John Prescott complained in yesterday’s Independent that his replacement as deputy leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, has spent too much time focusing on gender equality issues:
“I suppose, if I was being honest about it, I think too much of the emphasis has been on female rights, which I have supported all my life, and we’re not getting other messages across. Most of it is about the equality issue. It is very important, but it is not our biggest campaigning issue, whatever they say about it.”
Given that only 27% of Labour MPs are female (a better figure, nevertheless, than the Conservatives’ 9% and Lib Dems’ 14%) and Harman has faced a blatently sexist backlash to her attempts to tackle the gender pay gap, to name but one issue that has a negative impact on half the country’s population, Prescott’s complaint is laughable. It’s no wonder Harman has chosen to use her position to push for positive change for women; she can hardly leave it to the likes of him. Grrr.