2:00 am - August 8th 2009
Nadine Dorries MP says on her blog:
Don’t ya just love the TUC? Apparently, at their forthcoming conference, they want to debate a proposal to ban the wearing of high heels in the office. Can you hear the collective sharp intake of breath and the no noo nooo from all of British office working womankind?
I’m 5ft 3 and need every inch of my Louboutin heels to look my male colleagues in the eye. If high heels were banned in Westminster, no one would be able to find me.
For those subjected to regular uninformed tirades by Dorries, who recently declared that Trident was not a weapon of mass destruction, this may not entirely be a bad thing.
The TUC is not looking to ban high heels in the office.
To set the record straight the TUC couldn’t care less whether Nadine Dorries wears Louboutin or Clarks to work, our current policy, which is based on reducing long-term foot problems, is that employers shouldn’t require workers to wear uncomfortable or dangerous footwear. This includes a number of big city institutions and upmarket shops who insist female staff who deal with the public wear slip-on shoes or high heels as part of a dress code.
The new motion on heels has been been put forward to Congress by one of our affiliated unions – unsurprisingly it’s the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists – and calls specifically for:
all employers who have dress codes that promote high heels to examine the hazards their women workers face and ensure that proper risk assessments are carried out, and that where these show the wearing of high heels is hazardous the high heels should be replaced with sensible and comfortable shoes.
The idea that preventing women from being forced to wear unsuitable clothing to work is sexist is ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the idea that anti-abortion advocate Nadine Dorries is suddenly a champion of women’s rights.
Emphasis mine. It is amusing to watch Nadine Dorries stand up for the rights of women though.
You can read the full motion by the TUC here, which was in fact published last year.
So the BBC Today programme, which let Nadine Dorries go off in full flow, didn’t bother correcting the impression given by the Torygraph.
Even the Guardian, which should have known better, ran this comment piece by Jenni Russell taking this misleading article by the Daily Mail at face value. Clearly no one at the Guardian could be bothered to take 5 minutes and give the TUC a call and find out either.
Now, I expect the right-wing media to try and use disinformation to malign trade unions. I don’t expect left-liberal papers to do that. As for Nadine Dorries… well did you actually expect informed comment?
Update: Nicola Smith writes in to point out that
We already have a policy on heels, which is referenced from my post (the press release from last year). But there is also a new motion which will be debated at this year’s Congress in September. That is listed in the preliminary agenda, which you can download here: and if adopted would strengthen our existing position, giving us formal Congress policy on the issue.
It’s last week’s publication of the draft agenda and some half baked analysis of what the Chiropodists and Podiatrists union are actually calling for that has lead to the current media frenzy. So yes, we first raised the issue over a year ago but the current coverage is related to a new motion.
Thanks for clarifying that. Shame on our stupid media though.
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by Sunny Hundal
Story Filed Under: Blog ,Media ,Trade Unions
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Reactions: Twitter, blogs
- Liberal Conspiracy
: No Nadine Dorries, the TUC is not banning high heels http://bit.ly/WjMHV
tory mp misses the point..the future starts here!! RT @libcon: : No Nadine Dorries, the TUC is not banning high heels http://bit.ly/WjMHV
- Alan Thomas
RT @libcon: : Anti-Choice, Antis Science, Anti- Vaccination – http://bit.ly/WjMHV – now Anti comfortable footware for women!
- Splintered Sunrise
RT @tweetmeme Liberal Conspiracy » No Nadine Dorries, the TUC is not banning high heels http://bit.ly/47K0nS
- sunny hundal
No, Nadine Dorries, trade unions are not banning high heels – http://bit.ly/3wkyRJ (political correctness gone mad!)
- Sadie Smith
RT @pickledpolitics: No, Nadine Dorries, trade unions are not banning high heels – http://bit.ly/3wkyRJ (political correctness gone mad!)
- Rodney Randolph
Liberal Conspiracy » No, the TUC is not banning high heels http://bit.ly/mQSEt
- Web links for 5th August 2009 | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
[...] Fail. Daily Mail unsure how they stand on stilettos (geddit?) Paul Cotterill has unearthed this very interesting Daily Mail health warning on high heels from last year – looks like they [...]
- ToUChstone blog
- Eleanor Crawford
@lauren0donnell good post! but she didn't try to ban heel-wearing, she pretended the TUC wanted to (they didn't). http://tinyurl.com/6dx4xne
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