Somewhat belatedly, we bring you the video of the 15.11.17 session of the Women and Equalities Committee on ‘Women in the House of Commons’ – here (86 minutes). It was a predictably turgid affair, with the four witnesses virtue-signalling shamelessly. It was, of course, a given that there should be more female MPs. From left to right:
Ian Blackford – Leader, SNP Westminster Group
Vince Cable – Leader, Liberal Democrats
Dawn Butler – Shadow Minister for Wimmin & Equalities
Amanda Sater – Deputy Chairman, Conservative Party
The Labour pary has, of course, employed all-women shortlists for many years, giving us geniuses such as Jess Phillips, who was her customary self in this session – a gurning schoolgirl, shamelessly interrupting the witnesses, and probably taking up more time that all the other members of the committee combined. Maria Miller even asked her to start the questions, as if she needed encouragement to speak, when she needs encouragement to shut her trap.
Blackford and Cable both spoke with pride of their party’s adoption of all-women shortlists – in the case of the Lib Dems, only for winnable seats. Presumably in unwinnable seats all-men shortlists will be the norm.
Philip Davies made some useful contributions, as we’d expect from the winner of a Churchill award. Over 10:57:30 – 10:59:00 he challenged Vince Cable over why, in Twickenham last year, the Lib Dem rule requiring an all-women shortlist had not been implemented. Over 11:42:35 – 11:43:55 Philip quizzed Dawn Butler over why John McDonnell’s endorsement of a call for a Conservative MP to be lynched (he was referring to his partner Esther McVey, last week appointed the new Minister for Work and Pensions) had not led to McDonnell’s expulsion from the party, before he was appointed Shadow Chancellor.