Monday, 3 October 2011

Where are the feisty women? not in the House of Commons.

The season of party political conferences has been upon us in the UK and I am concerned by the lack of female influence in real terms or of any charismatic feminine role models to inspire us. Labour talks the talk but seems to promote vaguely ridiculous women, the Tories seem to be an all blokes club with no interest in women whatsoever and the Liberal party does not contain a single woman that I can actually recall or name. Where are our Hilary Clintons, Angela Merkels and Sarah Palins? It is not that we cannot produce strong female political characters, Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Castle, Nancy Astor and Mo Mowlam come to mind. I don’t necessarily appreciate the political views these women advanced but I respect them for at least being deeply attached to them.

Mo Mowlam
It is all highly depressing and I feel that I am not represented at all as not only a woman, but one who is single, of working class origins and in work.  When a female MP does get anywhere she is banging on about positive discrimination, maternity rights or (appallingly) attacking women’s reproductive freedoms.  I suppose we have Theresa May, an Oxbridge graduate who was a financial consultant, whatever that flaming is.  Yvette Cooper is married to a rather idiotic man.  The only woman in politics who seems to have gained the interest our prurient press in any of the conferences so far is the woman with the big boobs dancing with Keith Vaz MP.

The only woman at a political conference to catch the media's attention...
So who should represent me? Well there should be more women in parliament than men in a perfect world. Why? Well on the grounds of simple representational fairness: there are more of us.  I’d also like someone who has actually done a ‘proper’ job i.e. one has been a shop assistant, chef, mechanic, miner, driver or is ‘properly’ professional such as teacher, doctor, nurse or even at a push: lawyer. What I don’t mean is kind of consultant, PR wallah or professional lobbyist who are over-represented and quite frankly don’t tend to understand the realities of ordinary life in this country.  I’d prefer, even though I am Oxbridge myself, that they not be Oxbridge as again there are too many of them.  If  with Labour they should have been involved with a Union and should be drummed out of the party forthwith if they send their offspring to a private school, the very height of hypocrisy.

I certainly don’t have a problem at all with public school graduates themselves in politics but at the moment , again, they are grossly over represented within the power bases of all  the three major political parties. Preferably they should be older, let’s face it small children are (and should be) a major distraction.  Also age does bring experience and wisdom.  There are exceptions but exceptional people will shine. In terms of female politicians a stress on youthfulness is even more damaging, older women are often already often socially sidelined.
Although they are important issues female M.P’s should not ghettoise themselves by concentrating on  so called women's interests. Actually women care just as much about policing, defence, foreign policy and the economy, particularly the economy. When things go wrong with these they affect us as much, if not more severely than the male population.  It is absolutely sexist to expect female politicians to concentrate on these matters or to assume conversely that male politicians have no equally pronounced interest. Similarly the use of women politicians by the right to bolster pro-family policies is sly. We are all citizens, marriage and procreation should not attract extra rights, if anything the elderly deserve more attention as not only do they continue to pay taxes and have worked and done so for their entire lives in many cases but they are vulnerable. The elderly are also, incidentally, largely female. 

Barbara Castle: Civil Servant, ARP Warden, Journalist, Cabinet Minister

So here is my dream MP: Female, over 45, either no children or they have grown up. Experience in a real job, trade union background, not Oxbridge, never a consultant unless a Doctor. Would be nice to have an atheist but doesn’t really matter.  Fierce tendencies also desirable along with a sense of humour and zero tolerance of little-boy behaviour from slimy male politicians.  At present I am simply not being represented or served. This is my personal opinion and is of course from a socialist bias. But some of my favourite past ministers and MPs have not belonged to the Labour party. But at present I am dismayed by the army of smug twats dominating the place. What about you? any thoughts?


LollyWillowes said...

Once again, you take my thoughts and write them down, couldn't agree more. God forbid, though, we ever have a Sara Palin, I think I know what you mean when you mentioned her name among others, it's just that the foul creature gives me hives!

LandGirl1980 said...

Corker of a post!

Anonymous said...

The sort of women that work in my office would fit your bill - worldly, entirely un-religious mothers with a bit of union and a bit of the head-cracking school mistress about them. Unfortunately, they're all much too practically-minded to be in politics; they couldn't function within the existing political class.

My ideal politician would be another extinct sort - the Palmerston or Curzon model of man that did what he knew would end up being good for his country. Not money, not his party, and never for his own public image. The 'Old' Tories and 'Old' Liberals broadly fitted that mould, a century ago - They did things according to their views for their country, rather than after the modern habit of doing things for the good of the agenda.

Anonymous said...

your ideal politician sounds uncannily like Julia Gillard, Australia's Prime Minister

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