Thursday, March 31, 2005
" Our survey predicts that Labour will lose out hugely to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens for the women's vote. .."
The New Stateswoman/Eve survey of 1,400 women readers in their thirties and forties were asked which, if any, of the leaders could be described as sexy. (Tony Blair scored no points at all) Overall, bless them, Eve readers declared themselves "far too busy to be bothered whether politicians were attractive or not."
Quite right too. The issues that they did declare themselves bothered about were :
- The environment
- Recycling and green energy
- road congestion
- the government's attitude to third world debt
- crime (insufficient numbers of police; the increase in gun- and knife-related crime),
- social responsibility
- childcare costs
- the nanny state.
53 per cent of the women said their attitude towards politics was "concerned". Only a tiny 7% cent said they were "hopeful". But if this group really are indicative of the way women who are going to vote are thinking,(and apparently 89 per cent said they intended to) then it makes me more hopeful than I have been for some time. Real politics - as Tony Benn said the other day, "increasingly focuses on the issues of peace, the environment, civil liberties, pensions.." adding that "...For the first time in my life public opinion is well to the left of a Labour government and that is why - at nearly 80 - I am so optimistic."
The survey predicts that Labour will lose out hugely to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens for the women's vote.
(To read the article in full, see http://www.newstatesman.com/200504040009)
Iraq and "terrorism" were of concern to most of the women polled. What a breath of fresh air to hear today that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has issued an open letter to politicians of all parties taking them to task for the scare mongering.
In the letter, the Archbishop says:
- "....fear makes us look first for defences – and for reactive, damage-limited solutions. And the difficulty then is that such solutions can put deeper interests, rights and needs, individual and collective, at considerable risk...There are things that really should make us tremble – rootlessness and alienation among some of our urban youth, the degradation of the environment, the downward spin into chaos and violence of large parts of the poorer world. And these simply don't lend themselves to defensive and short-term solutions."
He concludes simply:
- "....the world is to be cherished, the innocent protected and human dignity preserved. Sooner or later, injustice anywhere corrupts and kills a whole community. Ignore the needs or the dignity of another and you strike at your own life and dignity in the long run."
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the intelligent women of England - a formidable voice. Politicans would be wise to take note.