Harriet’s rule change is wrong….
Harriet Harman and John Prescott managed to have something of a ‘Twitter tiff’ over Harman’s proposal to change the rules so the two leading positions in the Party are filled by one man and one woman. Prescott was boorish and crass in the way he raised his objections but the fundamental point, that this would be a bad rule change, is in my eyes completely correct. I simply do not believe in positive discrimination as an acceptable solution for people who want to bring about equality. It rather reminds me of the old maxim that if you change the means then you change the end. It follows that any form of discrimination will not and never can lead to equality.
Positive discrimination is a prison for both the party that is negatively discriminated against and, ironically, the party that is discriminated for. It’s obvious why it would be for those discriminated against. It seems from some of my Twitter traffic that this can extend to effectively banning males from opposing the rule on punishment of being labelled automatically sexist. How very democratic and ‘equality’-minded. Indeed, as soon as this kind of thing starts happening its a sure sign that any claims of the supporting camp to represent the cause of ‘equality’ are suspect.
However, it is also a prison for discriminated for as it stigmatises and demeans their achievement as being merely the product of fulfilling the required quota. This is unacceptable, deeply unacceptable in any position,but a leadership position? It would be potentially fatal to a leadership elected this way – it would lack the moral, political and democratic authority to lead. In the weakness of Ed Miliband’s leadership we have already seen how damaging lacking a convincing mandate can be – is this really what we want for this Party, just so we can feel better about ourselves, like we are ‘doing our bit’ for a spurious and misleading notion of what equality actually is? I think not.