Some of Labour’s right-wing women seem to be agitating against Jeremy Corbyn – unwisely, perhaps, considering their previously-stated positions.
The Graun quoted Caroline Flint and Lisa Nandy, both complaining that women have not been appointed to top jobs in the shadow cabinet, in line with comments by Harriet Harman at Labour’s women’s conference.
Ms Flint said: “We haven’t got women in the top jobs in our party. That includes the major offices of state. I think that is a missed opportunity.”
Maybe it is, Caroline – but you missed it! Ms Flint, lest anyone forget, announced her refusal to accept any position in the shadow cabinet two days after Mr Corbyn was elected leader. She said she could “best support the Labour party and the leadership from outside the shadow cabinet.”
Now she’s complaining about the lack of women in top positions? Let’s have some consistency, please, Caroline!
Worse still, Lisa Nandy told Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan she was “uncomfortable” that Labour’s leader and deputy leader were both men. This is bizarre. She saw that women and men were on the ballot papers for both positions. The Labour Party chose the people who most members considered were best for the roles. That’s democracy.
Is Lisa Nandy opposed to democracy now?
Furthermore, Ms Nandy is the new shadow energy secretary, meaning she has accepted a job in the shadow cabinet – but is still content to snipe at the leaders, and the system that put them on top – a system in which she participated.
Ms Nandy said she supports a long-standing proposal that either the leader or deputy leader should be a woman. In the name of gender equality, this is all well and good. But Labour relies on the principle that a job should be done by the best person for it, regardless of background, privileges, sex, religion or any other possible reason for division.
Demanding that possible candidates be disqualified because of their sex is an act of negative discrimination (is there any other kind?) and should not be allowed.
The simple fact is that the Labour Party did not support the female candidates for leader or deputy leader – not because they were female, but because of their policy proposals.
Regarding the shadow cabinet appointments, This Writer does not have inside information about the deliberations that took place. However, considering the complaints about those appointments are coming from two people who have deliberately left Labour’s front bench, it is clear that they should not be taken seriously.
Let’s not have any more of this.
Additional: It seems John Prescott agrees with me. Not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing… He said: “I think that’s their right, of course, [not to serve in the shadow cabinet] but then don’t complain if the cabinet’s not of your own making. I mean, we’ve just seen that with Harriet, about five or six of their leading women refused to stand, and then complained about the make up of the cabinet. Look, that’s just not on. It’s each individual’s right to do that but don’t criticise a cabinet when it’s made up from 45% of the women members in the PLP and more women than men in his cabinet. So why the hell are you moaning?”
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