Why women may just keep Britain in the EU
What? I thought it was the LibLabCons who were hell bent on keeping the UK in the EU. Not according to Cathy Newman though.
As Sally Albright explains in When Harry Met Sally, “Women are very practical.” It’s why, she says, Ingrid Bergman gets on the plane at the end of Casablanca to return to her husband. Harry thinks she should have stuck around to enjoy the greatest sex of her life, but Sally knows any woman with her head firmly screwed on her shoulders would baulk at taking a risk on a man who runs a bar “and that’s all he does”.
And so it may be with the EU.
Cathy love, let me spell this out in simple terms that even you can understand – Hollywood isn’t real! Shocking, I know but it’s a harsh fact of life. We are dealing with real world problems here and this particular female doesn’t give a flying Scammel about the words some scriptwriter put into the mouth of a fictional character like Sally Albright. They bear zero relevance to whether or not we stay in the EU.
Women are risk-averse, and as David Cameron bets the house on an “in-out” referendum, he may find himself counting on them to deliver the safe result – to stay in the EU – that he says he wants. (So it might be an idea for his team to really start appealing to women – in light of today’s figures).
Bollocks! Women are just as prepared to take risks as men are, especially when the chips are down. History is littered with heroines, both sung and unsung, and I’m not talking about the sporting variety of the recent Olympics. Any female worth her salt will protect her own and devil take the hindmost because we can be ruthless as well as practical. Quite a lot of us have noticed that the EU is a threat to our way of life and adversely affects our families as well at the nation. You only need to go shopping and watch the folding stuff fly out of your purse faster each week to see that. That our own government are complicit makes it worse. So don’t give me any blinkered ordure about women being risk-averse. Some may be risk-averse just like some men can be but don’t you bloody well count me in that demographic. Don’t you frigging dare!
The pollsters will tell you why.
Maybe a thousand people polled, who aren’t all women, out of sixty odd million? This is your evidence? Oh, puhleeeeeese.
In YouGov’s last polling, both men and women are far more interested in more pressing issues such as the economy than Europe. Only nine per cent of men, and seven per cent of women say it’s the most important issue facing their family. If you ask them, though, what matters most to the country, the figure – and the gender gap is bigger – with 24 per cent of men singling it out as an issue, and 17 per cent of women. For women, but not men, domestic concerns like childcare and education are almost as crucial: seven per cent of men but 15 per cent of women care most about childcare; 11 per cent of men but 15 per cent of women are bothered about education.
I am a member of the YouGov pollsters. I know how these questions are put across. This is usually a multi-choice question so it isn’t surprising that subjects like the economy and NHS trump the EU. That’s because the economy and NHS are immediately relevant to and affect the ordinary man and woman in the street. The question is a loaded one. Extrapolating any real meaning about how ordinary people feel about the EU from such a poll is going to be pure spin. Just like your article, Cathy.
I asked YouGov’s boss Peter Kellner whether this is because Sally was right: they’re practical about the issues concerning them and their families. He agreed. “Women are more concerned with safety and security and that includes social and financial security. They don’t want to send their sons to fight in foreign wars and they like to know the food bills are going to get paid,” he said.
Peter Kellner is an unapologetic socialist EUphile. Sally is a figment of a Hollywood writer’s imagination. Kellner’s comment is a blatant strawman or is that straw woman? Senior members of the EU got us involved in Libya. They want us involved in Mali and Syria. The Labour Party got us involved in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mothers who don’t want their sons sent off to fight foreign wars should be spitting in the EU’s ugly face and punching Tony Blair in his even uglier one.
He thinks that’s why women polled now are marginally more Eurosceptic than men – because they see the EU, with its welter of directives and interfering officials, as in some vague way a “threat” to their way of life.
What Kellner thinks is irrelevant. And wrong. Women are more than capable of recognising the threat the EU makes to our way of life. And let me tell you, the threat isn’t even remotely vague. It’s real, it’s nasty and it’s pushing itself down our throats.
Women by a nine per cent margin say they would vote ‘No’ rather than ‘Yes’ in the forthcoming referendum. Men by a two per cent margin are more likely to vote ‘Yes’ than ‘No’.
Tell people the truth about what the EU really is and there won’t be anything marginal about the revulsion ordinary folks will display. Just walk down any high street and listen to the undercurrent of dissatisfaction. But the truth is drowned beneath an ocean of pro-EU spin. Newman’s article is just another drop in that vast ocean. And a grossly insulting one too.
However, intriguingly, he believes the very same focus on safety and security will prompt women to change their minds as a referendum approaches. “In a referendum I think that will flip over because the risk option will be to leave.”
That’s odd. Most of the people I know, both male and female, see staying in the EU as the greater risk. They weren’t polled though and only our parents got to vote in the EEC referendum (mine voted no because, living for a time in Germany, they saw the common market at first hand and found it repellent). But then the likes of Kellner and iDave are banking on the soft, third option to IN/OUT – renegotiation. This is fraudulence on a national scale not seen since the traitor Heath, with the complicity of the media, lied the UK’s way into the EEC and onto the path of a federalised EU. Tell enough lies about renegotiation being the best of both words, get enough people to believe it and Bob’s your uncle, we are all EU citizens and no amount of wannabe renegotiation will alter that. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. You can bet there won’t be a third referendum. If you don’t believe me go and ask the Irish.
As Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, puts it: “Rather than looking at macro economics they [women] will be a bit more likely to be thinking: ‘does it mean the price of goods will go up?’”
Another patronising SOB. Here’s what I have to say about Page’s shallow view: rearrange the following words into a metaphorical phrase or saying - off, Scammel.
So like Sally, with her days-of-the-week knickers, or Ilsa Lund’s (aka Ingrid Bergman) decision to stay with her husband, many women voters might think twice if leaving the EU means running off with someone who promises them an uncertain future. “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life”.
But then, if Cathy Newman is the measure by which these poll-it-bureau twonks gauge female mental capacity, perhaps they have a point.