We need a woman’s voice in the Labour leadership tomorrow


7:06 pm - June 8th 2010

by David Lammy MP    


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We may be about to see the first policy reversal of the new government on plans to give anonymity to men accused of rape. As a barrister I worked on cases involving rape and understand the enormous stigma involved and the barrier that it presents to achieving convictions.

This would be a backward step in an area that is already a real worry.

If David Cameron accepts it was a mistake we should give him some credit: being able to admit that you are wrong is a sign of strength not weakness. But there are also wider lessons that we should draw from this episode too.

The first is that when parties act undemocratically they make bad policy. Not one person in the country voted for this idea. It was not in the Conservative or the Lib Dems’ manifesto. How it made it into the coalition document, less than a month after the general election is a mystery.

The value of a democratic voice in the policy process is an early lesson for the coalition but also for my own party.

After a decade and-a-half of centralising policy, we need to restore the voice of our members. There has not been a thorough policy review in the Labour Party for 16 years. That process will begin under a new leader and should be open and inclusive, harnessing people’s views on and offline.

When it finishes, we should be balloting our members on policy for the next manifesto.

The second lesson of their proposals is that narrow cliques make bad decisions.

When eight middle class, middle aged men walked into the cabinet office to negotiate the coalition’s platform, eyebrows were raised. Would the same mistake have been made if there had been a woman present in that room?

The Labour Party can learn here too. A conversation involving a range of voices is a richer and ultimately more rewarding one. For that reason our leadership contest would be far stronger for the presence of a woman’s voice.

I would urge MPs to use their nomination to ensure a broad contest: ultimately it is in all of our interests.

As politics has itself become a profession, with a production-line of think-tankers, policy advisers and lobbyists making their way into parliament, we must make sure that our political institutions reflect the rich tapestry of life.

There are 23 millionaires in the cabinet. Four fifths of those who sit round the table are men.

Parliament is making progress, but it still neither looks or sounds like the country it is there to represent. Raising these issues is neither a declaration of ‘class war’ nor an exercise in ‘political correctness’, they go to the heart of sound policy and good government.

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About the author
This is a guest article. David Lammy is MP for Tottenham and has served as a Minister in the Department of Health and Department of Constitutional Affairs. He is currently the Minister for Skills. His website is here.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Equality ,Feminism ,Labour party ,Westminster

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Reader comments


1. George W Potter

“Would the same mistake have been made if there had been a woman present in that room?”

Are you implying that the mere fact of someone’s gender makes them less or more disposed to making mistakes?

The first is that when parties act undemocratically they make bad policy.

Much like New Labour you mean? Add to that, why is it just Diane? Why not have a left-wing candidate on the leadership ballot? You proffer nought but the status quo in the ‘Labour’ party, David.

As politics has itself become a profession, with a production-line of think-tankers, policy advisers and lobbyists making their way into parliament, we must make sure that our political institutions reflect the rich tapestry of life.

Where, then, is the disabled, gay, Roma, Muslim/Sikh/Hindu/Christian/Satanist/Scientologist et al, uber right-wing EDL supporter, BNP affliate with knobs on?

It is people such as yourself who, with the Tories and New Labour, albeit destroyed the grass-roots of the Party. Leave and set up your own Rainbow Party. I think I can safely say that the rest of us who live in reality just want the best person for the job, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or skin colour.

Why not have a left-wing candidate on the leadership ballot?

Isn’t Diane Abbott left-wing enough?

I think I can safely say that the rest of us who live in reality just want the best person for the job, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation or skin colour.

This is rather naive. Yes we do want the best person for the job. But in most cases politics is not a meritocracy. And further more, there are reasons why women are under-represented in politics. This is why the Labour party brought in All Women Shortlists. And they work and are necessary. Or are you assuming that women are just not good enough for politics?

Honestly, why do people write such knee-jerk comments?

4. the a&e charge nurse

“After a decade and-a-half of centralising policy, we need to restore the voice of our members” – ignored for 13 years now ‘we’ are to have a voice – sounds smashing?

You don’t think the loss of a general election had anything to do with this exciting new insight, do you – I wonder how long it will last for?

