Thursday 22 October 2009

Fact-check for Amanda Platell

There is quite a lot of nonsense written about all women shortlists.

Nadine Dorries is chuffed to be much praised by a research-free rant in today's Daily Mail from Amanda Platell.

Yesterday, I blogged questioning the "two classes of MP" talking point:

After all, 35 of Labour's new women MPs in 1997 were selected on all women shortlists and 30 were not. (You can find the list in the appendix of the Nuffield study, but I guarantee that you would simply be guessing if you tried to separate them by means of selection).

So it is very kind of Amanda Platell to immediately prove the point, chuntering on in today's Daily Mail about the difference between women selected on merit and those who are not:

All the more so when Labour's own experiment with female shortlists proved to be so disastrous.

Has Cameron learned nothing from the catastrophe that was Blair's Babes - the female intake of the 1997 election?

Remember Ruth Kelly? Jacqui Smith? Caroline Flint? As with so many Labour ladies, they turned out to be stunningly incompetent or ill-suited for high office. It was a national embarrassment.

It seems very clear that Platell thinks Kelly, Smith and Flint were all selected from all women shortlists.

Her argument makes no sense at all otherwise.

And she's wrong - having failed to bother to check her prejudices against the actualite.

Though Platell approvingly quotes Dorries' comment that "everyone knows who they are" - though everyone, in this case, does not include Platell herself. (She's not wrong about all three, so perhaps her recollection of the Redditch selection was a little sharper).

On the off chance that the Daily Mail do want to start fact-checking their articles in future, here's the full AWS selections list helpfully republished by the House of Commons library.


Platell's admiration for Nadine Dorries MP is, however, boundless and can only have increased after Dorries reinvented statistics yesterday to prove that women don't want to be MPs, writing on ConservativeHome that:

As only 30% of applications to become an MP are from women, and that’s after all the hype and window dressing, we have to ask the question, what do women really want? Because it’s becoming pretty obvious that 70% of them don't want to be an MP.

By contrast, there was a reasonably sensible discussion of yesterday's Next Left post over on Liberal Conspiracy.

1 comment:

Robert said...

We do need more women good quality able to stand up and be counted, sadly for some reason all we had were those that went with the wind and voted for what ever Blair wanted. Gone are the days of the back benches telling the leadership hold on mate thats wrong to the leader, now it's all about good little girls and boys, because lets be honest if Mandelson is the pride of Labour we are f*cked.