That letter on gender equality being supposedly “irrelevant when fighting for social equality”.

A letter has appeared in the Belfast Telegraph today penned by supporters of Padraig / Patrick which takes issue with a letter which appeared in the same publication last week.

I’m not a great believer in sending views / click bait to a devoutly anti-union publication but for the purposes of transparency and accuracy I’ve linked to the letter above

Let’s have a look at some of the content and analyse it.

“In response to the letter from Lynn Carville (Write Back, October 21), don’t patronise us and disguise the Nipsa general secretary election as a fight for women’s rights.

As Nipsa members and active feminists we are proud that our fellow Nipsa members this year voted women into the positions of president (Carmel Gates), vice-president (Janette Murdock), honorary treasurer (Tanya Killen), chair of the Civil Service group executive (Maria Morgan) and the vice-chair of the public officers group (Alanagh Rea). We did this not because they are women, but because we decided that they are the best fighters and, therefore, best suited for the positions.”

” …not because they are women, but because we decided that they are the best fighters and therefore, best suited for the positions”. Really? Setting aside that they are all women, and clearly your type of women, I assume it is purely coincidental that they are all members of the Broad Left faction, a caucus within the union formed to take over the union as instructed by the Socialist Party?

Come off it girls, nobody is buying what you are peddling.

“To suggest that we should vote for Alison Millar simply because she is a woman is patronizing and tokenistic.”

No one is patronizing you, your persecution complex and victim mentality have clouded your judgement.  I don’t think Lynn Carville, or anyone for that matter, suggested voting for Alison Millar “simply because she is a woman”. She has many years experience as a negotiator and campaigner for members rights. You, however, appear to be set on attacking her “simply because she’s a woman” not of your particular collective political persuasion.

People have suggested voting for her based on her breadth of proven experience. If people vote for her in sufficient numbers and she wins the General Secretary election it is a fact, based on the rather inconvenient matters of history and her gender, that she will be the first female General Secretary of NIPSA. Most genuine feminists and campaigners for equality would welcome the coming about of such a situation.

“Patrick Mulholland has dedicated his entire life to fighting for social equality for all, and that includes women’s rights.”

As indeed have many hundreds of thousands of others. Nobody denies that he does, even I remember Patrick fighting for social equality for all when he was called Padraig.

“He does this not because it is his job (it isn’t), but because he is so committed to his socialist values that not fighting would allow injustice to continue”.

Again, millions worldwide fight social injustice at every turn with every living breath without the need to be called socialists or associated with socialism. You don’t own the revolution and this may come a somewhat of a surprise to you but the continuance or otherwise of injustice is not predicated by Padraig / Patrick campaigning.

“Socialist values” do not have a monopoly on moral values. There are millions if not billions of people worldwide who know right from wrong and recognize inequality and injustice and fight them tooth and nail every day. Your constant harping on about socialism and attempts to elevate individuals to a state of reverence trivialize the very revolutionary spirit and spirit of an equal society you purport to aspire to.

“Patrick has spent the last 30-plus years campaigning for an equal and anti-sectarian society for all”.

Nobody denies that he has been a tireless and dogged campaigner on many issues, but he wasn’t alone, was he? No one standing in this election hasn’t campaigned for an equal and anti-sectarian society for all, let’s be straight about that.

“Throughout our time as active Nipsa members and feminists it is Patrick that we see at almost every equality protest and demonstration – from Reclaim The Night and International Women’s Day to Pride and equal marriage demonstrations.”

Fantastic. Good for him, again he’s not the only regular face at these protests otherwise he’d be cutting a very lonely figure at them. I see the same photographers at most of these protests too. Even if they were to stand I wouldn’t be voting for them unless they could prove they had  adequate experience to hold the post. Photo opportunism does not constitute experience.

“If we were to support women just because they are women, then logic would dictate that Labour Party members should have voted for Liz Kendall instead of Jeremy Corbyn.”

You’re using the royal “we” to introduce a strawman argument based on a flawed logic. Let’s stick with the facts. Four female signatories of this letter are saying that the fact an individual as experienced as Alison Millar combined with the fact that she is a woman is not reason enough to support her in her campaign but instead the very prospect of her making female history in the NIPSA trade union should be used to attack her legitimate participation in a democratic election. Do you see how ridiculously detached from the concept of the advancement of gender equality your preposition actually is? Your earlier supposed position of supporting people “best suited” for positions looks like window dressing when one considers the far greater degree of experience held by Alison Millar.

“We are very glad that Labour Party members did not vote according to gender, but voted for a fighter who will change British politics for the better.”

I’m sure there were many who did vote according to gender. The fact is they voted for someone who talks a good campaign on issues but is short on actual practical delivery of those issues. Sounds familiar.

“A vote for Patrick Mulholland will have the same effect in Nipsa”.

That’s exactly right, see above. Whereas a vote for his opponent will put someone with real practical experience and a proven track record in the job.


There is of course a reason why there are no male signatories to this letter and that reason is that the Broad Left seem to think that attacks from the same gender will legitimize the criticism. It doesn’t, it merely shows that self-proclaimed “feminists” can jettison their particular brand of Clairol / l’Oreal Because I’m worth it tokenistic feminism in favour of a narrow political agenda to do the bidding of their male masters.

I notice one of the signatories uses a profile picture of a young girl, fist raised in the air, beside a slogan saying “A woman’s place is in the revolution”. It would appear that the remainder of the quote “…so long as she doesn’t challenge the status quo” is somewhere out of shot.

So much for that particular brand of “feminist” equality.


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