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"I still think his comments in the Guardian that I quoted after that, still support my views."

I don't think so. Polish immigrants are allowed free entry under the terms of our EU membership. That can't be reduced by fiat. However, reductions can be made from elsewhere.

"If this is the Frank Young I think it is, is this before or after you joined the Labour Club in question?"

Blue Labour!

"What's going to be suggested next that career break mums are paid a wage by their husband (taxed & NI'd). "

Funny you should suggest that. There was actually a "wages for housework" campaign in the seventies, which eventually ran out of steam.

Your last paragraph is excellent, A-Tracy.

Well, quite.

Frank had been fingered by a few northern CF'ers in 2002-2003 as one of the next big things, and then he offed and joined Labour. Cllr Lindley will be able to tell you all more, being one of his contemporaries at York.

Being new, I should break some colours - I voted for Davis, and have seen nothing yet to persuade me I was wrong.

The claim that private companies are defrauding their shareholders by paying more than is necessary to get the job done just to engage more men is completely bogus in my humble opinion.

Indeed. There may well be some residual sexism whereby women are seen as less capable then men, and are therefore denied employment opportunities, but such situations are already covered by legislation.

Right.

Starting with Hustings:

"Does that mean this website is sexist? No, wait, the internet is sexist. Let's "re-educate" everyone. Better yet, let's set an equal quota for the posters on this site. Until we get enough female contributers, no males allowed. That sound good to you?"

Sigh. I can't believe I'm actually having to point this out. But what it means is that, since this is a Tory site and women have recently, for the first time ever, deserted the party, this is reflected in their lack of desire to comment.

"Given what is described by the Equal Opportunities Commission as discrimination, it seems only right to be a bit sceptical. When we are told of "unequal pay", this does *not* mean unequal pay for doing the exact same job for the exact same hours; but that is what it sounds like, and that is what the public is led to believe it means.

As Sean Fear says, the reason why women earn less, on the whole, is the career choices they make. How do you propose this is addressed? Furthermore, *why* should it be our aim to address it? Why should it be the priority of government to have men and women doing the exact same jobs, working the exact same hours (despite what this does to the family unit), no matter how much regulation this involves, how unfair it is, and how much cost it involves to the economy?"

How should it be addressed? Through transparency in company pay rates. Why should it be addressed? Because sexism in hiring and promoting is *illegal*. Transparency will catch illegal practices. Tell you what, you, Sean, R U UK and James H can try to think of it as a law and order issue! Then maybe you'll find it a bit more palatable.

And why is this law just? Because, and now I am repeating myself for the third time, so do try to pay attention. Many women do NOT "make a choice" to have their careers suffer when they have children. Sexist hiring and promotion policies, which mean that their wage will be worth less to the family than their husband's wage, FORCE them in to this decision. Rather than 'be glad' that men earn more, as R U UK insultingly suggests, we resent it; it dictates our actions and it should not.

What is biologically determined, gentlemen, is that women bear children, not that they must spend their entire days raising them. Companies, despite the protestations of James H above, may not hire fewer women, or prefer men, because those women will take some maternity leave. And why may they not? Because society benefits from family life. The birth rate amongst Europeans is plummeting, principally because sexist hiring practices and promotion practises force women into making a false choice. Young women, who enjoy the dignity and stimulation of a career, do not want to be forced to give it up because society will penalise them for short breaks which are necessary for child care.

You men need to shift your thinking. You need to understand a fundamental truth. Most men enjoy fatherhood and their career. They are not failures as Dads because they also value life at the office. Women want the same option. Sexism in preferring men for jobs and pay rises denies it to them.

Women enjoy work. They want to work. They want careers. They also want children. It is all part of that new catchphrase, and yes, I can see you wincing, but here goes: work-life balance. More men also want to spend more time with their children. Like David Cameron, they will start to take some paternity leave.

If there is endemic sexism in a company that catches illegal behaviour, transparency will catch it. It is a false thing, as SF suggests, to say that just because it can't be proven in a given case it doesn't exist. Most people can see that the Tory party's selection process for MPs was sexist in the past because of its outcome. Any one case? Who knows? But 91-9% men to women? You gentlemen may not think that prima facie evidence of sexism in the process, but, thank goodness, you are in the minority.

Let us see what companies are doing with pay. Shareholders will benefit from the greater scrutinty of how company assets are divided (it will also make it harder to pay failing execs those big bonuses) and women will benefit from equality of opportunity - which is all we want.

I don't know if AnnaK is reading this but I want to say something to her. David Cameron, whose pro-women, pro-family policies such as (oooh! shudder!) greater transparency in company pay to catch endemic sexists these men object to so violently is (to borrow his phrase) the future. The Tory party will offer you fiscal conservatism, more choice, and smaller government but it's also going to fight for women, for the African poor, and for the environment. These guys are sitting on the wrong side of the debate. Cameron's party will oppose, not support, their views.

