Went to a screening last night of a new film to be released in the autumn – Made in Dagenham. Invited – because it is the story of equal pay – how the women machinists at Ford Dagenham car plant went on strike for equal pay over forty years ago. Their action led to the Equal Pay Act forty years ago.
That fight still goes on today – with a pay gap between men and women in full time work – as unacceptable now too.
But outside of the issue itself – which is extremely timely with the coalition commitment to promoting the right to request flexible working to all and promote equal pay – it is just a brilliant film.
It is in the genre of Billy Elliot and Brassed Off – and I hope that everyone sees it – as it is truly inspiring. Although for reasons I don’t understand (other than the ‘F’ word is used) it is going to get a 15 certificate. Given the violent films that are passed for children – I am a bit surprised that something this educational, entertaining and brilliant cannot be seen by those under 15.
Huge congratulations to everyone who worked on this great British film.
I look forward to seeing it. Just out of interest, what is the ConDems thinking on workers having the right to strike when faced with injustice ? As we know, the Cons have never approved. What will you do Lynne if later this year teachers, lecturers etc feel the need to strike over cuts in education ? will you support them or is it only in retrospect that strikers can be portrayed as heros and heroines ?
Yes, equality in the workplace is very important. When is your government going to remove the right of Faith Schools to demand employees be of the “correct” religion? And worse, their right to dismiss teachers for conduct which is “incompatible” with the religion of the school, even if they were not appointed on grounds of their religious beliefs, and even where the conduct only concerns the private life of the teacher? It’s bad enough that you are encouraging the growth of schools which exclude children on the basis of their parent’s faith or lack of it, but to allow them to continue to flout all the workplace equality laws is shameful.
I look forward to watching this film I have been passionate about equality for many many years, I like to see how the real life issues can be brought into the public eye more.
What chance would the Ford women have today?
Support action at the time was coordinated by London shop stewards. Action taken in support of equal pay which was secondary, unofficial and often against Union leadership. All now illegal.
Whilst 2-3 million unemployed is “the price worth paying”, talk of equal pay is meaningless.
Can I please use this space to voice my concern that you are twittering that critics on this blog are your “political opponents whose purpose in life is to post comments on my blog”.
You should issue a retraction immediately if you are to retain any credibility. I have criticised you and the Coalition on here, and I am not a “political opponent”, but I am a constituent, and one who voted for you at the last election.
Never again, if you hold me – and everyone else commenting on this blog – in such contempt.
Actually there are people on this blog who want to work with you rather than be your political opponent. Politics should have nothing to do with equality!
You are in a position to implement change if you really wish to but then you will make political enemies. Yes, there has been a lot of political point scoring on this blog but there have also been many issues that would have benefited from a response from you even if that response is ‘too difficult’!
I am one of the few (?) who are not cynical about ‘big society’ and spend most of my spare time working for an equality-based charity. Your equality teams seem to be working to retain the barriers that prevent true equality rather than working with those who have expertise to find solutions.
The GEO action plan is seen by many as another delaying tactic to avoid dealing with solutions to many problems that are pressing.
This blog is an ideal opportunity for you to share your thoughts on how the equality agenda can be advanced and for you be better informed of how real people with real problems feel.
Wow I’d no idea Lynne had tweeted such a thing. I’ve been posting here for quite a long time now time, with a lot of the comments quite critical (though always constructive criticism).
I do oppose a lot of what Lynne says and many of her stranger ideas and I don’t believe she’s at all suitable to be responsible for equality issues. However I do support the Lib Dems and the coalition for the most part so I’m certainly not an opponent in the party political sense.
Neither am I, I’ve always voted LibDem (even given them my money on occasion) and my father is a LibDem councillor. To write-off adverse comments as coming from political opponents suggests that Lynne is burying her head in the sand.
I am critical of the LibDems joining the Tories, very at times but all for reasons I’ve been careful to explain.
Lynne, your contempt is very disappointing.
And yet all these ‘constituents’ think they should post here, instead of writing to their MP. Curious, that.
Don’t like something your MP is doing?
Want your MP to respond to you as a constituent?
People posting off-topic rants in blog comments are not attempting to communicate with their MP, they’re just playing at political point-scoring.
Ok so you have watched a film. Now what are you doing on equal pay?
. I attended the Fawcett hustings and heard you lambast the other parties for failing to support pay audits.
You made the best contribution on that subject. Dont think we are taken in by your recent pushing of the weak pay secrecy clauses. It impacts on very few women.
Do not backslide in implementing the pay reporting clause in the Equality Act or you will feel the fury of the women’s movement.
She blogs. There is a comment facility. We comment. Many of us also (me included) write to our MP.
Stop trying to stifle democracy.
It’s perfectly appropriate for constituents to comment on this blog. It’s an open forum. Among her various musings, Lynne posts comments and pictures of events in the constituency – why should we not respond to them here? We may also be contacting her in other ways. Lynne might not like much of what is said on this blog – but that’s down to her actions, not ours.
how on earth can anyone that voted for you be described as a political opponent? There are so many here that have supported you in the misguided belief that you would represent them and be their voice. Maybe people expect too much of you. One of us is obviously wrong.
Bubblebath I have said that everyone is welcome to comment on my blog posts and be as critical as they like. You are welcome to respond to my blog posts – that is why I have open and unmoderated comments. However – I am underwhelmed by the demands for me to respond to every comment or question – as I have explained – I post and anyone can comment.
Great, Just mention it to Andrew next time your see him.
Mr Bubblebath to you!
Mr Bubblebath – apologies!
