Thursday, 12 February 2015

Scriptwriters for "The Thick Of It" could not make up the Labour Pink Bus disaster

On the day 40 years on from when in 1975 this country celebrated appointing it's first female Prime Minister, the Labour Party has been responding to criticism of the Pink Bus; the bus, pictured, today arrived & then parked on a Zebra Crossing in Stevenage. You could make the point that the bus is not British but was built in Turkey, is to be driven in the future by a male driver loaned by the union Unite, and this after a campaign last year against gender specific toys. Like I said you could not make it up.

This comment featured in the Guardian in defence of the Labour Pink Bus: “a bright pink minibus of female Labour MPs will tour constituencies to talk to female voters around the kitchen table”.
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, told the Western Morning News: “It’s just a tiny bit condescending because it’s bright and pink therefore women relate to it more. It’s a bit like saying that political parties should drive around in macho red sports cars and blokes across the country will suddenly listen to them.”
Mark Ferguson, editor of the LabourList website, also expressed concerns, tweeting that he had thought it was a wind-up when someone first told him about it two weeks ago. He claimed it was an “unnecessary own goal”.
My Labour friends in the Commons are cringing when we chatted after PMQs today, and it is fair to say that some of the Columnists have had fun commenting on the idea - see here for example:

As co chairman of Women2Win I am helping get more female candidates, and could set out in detail [see previous blog posts] all the things from free childcare to the fact more women are in work in the UK than ever before. But elections are good value for many things - and we will definitely see more "The Thick of It" moments on all sides