It's a real sea-change. I hope you consider joining. He's looking for a few good women, you know :)

Biodun: do you have a web address for the Migration Watch site?

When I see certain Eastern European illegal immigrants begging in organized criminal gangs and using infant children as props, I see absolutely no cultural similiarities between them and Britain whatsoever. As a mother of young children, it enrages me - that is not too strong a word - to see those babies being abused in front of millions of Londoners and no police rescusing them. Saying this culture is OK, that one isn't, is a dangerous business.

Our problem is illegal immigration that leads to human trafficking, child abuse, poverty and crime. It does not matter whence those illegals came, not one little bit.

I want to see exactly what the MW supporters are saying, but I share the concerns of racism if it's as Biodun describes.

Biodun said:

"If MigrationWatch prefers a Polish plumber who doesn't speak English to a Kenyan who grew up singing God Save The Queen, then you have to ask if it is really culture or race that they use to suggest who can live and work here."

I totally agree.

It is a false thing, as SF suggests, to say that just because it can't be proven in a given case it doesn't exist. Most people can see that the Tory party's selection process for MPs was sexist in the past because of its outcome. Any one case? Who knows? But 91-9% men to women?

If you compared the number of men who fail to be selected to the number of women who fail, I suspect men would outnumber women massively, too. By your reasoning, that would prove the party is enormously sexist against men. In fact, both percentages simply show that a lot more men than women enter the running to become Tory MPs.

Even if it were fifty-fifty, though, only a socialist could believe that inequality of outcome is in itself any proof of discrimination, sexism, racism etc. and an argument for intervening to ensure different outcomes. Conservatives (and liberals) believe that humans are diverse and varying individuals, not indistinguishable proxies for their race or sex with exactly equal talents and abilities in all cases.

Peter: I have already answered as to why more men than women have applied: the thought that it will be pointless, as they will never be selected.

I believe that, with the new procedures, you will find vast numbers of women applying, reassured that they will no longer face sexism in the process; thus giving the lie to the argument that, perhaps because of their "natural differences" women just did not want to be MPs.

But I know that I will not convince the old guard on this thread who think women rejoice at men's superior pay and companies should be allowed to prefer to hire males.

That's fine. It would be a time wasting excercise to continue. You stick with your idea of conservatism and I'll stick with mine, which, fortunately, is that of David Cameron and his team.


I think you're generalising from your own experience, Reasonable, and assuming that it applies across the board. Anecdotally, you know women who are forced to bring up children (due to lower earning power) when they would rather be at work. Anecdotally, I know women whose earning potential is every bit as good as their husbands/partners' (or better) who spend several years off work, bringing up their children.

There are, as it happens, several occupations (such as nursing ) where the women working within those occupations earn, on average, a higher hourly rate than the men within those occupations. It doesn't stop women within those occupations from taking time out to bring up children.

Publishing the pay rates of everyone within a company would not prove sexism because it would say nothing about the basis on which those pay rates had been calculated.


Reasonable, do you really think that companies consciously pay people above the market rate because they happen to be male?

Frank had been fingered by a few northern CF'ers in 2002-2003 as one of the next big things, and then he offed and joined Labour. Cllr Lindley will be able to tell you all more, being one of his contemporaries at York.

Andy, great man though you undoubtedly are, I think it is unfortunate that your first posts on here were little more than attempted character assassination. I don't think Frank deserves the flak.

Frank was an active member of the York Tories who became disillusioned with the society and with politics, over something which had nothing to do with politics at all. He did briefly join Labour Club (not the Labour Party) at Freshers' Fair but largely as a joke, and he was never active. I was the vice-chairman of the York Tories at the time with responsibility for membership recruitment, believe me if anyone should bear a grudge about that it should be me - and I don't.

Having left York, Frank returned to the Conservative fold and I know worked hard with Paul Offer in Chester, who secured one of the biggest swings in the country.

Frank is a committed, moderate Conservative who expresses his opinions eloquently. If you don't like what he has to say, fine, but play the ball, not the man.

"Transparency will catch illegal practices."

And as has been pointed out several times - and each time to be conveniently ignored by you - it won't. It tells you nothing at all about how someone's salary level was determined, just what it is.

This whiole idea amounts to little more than sexist paranoia, whereby all differences are ascribed to mysoginy.

"If you don't like what he has to say, fine, but play the ball, not the man."

Based on what he says, Selsdon and others had already labelled him a socialist...


