Mr Perrin’s blog…
“A Word in Your Ear”.
Regarding the article posted on “Your Thurrock” titled “Labour boosted by growth of female participation”. I am of the opinion that a more appropriate title would be “Much ado about nothing”.
Take a look at the photograph that accompanies the article and you may recognise the faces of women who are councillors as a result of “positive” discrimination, that is to say women only candidates are allowed to be considered for selection, a process which also applied to the selection of Polly Billington as the Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Thurrock. These women, plus others like them, claim they are specifically championing the cause of “equality for women” whilst at the same time, I presume, they support equal rights for all.
The Labour Party, nationally and locally, trumpets its opposition to discrimination however it manifests itself and then proceeds to sanction blatant gender discrimination by making it a rule that men should be excluded from standing for public or party office when it is desired to ensure a woman is selected.
I have never understood how discrimination is somehow justified by using the term “positive discrimination”, it is certainly positive for the beneficiary but I doubt the person being denied equality would consider it positive for him/her. In this context I am rather inclined to the Oxford Universal Dictionary version of “positive” i.e. “dogmatic”, “dictatorial”, “cock-sure” “opinionated”.
In my book when someone is advantaged at the expense of someone else’s rights that is discrimination plain and simple. It is hypocritical to claim otherwise.
Ms Billngton claims that “Women are worst hit by cuts to public services and cuts to working tax credits. Childcare and family responsibilities are big issues for women and we need to talk about them, as well as low pay, rising fuel costs and zero hours contracts. We make a difference by ensuring more women are involved in creating change”. I have to tell you Polly that it is not your gender that determines the effects of cuts etc. men, sometimes known as fathers, suffer the same as women. Polly women do not have a monopoly on suffering and hardship; if you cut us men we bleed the same as you women.
Ms Billington and the women councillors having achieved their objective, rather than sitting around discussing ways of making it easier for women to be selected for public office at the expense of male candidates, would do better if they applied themselves to local issues such as housing, schools, Basildon hospital, waste collection and the myriad other issues the electorate consider to be relevant and important, rather than the gender of the Councillor or the Parliamentary candidate.
I ask how many of the women pictured believe that women in power ensures we would all be better served would apply that sentiment to Margaret Thatcher?