5. the a&e charge nurse

[3] “Honestly, why do people write such knee-jerk comments” – well at least some of us still voted Labour, if only because the party represents the least worse option?

And further more, there are reasons why women are under-represented in politics.

Because they are, generally, less interested than men?

Consider the gender profile of commenters on this blog.

This is why the Labour party brought in All Women Shortlists. And they work and are necessary.

Are you serious?

What are the political achievements of the AWS MPs?

And don’t mention Jacqui Smith…………

Isn’t Diane Abbott left-wing enough?

She is, but this post was about singling out a women, the gender factor not the political one. Diane could have been a Martian and it would matter not, so long as she was a female Martian!

This is rather naive. Yes we do want the best person for the job. But in most cases politics is not a meritocracy. And further more, there are reasons why women are under-represented in politics. This is why the Labour party brought in All Women Shortlists. And they work and are necessary. Or are you assuming that women are just not good enough for politics?

Naive? Thanks! Anyone asked women why they don’t go into politics? Hell – even ask Harman why women don’t go into politics, as for being naive see what all women short-lists have done to get swathes of women swarming to get on those lists, increase their interest and get them to join the party? I was blown away at the amount of women who have signed up!

Honestly, why do people write such knee-jerk comments?

And yours wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to my comment, Sunny? He who casts the first stone …

Not one person in the country voted for this idea. It was not in the Conservative or the Lib Dems’ manifesto.

Was authorising the illegal invasion of impoverished third world countries in the Labour manifesto?

Didn’t Labour promise to not introduce top-up tuition fees for higher education in one of its manifestos?

Come off it, Lammy. You were always a slave to the line. Now you will go down in history as an untalented hack promoted beyond your station purely because of colour, who failed to make any impact despite all the leg-ups you got.

I’m not the biggest fan of David Lammy MP but I do agree with the point he’s making here.

A few commenters seem to be loving arguing the toss just for the sake of it but – seriously – wouldn’t a slightly more representative pool of candidates simply be something to be welcome?

I dearly hope Diane Abbot makes it.

#8 blanco

Count til ten…breathe in…honest: was there any need for such gratuituous personal nastiness there?

Anyway, that last comment of mine was a response to a silly thing Lammy said. There are plenty of things Labour could’ve done in 13 years to tackle rape – but the fact is this:

under the Labour government, rape convictions were around 5-6% of all reported rapes.

That is the Labour legacy. Whenever “feminists” like Cath Elliott and Kate Belgrave gush about how happy they are to be back with Labour, they should think about what their party has actually achieved when it had the power to achieve something.

It would be good to get Abbott onto the ballot. But trying to fiddle so she gets on there without actually commanding even one EIGHTH of the PLP’s support is not the answer. Ask yourselves: why was there only one female candidate in the first place? Labour is not a female-friendly party. Maybe neither of the other main parties are, but we are talking about Labour here.

12. Rogue_Leader

I don’t understand – surely everyone accused of a serious or highly emotive crime should be granted anonymity until the moment that they are actually guilty. Why is this a mistake?

@Claude

Have you suddenly forgiven Labour and the craven Labour slaves who voted for Iraq, just because the nasty Tories are in government?

I think Lammy has the blood of Iraqis (and British service personnel) on his hands. It’s not being nasty to criticise him as the has-been or (more accurately) the never-was that he is. He was always talked up as a British Obama, and it wasn’t because he was an electrifying public speaker who built a big online campaign and represented Hope.

But he’s come to nothing. Despite Labour’s wildest dreams, none of the current shadow cabinet are likely to ever be ministers again.

@12

But they’re not, and the current Gov wants to single out rape accused because apparently being accused of rape is worse than being accused of, say, paedophilia or murder. If the Gov wanted to bring anonymity to all accused then it’d be a different argument.

@blanco

Have you forgotten that the entire Tory party also supported the murderous campaign in Iraq? Bringing Lammy’s race into your arguments is childish and insulting.

under the Labour government, rape convictions were around 5-6% of all reported rapes.

Erm, and Labour didn’t do anything to change this? What radical ideas do you have hot-shot? I mean it’s not like Harriet Harman said anything on the subject while in power and tried to deal with this…. did she?

