Anorak News | Phil Your Boots

Phil Your Boots

by | 18th, December 2003

‘THE message is simple – if you want to get ahead in the Tory party, then you should get a new name – Philip.

”You can call me Phil”

Research by the Fawcett Society has found that three Philips have been selected to fight one of the party’s top 20 target seats in the next election, compared with only two women (neither of whom are called Philip – or even Phyllis or Phyllida).

”This is an appalling record for a party that is keen to modernise,” Laura Turquet, policy officer for the equality campaign group, tells the Times.

”The political landscape has changed since 1992 and the electorate now expect to see MPs from a range of backgrounds.”

And with a whole range of names.

Consider Philip, for instance. The political track record of Philips is quite abysmal – the last person with such a name to hold a Cabinet post was Philip Snowdon in the 1920s.

But intense lobbying by The Philip Society is just now beginning to bear fruit.

The Times points out that, although there are no Philips in the Cabinet, Tony Blair’s polling guru is Philip Gould and the Deputy Commons Leader is one Philip Woolas.

And, on the Tories’ side, Philip Hammond has reached the dizzy heights of junior local government spokesman.

But it is no good the rest of us bleating about the success of Philips; if we want greater representation, we need to fight for it.

For instance, the Labour party established a number of women-only shortlists in the run-up to the 1997 election – and the number of Blair Babes increased as a result.

If you feel your name is underrepresented in the House Of Commons, then get off your well-upholstered backside and do something about it.

We at Anorak, for instance, have long been appalled at the lack of Torquils in the Conservative Party.

But having failed to get Torquil-only shortlists, we have at least managed to persuade Michael Howard that at least 5% of all winnable seats should be reserved for men with this nomenclature.

We suggest you do the same with your name of choice.’

Posted: 18th, December 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink