerate the boorish sexist, homophobic political culture you accurately describe. Why should women have to be virtual males simply to get a foot through the door? Why should they have to develop extremely thick skins to put up with the snide comments of men who think politics is amn-only preserve? This is not the 18th centuray! It's the 21st!
On this point, and probably only on this point, I agree with those who have tried to 'modernise' our political culture, and make it more in tune with a society which generally regards discrimination on the basis of ones gender or sexual preferences as unaceptable.
As someone who is fiercly oppossed to positive discrimination, I agree with them. My point is this - a point which no-one has ever managed to refute as far as I can tell - how can we be sure we have the best politicians, when 50% of te population are routinely excluded from the political 'club'.
Your position simply says that the apalling political culture we have had for so long is acceptabel, and that women must either toughen up or ship out. Why - please explain!
What makes politics so special that we can allow a entirely different set of rules to apply in the House of Commons that we wouldn't allow in our boardroms, hospitals, or factories!
Verity - all Blair's babes did was show the danger of 'positive discrimination'. That doesn't in anyway undermine the fact that politics SHOULD NOT be like it is, and that we need more woimen in the commons for the ten reasons I gave six weeks ago - which you never replied to!
It is not patronising for a man to say that women have lots to contribute to the political process. It is not patronising to say that the current political culture is outdated and offensive.
Adrian Yelland - Women who are motivated by politics and determined to get in on the game will get in on the effin' game! Capice?
Positive discrimination robs the voter of a choice among highly motivated policians.
Dave and his coterie have a lot of stupid ideas that do not relate to the people of Britain because they've never met one. Women do not want other women forced on them. Combative women who fight their way to the top and give as good as they get in the HofC, fine. Women will like them or not, judging them on their performance. Women who are coached on how to get in to politics are loathed among women. Geddit? We don't like them.
Stop trying to turn the world around. Stop trying to interfere in the thoughts of a sex which is not your own (although you love them and have daughters blah blah blah - you're not a woman and a period of intense silence from you would be much appreciated. By "you're not a woman", I mean, you are not a woman voter and you are not a woman politician - or a woman non-politician who is "being helped along".)
Unless things evolve naturally, they're no good. No one wants this. Anyway, it is this programme, above everything else I don't like about Dave, that has caused me to dump the Conservatives. I've never voted anything but Tory, but this time, they've lost me.
fruning graplecard wrote: "Women don't always push, they don't get as excited about politics as men and they are more conciliatory as opposed to combative,"
That's it in a nutshell. Pack the HofC with women and you are going to get Sweden.
What's all this talk about women? There are only two sexes that matter - phile and sceptic.
Bromley chose a phile. So did Battersea. That's really how to demolish the Conservative Party.
We can cope with a few females straying into the political world. Sweden's heading to the right, Verity even if you are not.
Ends Justifying Means
Tony: "This is too important to be left to democratic principle. I know I'm right; I can feel it in my water. We'll invade. Alistair, bung together some sort of dodgy dossier."
Some years later.
Dave: "I'm absolutely sure there should be more female MPs. I can feel it my my water/focusgroup. It's too important to be left to democratic priciple.
I know, lets have an 'A' list."
By the way, Peter Hitchins posted the most wonderfully thoughtful and well written piece on his blog yesterday. One wonders if Dave&Co aren't following the Stalinist model that he outlines, a little too closely.
Reading Adrian and Verity's comments my view is:
Adrian Yalland you'd be in the top 50% of male potential candidates. (You might make the top 11%).
Verity you must be in the bottom 50% of female potential candidates.
Verity your argument is based on generalities and pre-judgement. The one fact you provide (evidence of a woman who is bossy, thinks she knows best, wants to order other people's lives etc), should not prevent Tory selection panels from considering intelligent, well-balanced, articulate women.
Adrian you look beyond your own self-interest to the facts. You make a number of well reasoned points. You point out the "danger of positive discrimination"; you distinguish between the "problem" and the "symptom"; you identify the key issue "we [Tories] NEED more women MPs"; I RELUCTANTLY agree with your conclusion "the current political culture is outdated and offensive".
Surely it can't be wrong to have a starting line-up which includes women.
It must be right for Constituency Selection Panels to consider women through to the final stage.
There are no prizes for being on the A-list. It's just the starting line-up.
Verity. Please don't be so rude - it doesn't do anything to further your point and makes you look a little hysterical! A period of silence from me might be appreciated by you, but I don't intend to be silenced on this issue, because I think you are wrong. Also, after you (previously) asked for one good reason why we should do more to get women into politics, and I gave you ten, did you not feel able to respond to the points, but simply slipped into abusing the messenger rather than arguing the message!
