Bournemouth day 2 evening: (Euro)women and the vote

This evening I went to a Question Time with a panel of our MEPs, including London MEP (and Islington resident) Sarah Ludford. They were setting out our position of pro EU, and pro reforming the EU.

The EU has brought us peace and prosperity, and is the best way to deal with problems that cross-boundaries, like climate change, globalisation and international crime. Lib Dems want local decisions taken locally; and action to make EU budgets and expenses much simpler and more open.

People often feel MEPs are remote – perhaps unsurprising as so much of their time and our money is wasted trekking between Brussels and Strasbourg. That’s just one of the aspects of the EU we want to change.

So it was really good to have 7 of them together taking questions on everything from dogs to defence. Sarah’s special area is human rights and justice, covering everything from promoting gay rights to challenging ‘extraordinary rendition’ (torture flights).

Five of the seven MEPs there tonight are women, and the same proportion applies to our whole Euro group. So that was a good lead in to the Women and the Vote reception to celebrate 90 years of women’s suffrage, with another winning woman, Lynne Featherstone MP.

A snail could crawl the entire length of the Great Wall of China in 212 years, just slightly longer than the 200 years it will take for women to be equally represented in parliament. That’s the depressing conclusion of the latest report into women’s representation in positions of power.

So it’s good to see that the Lib Dems are doing our bit to change that.


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