Caroline Lucas’s coup against the people

Her plan for an all-women cabinet to stop Brexit is sexist and anti-democratic.

Joanna Williams
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The more Brexit seems like it might, just possibly, happen – perhaps by default rather than by design – the more desperate hardcore Remainers become in their efforts to stop it. Brexit Derangement Syndrome has by now well and truly transmogrified into the more aggressive Boris Derangement Syndrome. Every day brings forth apocalyptic predictions of what might happen if the UK leaves the
EU
without a deal, lectures from political has-beens, legal loopholes and new parliamentary wheezes to oust the government. It’s a sordid, anti-democratic and pathetic spectacle.

The winner in this week’s race to the bottom is surely Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas. Her plan for an all-women cabinet of national unity is as deranged and desperate as any dreamt up so far. As Lucas sees it, the current government is ‘a coup led by a small group of right-wing libertarians’ hell-bent on ‘the most extreme no-deal version of Brexit’ – or, just ‘Brexit’ as the less hysterical among us might describe it. In response, she concludes, ‘we need an “emergency cabinet” – not to fight a Brexit war but to work for reconciliation’. The irony of describing a cabinet formed by the democratically elected Conservative Party as a ‘coup’ while at the same time proposing to usurp it with her chums is clearly lost on Lucas.

Lucas thinks women are best placed to lead us out of what she sees as this ‘terrifying’ mess because ‘they can bring a different perspective to crises, are able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions’. So, she’s written to 10 women MPs from across the political spectrum inviting them to join her ‘to stop the dangerous pursuit of a crash-out Brexit’. Lucas wants only women in her emergency cabinet because, well, women are just so nice! It is well known that women are great at compromising, cooperating and reaching a consensus. Women are particularly good in a crisis when, unlike bickering men, we roll up our sleeves, reach out to opponents and get things sorted out in time for tea.

If a man were to make these claims he’d be publicly humiliated for his sexist, patronising and misogynistic attitudes. Yet Lucas thinks nothing of rehabilitating the corny old stereotypes that previous generations of feminists fought against. Women in politics have long challenged the idea that they are, by nature, primarily maternal, capable and caring. They wanted to be recognised as equal to men in every respect – this meant being as ambitious, determined and – yes – scheming and devious as any man. The UK’s first female prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, hardly had a reputation for being prepared to compromise. And it seems to have slipped Lucas’s notice that for the past three years we have had a government led by a woman. Theresa May’s Brexit plans were consensual only in the sense that almost everyone agreed they were utterly terrible.

Of course, Lucas doesn’t really think all women are living, breathing stereotypes. She doesn’t really want women from across the political spectrum in her fantasy cabinet – only certain women: those who think like her. Invites have been sent to Heidi Allen, Yvette Cooper, Justine Greening, Anna Soubry, Jo Swinson, Emily Thornberry and, bizarrely, given she’s not even an MP, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon. Letters to Brexit-backers like Kate Hoey, Priti Patel, Andrea Leadsom, Lucy Allan or Suella Braverman are not likely to be forthcoming any time soon. It’s not women Lucas wants in her cabinet but women Remainers.

Lucas has a specific task in mind for her all-female team. She wants an immediate end to all talk of leaving the EU on 31 October and arrangements put in place for a second referendum ‘that allows the British people to decide which course they want to take’. This call for a ‘confirmatory vote’ is as disingenuous as playing the gender card. It would be far more honest of Lucas to say she wants to bring in women to revoke Article 50 altogether. Her plan for an emergency cabinet, the women she’s invited to participate and her call for a second referendum all reek of disdain for democracy. The Green Party Lucas represents in parliament has just one MP: her. It has no national mandate whatsoever. Yet, incredibly, Lucas is arrogant enough to propose herself as leader of her own self-appointed cabinet in order to override the decision taken by 17.4million Leave voters, including, let’s not forget, just under half of all the women who voted in the referendum.

Lucas may litter her article with references to democracy, but riding roughshod over the views of citizens is integral to the green agenda. The Green Party needs Britain to remain in the EU in order to pass the environmental legislation it wants to secure. Its members know that if they had to put their proposals before a national electorate they would never win support for them, no matter how much they talk of emergencies or hide behind Greta Thunberg. Lucas makes the link between Brexit and the environment explicit: she argues that in both cases ‘the same degree of cooperation is needed to confront what’s happening’. When Lucas talks of cooperation, what she means is rejecting democracy and bypassing the people in order for her and her pals to stitch things up between them and then impose their will on the rest of us.