Will, on women in parliament, read this:
http://www.nextleft.org/2009/10/can-we-talk-sense-about-shortlists.html

and this:
http://www.nextleft.org/2009/04/women-still-face-political-glass.html

Now… enough with the idiot knee-jerk comments please.

16. Rogue_Leader

@14

But that’s how politics works. You allow this through and then start pressing, pointing out that people accused of rape are allowed anonymity, but people accused of other, equally stigmatic crimes are not, and that if it works in rape cases, it should work in others.

As far as I can see, this is an excellent opportunity to force the tabloids out of the criminal justice system in the face of a legislature that is suspiciously unwilling to prosecute for contempt of court for breaches of sub-judice.

Might it have prevented the wrongful conviction of Colin Stagg? Might it have speeded up tabloid-hindered investigations? It would certainly improve the quality of justice, which is the point, right? As opposed to petty political point-scoring.

@16

If it was going to be a trial (pun intended) run then why not have anonymity for less controversial cases? Like, I dunno, ABH or drug dealing. Using rape cases as an example sends out a message that women are not to be trusted, which is pretty horrible. Even Cameron is backtracking on this one.

18. Rogue_Leader

@17
Because this is the way the Tories want it. Despite the rebranded ‘Progressive Coalition’, attempting to wrestle such a solidly conservative Conservative cabinet around to the left is always going to waste energy; throwing ideology at this is not going to help. Presenting anonymity in all controversial trials as a logical consequence of this particular policy is a far more likely strategy than clashing heads with people whose skulls are thicker than yours.

The end result is the same – tabloids out of the law.

If Diane Abbott does not secure enough nominations to-morrow, the Labour Party as a whole will be discredited in arguing that equality is one of its principles.

In particular, any MP who was selected from an all-women shortlist will be faced with serious demands for an explanation. Out of 80+ women MPs (and 16 BAME MPs), the required number cannot be self-motivated to nominate,then they will have forfeited all respect in any future arguments for gender equality.

The real price will be paid by women throughout the society.

20. Rowan Davies

@6 – I wouldn’t take the under-representation of women on this forum, or in parliament, as an indication that women are less interested in politics than men are. Women are plenty interested in politics; they just (as a rule) don’t find the blogosphere – or, indeed, Westminster – very conducive to rational, good-tempered debate.

There was a study on the lack of women in parliament a few years back – by the EOC as was, I think – and its conclusion was that it’s the shortlisting/candidate selection process that’s the major culprit. Selection committees are largely comprised of white men, and like all other employers, they tend to recruit in their own image.

21. Rogue_Leader

@16

“they just (as a rule) don’t find the blogosphere – or, indeed, Westminster – very conducive to rational, good-tempered debate.”

Are you suggesting that women are more likely to conduct rational, good-tempered debate than men, or simply that they need to be cosseted from the nastiness of politics?

Women are plenty interested in politics; they just (as a rule) don’t find the blogosphere – or, indeed, Westminster – very conducive to rational, good-tempered debate.

Debate here is often rational and good tempered.

Selection committees are largely comprised of white men, and like all other employers, they tend to recruit in their own image.

Why are selection committees largely comprised of white men?

Ballot the membership re the next manifesto? Dianna Abbot to be a nominated candidate for leader?

National Cons/Lib Govt for 15 years . . .

24. Rowan Davies

It’s well established that women work differently from men in social contexts – more collaborative, less hierarchical (generalisation, obviously, plenty of exceptions of both sexes, but still a solid anthropological finding). A 2002 study of Costa Rica’s parliament (which uses quotas for female representation) found that women MPs were much more likely to work across party lines to get bills passed, for example. Would I like me some of that for Westminster? Yes, I would. Let’s not pretend that the HoC, as it stands, is a ferociously forensic debating chamber in which bad legislation is fearlessly exposed and kicked out on its metaphorical arse. It’s a souped-up fraternity club full of craven boot-licking and back-scratching, and the very few MPs who stand outside that culture – whatever their sex – are certain to begin and end their careers in a state of backbench impotence. It seems likely to me that a really substantial influx of non-standard MPs – including but not limited to women – would have an energising effect.

As to the bad temper, I think it’s offputting to many women. Different from women needing to be protected from it; we just think it’s a drag.

