Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lynne Featherstone - please don't resign over tuition fees

I'm spending a fair bit of time thinking about all the implications of The Vote on Thursday night, trying to work out what's the worst that can happen, that kind of thing.

I doubt the Government would fall if it were defeated, but I think our position within it would be weakened. The worst for me, though, would be if, as has been speculated about all over the place, Lynne Featherstone resigned as Equalities Minister.

Every woman and girl in the UK, whether they go to university or not,  will benefit from the work she is doing, whether it's on the gender pay gap, making the family leave situation more flexible, or, of particular interest to me as mum of an 11 year old, because of the groundbreaking work her Campaign for Body Confidence is doing. Look at her blog to see some of the issues she's been working on, including informed work on transgender rights and domestic violence. I also want someone in there who's keen to point out to the British Board of Film Classification that a few utterings of the F word does not mean that 12 year olds can't understand a film that highlights discrimination. I mean, let's face it, I understand anybody can hear foul language on the Today programme at the moment.

I totally trust Lynne on these issues - she has a longstanding commitment to and understanding of the problems and barriers facing people and she's in a key role in Government, working across departments, to provide real solutions.  Ok, so nobody's indispensable, but Lynne is pretty irreplaceable. We really don't need to lose her from Government.

It may seem unfair to single out just one minister - but I think she's one person every single Liberal Democrat would support in her role.

Like all MPs, she has a tough decision to make in the next couple of days. I for one hope she chooses an option that enables her to keep her vital job.


Goldie said...

The only thing she can do to keep her role in the Government is to vote for the legislation. Abstaining looks like a cop-out. If she genuinely doesn't think the new fees regime is fairer, she should vote no and lose her post. It has been proven the proposed system is fairer on the poorest than at present, which is why it's fairer for everyone. She should vote yes with her head held high.

John said...

agreed - I don't always agree with Lynne but she's done some sterling work over the past 7 months.

Please stay on Lynne.


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