Thursday, August 15, 2013

Flippin' Journalists

The UKIP Treasurer, Stuart Wheeler, said something which is accurate but most people wouldn't say. He said there are some things, and he mentioned poker, bridge and chess, which men do better than women by and large yet there are no physical attributes necessary for these indoor, parlour pursuits. He concluded that having quotas for gender representation on boards was perhaps inadvisable.

Interviewed on The World at One he accepted that there were many things women did better than men, that mixed gender representation was pretty much a good thing and that he said what he said in the context of a meeting where gender balance on everything was being pushed as the right line and he felt it needed careful cashing out.

Now there is a certain delight journalists take in developing someone's slightly inappropriate and out-of-context comment into a major faux pas. I will bow to no-one in my dislike of UKIP although I take some pleasure in the thought that their very silly ticket may split the silly vote and allow a centre-left administration back in.

The summary at the end of The World at One was that Wheeler had called for an end to fixed quotas for females on lists of applicants. As far as I can tell from his interview and other quotes he did no such thing. It is naughty to suggest so. I hate it when this happens to politicians I like so feel duty-bound to denounce it happening to someone I loathe too.

He was also asked to comment on a joke about attendance at one of Berlusconi's 'bunga-bunga' parties. Jokes never work out of context. Once reported they only cause trouble.

Tarring UKIP with the misogynistic slap-stick brush (what shape would that be?) is not necessary. They make themselves look stupid, given time. Let's not exaggerate for effect. No effect is necessary.

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