Coffee House

Cameron could introduce ‘voluntary’ all-women shortlists

13 July 2014

10:30 PM

13 July 2014

10:30 PM

David Cameron could introduce ‘voluntary’ all-women shortlists if the Conservatives continue to struggle to recruit female MPs, senior Tory sources have said.

The Prime Minister has also set party chairman Grant Shapps ‘on the case’ to remedy the current situation, whereby women are less likely to be selected for safe seats. But he is also interested in local associations using all-women shortlists on a voluntary basis after the next election if his party fails to make sufficient advances.

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Cameron does not want to impose shortlists on constituency parties, although of course ‘voluntary’ can cover a multitude of sins: many people ‘voluntarily’ work longer hours than those stipulated on their contract, but have little choice about the matter. The Tories could conceivably pressure associations in safe seats to use shortlists without forcing them – although this sort of behaviour rarely works, and tends to land campaign HQ with awkward headlines about meddling or parachuting.

This week a number of female MPs are expected to get promotions in the reshuffle to help with the perception of a women problem in the Conservative party. But given only 16 per cent of Tory MPs are women, the Prime Minister is having to promote from a very small (but disproportionately talented) pool. It would be easier to promote female MPs if more existed – and women already in ministerial positions such as Nicky Morgan are beginning to conclude that all-women shortlists could be the only solution.

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Show comments
  • Jonathan Burns

    If you pick people to to fill quotas all you end up with is idiots promoted beyond their ability.

  • Frank

    The only way to achieve this is to legally compel all parties to field equal numbers of men and women as candidates. This would mean that a large number of male MPs would stand down, but I am sure that Britain can stand their departure.

    • Jonathan Burns

      Would you get on a plane piloted not by the best person but a token woman who only qualified by being the best female in a all female shortlist?
      Would you like to be operated on by a female surgeon who had been picked the same way?

  • Winston Burchill

    Haven’t people yet cottoned on to the fact that voting for any of these people is utterly self-defeating and pointless?

  • swatnan

    I really get annoyed at ‘Voluntary’ Nothing ever changes unless it is ‘Mandatory’.

    • Alexsandr

      lefties -have to control everything.

  • Mynydd

    Typical of Mr Cameron, no positive action anything to grab a headline. If he was serious he could take action on the one thing he controls, his A-list, make it all women.

  • David Booth.

    I wonder if the voluntary aspect of DC’s call for all women short lists will be based on the Army model:
    “Right I need three volunteers, you, you and you step forward!”

  • black11hawk

    We are the Conservative party not a bunch of agit-prop socialists, true Conservatives realise that equality of outcome is a mirage and what matters most is fairness. All-women shortlists are patronising to women, unmeritocratic and unfair, we don’t want them and we don’t need them.

    • Blindsideflanker

      We are? No, wrong tense, I think you meant ‘were’. Cameron threw in the towel on Conservative values a long time ago. His whole political strategy for power was to avoid holding to any values and to cosy up to New Labour.

      • black11hawk

        There are many things DC has done which I don’t like, but he has done some good stuff and in any case we had to go through Heath to get to Thatcher, so I still believe things can change for the better.

        • Conway

          I can’t think of anything Cameron has done that can be called “good stuff”, to be honest. Things can only change for the better if people ditch the habits of a lifetime and stop voting for more of the same. It is madness to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Time to break the mould.

    • Andy

      Also discrimination against men. They should be illegal. I hate the politically correct discrimination. It is the same in race. It is ok to have a ‘Black Police Officers Association’ which discriminates against white people, but you try and set up a ‘White police Officers Association’ with exactly the same rules and see how far you get.

      • Alexsandr

        or a BBC asian network, but no BBC white network. I find the existence of the asian network to be quite racist

  • Blindsideflanker

    Cameron has found something else to p1ss off his core support on. It is like a festering wound Cameron insists on picking at .

    • HookesLaw

      Are you capable of explaining why you hate women so much?

      • Blindsideflanker

        No, I hate a despise Cameron for all his politically correct gestures.

        • telemachus

          Only that?

      • Alexsandr

        women who are any good will get selected anyway. Positive discrimination is an offense to those who succeed without it.

        • Conway

          Exactly. Our UKIP PPC is female – there were three candidates at the hustings, two female and one male. This happened without any special measures to encourage women to apply.

  • Peter Stroud

    Why should a party, that has elected a woman as leader, need female only shirt lists? What is needed is to encourage more good women to enter thee race.

    • telemachus

      Woman?
      “She is clearly the best man among them” – Barbara Castle referring, in her diaries, to the Tory front bench

      • Colonel Mustard

        Ah, yes. Castle. The woman that brought NANNY to Britain.

