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« Can we trust today's Times poll? | Main | Editorial: Me? Biased? »



What sort of people are they who would be bothered about a politician giving an opinion about which hair colour he prefers on a woman? This is utterly pathetic. We all have preferences so why shouldn't we be able to express them?


I agree with Derek this is so silly. So are we looking for a new leader to run a new pc brigade where everyone is briefed on what to say or not to say to save an embarrassing headline.


Totally agree Derek. The po-faced comment from someone high up in the Conservative Women's Organisation reported in the Telegraph today was just ridiculous. She claimed to be "horrified" for goodness sake!

As a 28 year old woman I certainly don't think it is "patronising" or "horrifying", and I also have to say I personally wouldn't go anywhere near the CWO if you held a gun to my head. In my view having to have a Women's Organisation is more patronising than a man saying he prefers blondes to brunettes. (From a natural brunette who would rather be a redhead.)


I agree, but it's yet another indicator that this guy can't reach out. He's got past form...boasts that he's never changed a nappy, thought it funny to be photographed with women in tight t-shirts, surrounds himself with a team which aren't exactly the image of 'modern conservatives'...

Wat Tyler

It's the style v substance thing again. Personally, I'd prefer to see all our politicians speak more naturally and openly, rather than always being constantly on their guard against the pc police. But we are where we are, and if we were going to chose a leader on the basis of pc-awareness, DC would win.

It's all that other stuff that makes DD the better choice.

(Fantastic to see the Soaraway Sun banging away about "patronising women". Wonder what Sizzling Sharon, 19, from Billericay, makes of that.)


I echo Dereks views.At least DD answered all the questions put to him unlike DC.This was a lighthearted show and DD answered in that vein.
People who try to make political capital out of this including the Sun and the Mail really are being pathetic in the extreme.


I'm not sure it is Wat. It's an indication of the sort of person you are.

Davis is just guilty of giving a pretty shallow answer which plays into the hands of those who will paint him as sexist.

The question was patroonising and so was the answer Davis gave.


But Malcolm, with all of his 'experience' why did Davis allow himself to fall into that trap?

Why not just say, I prefer my wife.

Mark Fulford

It was a mischevious question and Cameron did precisely the right thing - to duck it. Davis did precisely the wrong thing - to answer it.

It's not the world's worst case of sexism, it's not a big deal, but, as Michael said, it does provide insight. Davis's credentials for winning the female vote are very poor.


How is having a preference for a hair colour patronising? Please can someone explain it to me? I personally prefer a man to have dark hair, but a distinguished grey comes a close second. Is that patronising too? Or is it only patronising if it is a man answering the question because us little ladies need to be protected from this sort of thing, since we're all far too delicate to, I don't know, have a sense of humour?

Right now, I'm far more concerned about the image of David Cameron in boxer shorts - if he is refering to the sort of multicoloured monstrosities my brother used to wear it is not a pretty thought.

James Hellyer

"Davis is just guilty of giving a pretty shallow answer which plays into the hands of those who will paint him as sexist."

Into the hands of people with no sense of humour, you mean, and a great deal of hypocrisy. Sadly there appear to be lots of them in the more pro-Cameron media outlets (The Sun accusing someone of sexism, I mean WTF?).


The question was part of a whole series of what were meant to be light-hearted preferences. If they are to be taken so seriously, perhaps our politicians should refuse to answer anything other than policy questions. I bet none would answer, "fair skin or dark?" Discrimination is the every day activity that dare not speak its name. Everyone has opinions, but we are expected to keep them to ourselves.

If DD has struck a blow against the appalling political correctness, he should be congratulated

Mark Fulford

Not no sense of humour, just not your sense of humour. The more you care about sexism, the less you find sexism amusing...


Yes James, I'm sure Davis will have women chuckling all the way to the polling booth in 2009.

The fact is this guy's strategy is giving out some pretty worrying mixed messages. Davis isn't a modern Conservative at all...these gaffes are a clue to what lies beneath.

Every policy, statement, action and comment should be reinforcing his message.

James Hellyer

What cant. It isn't sexism to prefer a hair colour or to tell a joke about that preference, no more than its sexism not to have changed a nappy.

Derek, preferences for what?

Mark Fulford

"Discrimination is the every day activity that dare not speak its name."

No, discrimination should not be an everyday activity. The subtext of your comment is that, for you, it is. You call it political correctness, I call it the common decency of not judging someone by their appearance.

James Hellyer

"Yes James, I'm sure Davis will have women chuckling all the way to the polling booth in 2009"

Yes Michael, I'm sure the next general election campaign will be fought on a Woman's Hour Interview.

Simon C

Martha Kearney and the art of the serious political interview. The issues that really matter to modern women.

Imagine, if you can, a future leadership contest in another party, with, for example, Patricia Hewitt and Tessa Jowell as the contestants. Martha's Newsnight colleague Paxo is doing the interview. He asks each of them what underwear they wear....


But James, you've only got to make a few more gaffes like that, and the public begin to build up a perception of you.

William Hague made one speech when he was 16 and it did more to colour people's perception of him as a Tory boy than anything else he subsequently did.


Michael & Mark,are you being serious chaps?Did you listen to the show? DD was trying to be amusing and wasn't trying to be patronising to anybody.Please lighten up I know you are both commited Cameron supporters but surely you have a sense of humour.Attacks on DD for this demean the attackers far more than they do DD himself.
As regards the media I can understand the Sun being hacked off with DD, he spoke well in the House and on Newsnight yesterday on the 90 day debate to their fury. The Mail is a different story, Dacre must have taken leave of his senses.

James Hellyer

"But James, you've only got to make a few more gaffes"

It wasn't a gaffe. It was newspapers and people with an anti-Davis agenda deliberatley blowing this out of all proportion in order to distract from yesterdays's terror debates.


There is a certain irony in the fact that it is the men on this board who are arguing that a hair colour preference is patronising to women and then suggesting that this is a reason why women won't vote for David Davis' Conservative Party. Because we're obviously that shallow and stupid.


Cheers malcom. Hadn't realised Davis was trying to be funny! In that case it was probably worth losing the support of the women at that event. Anything for a cheap laugh, I say.

I look forawrd to a few light-hearted comments on Black people, gay people and people with disabilities.

He should release a DVD, would make a great stocking filler.

James Hellyer

"In that case it was probably worth losing the support of the women at that event"

It hasn't lost the support of woment. It has been used to score cheap points by supporters of Cameron.

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