OK, Sunny, read them both – from them I take that there isn’t enough women in HoC and how do we go about getting them there. Correct? If I am, then I agree. Always have, always will. But I don’t, nor will I ever, agree with stupid quotas.

What has been shown is that once you quota one thing you had better micromanage everything else on that basis. I, being an obvious idiot, pointed that out.

Where David and his ilk fall flat on their faces is they call for all this and that only a few weeks after being defeated in an election where they were in power for 13 sodding years. Rather than do what they ask now, they cosied up to big business and had a belief that it was OK to be filthy rich, and fuck the poor! That is, always was, is still New Labour philosophy. If you don’t want to look at it that way – your prerogative. Sunder (a man) can write as many pieces on the glass ceiling and how women should be in parliament all he wants – it does not stop the fact that many women are put off parliament because when there, they are ignored because the HoC is an old school tie club, period!

Now, if this idiot were to look at things a little differently, then he would do something about the old school tie mentality first. Then you would start to see some progressive policies getting head way.

Pity the establishment is so ingrained in some they will not let go of the teat that feeds them.

Ballot the membership re the next manifesto? Dianna Abbot to be a nominated candidate for leader?

National Cons/Lib Govt for 15 years . . .

The point is about having her in the debate, not necessarily as leader. People can make up their own minds who should lead and vote accordingly.

Will:
Where David and his ilk fall flat on their faces is they call for all this and that only a few weeks after being defeated in an election where they were in power for 13 sodding years

Oh god, this is as uninformed as the tripe above by someone who said Labour hasn’t done anything to improve rape conviction rates. Labour was the first and only party to have All Women Shortlists to improve representation. The past 13 years have been more representative than ever before for any party (not enough, but still a vast improvement). So then to say they haven’t done anything really makes you sound uninformed and reactionary.

it does not stop the fact that many women are put off parliament because when there, they are ignored because the HoC is an old school tie club, period!

And how are you helping that exactly? By coming on here and suggesting that women are not being represented because they’re not good enough? I’m confused as to what your actual point is.

Where David and his ilk have fallen on their faces, is that, as you admit, they could have done more yet they didn’t, even though they had 13 years to do so.

And how are you helping that exactly? By coming on here and suggesting that women are not being represented because they’re not good enough? I’m confused as to what your actual point is.

Where the fuck did I say women were not good enough? What I did say is that if they are not good enough, and I cross that with all genders, sexualities and skin colour not being good enough, they should not get the job/position. If, on the other hand they are, then they do. What I cannot understand about you is that you would rather a women get the job because she is a woman rather someone else because they have the abilities to do the job. From the argument you are putting forward it doesn’t matter if a person is the right one for the job only that a box can be ticked that ‘we’ have filled that quota. That is New Labour through and through. I did stipulate that the Hoc is full of old school tie wankers but you glossed over that.

I, last time I looked, am a man – what I would do, and this seems a bit obvious to me, is ask women what it is that puts them off getting into politics and running for office. You could do that, but ask those on the streets, in offices, working in factories, fuck; even ask the poor sods who are single mums on benefit, ask them why they don’t have the slightest interest in politics – as well as those who are just about to leave uni. I’d be interested in what you get – see if it is the same as I got when I asked. Hint: The Uni ones said it was a good, but not great, career path.

Surely it’s what people have between their ears that’s important….not what’s between their legs.

#28 You don’t think that what people have between their ears is affected by life experience, and that being treated as a woman or a man results in different life experiences?

David is right that MPs should use their vote to nominate a candidate not yet on the ballot paper. But practically speaking there won’t be enough and the only chance of getting a candidate with different life experiences from the narrow selection already on the ballot is if Diane stands down and encourages her supporters to nominate John. I hope David will recognise that and help facilitate that process, not least by transferring his own nomination.

The first point about a Leadership Election is that serious contenders are nominated, and not peeps whom only a fringe would even consider.

The second point is the one which Jon Cruddas’ non candidacy addresses: those who are not standing may also find at least some of their views etc taken seriously, especially if they have adopted a realistic approach to the process.

David – to this end, will you support the growing calls for the NEC to reduce the nomination threshold and therefore allow all 6 candidates onto the ballot paper?

