Veteran Labour left-winger, Austin Mitchell MP has claimed that all-women shortlists for British Parliamentary seats are leading to a “feminisation” of British politics, which is making the House of Commons boring. Mitchell, who is retiring next year, had previously complained that picking a woman to succeed him in Great Grimsby would risk either the Conservatives or UKIP winning.
Mr Mitchell said Labour had a “preoccupation” with all-women shortlists, according to the Times. He also suggested that the increased number of women on the Labour parliamentary benches made it far harder to deal with “Tory hooligans”.
He said the only seats that did not get all-women short-lists are “seats wanted for the scions of our great dynasties — the Kinnocks, the Straws, the Benns, the Blairs”. A number of Labour political dynasties have seen younger male members find seats relatively easily. Inexplicably in run-up to the 2010 election the husband of the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party was selected for Birmingham Erdington despite the seat having an all-women shortlist.
At the time the Hariet Harman, who is number two in the Labour Party behind Ed Miliband received significant criticism as she went on holiday duirng the selection process. She had been charged with ensuring the local Labour association selected a woman. But instead her absence allowed her husband, Jack Dromey to somehow make it through the process.
In the case of Great Grimsby Labour look extremely vulnerable to both a Conservative and a UKIP challenge. As previously reported on Breitbart London, Mr Mitchell made a determined effort to stop an all-women shortlist being “imposed upon them by the metropolitan elite”. The seat has a majority of just 700 over the Conservatives and UKIP are now the third largest group on the council.
The 79-year-old former TV presenter has warned that this “feminisation” would make it very hard if Labour get into power next year. He said: “The left will be even smaller but the party more manageable and reasonable, for apart from obsessive feminism, women MPs are more amenable and leadable and less objectionable. But it might not make us tougher.
“If Labour wins in 2015, how a family-friendly, gentler party, less prepared for all-night shenanigans of the parliamentary kind, will face up to Tory hooligans who feel they’ve been unjustly deprived of a power that’s their due is a more worrying matter.”
Labour has chosen Melanie Onn, a former London-based party worker, to stand in Great Grimsby next year. UKIP have chosen the narrowly defeated Conservative candidate from 2010 and she has been replaced by as Tory candidate by a popular local dentist in her place.