        • telemachus

          In her youth, as Barbara Betts, she pandered to the prevailing adoration of Comrade (or more appropriately Father) Stalin. My first job in London in 1964 was on the ‘Daily Herald’ where I met, and immediately liked, the political editor, Ted Castle, Barbara’s husband. One day, Ted explained to his young protégé what the difference was between the left and right in the Labour Party. ‘It’s all about Russia, Paul,’ he revealed. ‘The left support Russia, the right don’t.’ I remember replying that this was a quite hopeless analysis, absolutely disastrous to the left since it bound them to a state capitalist dictatorship. He looked at me as if I was mad, but the exchange has always seemed to me to explain the intrinsic flaw in modern social democracy–the belief that capitalist society can be changed by intelligent and dedicated people at the top of society without disturbing, let alone agitating, the exploited, the poor and the dispossessed into a revolt that could and would topple the rich and create a socialist order.

          • telemachus

            “without disturbing, let alone agitating, the exploited, the poor and the dispossessed into a revolt that could and would topple the rich and create a socialist order.”
            You and your cohorts would do well to remember that

            • Colonel Mustard

              Oh do shut up. I don’t have any cohorts and have not the slightest interest in the tediously predictable garbage peddled by marxist nutjobs.

              The supreme irony is of course that a majority of the most publicly whining socialists in Britain today ARE rich.

              • telemachus

                Mattereth not

                If rich, it attests to a true Christian Spirit

                If someone who has the riches of this world sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17)

                • Andy

                  Lets talk about the Miliband family and their tax avoidance.

                • Alexsandr

                  Hazel Blears and her CGT avoidance on her flipping.
                  Or balls and PIE apologists mrs dromey who think its ok to just drive away after an accident.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Not to mention the posh schools they manage to get their children into, whilst making it well nigh impossible for kids at the bottom of the heap to get a decent education.

                • Alexsandr

                  like the vandalism of abolishing grammar schools, and the tories failure to provide more that are clearly wanted/needed.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  The Tories have never rolled back one piece of Labour social legislation. They’re the party of the status quo, whatever the status quo happens to be. Totally gutless.

                • Conway

                  I’m still waiting for the bonfire of the QUANGOs, but Dave appears to have created more.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Oh how you twist and dissemble. It is hypocrisy in the extreme to wage war against an entity described as “the rich” when you are one of them.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Indeed, but when it’s forced it ceases to be brotherly love.

            • Alexsandr

              have you ever been to E Europe. Seen the rows and rows of raceless concrete tenements in Warsaw and E Belin? Is that what you want in the UK?

          • Andy

            And I remember seeing an interview with Barbara Castle not long before she died. The interviewer showed her a number of cuttings of articles she had written for the Daily Herald extolling the virtues of the Soviet Union drawn from her many visits there. They were complete and utter rubbish, but even then, EVEN THEN, when the terrible truth of the millions and millions who had perished she couldn’t simply say ‘I was wrong’. She was a wicked, stupid and evil woman.

            • telemachus

              She did more for equality of income of women and of The North than any other individual

              • Andy

                She was an evil bitch who supported the worst mass murderer in history. And even at the end of her life she could not admit that she had been wrong.

                • telemachus

                  Folks admire the Great Patriotic leader because he dragged his people out of slavery
                  And defeated fascism

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Who are these “folks”? Communist subversives and soviet romantics hiding in the Labour party like you. Most reasonable and compassionate people know Stalin for what he was. A tyrannical monster responsible for the persecution, torture and deaths of millions of innocent people.

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Out of slavery Tele? What have you been smoking this morning?

              • Alexsandr

                she closed a lot of railways, and killed off loads of railway jobs.

          • girondas2

            This is the post where telemachus failed the Turing Test

            • telemachus

              But passed one of Traiger’s variations

              • girondas2

                “But passed one of Traiger’s variations”

                That response would definitely fail the Voigt-Kampf test with the delightful consequence that you would be terminated with immediate effect.

    • HookesLaw

      That what the article despite its bias says. They want more women to be involved. The shortlist idea is a last measure and as it says, its just for Associations that might want them.

      • Alexsandr

        its still a stupid and inequitable idea

        and lets kill off the idea only women can reflects womens interests. A good MP will represent all his constituents, even those who didnt vote for him.

    • Conway

      Female only shirt lists? Shouldn’t that be female only blouse lists? 🙂

  • Hexhamgeezer

    What about all conservative shortlists?

    Worth a try perhaps?

    • telemachus

      Have not all conservatives left for UKIP?

      • Hexhamgeezer

        See the spam filters have failed again.

      • Kitty MLB

        Have not all Labours core voters left for UKIP
        A kipper chum in the Northeast has told me so.
        UKIP are thriving in Labour heartlands.

  • ButcombeMan

    Isabel kite flying.

    Utterly ridiculous.

