Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Women see the light

For many years, that grand old institution the British Conservative Party has been able to count pretty consistently on winning a higher proportion of women’s votes than its main opposition, Labour. 

It was almost enough to make me question the wisdom of having granted the right to vote to women: after all, if people are given a serious authority, like the vote, and use it for people like the British Tories, one has to wonder whether they were ready for it in the first place.

That however has recently and dramatically changed. It is one of the few tributes I can make to David Cameron and his government, and certainly the only instance I know of where he has managed to inject greater equality into society: he has made rejection of his party equal among the sexes and even, on occasions, higher among women. 

Indeed, there are times when I wonder whether we wouldn’t do better to withdraw the right to vote from men, as women seem better able to see off the Tories in just the way the country needs.

One such time, as the graph below from the excellent UK Polling Report site shows, was early in 2012. 

Conservative Lead in Britain among men and women
From UK Polling Report
Note the tick up in Tory support among men at that time. What was this down to? The one striking phenomenon of the period was the moment when Cameron said ‘no’ to the European Union. He vetoed plans to reform the EU so that Eurozone countries could collaborate to shore up the single currency. 

The veto had no effect whatever. The Eurozone nations simply went on meeting without consulting him or any of the other non-Euro countries, but on the face of it, he sounded strong. It’s a bit like listening to a tennis player’s grunt and ignoring the effect of his stroke; Cameron’s a great grunter, even though the ball as often as not leaves his racket without the energy to reach the net.

The graph shows female support for Cameron continuing to fall at that time. But what about men? They seem to have rallied round, apparently inspired by his empty gesture. Too many of them homed in on the grunt.

Fortunately things seem to have settled down a little since then. Men are still lagging behind women – banning men from voting would still be a useful step in favour of liberal politics in Britain at the moment – but they’re not far behind. The gender differential in support for the Tories is close to zero.

Isn’t that heartwarming? In our increasingly divided society, we’ve found one are of equality and it’s all thanks to Cameron and his cronies.

Yep, when it comes to finding them repellent, we’re all in this together, men and women, sharing our revulsion.

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