This is interesting, BTW:-http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/index.php/blog/individual/equal_pay_for_equal_fudge/

Hey, I had merely heard that he had joined Labour (Club or otherwise) at some point. Am happy to have this confirmed and further clarified. You're assigning a motive that isn't there.

What good news that he's back.

Can I just clarify one thing: is Reasonable arguing that a woman working part-time should be paid the same amount as a man who works full time? Because if she is, then she is arguing for active discrimination against men.

I think Melanie Phillips successfully addresses this issue on her site:

http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles/archives/001525.html

The asylum and immigration policy was in fact a good policy it was the way it was packaged and advertised.Whoever thought of the the "its not racist" slogan should have been sacked,as soon as that slogan was unvieled and perfectly good policy was ruined.

Rather than 'be glad' that men earn more, as R U UK insultingly suggests, we resent it;

Did I really say that? I don't think so. Your Reasonable name is starting to sound a misnomer.

If you pay women more relative to what men earn (your proposal), then you penalise families that depend on male salaries, and increase the rewards for childlessness.

That was my point. If there is an answer to it, let's have it Reasonable. But don't manufacture stupid suggestions - straw man stuff is not good enough here. That's classic Blair. We need to move up a few levels.

My point is that you must think of the practical impact on families, and child birth as well as notional ideas such as equality. Presumably an underpaid female is free to apply for work elsewhere if her current employer places the wrong value on her work.

The whole 'women undervalued' proposal could itself well be 'man of straw' - let alone the arguments being raised to defend it. Any intervention in the employment market place will be legalistic - that too will weigh on the willingness to employ - and especially the willingness to employ women. As almost all do-good laws turn out to be, this one will be no exception - completely counterproductive to its own aspirations. But let's not spoil a good debate which requires us all to suspend disbelief and pretend there is really a serious problem to address here.

------------------------------------------

If you pay women more relative to what men earn (your proposal), then you penalise families that depend on male salaries, and increase the rewards for childlessness.

-------------------------------------------

?????????????
How is ensuring that a woman producing the same quantity and quality of work in the same job, a penalty on men?

How does this affect families dependent on male salaries?

Surely the current discrepancies in pay are what reward childlessness. If a woman is destined to be poor or reliant on a man if she chooses to have babies, then there is every incentive for her to remain childless.

and no one is yet to address the problem of families headed by single mothers. The current system is penalising them more than any other.

So you see. It's not just about money. It affects social choices as you describe. You can look at this on an individual money-value basis or a societal human basis.

If families depend on male pay (do they?) then giving more of the cake to women will reduce the amount available for men. QED.

Are there any equivalent jobs? Are men and women different? Men for example are far more likely to take risks. In many jobs risk taking is a key element. Men should be paid more for occupying a desk than a woman. Where women have excelled at risk-taking e.g. Nicola Horlick, so far as I know she is paid as high as any man. I am still not convinced we have a problem.

Women are more likely to stop work or go part-time than men when they have families. No bad thing as regards quality of children's lives. But are we interested in children or just money? Where women are as committed as men are supposed to be, they don't seem to fail to progress.

Higher paid women are great as far as I am concerned but not a political policy to be enforced by courts who will just annihilate the goodwill between employers and employees.

And no one is yet to address the problem of families headed by single mothers. The current system is penalising them more than any other.

Posted by: Biodun | December 30, 2005 at 06:10 PM

Do you live in the real working world Biodun? Please explain how the current system is penalising single mothers and then I'll explain how it really works with child tax credits, working tax credits, housing benefits, free training allowances, free childcare for very young single mothers who left school early - the current system penalises poorly educated men if anything, and families where the man earns just above £18,000 and mum doesn't work outside the home.

Furthermore poorly educated single mothers are often much better off having their children without declaring the father, and often living with them whilst he's officially living at his mum's address. Even given full support and parity with her male counterpart she still cannot hope to earn in 40 hours what she can earn from the state without working externally any hours whatsoever.

However a man from a similar background ends up with the CSA bill if he declares his association with the child (and if he doesn't work self employed) he will not obtain custody and therefore has no choice - this is just as wrong as the argument that you put forward. Equality and choice should be for all not just a one way street. Not every woman is educationally capable (i.e. degree level) of choosing between a well paid career and children.

A woman from a working class background and a husband has the choice of part time work around her husbands job (to reduce child care expenses) or not to work and claim the benefits. You are not arguing for all women here but a select group.

What exactly are you after? the state picking up your wages for a couple of years to enable you to look after your own baby without sacrificing any salary?

I want to know who are these women who knowingly work in jobs where their salaries are lower for the same jobs performed by a man? All the public sector were matched up years ago and that by all accounts is 5.1 million of the workforce. What percentage of the population are represented within this group?


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