Commentary and opinion on national and regional politics by Seema Malhotra

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Now is not the time to walk away from Politics

Well over 200 women turned out for the Fabian Women's Network in Westminster this evening, to mingle, chat, hear a few politicans and plot how they can change the world. In large and small ways. What was remarkable was not just that women turned out en masse for such an event, but the small details that became apparent. People turning up for their first Fabian/FWN event. Some people standing for council in their areas for the first time - and standing for Labour. People joining the Labour party and the Fabians - all during one of the worst times our politics has seen. One could almost start to feel the wall of resistence that was starting to form in defence of politics, and indeed a bigger sense that now was not the time to walk away; now was the time more than ever to come into politics and help change it for the better. In such a time we also see the Downing Street Project building a coalition of women to think about the brand of politics in a new way; not to react against politics, but for women to engage more strongly with it. It is almost counter cyclical - happening at a time of low public confidence. But it is another sign also that there is more to politics than expenses, and in dealing with the crisis and issues around expenses we must still defend politics and, when necesary, stand up and be counted.