    No harm in looking for and encouraging suitable women, but any suggestion of all women shortlists, would just alienate Cameron from potential supporters, male, or female. Cannot be done. No Tory woman, worth having on board, wants that sort of preferment.

    Next.

    All “kiddy fiddler” shortlists?

    • Alexsandr

      no all women shortlist in tower hamlets I bet!

    • Kitty MLB

      Agree. Its ticking the politically correct boxes and so
      very Tony Blair..It should always be about capability
      and not labels and boxes. And look who Blair benighted
      us with. Harriet and Yvette .

  • Colonel Mustard

    For gawd’s sake. This is pathetic. Why does this idiot insist on playing Labour’s token and label games? Where did the stupid idea that people can only be represented by people of their own gender, sexuality, ethnicity, etc. bollox come from? It’s a kind of lefty apartheid.

    • Liz

      From the previous millenia where men failed to represent women’s interests. And from every country in the world where men fail to represent women’s interests. And from all the male dominated institutions and religions where men fail to represent women’s interests. And from the press and media where men fail to represent women’s perspective. I think it came from that.

      • telemachus

        You may have to explain what is wrong with men failing to represent women’s interests
        Remember to whom you are replying

        • Colonel Mustard

          She is not “replying” since I did not address her.

          • telemachus

            Guest indeed
            Guest
            High Sheriff more like
            Listen to the woman whose father was door stepped by the DT
            necessity. She told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: “At this point we don’t believe that we need to go that far, but I certainly wouldn’t rule out all-women shortlists if we don’t make the progress we need to because as a party we need to make sure we are connected to the electorate we want to represent – 52% of that electorate are women and it is important that our party has a good representation of women within it.”

            • Colonel Mustard

              Some irony that you would use the term “High Sheriff” to describe me when you are up and down the streets of this site like a patrolling town marshall. Nary a comment goes by without a tag or two from town marshal Whata Twerp.

              The division of society by gender just encourages gender war and agenda war.

              • telemachus

                Forget the gender war
                The current regime is fostering the class war

                • Colonel Mustard

                  More tripe. You are the people fostering class war. As you have throughout my life and before. You exploit misery in order to inflict more of it. You cannot exist in harmony, or in believing in inherent goodness, or even persuasion. You must stir and agitate, foster division and hatred, and disrupt discourse as you do here.

                  You are a foul breed. You are all communists peddling violent revolution born from envy, spite and malevolence, however much you fool yourselves and try to fool others.

                • telemachus

                  ‘The election of a Conservative-dominated UK coalition government unleashed an unprecedented austerity drive under the auspices of ‘deficit reduction’ in the wake of the global financial crisis. Let us focus on housing policy to show how the ‘cuts’ are being used as an ideological cover for a far-reaching, market-driven restructuring of social welfare policy that amounts to a return of what Ralph Miliband called ‘class war conservatism’. We have returned to the ideological contours and materialist drivers of Thatcherism as a hegemonic strategy. Recall the Coalition’s assault on the housing welfare safety net it inherited, which has rapidly shut down alternative directions for housing and represents a strategic intervention designed to unblock and expand the market, complete the residualization of social housing and draw people into an ever more economically precarious housing experience in order to boost capitalist interests’
                  *
                  And you dare say there is no class war

                • Andy

                  Ralph Miliband was a Marxist Scumbag who hated Britain and the English even though we saved his miserable worthless life.

                • telemachus

                  Dacreism

                • Andy

                  Fascist Scumism.

                • Mynydd

                  He also put his life on the line on D-day.

                • girondas2

                  So? A lot of people did that.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Another Labour lie. He served on HMS Valorous which provided East coast convoy defense duties and did not take part in any operations related to the Allied invasion of Normandy.

                  Miliband Senior:-

                  “The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world … When you hear the English talk of this war you sometimes almost want them to lose it to show them how things are.”

                • Conway

                  He also served in the Belgian navy and not the RN, I believe.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  I didn’t say there was no class war Marshal Twerp, I said it was being fostered by you lot as your quote from the socialist extremists of Critical Social Policy demonstrates. You really think that represents some kind of impartial arbitration? Pff! Here is what they represent:-

                  “Critical Social Policy is a highly ranked, peer reviewed journal that provides an international forum for advocacy, analysis and debate on social policy issues. Published quarterly, it aims to develop an understanding of welfare from socialist, feminist, anti-racist and radical perspectives.”

                  “Radical perspective” and “debate” eh? Pull the other one, Mr Charles.

                • telemachus

                  And this says it is fostered by the current regime

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Anyone can say anything. Believing tripe doesn’t make it any less tripe. Vested socialist interests want a single party state and will do or say anything to oppose a government which is not of their choosing.