Women who are motivated will not ALWAYS get in - and USUALLY don't. I have seen plenty of capable women who have tried, and tried and tried again, and outperformed men at every turn, and be in many cases very much better potential MPs than the man they are competeing against - yet never get a chance because they are women. They then just give up - and who could blame them. THere are only so many punches on the nose anyone can take!
Firstly, as I have said AD NASEAUM this is NOT about positive discrimination, but about stopping negative discrimination. Why can you not understand this very simple and very to easy to grasp point!
I am AGAINST positive discrimination - but I am also against negative discrimination too. I cannot believe that you are in favour of discrimination which prevents 50% of the population from reaching their political potential and serving their country. How can you possibly justify such a patently unfair system, unless you have made up yoor mind and are not allowing the facts to confuse you!
Secondly, why is it that because I am a man, you feel I should not have views on this subject (or rather, that my views count for nothing because I have a penis). Should I also remain silent on mothering, abortion, women drivers.....what a crass thing to say. I expect women to have views on absent fathers - so they should expect me to have views on women's issues! Almost every aspect of policy is in some way inter-related with another.
Thirdly, have you ever sat on a selection committee? No. So what do you REALLY know about how the selection process works in reality. I suspect not very much.
A women sho does well is sinstantly suspected of being 'far too pushy' and is not selected. A women who remains moderate is considered 'too weak'. A women with a family is told 'you should be at home with your children', and a women without kids is told 'because you don;t have a family, you don't have enough expereince'. Why don;t yoiu check your facts out - talk to someone at Women2Win and listen to some of the horror stories they can tell you!
Finally, you might like a soceity where we accept a political culture that is male, sexist, old-school (or trade union) tie, but I think it produces less than perfect policy outcomes. Women have something positive to contribute to legislation, and their input is welcome. Unless we change the political culture and allow women of REAL substance into the game, then we will be forever cursed by the dross (Hewett, Jowell, Kelly et al) that you rightly despise so much.
These Stepford wives simply illustrate the failings of a system which encourages positive discrimination - and where unsuitable, unqualified and pointless women are parachuted into politics simply to make the photocall look nicer! I do not want - and David Cameron is not advocating this system. What I want is for the barriers to entrance to reduced so that gifted and talanted people are not unfairly prevented from advancing their careers.
Think of this as economics. We have political protectionism at present. I am not advocating 'subsidies for women', just a level playing field where no one economic 'gender' is more or less advantaged than the other. But you seem unable to grasp this very simple fact, and keep banging on about 'positive discrimination'.
You strike me as the kind of women who would hysterically scream at me if I ever held the door open for you. I would then have to point out that I hold the door open for men too!
PS Verity - I am sure David Cameron is quaking with fear and sobbing with dissapointment at the loss of your support.
For every head-banger he loses to the BNP he gains ten from the Lib Dems, and twenty who we lost to Labour in 97! You do the maths!
Don't slam the door on your way out.
`It re-emphasises the need for the Party to get out there and hunt down women who might consider applying to be candidates. `
Does it indeed ?
VERITY- . You say that women do not wish to be represented by women especially but you then go on to claim to have an insiders knowledge of women that is denied to men . Your position is self contradictory but that in a sense does not seem so unreasonable to me in this context.
I confess to being delighted with this insight into the fluffy domesticity of your own life
`Women are mummies. They know what's best. Women, by and large, think small. And thank heavens that is part of female nature.`
Well well who’d have thought it of you . We must shop together some day .Tea and cake ?
Mr. Yalland ( The debauched) – I appreciate your intentions but what you say is simply wrong . , Preference, quotas and positive discrimination must be involved if this initiative is to have any effect at all. I would think a bit harder about the negative results such measures have had in other contexts. Is it justified or not by a background of exclusion is the point. I think not
QUOTAS_With all quotas the problem is not with the `preferred `but with other `out` groups not included in the positive preference ,they suffer double discrimination. Regional policy is a good analogy . Working class men and women are brutally excluded and so are a number of other groups whose perspective is urgently required. Women as a political group are amorphous and somewhat Conservative if anything . Their symbolic inclusion is merely that. Symbolic
CAMERON`S INCINCERITY-I think we know David Cameron well enough by now to know this is an insincere piece of branding . There is no significant exclusion to women, other groups are more in need of help but less useful for the Liberal image ( These may of course include women). What is urgently required are measures to include tax paying working people outside the professional political classes .To be fair to the Boy king David he made a gesture in this direction on the Mayoral candidacy. He would not enjoy too many MPs of the sort I suggest though .
