This House believes that no discrimination can be positive

Proposition Opposition

Francesca Hill was President of the Cambridge Union in Easter 2011. 

Jan is a PHD student at Peterhouse.

Julie Meyer is the multimillionaire founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital, and is best known as a "Dragon" on the BBC's Dragons Den online. A regular columnist for City A.M., she has been called one of the most influential businesswomen in Europe by The Wall Street Journal

Baroness Angela Smith is a Labour Co-operative peer and former Parliamentary Private Secretary to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. She was selected to stand for election as an MP through an all-women shortlist, and served as Minister for Social Exclusion from 2009 until the General Election.

Dominic Raab is the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, and previously worked as an international lawyer for the Foreign Office. He has criticised FCO work placement schemes for barring white male applicants, arguing that this re-introduces discrimination "via the backdoor".
Baroness Afshar is Professor of Politics and Women's Studies at the University of York and is the first Iranian woman to sit in the House of Lords. She is a prominent Muslim feminist and has served in many organisations promoting women's issues and gender equality.

On the motion "This House Believes that no discrimination can be positive" the house divided:

Ayes: 72
Abstentions: 44
Noes: 74

The motion fails.


Monika's picture
Submitted by Monika (not verified) on Tue, 24/04/2012 - 18:14

Hi CathI agree with you, especially the need for more fnindug for Rape Crisis centres (duh).I just feel this is a bit of a nothing review, intended to get nothing done.Yeah the govt. will consider' the recommendations in other words, some poor junior civil servant will be instructed by their boss to write a diplomatically worded response that amounts to nah, this would cost money/ take effort get stuffed'.Cynical, me?I think that it's important to focus on increasing the conviction rate. Yes aftercare for victims whether they report or not is great, but there are reasons why so few women report and why attrition is so high. Things can be done about those reasons. The quotes above seem to be saying *shrug* rape is just *SO difficult* to prosecute, and I've seen that attitude before.And: If this is to be done with due regard for economy then we need priorities. What we have learnt from the review suggests to us that care for victims and protection of those who are vulnerable to rape should be a higher priority than it is now.'Just sounds like she's saying that it would just be too expensive to improve the conviction rate.And protection of women who are vulnerable to rape'? Wtf? That is one shade away from victim-blaming yes I'm sure women should stop going out at night, getting drunk, being young and naive or disabled or whatever the hell vulnerable is supposed to mean but erm, how about instead of policing women's behaviour, men stop raping?If I was raped (touch wood I'm fortunate enough that I haven't been) I would want to see the attacker get what they deserved, big time. I know some survivors feel much the same way and seeing their attacker at least have to stand up in court and defend himself is necessary for them to recover. Whereas feeling the police didn't take them seriously, or even that there is no point going to the police, is not going to help.(I can see why some women choose not to report and would never say that they have to if that's their way of dealing with it but if an individual woman *wants* to exercise her rights to have the crime against her investigated properly, but feels she *can't* as she won't be believed, or feels that she isn't believed and drops the case, that's different). But the point is, it's no good just saying that we need to deal with the aftermath. Protecting women means actually prosecuting rapists, so that men realise there is at least some chance they will get punished, as they deserve, for raping and therefore maybe don't rape. They are just getting away with it at the moment.Whew that was an essay.

Gak's picture
Submitted by Gak (not verified) on Fri, 27/04/2012 - 15:13

I was amused that you worneded what on earth to say to the Pope. I understand that he is unused to discussing anything; it is not the style of a pope. I gather that you just listen to pontifications and dogma, but maybe I am being uncharitable for Benedict came across as a warm and human man, unlike his portrayal by the RC Church and the Vatican. I asked a well-known RC friend why he just accepted all the dogma. He replied that he was a busy man and it suited him to just accept the RC religion as a package, without having to question it or debate it. Other RC friends of mine in Glasgow I find, do want to listen to other viewpoints but are loathe to debate even say the Liturgy.