A plea to all members of the Labour Party from the Rt. Hon. Humphrey Horswell, QSM.
Fellow members of the Labour Party,
I urge all gentlemen of good character to resist with every ounce of your being the proposal being put forward by your party’s New Zealand Council for consideration at the 2013 conference.
As you well know, the proposal I refer to is the one that would allow the members of an LEC to block a man from standing for selection as the candidate for that electorate.
What madness is this, I ask you? Have our Council been indulging too liberally in their liquor? Were they in their cups when they came up with this pernicious proposal?
We have already gone too far in allowing our ladies to believe that they ought to be heard. They tell us that their opinions are as valid as our own. They demand equality, and they say that if we are serious about equality, we must take action. They say that the equal representation of women in Parliament will never happen without changes to the way we select our candidates.
And they are right. How can they ask us to be serious about adopting such a monstrous and destructive proposal? Equality for women? Pish! Ask your good lady wife tonight what she thinks about any great matter of state, and listen as she babbles incoherent nonsense to you. And they demand equal rights? God save us all if we should find ourselves being ruled by these well-meaning but simple-minded ladies!
Now I’ll grant that some ladies may well have considerable knowledge on matters of housekeeping or child-raising. But politics? Good lord!
Above all I consider this proposal to be extraordinarily condescending to women. Women do excellently already, and in some professions and jobs they are in fact dominant. They do very well in a number of professions, such as cleaning, secretarial work, nursing, and nannying. What need do they have to enter the tawdry and demanding world of politics, when they can already do very well for themselves changing nappies and washing dishes?
Our House of Parliament is a dreadful place. It is a hive of noisome and obnoxious fellows with disagreeable opinions all too often expressed using the coarsest language imaginable. It is not at all a place for ladies. We ought to be shielding our womenfolk from such a terrible environment. I ask you gentlemen this: what kind of man would allow his wife to enter such a house of ill repute?
And what sort of woman has any time for politics? Once she has fed the children, done the laundry, cooked the dinner and ironed her husband’s shirt, how can she possibly hope to have any time at all for the business of politics?
It may seem unjust to some women that men have been granted dominion over them. But it is the natural way of things, and we ought to avoid innovations that threaten our social fabric. Beware, gentlemen! Down that path lie anarchy, disorder, and ruination!
Instead, let us admire our wonderful ladies for their natural charms, and encourage them to devote their leisure time, such as they have with all of their various domestic duties, to gentler pursuits. Reading, sewing, and poetry are splendid hobbies for a young lady.
Whenever my wife ventures to express an opinion at the dinner table over some great issue of the day, I raise my hand and I say “Dear, the veal was splendid. Would you be so kind as to serve me another piece?” By such chivalrous means I change the subject and so avoid embarrassment for my wife. It would be no difficult thing to let her tongue run wild at the table and allow her to express an intemperate and foolish opinion on some matter, such as the Schleswig-Holstein Question or the gold standard. But she would soon realise that in matters of politics she is a simpleton, and that her nonsensical witterings have upset the children.
It may now be too late to revisit the decision of our forebears to give women the vote. But surely, gentlemen, unsavoury innovations that actively encourage women to participate in politics must be fiercely resisted! It is the duty of every man to stand up and say: “we shall not stand for this nonsense!” It is for the good of our womenfolk that we must take up the fight. Our women do not know their own minds, and we must act as their guardians and protectors.
If it is decided in the end for reasons of expediency that we must allow our ladies to express the desire to participate in matters of state, then let us at least agree to give no power to their words. Let us if we must allow these foolish ladies to believe that we support their goal of achieving equality, but let us also ensure than no action be taken to advance their aims. That is why we must strike down their obnoxious proposal.
Gentlemen, do not be swayed by the foolish prating of your wives. They know not their own weaknesses. Vote down this measure, for the sake of womankind!