Monday, November 02, 2009

Why all women short lists are a bad idea

I was firing tweets back and forth on this a few days ago, and promised a post on it. I know I'm a few days behind the wave on interest on this, but here goes anyway:

Why all woman short lists are a bad idea:

  1. The are patronising.
  2. They destroy the principle of advancement based on merit, and once you conceded it here you'll be unable to refuse it for every other group that can muster the political organisation to demand special victim status.
  3. All those appointed on the basis of such social engineering will owe allegiance to the system that put them in place, entrenching an anti-meritocratic victim based system. When that system is threatened they will protect it ( this is why the left love such Faustian pacts so much, ).
  4. What about all the other categories of people 'represented' and under represented. EG Stupid people ( though they do have the Labour party), old people, left handed people, those who didn't attend Oxford and study PPE etc ad infinitum.
  5. MPs are meant to represent their constituents - not be them. In any consistency there will be few people who are exactly like the sitting MP in terms of education, race, gender etc yet that MP - and not another in another constituency - represents all of them ( even those who didn't vote for them ! ).
  6. There is no demand for this outside of the chattering classes whose agenda this suits - many of them for reason of personal advancement.
  7. If the voice of women was really the concern why does no one ever suggest guaranteeing women 50% of the vote at selection meetings ?
Of all these 2 worries me the most. Once you start controlling advancement based on political categories ( the first of which will always be the easiest to justify ) there will be no end to this. Once the mechanism is established there will continually be further requests to use it. People will seek advancement by identifying themselves in groups that deserve advancement rather than earning it themselves. Merit and freedom will suffer, mediocrity, a victim culture, political favours and corruption will flourish .


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

On this I find myself in total agreement with you.

Anonymous said...

One look at the so called Blair babes should be enough to convince anyone of the stupidity of this. As a woman I am ashamed of them all.