Open Letter To Jon Snow

NO, it is not enough for you to wear a skirt!!

Dear Jon

In response to your piece on “The missing women” last night……NO it is not enough for you to wear a skirt!!

The media were as much to blame in the “keeping women out” election campaign. The election coverage at Westminster was chalked out by men, ring-fenced by men and orchestrated by men. The same male political commenters rotated in the press and on every TV station.

All sorts of interest groups should have been included in the discussions: charities, representatives from the unions and local government, farmers, teachers etc. and half of these representatives should have been women. Even with letters from women to the Times and The Independent complaining about the bias the editorial and TV producers had in place their neat schedules employing the usual suspects and were loath to respond. (Of course we all know that if they’d taken this clamour seriously, the schedules could have been switched in an instance).

For some reason “outsiders” to Westminster were not considered relevant to this debate, although it is these very “outsiders” who will bear the cuts and whose lives will be impacted upon.

We wrote our book What Are They Doing In There? as a consequence of being kept out of these heavily manned Westminster ramparts, and our investigation was frustrated at every twist and turn. You will see our book was removed from the shelves of The Parliamentary Bookshop. This bookshop has hundreds of of titles by men but only one by a woman, yes ONE, by a women, Shirley Williams, who was also and incidentally a lone voice of sanity during all the testosterone fuelled brouhaha. (It is also worth mentioning that if women had behaved like men in the last few days someone would have “taken us away”).

In our book we say that Channel 4 news deserves more of the licence fee because its journalists are among the very few brave enough to ask difficult questions, but you let us down big-time during the election. My heart sank whenever I saw Andrew Rawnsley being wheeled in again.

Best Wishes, Julia & Hazel

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