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"You can't trust men in power"

(23 Posts)
Jux Sun 02-Aug-09 23:35:37

This is The Harwoman's latest. See


UnquietDad Sun 02-Aug-09 23:39:22

"her role as Gordon Brown’s second-in-command has changed for ever the way the party will be run"

She has a rather high opinion of herself.

The party leader/ deputy leader should be the best-qualified person for the job, regardless of gender.

policywonk Tue 04-Aug-09 19:13:46

Well, I like Harman (on balance) and I'm a big fan of gender quotas, so it all sounds fine to me. I admire her for putting this out there - doesn't take a political genius to see that she was going to get a kicking for it.

UQD, is it your serious contention that the reason there has only ever been one woman Prime Minister is that there has only ever been one woman good enough to do it? Consider John Major (and indeed Brown) before giving your answer.

UnquietDad Tue 04-Aug-09 20:11:04

policywonk - that's a bit of a rhetorical spin on what I actually said, isn't it? That's applying my argument retrospectively, which means scrambling through all the gender-laden baggage of history.

I'm sure there have been plenty of women qualified to be PM, but they haven't, for whatever reason, been selected to be their party leaders.

As I've said, the party leader should be the best qualified person. This means in future. There's not a lot we can do about the past.

policywonk Tue 04-Aug-09 20:15:34

No, but do you really think that the current gender balance in UK politics (something like 20 per cent women to 80 per cent men in terms of MPs I think, and much less equitable at Cabinet rank) is a fair reflection of people's abilities? Do you think men are four times as good at drafting legislation/representing constituents/sitting on committees/asking PQs as women are?

Now that was a rhetorical question - of course they aren't. The current system is heavily weighted in favour of men, mostly at the level of the constituency party (although Brown seems to be a little afeared of women as well).

So if the aim is for the system to allow everyone to perform to the best of their abilities regardless of their sex, and the current system lamentably fails to do this, the imposition of quotas to achieve something approaching parity is a no-brainer.

LeninGrad Tue 04-Aug-09 20:21:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UnquietDad Tue 04-Aug-09 23:03:00

I don't see why that contradicts what I said above. They should still look for the best person to lead the party. If that happens to be a man, that doesn't mean they are being sexist. If it happens to be a woman it doesn't mean they are being PC.

What are the reasons why there is this gender imbalance? Part of it must be the (still, even after the time revisions) family-unfriendly timings of debates and so on. And the "gentleman's club" atmosphere. If they can address that first it might get to the root of the problem.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 04-Aug-09 23:07:41

Perhaps what shouldn't be trusted in power is any overly homogenous group of people.

LeninGrad Tue 04-Aug-09 23:11:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

UnquietDad Tue 04-Aug-09 23:18:46

Let's be honest, it wasn't so long ago, in the great scheme of things, that you couldn't be an MP at all unless you were not only a man but also somehow powerful or titled. And white, by default.

It says a lot that we've now reached the stage where one constituency can have a ballot of all its voters to see who will be its new Conservative Party candidate, and that the winner should be not a councillor but a local GP, a woman.

LeninGrad Tue 04-Aug-09 23:35:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

monkeytrousers Thu 06-Aug-09 20:39:39

There is a lot of robust evidence in evolutionary psychology to back her up actually.

MrsBadger Thu 06-Aug-09 20:42:40

you can't trust anyone in power


monkeytrousers Thu 06-Aug-09 21:22:38

Does that include parents?

edam Thu 06-Aug-09 21:32:18

UQD, thing is progress is achingly slow. If we leave it until it 'happens' to be a woman MP, cabinet minister or PM, it won't. (And yes, I do remember Thatch, but she really was a one-off in all sorts of ways. Thankfully.)

It doesn't just 'happen' to be a man who is 99% of time chosen to be a judge, a company director, a member of the Cabinet, a chief constable, whatever position of power and authority you choose to mention. It's the result of centuries of discrimination.

Even if you are an optimist and think discrimination has been halted, clearly we are still living with the effects. So we either do something about that, or just wait for it magically to sort itself out.

I'd like ds to be PM one day (actually scratch that, but YKWIM). But I'd also like him to live in a world where his future wife (assuming for a second he has one) has an equal shot at the job if it takes her fancy, and where his future daughters (see earlier caveat) get to be astronauts, or company directors, or otherwise in charge in some way if that's their thing.

edam Thu 06-Aug-09 21:33:46

Oh, and if ds does wind up being PM or whatever, I'd like to know he got there on merit, not just because half the competition had been eliminated before the starting gun had even been fired.

MrsBadger Thu 06-Aug-09 21:37:09

no no

you can't trust people who have worked their way up to power

People born to power (like, er, the Queen) and people who, like parents, have power thrust upon them are a different matter

LeninGrad Thu 06-Aug-09 21:50:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGrad Fri 07-Aug-09 23:39:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tatt Tue 15-Sep-09 23:12:50

agree that you can't trust anyone in power. Were they all total *** to be begin with or does power corrupt? Either way I can see why there is a tradition in this county of rioting.

Quattrocento Tue 15-Sep-09 23:14:24

There's only one person who could make the labour party even more unelectable than Gordy

tatt Wed 16-Sep-09 07:46:38

those in power tend to what to keep power in the hands of "people like us". For as long as men are in power they are likely to want other men as leader.

I once worked for someone who surrounded himself with female staff. He said that they had to work twice as hard to get to the same position, therefore he would get better staff. The women who get to cabinet level are probably better equipped to run the country then men.

ABetaDad Wed 16-Sep-09 08:34:52

I know this is an old thread but an interesting blog post was made a few days ago by political blogger Guido Fawkes on Harriet Harman campaign team canvassing opinion on her replacing Gordon. I suspect we wil hear more of this over the coming weeks.

On the issue of trusting men in power I would say that in The City, which is the world I know best, that the male dominated environments create imbalanced decision making prcesses in much the same way as an all female dominated environment. Certainly think a true 50:50 balance of women in a decision making process make for better decision on average. I do not think men in power are any more intrinsically untrustworthy than women in power - it is just a large group of men together should be monitored carefully and controlled to stop them making dangerous decisisions such as creating a near global financial collapse by pursuing risky levels of borrowing and risk taking.

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