ASSOCIATIONS- On the other hand local associations will have to be ignored if any attempt is to be made to reflect the country . They are the chief complainers and my experience of them is that they are bottomless wells of petty foolishness and obstruction. Well done David for annoying them
IAN-you are sitting on the fence in a bottom perforating manner you will regret in later life . Wider consideration of exclusion is all that is required to see the shallowness of this gimmick.
Of the 500 people waiting for their PAB over 150 are women. As well as identifying good propsective applicants maybe it would be a good idea to see the 150 women who have already put themselves forward. Wonder how long this will take to do?
Newmania - How do you get on this list anyway . It is clearer to me every day that the country is deperately in need of the benevolent dictatorship of newmania . Why not ?
Newmania: Good points.
But. 1. From what In understand, there is no positive discrimination/all female lists yet, merely an effort to get women who would be ideal candidates into situations where they are not going to get slapped down by a culture which is 'institutionally sexist'.
2. Other groups are also under represented. I wholeheartedly agree. I am on record in 2000 (in a letter the Times, and another in the DT no less) when I was Conservative Future Chairman for Essex as saying we need more candidates who are OPENLY gay, working class, women and black, and more who have been employed in the public services, and fewer white middle class men, barristers, lawyers and merchant bankers. As I am a white middle class man, it is not in my personal interest to say this - but it is in the interests of the country.
3. The negativity of what I am proposing, and that which you suggest might be the case, is that we end up with Tory versions of Blair's babes. But this need not be the case. The selection process is quite harsh and hard going - I know, I am in the middle of it myself (I am one of the 500).
4. Local associations don't have to be ignored, but they do need to be 'taken along' this journey of culture change. Any attempt to impose people is usually met with a sharp 'fak awf' from the various matriarchs which run the show (with a fierce sense of independence). But, after a decade out of power, I think the penny is starting to drop, and many are willing to consider seriously whaqt DC is saying.
5. Have you ever met DC. I confess, I haven't (that I can remember) but I know many of his 'generals', and they are switched on people. Yes, DC is good at PR, but that doesn't mean he doesn't actually believe what he is saying! We are ahead in the polls for the first time in over 14 years - no coincidence is it?
Men are overrepresented in the candidate's list because men are overrepresented in the "feeder" positions and educational options.
(incidentally, significantly more women than men are bloggers, according to the Pew Institute; it's to do with the degree of socialization)
Getting back to women in politics; it's harder for a woman to be elected, so it's harder for a woman to become a candidate. There is still a meaninful percentage of the population who won't vote for a woman, and no party wants to lose an election because they were rigidly PC.
Men have formed the power structure of the UK for so long that the role model influence basically means the position is attractive to and seems graspable to men OR women who think they're Margaret Thatcher; not a raging snotload of those around, now or ever.
Look at the power structure: did they not all go to the same handful of schools? How many of those schools are girls' or coed?
Verity's being sexist, and inaccurately so as well, when she goes on about women's characters being passive, nurturing and cosy; what kind of example of that is Verity, or for that matter, me?
Women are trained into roles as much as they're trained out of them; like politics. It's both practical and self-interested to establish a program or general climate that will train girls in politics the way that boys are trained. Then, when each gender comes to the election with equal backgrounds, may the best candidate win.
Adrian Yalland - I do not read your length, repetitive posts.
You are arguing from the point of view of an outsider.
I don't think that David Cameron (whose name means "shrimp" in Spanish) is quaking in his shoes or has ever heard of me. I am equally indifferent to him, and as I left Britain, it's a moot point. I left because of political correctness being imposed by NuLab jackboot. I'm not going to vote for a change in jackboots.
Positive discrimination is wrong. Women do not need your hand under their elbow to help them up on the kerb. If they're keen on politics, they'll bash their way in, just like men do.
You are discriminating against able and dedicated men who have fought their way in and I find this repulsive and Nazi-esque.
This subject is repetitive, predictable and boring.
And yes, whoever wrote it, I do realise that Sweden has moved to "the right". That's "the right" for Sweden. It's still rabid socialism.
We need more illiterates in politics. We need more under 25s and more pensioners. We need more people with mental conditions. We need more people who aren't interested in politics. These are all urgent matters.
There are still many men and many women who feel that the right thing to do is for the woman to stay at home and be a homemaker and child carer, while the male is out earning a living. Why is this wrong and so frowned upon?
For people of my parents generation it was considered a source of failure and shame if both partners went to work.
What is so wonderful about having your child minded by strangers for twelve hours a day? What is so marvellous about coming home to a cold house and microwaving a ready-meal because you are both tired out?
