Leeds NWLabour IWD: Julie Heselwood, Weetwood candidate, on Labour’s record in getting women into politics.

Leeds NW CLP have been running a series of posts this week in preparation for International Women’s Day today. This is the last – by Julie Heselwood, a member of Adel and Wharfedale Branch who is standing as Labour candidate in Weetwood this May. The series has also included our own Megan Davies on social media and feminism. But there have been posts on Eating disorders [Kate Langston], Domestic Violence [Deputy PCC Isabel Owen], feminism and rape culture [Freya Potter], Women and Austerity [Leonie Sharp]. Two great personal testimonies to the ideals which inspire them from Councillor Janette Walker and Otley’s mayor, Pam Gill – plus Linda McAvan MEP on what the EU has done for women and Yvette Cooper on what Labour offers Women. The whole series makes excellent reading – a testimony to what Labour women are contributing – nationally but also locally here in Leeds NW – to the left-wing debate.

Leeds North West Constituency

At the 1987 General Election just 21 Labour women MPs were elected. This prompted 4 women – Barbara Follett, Barbara Roche, Hilary De Lyon and Jean Black – to form the Labour Women’s Network in 1988.They were disappointed and frustrated at the low number of women elected in the recent election and wanted change. Julie with Yvette Cooper Julie with Yvette Cooper

After just 10 years of campaigning, the 1997 General Election saw a large increase in the number of women in the House of Commons, with 101 Labour women MPs elected. This was also a victory for Labour Women’s Network, who had played a crucial role in getting more women selected, then elected as MP’s. Booklets on Labour’s selection procedures had been published; telephone helplines initiated; subscriber newsletters mailed; fringe meetings organised; and a stand staffed at major Conferences….

When LWN was founded, fewer than 10% of Labour MPs were women. Women now…

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Public Opinion – misperception and the problem of informed debate.

Leeds North West Constituency

Labour often thinks that the media world is stacked against it – the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sun, the Daily Telegraph and so on. Against this cacophony, Labour finds it very difficult to have its voice heard. But does this matter? Well, Labour thinks it does. After all, political discussion and public policy making ought to be based on sound evidence and reasoned debate.L_560e5310-b3fd-c6b4-7d6b-fbbce8453bd2
So it would be great, wouldn’t it, if the public’s understanding of British society matched what is going on, out there, in the real world.
A recent survey by Ipsos MORI for the Royal Statistical Society and King’s College London has investigated just this. Published on July 9th it revealed how wrong the British public can be when asked questions about the make-up of the population and the scale of key social policy issues.

Here is a selection of Ipsos Mori’s findings.

Topic –…

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A Think Tank for Working Class People

A think tank for working people: Class Yorkshire Launch - Thu 13 June 2013, 6:30pm The Unite offices, 55 Call Lane, Leeds LS1 7BW With the Coalition Government and their programme of austerity and tax cuts for millionnaires, it is time that someone ensured that the political agenda was on the side of working people … Continue reading A Think Tank for Working Class People

Read Labour MEP Linda McAvan’s March E-Bulletin

Linda McAvan's March e-bulletin is out. Highlights include Linda’s comments on the Cyprus crisis and the EU cap on bankers’ bonuses ‘Eurozone leaders must find a way of saving the banks, without taking more money from the people The emergence of yet another banking crisis at a time when we are discussing structural banking reform … Continue reading Read Labour MEP Linda McAvan’s March E-Bulletin

Councillor Marjoram – strictly for the [Leeds Tory] birds – or should that be the vultures?

The Twitter-sphere is an interesting space these days, and one where people express themselves – often very revealingly. Followers of Leeds Tory Councillor Joe Marjoram will certainly have found much to ponder on his Twitter profile. We’d hate to give Councillor Marjoram the oxygen of publicity – though you’ll find he’s very happy to retweet … Continue reading Councillor Marjoram – strictly for the [Leeds Tory] birds – or should that be the vultures?

Linda McAvan MEP speaking in Leeds, 8 March

8 March is International Women's day. Yorkshire Labour MEP, Linda McAvan, will be speaking in Leeds. The theme of the day is Women standing together. Celebrating the achievements of women and looking at ways to make a difference in the future. Linda will be joined by Kim Groves, Leeds Councillor, and Judith Swift, MBE Union … Continue reading Linda McAvan MEP speaking in Leeds, 8 March

He wouldn’t say yes, and he wouldn’t say no. . . .Greg Mulholland on same-sex marriage

Greg Mulholland abstained this week on the crucial same-sex marriage vote. Most of us would be forgiven for thinking this was a bill which addressed a central Liberal principle – and most Liberal MPs did. This was a free vote, and there were people who took strong principled stands on both sides. But the MP for NW … Continue reading He wouldn’t say yes, and he wouldn’t say no. . . .Greg Mulholland on same-sex marriage