A good day for women in political life. First, some sense from the far left. Yes, you read that right. Cllr. Salma Yaqoob, (Respect) from Birmingham has spoken out about Labour's outrageous willingness to spit on ethnic minority women in pursuit of their electoral goals. Labour's lack of action on forced marriage is something I've blogged about before, but as a party they are always willing to overlook the rights of women if it serves other goals they consider "progressive". One example was their quango looking to reduce sentences on men for domestic violence and rape if the abuser merely expresses contrition. Another, of course, is postal voting. Labour knows full well that "community elders" take the votes of women under duress. Cllr. Yaqoob says in the Birmingham Post that ""A particular issue I want to raise is postal voting on demand. I want to call for it to be scrapped. Thousands of Asian women have been denied secret ballots and thousands of ballots have been stolen."
The Conservatives should reform this so that British women are not bullied out of their votes.
Secondly, may I thank Lord Kalms and Chris Gent? They are proposing anew that women be allowed to be full members of the Carlton Club. I hope to be a Conservative MP, and it is sheer nonsense that the major club allied to a progressive party like ours should bar women from full membership. Such is not the Conservative way.
I have defended the party's new direction against Lord Kalms before; and hope he is now persuaded of the true Conservatism of our leadership. But be that as it may, I am most grateful to him and to all other men in the Carlton ready to fight to put this anachronism in history, where it belongs. Thanks to David Cameron and Associations up and down the country, there will be a large number of new Conservative women MPs. The Carlton Club's raison d'etre is Conservatism, not masculinity. I trust it will take this new chance to put the situation right.