In defence of Charlotte Vere

In recent comments to this blog, an issue has been made of the fact that Charlotte Vere once had a nanny for her children and had holidays in Switzerland and Barbados.

While maybe not intended, there is an element of sexism in these comments. I have yet to see negative comments made of a man who has made it to the top should he have a wife at home looking after young children or if the mother of his children is working and they jointly employ a nanny. No, it is only women who attract comments if they have a nanny.

And so what if she has had holidays. Good luck to her.

The issue here is not about nannies and holidays, it is about need, and whether that need can be met regardless of ability to pay.

I have no difficulty defending Chuck Vere in regard to these criticisms. However, if in her campaigning and support of policies that directly or indirectly limit the potential of women to achieve their aspirations, get education and training, pursue a career, because of the absence of or restrictions on childcare, then she can expect this blog to single her out for criticism. But that criticism will be based on policy not gender.

At the heart of this debate will be public funding, and as a Tory candidate she will face close scrutiny regarding support for Tory cuts to the poorest and most marginalised.

Perhaps Chuck Vere will make an early commitment to unambiguously support free or affordable childcare.

The Brighton Pavilion campaign, with three strong women candidates in Nancy Platts, Caroline Lucas and Chuck Vere, will attract sexist criticism. On the other hand it will inspire a generation of young girls that candidacy for high office is something open to them. For this this blog thanks Nancy, Caroline and Chuck.

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6 Responses

  1. You are quite right that the nanny carping is sexist, but she can’t claim to be green and have gone to Barbados for her holidays, unless she went by boat.

    I find your blog really interesting by the way, I don’t know how you attracted all those comments on your testimonial page

  2. Thanks Baps for the comments above. You mention my position on childcare and you are right to, it is an area in which I have a keen interest as I believe it is at the heart of getting as many people back to work as possible. If you bear with me 10 days or so, I will get a website up and running and one of my first posts will be about childcare.

    I hope you were watching the Politics Show today – my first ever live TV interview!

    Best wishes,

    Charlotte

  3. Dear Charlotte,

    I will again ask: will you be making the cruelty-free pledge ( http://www.votecrueltyfree.org/) and ensure that Brighton Pavilion elects a cruelty-free MP?

    Many thanks,

    Luke

  4. Comments about her many foreign holidays relate to her claimed ‘green’ credentials, not her sex.

    Another key question is whether said Charlotte will ‘rent’ some temporary accommodation or actually buy and move to Brighton. In this climate, with a loss of faith in opportunist politicians, this will be a key issue. Renting a room down here won’t wash.

  5. Surely it makes much more sense for her to rent a property, given that she’s an outsider to win the seat. I’ve lived in Brighton for 12 years but I’ve never been able to afford to buy a property – does that make me uncommitted to living here?

    Re. previous comments about holidays and employing a nanny: whether Charlotte employs a nanny or not is entirely for her to decide, as is the decision on whether to fly off on expensive holidays. But in the context of a post which doubted her ability to communicate with working class voters, I was merely mentioning that her lifestyle appears, somewhat unsurprisingly, to be affluent. I’d make exactly the same observation of a male politician.

  6. Does she see herself as an outsider, with a huge poll lead for the Conservatives in a razor-thin Labour seat?

    I repeat – candidates on a ‘green’ ticket better be sure that they’re not globetrotting hypocrites.

    Today’s Tweet from a Withdean pub and attempt at sympathy for Brighton and Hove Albion smacked of faux populism. She’d better gen up on the names of the Manager and palyers of she wants to play that game.

    Signs of amateurism creeping in already.

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