Friday, 26 November 2010

Lets Hear it For the Girls

Sophie (my wife) attended the National Conservative Women's conference yesterday. She and a group of girls (well 'Ladies') got on the train yesterday and went to London for this key event in their political calendar.

It's a fun day out. They get to hear from, and occasionally meet, some of the key political people (and women) of the day in the historic seat of western democracy.

Yesterday, she particularly enjoyed hearing Teresa May and Sayeeda Warsi share their thoughts on a range of issues - not just women's issues, but issues that affect women (and men). Previously she has been impressed by William Hague and memorably she texted me when David Cameron turned up to speak at a previous event - 'He's arrived!! - I am about 3 metres away from him!!!'. Oh Dave turn it off, I am losing her to you.

Women are a powerful majority group.

In California every year they hold a women's conference. Here's a picture from one of their recent conferences held at Long Beach:

And here's one from the UK National Women's Conference 2010 - yesterday.

See my point?

Apparently there was an awkward moment when the Conservative Party Chairman (Chairman? - I think that's right) Sayeeda Warsi turned up to speak. 'In real life' she is not very tall and someone had mounted the speaker at the lectern quite high.

Sayeeda gazed out her audience with the microphone incongruously craning over her head whilst fighting back a serious bout of flu.

Sophie was impressed. 'She obviously felt awful but she didn't let us down, she spoke brilliantly'.

It's a tall order turning the Conservative party round, whilst dealing with the minor distraction of running the country, and I guess, without the best tools to do the job and starting from.. well.. not the place anyone would choose to start from. But that's what she has to do - Sayeeda not Sophie that is (although she and all the girls are happy to help!).

And the reason she has to do it is not just because this party of government needs grass roots support as it's lifeblood. It's not just because if the Conservative Party is going to develop the policy agenda for the future it needs to be spawned not just from a small group of 'intellectuals' but from the experience and skilled base of a vibrant 'bought-in' and active party base.

But also because, the bigger the conferences halls get and as the small groups swell into crowds, the chances of my wife getting that kind of proximity to other better looking powerful men diminishes.

So Sayeeda. For all the right reasons - Go Girl!


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