This election didn’t deliver nearly as many women MPs as it should have – it’s time for a new system

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Friday 13 December 2019 18:36 GMT
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Boris Johnson gives speech outside 10 Downing Street

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

While Labour lost the election, we find that more than half of their elected MPs are female. A hollow victory perhaps for the party but with the Lib Dems having 64 per cent women elected, there is some small comfort that women are becoming more political.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives had a resounding win and will dominate the next four years of politics in the UK — but only a quarter of their MPs are women.

What do we make of this? That women want to be governed by men? That the Conservatives are full of voters who see power as the male prerogative? That being Conservative is a male condition while being socialist is a female condition?

In my view, it is time for two lists at every election – one for males and one for females with the top two candidates on each list being elected.

The number of constituencies would have to be reduced to 325 so that two candidates would be elected from each – but oh my, what a rush would a 50-50 gender split of MPs in Westminster be. Bring it on!

Alison Hackett
Dublin

Boris Johnson isn’t as bad as you think

Boris Johnson poses no threat to ethnic and religious communities. In fact, he is more trustworthy, given such a resounding public mandate to lead the UK at this crucial juncture.

As a former mayor of London, he saw firsthand that Britain is a melting pot of religions, cultures and civilisations and that migrants and refugees have always contributed to the cultural diversity, openness, political plurality and economic prosperity of this land.

He also knows that we are faced with a reckless and cruel foe: terrorism and that it can only be defeated with the cooperation of all communities. So let us work together to make this country great again.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

Brexit beckons

While a degree of stability has been restored with the Conservative landslide victory, we will be charting troubled seas again if we are confronted with a hard Brexit.

Hopefully, the Labour Party will now appreciate what an absolutely useless leader it has had at its helm for the last four years and appoint someone who will be a credible challenge to the Conservatives at the next election.

Christopher Learmont-Hughes
Caldy

How Labour can win next time

Perhaps I could be allowed to give a little advice to Labour for when they choose a new leader.

He or she must, absolutely must, look like a Tory.

An ability to repeatedly stretch the truth with a completely straight face and a merry quip is vital. An integrity bypass would be an enormous asset.

His or her background must be a totally blank sheet. No youthful experiments with any political thinking should be detectable. An affiliation with a far-right elitist group of vandals (eg the Bullingdon Club) is the only youthful activity that will be overlooked by the British media with an indulgent smile.

And of course, some elements in Labour itself will crucify the leader publicly at every possible opportunity if they can detect anything other than a Blairite, heavily-spun blandness. The party did, after all, lose an election with barely any effort required by opposing political parties.

Compassion is a complete no-no, as the British electorate will judge that very harshly, saying they don’t trust the new Labour leader and would prefer a Tory, as in December 2019.

Penny Little
Oxfordshire

Corbynism isn’t dead

Reading Sadiq Khan’s request for Jeremy Corbyn to “Stand down quickly”, I have to say that the announcement that Corbynism is dead is somewhat premature.

One thing not mentioned by all the commentators calling for Labour to return to the establishment-friendly policies of a decade ago is that most of the centrist candidates hardly covered themselves in glory in the election. It was a wipe out for all the defectors from both main parties.

Corbyn will step down when a suitable successor is found, but a majority of Labour’s 500,000-plus members will not want to see the party become a vessel for neoliberalism again.

Would a centrist Labour Party bring in a genuine Green New Deal? Not a chance if it’s led by lobby-fodder career MPs once more. If Labour abandons its radical soul, the spark of hope for future generations will be extinguished.

Paul Halas
Stroud

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MPs need ‘promise checks’

I don’t blame Jo Swinson for the Tory and Labour Party failures – that would be too much angst for anyone to bear. However, I do feel that she has to carry the can for a fairly lacklustre performance in the public eye and for the irresponsible policy of ignoring the sentiment of half the electorate who voted Leave by initially bypassing any suggestion of a second chance to consider now that the true facts regarding the complexity of Brexit have emerged.

The real casualty of this election was any pretence of “truth” by the main rivals as regularly quantified by the many and various “fact checks”. I think the best thing the press can now do to hold the irresponsible individuals to account would be to continue this format in of regular “promises checks”, listing all claims made by Boris Johnson and his associates during the campaign and detailing monthly progress reports.

I Include in this reference to the promise that Brexit will be finished by the end of 2020! Rightly, the EU will make the UK suffer for our collective foolishness.

Roger Yalden
Lincolnshire

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