It was reminiscent of David Cameron telling, the then shadow treasury chief secretary, Angela Eagle to “calm down dear” in 2011 during a debate in Parliament. Just as his patronising comments caused a backlash so a new furore has erupted.
This time the culprit is the former leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Alex Salmond.
Newly (re) elected Salmond told the small business minister, Anna Soubry, to ‘behave herself’ and was reported to have called her ‘demented’.
The Guardian reported that: “Soubry later responded on Twitter that Salmond seemed to think that women ‘should be seen and not heard’ and that his attitude belonged ‘firmly in the 19th century’. ‘Salmond can dish it out but he can’t take it,’ she said.”
Quite who Alex Salmond thinks he is, is anyone’s guess but whatever else, he has behaved dreadfully. Parliament now has more women elected than ever before and women from all sides-I would hope- simply will not tolerate such sexist language.
I don’t know if Salmon apologised for his remarks. If not then he really should.
I stumbled on this story too last week, after someone shared it on Facebook. It’s a write up of the maiden speech given by the new Labour MP for Ashton, Angela Raynor. In her debut speech she revealed how, aged just 16, and after falling pregnant she was told she’d amount to nothing. She went onto achieve great things, however.
From a young age she did shift work as a carer, which presumably was complicated as she also had to care for her own young children.
Following this she rose up the ranks and became one of Unisons most senior elected officials in the North. She is now Ashton-under-Lyne’s first female MP in more than 180 years. During her speech she promised to ‘tell it how it is’.
The Manchester Evening news reported: “The constituency boasts an unbroken line of Labour MPs – all men – since 1832. But after Mrs Rayner was picked from an all-women shortlist, Ashton-under-Lyne now has its first female representative in Westminster. Mrs Rayner, formerly Unison’s most senior elected official in the North West, has urged her party to push ‘real people with real life experience’ to bring ‘common sense’ back to Parliament.”
She told the Commons: “As the first female MP, I promise will live up to the example shown by my predecessors.
“Of course, I could never fill their shoes. Mine tend to have three-inch heels and are rather more colourful. But I walk in their footsteps.