Maria Miller’s appointment to, amongst other things, the Women and Equalities brief has received quite a lot of criticism from non-Conservatives today.
One part of that is wrong, but understandable – a simple mistake in not realising that the role she’s taken on isn’t the one Lynne Featherstone had but rather the one Theresa May had. As the BBC got this wrong, it’s no surprise many others followed in also getting it wrong, even though the accurate information is readily accessible in many places such as in Theresa May’s own write-up on the Home Office website. Not double-checking something the BBC reports is understandable (and I certainly don’t always do that!); it’s noticeable how long the erroneous information did the rounds on Twitter however.
Another part is a deeper mistake – and that’s the classic error of not comparing like with like. Judge a new appointee on their past voting record by all means, but it makes sense when doing so to all remember what the past voting record of their predecessor was at the time of appointment too.
Because if you do remember when Theresa May was appointed to the Women and Equalities brief, it was hardly without controversy. Take this from Liberal Conspiracy:
Outrage against Theresa May’s appointment grows…
Outrage has been growing online over the appointment of Theresa May as the minister of equality despite her voting record.
All sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? Any sensible discussion wouldn’t therefore put Maria Miller’s voting record in the context of her predecessor’s voting record. Good thing we’re all sensible, isn’t it?