Labour is launching its women’s campaign tomorrow, and Guido has discovered that part of this special campaign is a special battle bus. A pink bus. A pink bus with ‘Woman to Woman’ on it.
This is odd, from a party whose MPs are quite keen on campaigning for gender neutral toys and which lent its support to the Pink Stinks campaign. Where will the pink van go? To shopping centres and nail bars? Perhaps it will offer manifesto manicures, where the party’s pledge card is stuck onto acrylic nails so that women can’t forget about what Labour is offering – because as the No campaign in the Scottish independence referendum reminded us, it’s pretty difficult thinking about Big Things when you’ve got the housework to do.
A campaign aimed at women is a bit odd, too, really. Yes, there are issues that affect women in particular, like domestic violence, which is disproportionately committed by men against women (with two women a week dying at the hands of their current or former partners). And yes, Yvette Cooper has made some headway politically on the effect of the government’s policies on women, arguing that they have been worst hit by cuts and benefit changes. After that, we tend to end up with childcare costs which is a) an issue that affects mothers, not all women, and b) an issue that also affects dads.
This is as silly as the time Andy Coulson suggested that Samantha Cameron should advise her husband on what women think, as though all of us have the same opinions on foreign policy, the size of the state and indeed whether or not pink is a fabulous colour.