                • girondas2

                  Ralph bl**dy Miliband? That well son of the working class – yeah right..

                • telemachus

                  More Dacreism

                • Andy

                  More Fascist Scumism.

                • girondas2

                  “More Dacreism”

                  No, telemachus, just my appreciation that Milband, like you, was a flea sucking the vitality from the party of the work class.

                • Andy

                  Ralph Miliband was an evil hypocrite. We saved his miserable life and all we got as thanks was bile and hate. He was scum.

                • Alexsandr

                  what austerity drive? the useless coalition are as addicted to spending as labour.

                • Andy

                  The only people ‘fostering the class war’ are scum like you.
                  You merely prove that all Fascist/Socialists are vermin.

                • girondas2

                  “The current regime is fostering the class war”

                  This, from the agent of a party that has so comprehensivly screwed the working class that it vowed to represent.
                  You, telemachus are devoid of irony and self – awareness.

              • Andy

                Ignore the Fascist. He has no idea what a High Sheriff is.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Tripe.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Millie Tant lives.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Women get to retire earlier and live longer. Such lack of representation it makes you want to weep.

        But this terrible lack of representation of wimmins issues aside, Parliament is there to represent political ideas.

        • telemachus

          Further
          When Billie Jean forced equality of prize money when they only went to three sets all that you held dear collapsed

          • Blindsideflanker

            Where did you dream up that, but as to equal work for equal pay, two sets finished in 45 minutes, against a 5 setter over 5 hours, hardly seems like equal work.

        • HookesLaw

          Women’s retirement age is being increased to match men. Both are rising. Done by this government under a tory minister. So that’s another of your prejudices shot down
          But we know kippers are misogynists.

          • Blindsideflanker

            Well you might say the more women in Parliament the more equal they become.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Do you not also recognise misandry when you see it?

          • Colonel Mustard

            When I see women emptying my bins and arriving back from war zones in the same number of coffins as men I’ll swallow your guff about equality. It isn’t equality. It is tokenism and appeasement.

            • Kitty MLB

              Thats the point dear Colonel.Feminism was
              supposed to be about intellectual freedom and
              respect and not women “becoming”men.

    • Frank

      I am sure that if you were a black kid growing up in Brixton, you would appreciate having an adequate number of black MPs to represent your interests. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone needs representation by some-one of same kin (a bit like the anecdote about the pig and chicken talking about breakfast)

      • Damaris Tighe

        But isn’t that state corporatism, aka fascism, in which each social sub-group has formal representation? Doesn’t it turn society into nothing more than competing interest groups?

    • Kitty MLB

      “For gawd’s sake” unusual choice of words-hmm!
      Yes, for the Labour Party, people are numbers to be
      Given a label and boxed.

  • alabenn

    Chasing ghosts, will not help, does anyone seriously think that sensible women, would vote on the matter of what percentage of women your party puts up, the dimwits already vote Labour.

    • telemachus

      The majority are dumb?

      • Alexsandr

        anyone who votes for the defecit denying gold givers away, stafford patient killing paedophile apologist, mass immigration organising, useless triparate bank regulating, multi cult bunch of idiot loons must be dumb IMHO
        not saying the tories or limp dems are much better by the way.

  • itdoesntaddup

    How about voluntary all-scientist or all-engineer and no-PPE/History/Law shortlists? How about shortlists for people who’ve had at least a 15 year career outside politics and think tanks?

    These are measures of diversity utterly lacking in Parliament.

    • kyalami

      How about shortlists of those who haven’t been to Eton? Eton is a grand school but grotesquely over-represented in the ranks of Conservative MPs.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Indeed, we would have a much better parliament if it selected from engineers and scientists.

      • Andy

        We would indeed. We should ban professional politicians. If you work for the state, a local authority, a think tank, a trade union you should be disqualified from standing for parliament. Actually if you were paid by the state (or local authority) or worked for any organisation which received state funds you should be banned from standing for at least 5 years after leaving that organisation.

        • Damaris Tighe

          or from PR

    • Frank

      It would also be good if the representation was matched to the census, eg if 10% of the population is catholic, then 10% of MPs need to be catholic, ditto muslim, etc, etc. Given that very few people are now members of unions, you can probably reduce the number of ex-union MPs quite radically.

    • Roger Hudson

      Non-politician short lists then.
      Create a system like jury service selection, though i’ve seen some juries that made me wonder..?

    • Dar4id

      I think the House of Lords reform should be along the lines of such a technocratic basis. Seats should be reserved for members of Britain’s professional industrial bodies, and voted on by the accredited qualified/experienced public members if such bodies.

    • Tim Baker

      there aren’t enough women and ethnic minorities in the Conservative frontbench

      • itdoesntaddup

        There are zero scientists and engineers. Skill diversity is not determined by ethnicity or gender.

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