Monday, 9 March 2009

Party conference in Harrogate

I hadn't intended to speak in the higher education debate at Harrogate as I rather expected others would say the sort of things I wanted to. But listening to Linda Jack's points on women not being called to speak, and the reply that this was partly because not enough women put in speakers' cards in the first place, I thought I had better do my bit. So I bunged in a card and got called towards the end of the debate.

Its a weird thing waiting to be called. If you are not moving the motion or amendment (and so guaranteed your slot) you really can't tell whether your name will come up or not. So you can spend an hour getting nervous for no reason (this has happened to me in the past)

I was glad I spoke in this one though. I was able to use some of my own experiences (working in higher education) and talk about the very real financial pressures most, if not all, students are under.


Liberal Neil said...

Well done, you spoke with real feeling and made the points well.

You said what many of us in the hall were thinking!

Linda Jack said...

Thanks for sharing that Paula, I do get flak for banging on about this issue, but your feedback makes it all worthwhile! I remember when I chastised a chair of a Trident fringe for calling me to ask a question after about 8 men. After that not only did he call more women, but a lot more women put their hands up! I am not sure whether it is because we have been so ingrained with a subconsious belief that what we say is not of as much value as what a man will say, or that we are more afraid of not knowing enough to speak with any authority. Whichever, I am really pleased you spoke - go girl!