From the BBC;-

In characteristically unapologetic terms, the Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe (..) takes aim at the party’s way of choosing its prospective MPs. She says Mr Cameron’s efforts to get more women into parliament threaten to fill the House of Commons with “second class citizens”. (..) But the Tories aren’t alone in having to deal with internal struggles over positive discrimination. Labour’s had its own disputes too, with ructions in some constituencies over the creation of all women shortlists – with some complaints that Harriet Harman is doggedly trying to enforce her preferred policy that women should be fielded in half of all winnable seats in any area.

A cursory glance through the comments to this article reveal interesting opinions about the selective equality of “positive” discrimination.

“positive” discrimination for one group is automatically a “negative” discrimination for another… If women are good enough they will be elected. It is an insult to give women special treatment as if they a second class citizens and need help to get on…the same goes for race, colour, sexuality etc, can you imagine the outcry if they had “gay only” or “heterosexual only” shortlists…..

I recommend a read through these comments for anyone wishing to see the reality of the shoddy thinking of some of the foremost decision makers in the UK!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/08/prospective_mps_selection.html