Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Saturday 25 July 2015

Liz Kendall Sexism Row Fail

With each passing day, and voting beginning in around three weeks’ time, the Labour leadership campaign of Leicester West MP Liz Kendall looks a yet more forlorn cause. Today’s news is typical: the tally of Constituency Labour Party (CLP) nominations stands at 106 for Jeremy Corbyn, 98 for Andy Burnham, and 86 for Yvette Cooper. Ms Kendall has garnered the support of just 14. She’s run out of road.
But, given the nature of the voting system, those calling for her to pull out are not thinking this one through: votes are allocated to second, then third preferences as candidates are eliminated when those votes are counted. There is little point in taking a name off the ballot right now. There is, though, no point in trying to whip up controversy for the sake of it, and the latest such event does those involved no favours at all.

Charles Falconer, long-time friend of the saintly Tone, is backing Burnham. He explained his choice thus: “Neither Yvette [Cooper] nor Liz [Kendall] can steer the party through the challenging few years ahead of us when we need a leader who can reach out to all wings of the party and provide unity”. What he did not do was make any generalisation about the capabilities of women in a leadership role.

Not that you would know that from Ms Kendall’s response: “It’s depressing to see a senior man in the party dismiss the contribution of women so easily … For Charlie to say that somehow women aren’t tough enough to lead the Labour Party is a gross insult and, as for standing up to Jeremy Corbyn, I’m the only candidate who has been saying he would be a disaster for our party and that I wouldn’t serve in his shadow cabinet, unlike the candidate Charlie is supporting”. If only Falconer had said what she claimed. But he didn’t.
Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News disagreed: “I can spot sexism a mile off, and I’m not afraid to say it. But Lord Falconer - Charlie to his mates - is no sexist … what cheerful Charlie was saying was a statement of fact, based on YouGov’s opinion poll released early this week”. The involvement of the Murdoch Times has not helped matters.

The paper, seeing its chance to make mischief, reported Falconer’s comments under the headline “Women ‘are not tough enough to lead Labour’”. That, he observed, “suggests I think that women are not tough enough to lead the Labour party. That is not my view and I said nothing that suggested it was … The Times itself has acknowledged in emails that the headline was ‘stupid’, ‘misleading’ and ‘sexist’”.

Would Ms Kendall now accept that? Well, no, the Times headline may have been wrong, but “I based it on what he actually wrote … He said that myself and Yvette weren’t up to the challenge of leading or uniting the party, and I think that’s just plain wrong. He only picked out the two women”. The impression is given that someone is arguing in their spare time. And that person appears to be Liz Kendall.

Sorry, team Kendall. Your candidate is not going to win. Maybe quit the attention seeking.


Anonymous said...

I noted Kendall's interview on Channel 4 New tonight. The woman's a bad joke, probably just one more stalking horse.

So Falconer said "...we need a leader who can reach out to all wings of the party and provide unity” did he.

Er, no. That was there under mass murderer Blair and his gang and look what happened. War and more privatisation and ignoring the nation outside London and the loss of Scotland to nationalism.

What the Labour Party needs is a leader prepared to evolve policies on behalf of the whole nation, to restore finance where it is now most needed, and most of all....to do what is right.

Whatever happens, Labour might well lose the next election. But if they do, better to set a new standard in public life and to make it clear there is now GENUINE opposition to neocon corruption and spivvery.

New Labour "won" elections alright. Their problem is they lost their souls in the process, to say nothing of the trust of the people. Which is why they are so heartily detested now.

If Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership election he has one major task above all: to demonstrate that conscience hasn't completely evaporated in Parliament, and that the Labour Party can - eventually - restore its founding principles and enthuse people to organise and fight back.

If any of the others wins - as seems likely - this country will sink further into a one party capitalist state with different factions. Expect more war, more poverty, more lies and more concentration of resources in the south east. Nothing is more certain.

Anonymous said...

Tories must be pissing themselves with laughter.

Has all the entertainment of a clowns convention one legged arse kicking competition...