This weekend I suffered from occasional blogger fatigue, in that I feel I want to blog on something, but on what!
I could for example do my blog entry on climate change, but I want to think about that a great deal beforehand, although Sunday or tomorrow is probable. I could do another "In Musical Praise of..." article, given some of the new CD's I have brought, but I am not too fussed right now!
George Galloway's recent outburst! Well I figure, why give the odious little *ahem* any more publicity than he deserves and I have lost my sense of shock over his behaviour, suffice to say that my ground rule in my take on him is that it does seem hypocritical to attack Blair and Bush and accuse them of war crimes when you look at the company he keeps!
But one little gem for a five minute blog entry has caught my eye, and that is Harriet Harman's call for a female Deputy, along with two others!
Aside from the fact that this kind of talk plays into Tory hands, it smacks of tokenism. Another point is is it necessary! We already have had more women in Blair's cabinets at any one time than any previous cabinet, Conservative or Labour. We now have a female Foreign Secretary, who incidentally, got to be Deputy in 1992 entirely on merit!
Maybe it's easy for me to say this as a white, middle-class male, but I find tokenism like this inadvertently sexist, patronising, restrictive, and potentially demeaning, and I am basically holding that view from the effects of tokenist policies I have seen first hand. There are a lot of talented women out there in the Labour Party and I am proud to know of some of them and some I owe a lot to in what political career I have.
Let me put it another way, take a look at the Labour activists who hold blogs which I have links with, such as Jo, Antonia, Lisa, and Lola. I could easily see any of them as Deputy one day and (not without reservations, although I am thinking of potential policy differences) they would have my unqualified support and help. But I would want to see them get there on their own abilities and merits and not because of a change in the rules. Otherwise it seems to be the old fashioned equivalent of a toff going to Oxbridge without taking any exams.