@ 22

Because white men are better and more intelligent than everyone else and have achieved everything on merit, and never because of inherent bias? Is that what you mean?

33. George W Potter

“Using rape cases as an example sends out a message that women are not to be trusted”

Why do people keep saying this? Firstly it perpetrates the lie that the only victims of rape are women and secondly all anonymity for defendants does is put them in the same position as their accuser. To me the whole concept of anonymous accusations against someone who is not granted anonymity themselves is wrong. That is why we need anonymity in rape trials, it is simply in order to ensure that both parties are treated the same, nothing more.

34. George W Potter

I expect I’ll be torn to shreds for saying this but I’ll say it anyway.

Most personality traits can be grouped into masculine and feminine traits. This isn’t being sexist, just a simple matter of scientific categorisation. For example, men tend to have better spatial awareness than women just as women can better distinguish between colours than men. Of course, there is significant overlap between masculine and feminine traits but the basic distinction between them still stands.

Now, our political system is one where, to get into a position of power, you need what can be termed as masculine traits such as aggressiveness and competitiveness. Since a higher proportion of men possess these traits to the sufficient degree to succeed compared to the proportion of women possessing these traits then it is hardly surprising that men tend to dominate politics. The real tragedy of this is that more feminine traits, such as co-operativeness are actually far better for organisation and decision making, in those who make decisions tend to lead to far better outcomes i.e. a more consensus based and less confrontational approach.

I personally believe that we need a political system which requires less masculine traits and more feminine traits to get into power (not that I have any idea how to implement this) but for the time being we are stuck with our present system that favours those with more masculine personalities. Until this is addressed we will always face a simple problem that more men want to go into politics than women.

(Cases in point would be to look at female statesmen in the western world. Women like Thatcher, Merkel and Hillary Clinton all behave(d) pretty much the same and held pretty much the same views as their male colleagues.)

@34

Aheh. You’ve just made an argument for the immediate introduction of affirmative action/quotas for women in political life. Until it looks more representative, it ain’t gonna be more representative. The cycle needs breaking, perhaps by force.

Will: That is New Labour through and through. I did stipulate that the Hoc is full of old school tie wankers but you glossed over that.

Right. and it’s because the whole place is full of ‘old school tie wankers’ is why it is not representative of the country by class, gender etc. So an argument against forcing the system to be more representative, in the hope that eventually once you break the system it starts becoming more representative is why sometimes affirmative action works. This is why All Women Shortlists were imposed – because they realised the system wasn’t really meritocratic and therefore other means were necessary to have more diversity at the HoC.

My point is that arguing against women being selected because it’s supposedly not meritocratic assumes the ones already in there have been selected because they were the best candidates for the job. Which in turn assumes women aren’t represented because they’re not up to it. See?

and this seems a bit obvious to me, is ask women what it is that puts them off getting into politics and running for office.

See Rowan’s comment above. There’s not put off politics. They just don’t find it easy to get into a closed system.

Right. and it’s because the whole place is full of ‘old school tie wankers’ is why it is not representative of the country by class, gender etc. So an argument against forcing the system to be more representative, in the hope that eventually once you break the system it starts becoming more representative

So, at least we are coming to a form of consensus. Though I disagree that affirmative action or positive discrimination is the way to go. I am more on the side that with true reform of the HoC and how it is elected is more democratic and, in the long term, worthwhile for those who want to be represented and those who will represent. No so reactionary is it? If you want to strip the House of Lords from the fabric of the UK, that would be a good start! A second chamber yes, Lords, no!

My point is that arguing against women being selected because it’s supposedly not meritocratic assumes the ones already in there have been selected because they were the best candidates for the job. Which in turn assumes women aren’t represented because they’re not up to it. See?

No, I don’t see. And to qualify that you have to look at those who were, and for God witness I have no idea why, put in positions that were just too ‘hard’ for them to handle. Prime example was Mus Smith – she was useless! Other could quite easily pick out others who were put in place, not because of a latent talent or ability, but because some idiot came up with the idea of a quota of women. See Harman’s latest idiocy of a mean 50%. Bonkers! Were they others who could have done the job better, I am assuming nothing because my bias says I cannot. My bias being one of left-wing policy certainly not one of gender.