There’s only one good thing that can be said of Lucas’s barmy proposal: it serves as a useful reminder, in case it were needed, as to why so many of us voted to leave the EU back in 2016, and are now determined not just to see Brexit happen but to shake up national democracy even more fundamentally.

Joanna Williams is associate editor at spiked. Her new book, Women vs Feminism: Why We All Need Liberating from the Gender Wars, is out now.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

SNJ Morgan

17th August 2019 at 11:18 am

Maggie must be turning in her grave at the quality of female politicians we have today. The worst example of whom must surely be Theresa May – supposedly a conservative PM!

Then you have Anna Soubry and the woman that has gone over to the Lib Dems, and supposedly on the other side of politics, this Caroline Marcus.

God, do we need a dose of the iron lady now.

Marvin Jones

16th August 2019 at 2:46 pm

I know that the law is an ASS 90% of the time, but is there a way for Testicles to sue her for discrimination? This is ridiculous! not a pair in her female gestapo unit.

Ven Oods

16th August 2019 at 1:40 pm

I have to admit that I like Caroline Lucas; I just don’t know why.
Perhaps she reminds me of the Principal Boy in the only pantomime I ever attended as a child.
Or maybe I just have a thing for pixies?
Either way, it’s infuriating.

John Little

14th August 2019 at 2:25 am

It now seems that our left wing, (liberal) elites are only in favour of democracy as long as the peasants don’t vote for anything that threatens their interests or their hegemony. It seems that a depressingly large number of the population are also merely fair weather democrats. The old adage has been proved to be true. “If voting changed anything they’d abolish it”. Well in 2016 the peasants voted for real change. And there “they” are. Desperately trying to abolish it.

michael savell

13th August 2019 at 5:10 pm

Women have always had their own little meetings in the HOC and elsewhere,attended by cross party reps.Nobody worried about it before,nobody complained,some of them are just good friends so it is no surprise to read about a woman who wants an all woman cabinet,the next progression could be a ban on male voters under the age of 100

Amelia Cantor

13th August 2019 at 10:23 am

It is not a “coup against the people”, it is an intervention by a responsible adult who sees children playing with matches and wants to stop them before they hurt themselves and burn the house down.

Sadly, Caronline has marred what would otherwise have been a fully admirable progressive project by failing to take account of intersectionality. She should have extended her invitation to wombyn of colour and to transwombyn, rather than simply to white wombyn.

Frank Sutton

13th August 2019 at 11:49 am

“transwombyn” – now I know you’re a Titania McGrath wannabe!

Marvin Jones

16th August 2019 at 2:51 pm

I was wondering when your coffin lid would be opened? This asinine and group of Banshees will make “no deal” look like a gift from heaven.

Jane 70

16th August 2019 at 5:24 pm

Ac-pc produces some mind blowing gobbledegook.

ANDREW COLE

18th August 2019 at 10:46 am

She’s on the “Women and Equalities committee.” Problem being that committee, shown by its name, is not interested in equality at all. They just want to give more rights to whomever they choose even if that then gives them more rights than white old men.

What they should do is ditch the “women” part of that title / brief and focus on true equality.

And thus if we are talking about true equality then she needs to stop suggesting that women and men should be treated differently.

Puddy Cat

13th August 2019 at 9:18 am

Men do this, women to that? No we are all capable of everything. But since women have railed against their primary roles they have become little but men-gals. I hear nothing but the sounds of people wanting to get on, to be something in the world, just like men use to do. Look where it got them. You cannot replace genius with gender and I am a firm believer in horses for courses. I ruined part of my existence with that getting on thing, providing more for my family thing. All it meant was that I missed-out on that family thing through my endeavours. And when we become someone these days it is only to be trolled. Only to then raise a whole load of laws that take our lives and self-expression away from us. Women do not want to be like men, well look where it has got men.

When there is not a meritocracy we have to pass into law all manner of modifiers and enablers to force an unnatural situation of what is said to be equality but in so many cases appears as favouritism or exception which cannot be approached, disavowed because of its legalistic entrapment. At base there is that whereby we burn our bridges and merely traducing others only puts a book mark into existence that can be revisited later. Who amongst us has not said something they regret?

