Monday, February 20, 2006
I've had a bit of stick from Tristan (thanks!) about what he sees as tokenism with regards to Simon's declared intention to appoint two deputies, one a woman. Of course, whenever we seek to address inequality there is a danger of it being seen as tokenism, and I agree that is not what we want. However, I have to say that where there is some recognition of the importance of proportionality it does change things.
For many years I was active in Unison where proportionality is a policy which has clearly lead to the union being far more representative. Proportionality applies across the board, including ensuring low paid workers are represented. If politics is about anything surely it is about representation of the people by the people. For too long our representation has been of the people by the elite. Yes, we need the best candidates, but who defines best and invariably chooses those candidates........white men who how ever subconsciously choose in their mould. Even now some seem to have been seduced by the charm and seductive packaging of Mr Cameron into thinking that this is what we need as a leader, Blair mark III. We make the mistake of thinking that if someone is intelligent and articulate they are also wise and able to connect with the reality of people's lives, sometimes perhaps we should be prepared to sacrifice a little intelligence, charm and spin for a dollop of wisdom and gritty reality!
But thanks at least Tristan for agreeing with my analysis that Ming didn't seem to have fully grasped the issue and Chris kept putting his foot in it. Even if you don't agree with Simon's proposals at least he has a track record of initiating debate and moving things forward, and he is the only one who seems to appreciate the urgency of the situation.
So, I have to say I would go a lot further than Simon, introduce proportionality across the board and have not only co-deputies but co-chairs of all our committees!