Andrew Suffield, your terminology is interesting – “off-topic rants”, “playing at political point-scoring” – classic ways of trying to stifle opposition by belittling it as mad, irrelevant or silly.
By the way, apparently some Lib Dem ministers are getting a bit jittery because of the way the Tories seem to be hell-bent on destroying public services. They’re worried that the Lib Dems could be finished because of their association with the Tory blitzkrieg.
It’s not too late, Lynne, get out now while you can!
What of the age discrimination issues that are so culturally ingrained. For instance when the issue of gender and equality such as women citizens ability to pass on their citizenship to their children born abroad is fixed along comes age discrimination as a way to put it back in. I ask this as I am campaigning with several others to remove this injustice. For instance anyone born before 1983 descended from a woman married to a foreign citizen have to pay fees, undergo “character checks” and attend citizenship ceromonies. Their younger siblings or the children of British fathers married to foreign citizens don’t have to pay any such fees and are automatically British. The same is true for children born out of wedlock where the father is British. If they are born before July 1 2006 they don’t even have any path to citizenship even if they are born right here in the country to mothers who are here legally. Its this age issue of nationality we would like to see undone. When Harriet Harman was women’s equality minister she promised she would have this discrimination removed but there is no sign this is going to happen under the new government. Many of us are now well into our 50s or over and have waited a lifetime for justice to be seen to be done both on the basis of gender and age discrimination. We would like to see you support us in these efforts!
Returning to the original post – the women at the Ford plant, it seems that the only way these folk managed to change things was by taking direct action and this eventually led to a change in the law.
Peter Tatchell recently made the point that lobbying etc over 40 years did not lead to the partial equality gained by the gay community. It was achieved by taking direct action, specifically by embarrassing The Establishment. Lynne, you would find what he has to say interesting
Moving on, it is clear that The Establishment is embarrassed even by the presence of trans people – how many were invited to Mr Cameron’s recent No 10 GLBT garden party (nor was Peter Tatchell – outrageous)!
The lesson of history is that downtrodden disadvantaged minorities have to fight for equality.
Paula – thanks – will look at the Youtube vid. I am told that Trans people were invited to the Cameron launch at Downing Street. Do you know for sure that this was not the case?
Jamal – asked my office last week to brief me on the issue of the fees that you raise.
Lynne uses this blog to big herself up and to attack her political enemies. The idea that constituents who feel duped into voting for her want to take issue with her here is a matter for them and not sycophantic LibDems- well the few who think she is doing the right thing anyway. The days of just dealing with cracked paving stones is over for a little while- not long though.
As for paxick the dimwiddy twitterer who thinks WE need to get a life, here is a quote from one of his tweets:
“LibDems party beautiful garden cucumber sandwiches cakes guest President Ros Scott good coalition speech my vote of thanks + LibDem identity”.
Wow gripping stuff. How I wish I had his life.
The point is that you have been asked the same question by any number of your constituents. if you answered here you would save public money by not having your minions answer separately. Tell us why you will not meet us?
Equally you have said repeatedly what the evil Haringey Council must not cut and I have asked you politely what it is that you say they should cut. No reply to a question that would take seconds to answer wouldn’t it? After all you must know.
By the way only a couple of weeks ago you were demanding to know exactly who I am and telling me I didn’t have the courage of my convictions by not telling you the world and their dog on your blog. Not quite the anyone can comment etc response of yesterday is it? Oh and I will very happily attend the meeting you call so you can have a good look at me. Let’s see if you now have the courage of your own convictions.
No doubt it’s Highgate speak but telling people you are “underwhelmed” by requests to reply is pretty pompous isn’t it?
And the point already made. Where will you be during the coming public sector strikes? Behind the judge saying you missed one person out of the ballot so it’s an illegal strike?
Finally will you personally be doing the Equality Impact Assessments needed to expose the unequal effect of YOUR government’s cuts on women?
One minute Lynne is thrilled beyond measure to discover that she’s been named as a ‘fanciable MP’ and the next she’s channelling Rosie the Riveter.
It’s funny – but it also highlights the problem with our MP, namely that she has no ideological borders to inform her thinking or, if she has, they are so far apart as to be meaningless. Hence her ability to oppose the Conservatives prior to May 6 and then immediately pop under their wing post May 6.
And now the LibDems have painted themselves into a corner. The more unpopular they become – down to 12% in one poll – the more they have to cling on to the nearest Tory (sorry for the unappealing visual) and support the Coalition come what may. An election in the near future would see them wiped out. Imagine how happy all this makes David Cameron. The LibDems have committed themselves to pushing through a raft a deeply flawed, deeply undemocratic and deeply unfair policies which will impact more heavily on those least able to bear the burden…unless one or more of them makes a stand. Lynne, it could be you?
Shocked it is as high as 12% given the failure of this MP to treat her constituents with any respect. If you have a blog and encourage posts it is incumbent on you to reply to posters rather than inanely tweeting “they are all being nasty to me” .
No response from Lynne to my question re action on equal pay. Anyone can say they will “promote equal pay” as the coalition agreeement blandly states. What is the alternative “oppose equal pay” or “promote unequal pay”. Please can we have some serious engagement by the MP. If I wanted to hear about the highlights of someone’s social calendar, I can buy Vogue or Tatler. Rest assured that I am not the only person who will be asking you to stand up for equal pay.
and please can you answer my questions re legal aid for human rights cases or for parents challenging decisions re special needs education? Or are you too busy attending film premieres?
Glad to know you enjoyed the film. Unfortunately we won’t see many more like it – it was funded by the UK Film Council, which Lynne and her ConDem allies have just axed.