UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom speaks during the debate on gender quotas, Brussels, 09.07.2013
• European Parliament, Brussels, 09 July 2013
• Speaker: Godfrey Bloom MEP, UKIP (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group.
• Joint committee meeting:
Committee on Legal Affairs (LIBE)
Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM)
• Item on Agenda: Gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges (COD)
• Full session (video stream) - link to be added when available
"In a free society, it is not the role of politicians, especially those politicians with so little commercial experience, to decide on who should sit on the board of a private company. It is a concept worthy of the old Soviet Union.
In England professional women are deeply hostile to the concept of gender quotas, they are committed to meritocracy. When they negotiate both internally and externally they want everybody to know that they got there on their abilities, not to make up the numbers.
Some British political parties have had gender quota systems. We’ve had in England Blair’s babes, Cameron’s cuties, we’ve seen young women put in an impossible position.
One product of the British Conservative Party gender quota system produced a junior minister who did not know the difference between the national debt and the national deficit.
Women are often culturally attracted to certain professions. They are represented - over-represented - in radiography, physiotherapy and other clinical professions. Equally represented now in the law or financial services. They are under-represented in manufacturing. Such variations are natural and healthy in a free society.
My own party Ukip has no gender quotas, yet in the last three very successful by elections those results have been produced by women. Women success in the retail trade is world renowned, we had woman chief executive of WH Smith, body shop and many, many others all headed up a woman. Last year in England more than 50 percent of small businesses were started by women. I've seen them personally perform at sea with the royal navy; I've seen them work in bomb disposal in Afghanistan.
Trust them. Why do you have so little faith in woman that they need political patronage. Trust them, have faith in them. It will pay dividends for you in the future. "