A woman's potential is vastly different to a man's and vice versa.
You just need to take a look back at Mrs Thatcher to see she was an abberation who combined femininity with her own brand of toughness but she was an exception.
Clever women are often quiet about their abilities and are accordingly more suited to those professions where ego isn't so essential. They have the potential to thrive in a less combative environment where quiet reflection is needed rather than ranting.
I just don't understand why it has become to unacceptable to declare the obvious, that men and women are so different that certain avenues of occupation are clearly not suitable.
As for other so called minorities, that is just what they are, minorities. Most of these groups are already overepresented and feted by guilt ridden Whiteys and Straights.
Not only that, your average Conservative voter thinks what I am thinking, and not what someone in NW3 discusses over their globe artichokes.
A YALLAND MP
Good God Yalland are you trying to sell this nonsense by the yard? Handy sized perforated sections would supply you with the market you need .From some perverse need to hurt myself `intellectually` I am going to deal with your puppyish twaddle as per your paragraphs.
1 There either is or is not discrimination. Think clearly. Stop waffling
2`On the record` are you ?On the planet we call earth ,only you care ,and equally only you are interested on your roster of Benetton Advert `disadvantaged` tokens. This is not the exclusion to which I was referring.
`…but it is in the interests of the country`… That one is in my private collection.
3 Let us hope the selection process is somewhat more discriminating than you obviously believe it to be, by this measure I should be ruling the world.
4 Argued with the passionate conviction of an estate agent .Bravo
5 That you think his Generals are (wait for it) `switched on` tells me everything I need to know.
On Polls, I assume you have been a supporter of Tony Blair during the long period in which he was ahead. .For reasons I am not going to bother with it are in any case a great deal closer than you think.
Adrian I am a Conservative and I will vote for David Cameron but if I tell you that it is my deep suspicion that you are in fact `Adam Ricketts ` practising , you will see we arrive by entirely different routes at the same point . I don’t like to be mean so I `m going to assume that you were in a rush and would otherwise have disguised your self aggrandisement and expressed your `well intended points` a little better .
Oh lord I `ve just seen another .` Taken along this journey of culture change` good morning Chairman Meoow. You must have been rushed ….surely ?
What a well thought out post fruning graplecard - I applaud you sir!
I am personally remain quite unconvinced of the 'A List'as a means of selection and even less so regarding the positive discrimination of women, as it always seems to me that women are not really wanted, but let's emulate Tony anyway.
Being all things to all men (and women)is idealistic claptrap and the sooner we return to a 'best man (or woman) for the job' situation the better for us all. Dave Cameron needs some clear and original thinking, instead of the time consuming bullshit that he continues to embrace. The Blair formula is spent, finished, dead, deceased and the only way forward is fresh clear thinking and a simple message.
Newmania: Wrong (again) I am afraid. I have been a Tory party member since 1988, and was out on the stump during the darkest days of the party's recent past - so I figure I have earned a few days of pleasure at us being ahead in the polls (for once)!
I have never supported Tony Blair, and have always despised him, distrusted him and thought him dangerous! I was saying this when he was more popular than Jesus! Now he is 'son of Satan' I can just smile and say 'told you so'!
Secondly (not that you asked), I am an ardent economic Thatcherite, but just socially liberal who is a bit worried about the climate changing and killing my children! I do not believe that there is anything in being an economic thatcherite which is ireconcilable to the things that Cameron is saying today - although I would like him to come out in favour of tax cuts. Why don;t you see my blog - all my views are on there in some detail!
As for women candidates: I have listed all the reasons why I think you/Verity are wrong on my blog (go to August 24th post - ten reasons why we need more women MPs)
And yes I was in a rush (which is why there are so many typos) but I still believe every word I say.
Verity - it is very evident that you don't read my posts, because you always make the same mistakes when replying to them!
How can I be an outisder when I am on the list to be a Tory PPC/MP?
I am not in favour of positive discrimination - and I wish you would implying I am. I am merely in favour or removing unfair barriers.
Are you in favour of negative discrimination then? I ask, because this is the situation we have at present!
I find your views unexceptionable but your transparent and preposterous sense of your own importance can only have one useful purpose, which is to amuse me. Perhaps I need to go on along cultural journey to become `switched on`.
`On record` I doubt the sincerity of your position and if I am mistaken then it is your fault for constructing your arguments by tacking clichés together like a prefabricated shed.
None of this is a capital offence and if the quality of Conservative MPs I have met is anything to go by you are unlikely to do any harm.
Lets see what else you have to say.
Vienna Woods: Exactly - best man or women for the job - my point exactly.
