Thursday, January 20, 2005

Female researcher's lunch

Hot on the heels of the manifesto meeting yesterday came a lunch organised for the female researchers at Westminster. The idea was to provide them with more information about becoming an MP and we invited Jen Smith and Julia Goldsworthy to speak. Jen and Julia have both worked as researchers in the past and are now both Prospective Parliamentary Candidates. Jen is in Basingstoke and Julia in Falmouth and Camborne.

We had also arranged for Charles to pop in and much to my surprise he raised the subject of "positive action" - also known as the dreaded "all women short lists". Reaction was interesting as I expected him to be universally shouted down because young women in particular often do not like the idea of such things but was surprised that there was some support and some of the young women felt that there was a need to have more role models in the short term and that this should encourage more women to come forward in the longer term.

The good news is that we have some excellent women candidates in very promising seats but we will be judged by the proportion of women in the parliamentary party after polling day.