TRIFLEGATE: Sexism is still alive and well in Haringey politics

Cllr Brian Haley s comments about Cllr Laura Edge (Insulted candidate shows she s not to be trifled with, Ham&High Broadway December 3) were inappropriate to say the least. A male colleague referring to his female colleague as sweet was last acceptable

Cllr Brian Haley's comments about Cllr Laura Edge (Insulted candidate shows she's not to be trifled with, Ham&High Broadway December 3) were inappropriate to say the least.

A male colleague referring to his female colleague as 'sweet' was last acceptable around 1972. I have also noted how often female politicians are referred to as 'lightweight' - it's the stock put-down. Surely Cllr Haley could be more original in his insults?

On a more serious note, sexism is still alive and well in politics.

Witness the fact that only a third of London's councillors are currently women, 100 years after being allowed to stand. I believe the adversarial name-calling atmosphere of the council chamber can be a real turn-off to many women.


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In Haringey, the council chamber often resembles a circus.

Name-calling, insult-hurling, and comments which pass for 'wit' but actually aren't that funny. Cllr Edge's comment that "it was like being in a school playground" hit the nail on the head!

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Cllr Haley claims it was "a fair comment for the political arena." Oh really? Does politics have to be this way? I recently visited Norwich and attended a full council meeting there. What a difference!

I witnessed cross-party communication and cooperation, as well as good humour - it was genuinely funny at times - and, crucially, important decisions for residents were reached rather than being blocked in a game of political point-scoring. I would like to think our 13 Green Party councillors have something to do with the cordial atmosphere in Norwich, but then I would say that!

Sarah Cope

Green Party candidate for

Stroud Green, N6

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