Two days ago Andrew Grimson, a contributing editor to ConservativeHome, wrote a piece advocating for the Conservative party to introduce all-women prospective parliamentary candidate (‘PPC’) shortlists in order to drive up the number of women MPs. The proposal met with almost universal hostility, as you can see from the comments stream:
When I worked for the Conservative party (2006-8) one of the party’s most respected female MPs was Caroline Spelman. She entered parliament in 1997 and was chairman of the party during the latter stages of my term at CCHQ. To my utter despair, she’s now calling for consideration to be given to the introduction of all-women PPC shortlists, as she outlined during an interview on BBC radio news yesterday (link below). At one point she stated that during the time she was chairman of the party, ten times more women than men applied to become PPCs. In relation to the number of women who apply to be PPCs, women are already wildly over-represented on the Conservative benches. The piece (44:21 – 49:48) will be available online until 6pm on 20 February:
After Spelman’s interview Eddie Mair presented a piece (49:49 – 55:57) addressing the question, ‘How should the cosmetic surgery industry be regulated?’ His first interviewee was the president of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons (‘BAPS’, appropriately) but the second was the inaugural winner of our ‘Whiny Woman of the Month’ award, Laura Bates of The Everyday Whining Project. I had the misfortune to share a studio with Bates when we were interviewed on BBC radio, The Jeremy Vine Show, on 8 March 2013:
Bates is a professional whine collector, and inspired the formation of The Whine Club http://j4mb.org.uk/the-whine-club/. She was the inaugural winner of our ‘Whiny Woman of the Month’ award (link below) and we expect her to remain a member of The Whine Club for life. Membership can only be cancelled when a woman makes a public commitment to stop whining.
Bates’s argument yesterday was that ‘the system’ forces women to be unhappy with their appearance, and ‘the system should be changed’. The average fruit bat is an intellectual giant in comparison with Ms Bates.
Laura Bates is a textbook example of a woman suffering from WPD (Whiny Personality Disorder). Psychologists are divided on the cause of WPD. Some see it as having a genetic component, because sufferers are often the daughters of whiny mothers (especially whiny single mothers). Some psychologists believe the disorder is the natural consequence of women having been whiny girls who found that whining was the secret to getting what they wanted. Whiny girls become whiny adolescents in time, and then whiny women. There’s no known cure, but there are strategies that can be adopted when confronted with sufferers of WPD. Walking sufficiently far away from them that they become inaudible is my own preferred strategy. Maybe if Laura Bates’s parents had said when she was a little girl, ‘Laura, NO. Now stop whining, dear!’, and stuck with this sensible approach, we’d all have been spared much suffering.
I rarely drink alcohol during the week, but listening to Laura Bates always has me reaching for the Highland Park. After a couple of stiff drams in quick succession, I slowly recovered the will to live.