If you are serious about talking ideas in how we introduce ideas then we have to look at the very system that keeps women from entering politics and that is the establishment itself – that is what needs to be changed. Then you will see women coming forward because that institution will readily accept them rather than it does now. This is what I have tried, and failed, to allude to all along. Quota systems are patronising, and that comes from women, they feel insulted by them. I, personally, would much prefer if women came out and said that loud and clear – who knows, maybe they will.

I’m not sure why Harman is always brought out as an example of why women coming into politics isn’t necessarily great. After all, we also had Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband and David Miliband – who came through because of connections or didn’t prove themselves to be amazing. Does this mean having men is also a crap idea? Let’s get rid of all the men! After all, we had Gordon Brown! It’s a silly argument, so please stop using HH or Hazel Blears etc to beat women.

Though I disagree that affirmative action or positive discrimination is the way to go.
Erm – so did you not read the articles I pointed above as to why All Women Shortlists were necessary? Perhaps you can come up with alternative, workable solutions? And we’re talking about the House of Commons here, not Lords. thanks

After all, we also had Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband and David Miliband – who came through because of connections or didn’t prove themselves to be amazing.

Well, yeah – Gordon chancellor for 10, PM for 3? Gobal meltdown the UK hit hardest in Europe. I can say one thing for Canada, they did regulate the banks etc (Tory and Liberal governments) and the country is doing well. Ed and Dave – New Labourites who, like Gordon allowed the banks and business run riot and like to drop 1000lb bombs on innocent people – in one way, though I am loathed to say it, thank God John Smith has gone, but you can bet he is turning in his grave at what New Labour did to the Labour party. Ed Balls? Seriously, you put him up as a real prospective leader? Yvette would have been much better and look at her record.

It does, after all, come back to Blair – but that is by the by. Get as angry at me as you wish – it is New Labour that has fucked the party up – and the left, not people like I.

Erm – so did you not read the articles I pointed above as to why All Women Shortlists were necessary? Perhaps you can come up with alternative, workable solutions? And we’re talking about the House of Commons here, not Lords. thanks

I read them, and disagree – call me one of those buffoons who have their own opinion. I have put forward an alternative, in my last reply, though I cannot see you agreeing with it.

40. SadButMadLad

All [insert obligitory minority here] short lists will not solve the problem of getting [insert obligitory minority here] into parliament. Doing so will always mean that such people will always be seen in a lesser light than those elected purely on their mandate. Instead find alternatives. Such as not having a limit to reach before being put on a candidate list. Have open primaries where people appoint themselves.

For all those calling for Abbot to be in the debate. She already is and the consensus of opinion amongst her peers (and therefore the ones to know her the most) is that she is not a suitable candidate for the job.

As Krishnan Guru-Murth tweeted: “Anyone explain why MPs who disagree with Diane Abbott should nominate her? tad patronising to women, black people and lefties?”

And, of course, Harriet Harman is still acting Leader, and Deputy Leader, who has not indicated that she will resign before 2020, which would be the end of the term of the next Labour Government when she will be 70.

That may be sufficient feminine touch, but I hope she goes in the next couple of years and at some point Yvette Cooper reconsiders and plays some sort of Leadership role.

42. redpesto

Sunny – re. Blears: for those who don’t like all-women shortlists, or feminism, Blears – or any woman (other than Thatcher) will do as a hate-figure. The other explanation is that Blears demonstrates that being female says nothing about an MP’s politics, and being female does not amount to a ‘political philosophy’ (Blears is far more prone to talking about her ‘Northern-ness’, hence her apparent backing for Andy Burnham rather than Abbott). A group that’s diverse one one level (race, gender, sexuality) may be prone to ‘group think’ in terms of ideology (Dubya Bush’s team, anyone?). So more women in politics is a good thing, but I’m not convinced that, say, a female Tory Chancellor would be any more welcome for in terms of ideology than a male one (right-wingers tend to overlook this bit). It’s the confusion between the diversity and the ideology of the leadership candidates that has undermined the whole process of getting Abbott’s presence on the leadership ballot: An AWS of Harman, Abbott and Blears would offer a wider range of views even if there were no men in contention (Blears even went to a polytechnic, unlike the Oxbridge background of all four actual leadership candidates).