My wife, now dead, is not represented by the £25 a fortnight I spend on the services of a cleaner, it is in the desperate hours of life without a companion, intellect and fun. The fact that she was a woman being the ultimate bonus.

There is this thing, misandry, which a lot of coercers and chancers are deploying thinking, that like the tinge of racism in the SNP’s manifesto, we tend to overlook for some reason. Hating men is every bit as ridiculous as misogyny in that it needs to address a conformity not just a similarity. In perhaps a doctrinal world where, for simplicity, it is good shorthand to name groups of people with applied characteristics. The fact is that with the wonder of mankind there is always difference, there is nuance making all unique. While we are asked not to label races as being of a certain stamp or nations or supporters, the daftness of naming men or women as being this or that is beneath our contempt. ‘Gentleman Jack’ showed us the wonder of oddity, difference, strength in our own cause; it’s a pity there is not more of it.

Hana Jinks

13th August 2019 at 9:31 am

Word.

John Jarman

18th August 2019 at 12:00 am

That surely is the comment of the day if not the week … shame ‘the bubble’ is immune to common sense.

Julie Smith

12th August 2019 at 11:31 pm

Just when you think things can’t get any more stupid… in walks a woman. OMG. I despair, I really do. Women are so often their own worst enemies… I cannot take them seriously and I’m a woman.

I’ve just finished reading “Why do so many incompetent men become leaders”. An interesting if disheartening book. Tomas, the author says, that the standards a woman leader has to meet are higher than for men and that it’s not about lowering the standards for women, but instead about raising them for men. Um… it appears the reverse has already happened…. and some.

Polyanthus Huricane

12th August 2019 at 10:12 pm

I’m full of flu but this spoof story has raised a smile on my drained, pale, yet roguishly handsome face… it, it IS a spoof, right? A cabinet of the lands most lamentable unf***ables, led by a Joker who pushes adjusted ‘scientific’ data through the medium of scary autistic Midwich Cukoos ultimately to help banking cartel billionaires shift the blame for mankinds imminent collision with their species limiting factors (population growth & consumerism – the source of the central banking cartels power) onto us all (as they did after the 08 crash) by manufacturing a cult like belief in ‘climate crisis’ to a degree where people who know better are too afraid of the MSM programmed mob to speak out (yes, 6 billionaires own/tightly control ALL the UK’s MSM). Because that’s just bonkers. Plutocracy gone wild.
But you know who I feel sorry for the most in all this, their husbands. Surely even theoretical participation in this gorgonite hydra of plutocracy that Lucas has dreamed up is evidence enough to give their husbands the grounds for a divorce. Please give the respect that’s due to men like Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, any man with the intestinal fortitude to stir last nights haggis in that marital bed is made of sterner stuff than I. For this wretched coven to then publically disrespect their spouses gender after everything else that those brave men have had to endure is adding insult to grievous injury.
(2050 if you wondered. We hit our species limiting factors around that date – go catching carbon on your flying ponies in the meantime, see if it helps. SPOILER: it won’t).
Postscript: Okay, just so I dont get called ‘sexist’ I have to add that I would not stir the haggis for Boris or IDS either. Not even if it saved the climate from spaghetti monsters’n’stuff.

Willie Penwright

12th August 2019 at 8:54 pm

She wants her clique to be “representative of all parts of the UK”.
Why no women from Northern Ireland in the Lucas cabal? The party that led the remain campaign in NI is Sinn Féin but its leader Michelle O’Neill would have nothing to do with this sexist, egotistical nonsense.

Hana Jinks

12th August 2019 at 6:29 pm

Outstanding journalism. ” The Green party want Britain to remain in the eussr..”

Stop the climate-hoax, and out the green-nazi’s.

James Knight

12th August 2019 at 5:56 pm

Funny to hear so many of them like Lucas and Heseltine suddently start talking about “democracy” and “parliamentary sovereignty”. They spent the referendum campaign sneering those principles, you wondered if they could even spell the words. But all of a sudden they are buzzwords and slogans to rally remoaners. They only believe in these slogans so far as they can be used to undermine the principles behind them.

It is like King Herod talking about child protection.

