Opinion: Lynne is our Champion for equality and everyone should know it!

Contrary to the pernicious article in the Guardian on Saturday, Lynne Featherstone MP, Minister for Equalities has worked her socks off to put equality and women’s rights at the top of the agenda for this Coalition Government.

And not only at the top of the agenda, but driving in every possible direction to ensure the rights of women (and also in particular the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people) are catapulted on to the front page of every tabloid and broadsheet paper and into the mainstream political debate and discussion.

So with all this extraordinary work, you would hope a supposedly decent journalist would congratulate her work and not ridicule, making snide off-hand remarks but No! The article by Jane Martinson paints Lynne so untruthfully, I don’t know where to begin to unravel such comments.

Suffice to say, that Lynne’s work at every tier of government whether local, national, European or global is conducted with the utmost compassion, respect, humour and above all that unmistakable skill of “nagging” in the right way at every opportunity to those so called “pale males” in government to ensure that the issues she is responsible for are at the heart and soul of this government.

From being at the United Nations last week for International Women’s day and tackling violence against women, to formally launching the Body Confidence campaign, or leading the first ever government transgender action plan or tackling homophobia and transphobia in Sport, Lynne’s CV as Minister of Equalities is as impressive as any other former Equalities Minister. In my opinion it’s far more impressive because she is tackling such complex issues that have been ignored by past governments who didn’t have the expertise or guile to step up to the plate and tackle.

So, Liberal Democrats, we should be emphatically proud of her work that has so far been achieved and I expect everyone to contribute to the Equal civil marriage consultation which will be launched this week, which will only go to serve and further underline the unstinting and unrelenting work of our Minister in what she has achieved and will continue to do so and therefore deserves every ounce of support we can muster from the Party and especially those of us whose dreams and hopes she is fighting for! Thank you Lynne!

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4 Comments

  • The “pernicious” article to which you refer does mention the things you herald as successes, but Jane Martinson is pointing out some of the inconsistencies in what Lynne says (like the stuff about body confidence, only to then advocate surgery for a woman with ‘droopy’ breasts). There are some glaring omissions from the government’s approach to women – like the fact that women are hit hardest by many of the cuts, and the fact that women’s rights have barely registered in foreign policy objectives. Lynne is also embarassingly out of the loop – like over the UN announcement, and over not heading off Ken Clarke’s disaster over rape.

    I hate to say it, but Yvette Cooper does more for keeping women near the top of the political agenda than anything Lynne has done, and Jo Swinson has set the pace on body confidence. Lynne’s doing OK – and has done far more on LGBT issues than for women (which actually will cost us votes, even if the right thing to do) – but hardly one of our impressive Ministers.

  • Stuart Mitchell 13th Mar '12 - 7:40pm

    Excellent article by Jane Martinson. I have a huge problem with the whole “Body Confidence” thing because some of the people running it have been known to endorse cosmetic surgery and say nasty things about slim women – hardly compatible with helping women to have a healthy attitude to their own bodies and those of others. It’s the most ill-thought out campaign I’ve ever witnessed, an embarrassment for all those involved.

    With two thirds of public sector workers women, and most of the axed jobs being part-time, women are bearing a disproprtionate brunt of the cuts. Little wonder that female unemployment is at its highest for 23 years, and has risen 16% over the past two years (while male unemployment has remained the same). This is by far the most pressing issue facing women today – yet Lynne Featherstone has nothing to say about it,

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