43. redpesto

Oops, make that all five leadership candidates.

All candidates went to Oxbridge. Are you proud of yourself, Labour?

45. Watchman

“All candidates went to Oxbridge. Are you proud of yourself, Labour?”

Well, I’m not Labour, but it suggests that all else being equal that they have a pretty intelligent field of candidates, who at some point in their lives have shown academic ability (or were coached in it). For Ms Abbot and Mr Burnham at least, getting to Oxbridge was a personal achievement remember (wierdly, I do not know enough about the others’ backgrounds to comment). That most went to Oxford and read the same degree is perhaps less encouraging though…

Personally I’d say in terms of diversity shouldn’t one of the candidates not be English? Or doesn’t this diversity think work like that. Perhaps in the interests of diversity, since a Scot lead last time it has to be an English person’s turn?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. sunny hundal

    Exclusive: @DavidLammy urges Labour MPs to ensure a woman is represented in leadership http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  2. Runnymede

    RT @sunny_hundal: Exclusive: @DavidLammyMP urges Labour MPs to ensure a woman is represented in leadership http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  3. Leon Green

    RT @sunny_hundal Exclusive: @DavidLammy urges Labour MPs to ensure a woman is represented in leadership http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  4. Judy Smith

    RT @libcon: We need a woman's voice in the Labour leadership tomorrow http://bit.ly/dvtuQF – true but #abbot damaged after #cuddlingonsofa

  5. Jonathan Taylor

    RT @sunny_hundal: Exclusive: @DavidLammy urges Labour MPs to ensure a woman is represented in leadership http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  6. Lisa

    RT @libcon We need a woman’s voice in the Labour leadership tomorrow http://bit.ly/csGpO2

  7. Lisa

    RT @libcon We need a woman’s voice in the Labour leadership tomorrow http://bit.ly/csGpO2

  8. Amelia L

    David Lammy: "Would the same mistake have been made if there had been a woman present in that room?" http://bit.ly/cT8clp WELL SAID

  9. Val Bayliss-Brideaux

    RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  10. JanbevCowan

    RT @DavidLammy Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership,<TAKE YOUR PLACE DIANE ABBOTT)

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  12. B Latif

    RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  13. Jonathan Taylor

    RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  14. jennifer roberts

    RT @Jon2aylor: RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  15. MICHAEL SPARLING

    RT @Jon2aylor: RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  16. salman jafri

    RT @Jon2aylor: RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  17. Liberal Conspiracy

    We need a woman's voice in the Labour leadership tomorrow http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  18. Milena Buyum

    RT @libcon: We need a woman's voice in the Labour leadership tomorrow http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  19. JoCaird

    Damn straight >RT @sunny_hundal: Exclusive: @DavidLammy urges Labour MPs to ensure a woman is represented in leadership http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  20. Why Black MPs Should Stand Up to Be Counted «

    […] David Lammy pointed out, who they voted for thereafter would have be less important than the symbolic and […]

  21. Soho Politico

    David Lammy talks sense in this @libcon post, tho there's some pretty vicious bs in the comments: http://bit.ly/csGpO2

  22. Soho Politico

    David Lammy talks sense in this @libcon post, tho there's some pretty vicious bs in the comments: http://bit.ly/csGpO2

  23. David Lammy

    Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  24. Ashley Bullard

    @DavidLammy says 'we need a female voice in the leadership contest' http://bit.ly/ajmzgl is he suggesting Diane Abbott isnt? #Duncansdream

  25. salman jafri

    RT @Jon2aylor: RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  26. salman jafri

    RT @Jon2aylor: RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  27. TONI C EASTWOOD OBE

    RT @DavidLammy Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  28. lello

    RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  29. Adam Whiley

    RT @DavidLammy: Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership

  30. DianeAbbott 4Leader

    RT @libcon: We need a woman's voice in the Labour leadership tomorrow http://bit.ly/dvtuQF

  31. everywoman official

    RT @tonieastwood: RT @DavidLammy Why we need a female voice in the leadership contest: http://bit.ly/ajmzgl #labourleadership





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