Saturday, 3 September 2016

Identity Politics, Indeed

The proportion of women in Parliament is well above the proportion of women at most political events in general. In any case, the Prime Minister is a woman.

The proportion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in Parliament mirrors the population at large almost exactly.

It is far higher than was the case in the general population of Britain in the 1960s, which was when the average MP was born.

There are two black women in the present Shadow Cabinet. Think back only a very short time indeed, and allow that astonishing fact to sink in.

I remember when even we light-skinned mixed-race people with Scottish names were forbidden to be district council candidates by Tony Blair's New Labour.

There are startlingly missing categories, of course.

But the Parliamentary Labour Party's bewildered incomprehension of the wider country illustrates that those categories are not women and ethnic minorities.

The boundary changes will mean reselection battles everywhere.

The priority should not be on protecting black women or anyone else who was already there, but on getting in the people who were not.


  1. Jeremy's fund will do a lot of good in this direction.

    1. An eye does need to be kept on it. Otherwise, it could well go down the "women and ethnic minorities" road. One to watch.