But how can we be sure of having the best man/women for the job when 50% of the population are effectively excluded from the process by a culture which makes it extremely difficult for them to get on the list, simply because they have ovaries and not testicles!
Removing unfair and dicrimanatory barriers to this 50% of the population is NOT positive discrimination, it is simply making sure everybody has an equal chance!
The simle fact is this, you, Newmania and Verity (et al) seem either to be happy with a selection process which unfairly discriminates against women, or you don't believe that the situation does discriminate againmst women.
If the first, then shame on you for supporting prejudice and discrimination. If the second, then you clearly know very little about how the Tory party selection process has historically worked.
Why is it that those who are in favour of more women on the lists - those who say the current process is biased and unfair - are all those who have either been through - or who are going through the process (and a great deal of them are men who have nothing to gain from saying it).
Why is is that all those who are shouting 'PC nonsense', 'quotas' and 'positive discrimination' don't seem to have had any experience of the situation - either as a candidate or as someone who sits on the selection committees!
I have seen it from both sides of the fence, and I can honestly say, the situation as was, was 'institutionally biased' in favour of white, middle class, straight (acting), wealthy, public school educated men!
At a time when David Cameron is being attacked for being 'rich, posh and public school educated', we need to have more candidates who are (1) able to do the job of an MP, but (2) also come from sections of society which are currently under represented - in particular, I mean women.
I am much less concerned about black and gay candidates than I was, but I remain wedded to the notion that more credible and gifted women candidates will encourage more voters - especially women - to get out vote on the day!
So there is not just a moral argument, but there is a political expediencey argument as well!
So women who apply to become Conservative candidates are more likely to accepted onto the list than men? Surely in all fields where there is a serious gender imbalance, the few who buck the trend and push their way past the obstacles tend to be exceptionally well qualified and very highy motivated. So if men and women were accepted in equal numbers, I would claim that was evidence of discrimination against the women.
And, Fruning Graplecard, you are saying that your father would have felt shamed becuase his wife had a life of her own? Interesting social commentary, but a very poor guide to how to live today.
Newmaina - I am so glad that I have brought a little happines to you! You sound like you need some happiness in your life!
However, I am not sure how I have given you the opinion that I regard myself as self important? I am just a humble foot soldier who has been slogging for the Tory cause for some 18 years - and grown tired of banging my head against certain brick walls which block our path to power!! I am therefore delighted that David Cameron has decided to get a sledge hammer and demolish some of them.
You say that you doubt the sincereity of my views - but then you have also been wrong in just about every other judgement you have made about me on this blog (should I list them for you). You are also wrong here too! I do hold all these views sincerely - It is not mere convenience - but I doubt you would believe me, even if I took the bother to prove it to you!
As for your own 'cultural journey to switched-on-ness', only you know the answer to that one Sir! But I suspect that asking the question would do you no harm!
It is not really about getting women to apply to become candidates (although there is the issue of makng politics attractive enough to talented and gifted women in the first place), but more about making sure that they get interviewed for the vacant seats, and then selected - rather than just told to piss-off home and cook their husbands tea!
,Adrian - You consider yourself `important` . I consider you `self important` ,but on reflection you may be right .So lets see what am I admitting ? Oh yes , you have a passionate commitment to something that either is or isn`t positive discrimination for women , your Cameron sycophancy is a happy coincidence and your psychotic need to monologue on the subject of Adrian Yalland is evidence of endearing modesty. I am pleased to add to the mountain of self satisfaction upon which you sit with these kindly intended words of encouragement.
I on the other hand ,as you rightly detect am unable to grant myself the unquestioning self adoration I so admire in others .I must remain an attractive figure of romantic melancholy tortured with doubt and existential horror..
It is my lonely fate
Can we talk about something else now ?
newmaina : Could you please provide a translation of your posts for me please? English will do nicely!
I can't be arsed to argue the rest of your points (mostly because I am not sure I understand what points you are making), but I must just say I am not a Cameron sycophant! The person I wanted to be leader sadly didn't stand (which is William Hague), and for as much as I agree with Mr. Cameron, there is probably equally as much that I disagree with him over.
I do however happen to think he is right about the need for more TORY women MPs. This is for three very simple reasons, which I hope you will forgive me boring you with yet again - 1. Because the current political culture discriminates against women, and that is wrong. 2.Because I think - providing they are of a high enough standard of calibre - women candidates offer the party an electoral advantage. 3. More Tory women MPs will help improve the quality of legislation.
I am NOT in favour of positive discrimination, just against negative discrimination.
Now, what else would you like to talk about?
Now, what else would you like to talk about?
Me of course
English will do nicely!
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