Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Labour Party

“Ed Miliband is talking like a Prime Minister… for the first time”, said Tony Parsons in last week’s Mirror.

He had been talking about the difficult issue of immigration and the speech at the Institute of Public Policy Research marked a turning point for the Labour leader. Parsons said: “When Ed Miliband talked about ­immigration with such sensitivity and intelligence, for the very first time I could imagine him as Prime Minister.”

It was an impassioned speech, and Miliband suggested we should approach the issue in a rational, focused and calm way: “The debate we must get to is a grown-up debate, informed by the facts, serious in intent, and conducted in a candid way.”

He approached the subject in the right way, and chose the right words. As Parson’s pointed out: “Talking about immigration at all takes bravery, as it is a complicated subject.” You can read his full op-ed here, and the full transcript is here.

Last week the actors union Equity wrote to 43 theatres highlighting the need for better employment opportunities for women.

The letter was sent following analysis of Hampstead theatres current season which includes:  Henry V and a Winter’s Tale from the company Propeller, an all-male theatre company, which reflects Shakespeare having written for a company of boys and men. This may be so but let us not forget, Fiona Shaw once played Richard II, Vanessa Redgrave Prospero and Kathryn Hunter played Lear.

Only through encouraging new and emerging talent will this end. A new generation of female writers such as Lucy Prebble, Chloë Moss and Abi Morgan will, we hope, go to some lengths to achieve this.

Vicky Featherstone, artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland, has recently been appointed chief of the Royal Court in London. She supports the idea that the problem of women’s representation on stage can be solved only through a new type of theatre and new writing, she said:  “Tired old programming of old British plays is becoming more and more redundant. It is through new plays that we can represent the world we actually live in.”

Read the full article in the Guardian here.

While Equity addresses its issues of poor female representation in theatre, Facebook announced its first female board member last week. Sheryl Sandberg chief operating officer at Facebook, has joined the social network’s board of directors, becoming the first woman to do so.

The announcement followed criticism that Facebook’s board lacked women and minorities. The company was called out for the board demographic makeup by a group called the FACE IT Campaign.

Zuckerberg had told The New Yorker last July when asked about why there were no women on the board that he was focused on “finding ‘helpful’ people and not concerned with gender.”

2 thoughts on “Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

  1. I am not clear of the precise statistics re immigration and downward impact on incomes, but his approach is sensible and constructive.
    I very much he will add an important corollary, that this will force employers to use labour more productively: investing in productivity is something bosses prefer to avoid if they can make a profit without it.

  2. maybe FB has too few women because women are under-represented among geeks… 😦
    though more seriously I suspect that women are still facing discouragement over Maths

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