Jane 70

12th August 2019 at 4:56 pm

Caroline Lucas’s latest offering is Silly Season politicking.

She should have a chat with Priti Patel, Kate Hoey, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey .

Marvin Jones

16th August 2019 at 2:59 pm

She just could not cope with being in the same room with women of intellect, hence her chosen group from the beach in Brighton.

Jerry Owen

12th August 2019 at 4:47 pm

What … no ‘cisgenders ‘ ?

Hana Jinks

13th August 2019 at 8:34 am

This is one of the funniest cracks I’ve seen on here for months. You are a good man, and a funny man. I’ve made my point, and you should understand that it’s a lot bigger world than you imagine. I don’t get a single ounce of pleasure out of trolling you,

brent mckeon

12th August 2019 at 3:52 pm

Why give a person whos party has one MP such publicity. Just ignore the idiot.

James Hillier

12th August 2019 at 2:24 pm

Caroline Lucas is part of a class of people who think what they say sounds right, because they are the ones saying it. Sadly, liking the sound of your own voice isn’t a guarantee that your words will have any worth. Lucas is wrong about women and co-operate. The research shows that women in single-sex groups are less co-operative than men. So if we were going to have a single-sex cabinet in the interests of “getting things done”, we should have an all-male one. Of course, it’s an absurd idea. But no more absurd or offensive than many of the things Lucas comes out with. The irony about media- and political-class feminists such as Lucas, is that because they only ever speak to each other, and pat each other on the back, they don’t realise that it is they who are the ignorant chauvinists of our era.

Melissa Jackson

12th August 2019 at 2:59 pm

You are very much correct about women in single sex environments, as anyone who went to an all girls school will already know.

Men do lots of silly things trying to show who is best, but they also settle into a pecking order and follow whoever is at the top. Men will walk in line and follow the leader.

Women consistently bicker and backstab and play stupid headgames with each other. I had always been told it gets better when you leave school, but it is worse as an adult. At least it is more becoming of teenagers to be so petty.

James Hillier

12th August 2019 at 4:12 pm

“Men do lots of silly things trying to show who is best, but they also settle into a pecking order and follow whoever is at the top. ”

But ironically, one of the things the research seems to show is that men co-operate slightly less well in a mixed group than in a single-sex one. Because the silly buggers are trying to show off instead of concentrating solely on the task at hand. Which is funny.

I should add that, as far as I can remember, all these effect sizes are tiny. They’re not a reason to choose people for their sex over the competencies. It’s just ironic that insofar as there is a difference, it’s the opposite of what a sexist such as Lucas thinks it is.

Julie Smith

12th August 2019 at 11:50 pm

Ah Melissa, you are correct. Over my long career I’ve worked mostly in male dominated environments. The odd time I’ve worked in female dominated, I’ve hated it. I’d class a 50/50 female dominated btw. The only people to use the phrase “not your place” to me in the work place have been women and they’ve had no idea how unacceptable it is.

Men do indeed vie with each other, but they have a mechanism for keeping a lid on it called ‘banter’. Banter keeps everyone from getting too big for their boots… plus it’s entertaining.., I’ve come to view it as a crude but effective way of avoiding fisticuffs. Women have no equivalent and are the poorer for it.

God forbid the Woke should ever kill banter… we really will be in trouble then.

Jane 70

16th August 2019 at 5:19 pm

Many years ago I worked in a mainly male environment and what I remember most and still miss, is the anarchic humour which had many of us in stitches when we should have been working.
Nothing like this is to be found in all female environments.
This is probably a thought crime, but the blokes I worked with were the funniest, most off-the-wall bunch I’ve ever met.
As the number of women increased and the old guard left for pastures new, the humour levels fell away.

Martin Bishop

12th August 2019 at 2:11 pm

“The irony of describing a cabinet formed by the democratically elected Conservative Party”. I thought FPTP wasn’t very democratic? Should it read ‘slightly democratically elected’ or ‘partially democratically elected’?

Jim Lawrie

12th August 2019 at 2:49 pm

It seems every no mark player is pitching for power from any skewerd angle they think will help them sneak in.
Maybe she should try what Labour are doing with all women, Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic shortlists for candidates for Parliament.

BTW you do not have to be an MP to be in the Cabinet Minister.

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