This is Darrell Goodliffe’s response to the questions put to NEC 2012 Candidates by LWN and Lead4Women.
As a candidate to the NEC we hope you’ll find time to answer the following questions so we can share your answers with our members and supporters:
In answer to your questions.
1) I do not support All-Women Shortlists as a matter of principle. While I
recognise there is a genuine issue that they are there to address, my
feeling is that tackling discrimination by introducing more discrimination
(be it ‘positive’ or not) is not the solution. Indeed, I feel that they are
in danger of leaving the real issues unaddressed. I recognise they are an
accepted part of Labour Party practice and wouldnt seek to have them
overturned however and would ensure, since they are this, that they are
properly and evenly applied and indeed are applied in safe Labour seats
and across the regions.
2) Moving onto specific policies, I read your Refounding Labour submission
with interest, I think they are much more in-tune with what I feel should
be the solution to the lack of female representation, measures at the
grassroots to change the culture of our Party and make it equality driven
in rhetoric and practice. I would support the establishment of a
fully-funded women’s organisation and a women’s conference with the proviso
that male members were not specifically excluded from attending in an
observer capacity. I feel that one of the key planks of building an
equality-driven culture is that male members be allowed to in interact and
engage with issues that in the first instance would be said to primarily
affect women. I am uncomfortable with the total exclusion of any members
from any area of our Party based solely on gender. I would support the
proposals for changing meetings and the implementation of a proper
complaints procedure. I would support the idea of equality packs and
3) Ensuring a 50:50 proportion is, to my mind, about changing the
grassroots, specifically there needs to be a greater focus on getting more
women standing for council. With regard to boundary changes, I think we are
really looking at making sure AWS are properly applied. I take a very
bottom-up approach to this question, this in-part is why I am weary of All
Women Shortlists, as I see them as a top-down imposition. Also, I believe
we need to establish a Labour Diversity Fund which would have as one of its
aims supporting more women candidates at all levels. Finally, as well as
Labour changing itself, I feel it needs leading the push for wider changes
to political culture and practice to make our political structures more
accessible to women Councillors, MP’s, MSP’s and AM’s.
I hope these answers are helpful, although probably not quite not what you
want. If there is any further information you would like then please feel
free to contact me.