Mr Perrin’s Blog.
A Word in Your Ear
“I posted a “blog” on 18th August, 2013 about “positive discrimination, particularly with regard to the practice within the Labour Party, nationally and locally, for women only shortlists when selecting candidates for parliament or local government.
I repeat part of what I said then. “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, say they are championing the cause of “equality for women” whilst claiming, I presume, they support equal rights for all”.
Why am I raising the issue again? I have just received a letter from the Chairman of Thurrock Labour Party Campaigns Forum informing me; “The following seats will be selecting their candidates for the 2014 local government election.
Tilbury St. Chads [1 male 1 female]Chadwell St. Mary * [2male 1 female] Grays Thurrock [2male 1 female] West Thurrock & South Stifford [2 male 0 female] Belhus [1 male 2 female] Tilbury Riverside & Thurrock Park [0male 2 female] Stifford Clays [0 male 2 female] Little Thurrock Rectory [Tory held 2 males] Little Thurrock Blackshots [Tory held 1 male 1 female]
Selections marked with a (*) are considered “all women shortlists” and only female panel members will be eligible for selection”. Thus there will be no male candidates allowed for selection in Chadwell St. Mary.
The figures shown in brackets are a breakdown, by gender, of the current incumbent Labour Party Councillors. So it will be seen there are eight male and nine female and the overall number of Thurrock Labour Councillors is 13 males and 11 females. Even allowing for “positive discrimination” I do not rate the balance to be sufficient grounds for excluding male candidates in 2014.
The Labour Party, nationally and locally, trumpets its opposition to discrimination, however it manifests itself, and then proceeds to sanction blatant discrimination by excluding men from standing for public or party office when it is desired to ensure a woman is selected. I have never understood how discrimination is justified by claiming it is somehow “positive”.
It may be positive for the beneficiary but I doubt persons being denied their equal rights would consider it anything other than discrimination.
In this context I am rather inclined to the dictionary version of positive “formally laid down or imposed; arbitrarily or artificially instituted; admitting no question; also, opinionated, cock-sure, dogmatic, dictatorial”.
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. The time for this shameful and blatantly unfair practice to be outlawed is long overdue.