As a woman in politics, I want to succeed on my own merits
BY CLARE GOLBY
It seems not a week goes by without someone or other trotting into town on their high horse named Woke. Telling us ordinary, and in their eyed clueless, folk how to live our lives, what subconscious bias we may or may not be subjected to, how things are so unfair and we’re all sleepwalking from one self-induced catastrophe to the next.
One of the finest arenas for this is the BBC’s Question time programme. Now I’ll admit I stopped watching this program some time ago. I was fed up with the panel being biased and audiences riven with activists instead of ordinary people. This was until Laurence ‘Lozza’ Fox was on the panel.
This man, privilege and all, managed to shine a huge light on what is in some cases the utter ridiculousness of the woke Left.
His appearance and subsequent twitter posts were, to me and many others, a welcome and common sense change. On BBC QT he singlehandedly managed to point out the hypocrisy of those in the public eye who tell us to reduce our carbon footprint while traveling in the comfort of a well-used private jet. That the inappropriate determination of a situation to be racist because of ‘White Male privilege’ could in itself be seen as racist. But more importantly that “one of the more dangerous things about throwing the word racism around is we get things like the Manchester grooming scandal which get ignored”. He’s right when he said, “for fear of sounding racist horrific things have happened in Manchester and towns all over the North of England and we should be careful”.
I agree. I have personal experience of something similar although much less horrific happening to someone I know. I totally believe we should never let ‘cultural sensitivities’ stop any police investigation let alone the investigation of the rape and murder of children but It’s a sad fact that it has.
This is without doubt one of the unintended consequences of Woke.
Another of these consequences is the victimhood mentality which is strongly exhibited by those who are woke. When Laurence Fox was asked who he thought was the best candidate in the Labour leadership contest he mused, “Who should replace Magic Grandpa….Keir Starmer… He just looks like he can take Boris on quite well.”
Cue Baroness Chakrabarti who was quick to jump in with her “you don’t think any of the four women would be….” Thankfully she was deftly cut down by the Fantastic Mr Fox: “because it’s really more important about what gender you are or what sex, rather than what your policies are and how you approach politics?”
I couldn’t agree with him more.
Fast forward a few days from BBC QT, at almost peak pile on time for Lozza, and Jess Phillips MP, one of the Labour leadership hopefuls, makes the stunning declaration that “if you are a man in politics & you truly believe in women’s representation than sometimes passing the mic is the greatest way to show that you truly believe in something”. You could almost hear the hooves of the horse named Woke thundering in the background like a grand national winner.
Personally, as a woman in politics and one who unlike, dear Jess, had held several real-world jobs in the male dominated world of IT, spanning the motor industry and construction, I can honestly say her words are very poorly chosen. They do absolutely nothing for the promotion of women in politics or anywhere else for that matter. This in itself should count her out of any leadership position.
When did we get to the point of telling our girls and women, they can be successful but only if men let them?! It should come as no surprise that most of the female Labour leadership hopefuls are the result of all women short lists.
All women short lists are something else I personally disagree with. They perpetuate the message of not being good enough. Have any of these women actually thought that without an all women short list giving them a leg up they simply wouldn’t be good enough? As a reflection of their abilities not of their gender?
I take the entirely opposite stance. Do not ever tell me I am not capable of standing against a man and winning. I am, and more importantly, I have. All women shortlists or any kind of competitive process which excludes anyone on the grounds of any immutable characteristic does not result in the cream of the crop.
I tell my daughter and my son that in life they can be anything they want to be, but they will need to put in the work to achieve it. I would be disadvantaging them both in equal measure if I told my daughter she would fail against a male and my son he will be successful because he’s male. They would both just give up trying but for entirely opposite reasons.
I wholeheartedly believe we should be aiming for a level playing field so by all means pass the mic, just not to me.
As my male colleagues will tell you, my voice is loud enough without it.
Clare Golby was the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Coventry North West in the 2019 General Election. Follow her on twitter: @MrsGolby