Living up to her feminist credentials, Harriet Harman today told the Unite conference that she wanted half the shadow cabinet to be female. Her speech seemed somewhat lacking in logic, however.
We have some excellent experienced women and some brilliant new women MPs. We still do have twice as many men MPs as women. The Labour men are great – but they are not twice as good as the women – so I want the PLP when we revise our rules for shadow cabinet elections to have 50.50 men and women in the shadow. It’s time for Labour women to step out of the shadows.
If the Labour men and women were equally talented then shouldn’t the shadow cabinet be divided under the same ratio; ie a third female?
By proposing that half the cabinet should be female, Harman is – ironically – suggesting that the Labour women MPs are twice as talented as the men.
Or, to put it another way, that the men are half as talented.