Fake Conservatism on show again from Prime Minister Cameron, this time on women

In yet another instance of British Conservatives grovelling to the Left's agenda, Cameron finds himself on the defensive over Leftist views on women's rights

by Westminster shrink on 5 February 2014 12:56

We've seen it so many times before: on green issues, on defending Britain's creaking state-basket-case National Health Service, on the welfare state, on most issues related to big government in general. A nominally Conservative prime minister practically on his knees to defend his position in deference to the liberal-Left agenda of the political and media establishment.

Today he was at it again, this time soaking up blow after blow at Prime Minister's Question time on why there aren't enough women in the parliamentary Conservative Party.

Since when did real conservatives start submitting to political pressure about whether or not they fulfil Leftist quota agendas? Cameron's one reasonable shot back at Labour leader Ed Miliband was to point out that in the form of Margaret Thatcher the Conservative Party was so far the only party in Britain to have produced a woman prime minister.

And they should be shouting about that, because while the Conservative Party managed that the best part of 35 years ago, no other major force in British politics has managed it since.

What he also should have said was that that most powerful of all blows for the rights and status of women in modern UK politics was struck precisely because there weren't quotas: Margaret Thatcher got her position on merit as by far the best candidate available.

Instead, he got himself locked into how he was doing this to get up to a quota on that and how women in society had achieved this under his government and that under his government.

The notion that every set of positions in society must be scrutinised according to the percentage of women (or ethnic minorities) in the population as a whole takes no account of the cultural differences between us.

Even where it can be accepted (as in many cases it can be) that discrimination has played a role in holding back women it is a typically ham-fisted, statist agenda that says "solving" problems with reference to quotas is the way forward.

Quotas may even make things worse for many women since a quota system is inherently cronyistic -- it tends to help those who have good enough connections to make the quota. It may thus make things worse for women who don't have those connections but who do succeed and then fail to get due recognition because it is assumed that they like other women owe their success to having been helped.

The key tenet of modern Conservatism should be that we build a meritocracy for all. Conservatives have to mean it of course. But they shouldn't be deferring to Leftist agendas, particularly from millionaire socialists whose party has never had a female prime minister or even a fully-fledged female leader of the party.

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