Sexual politics

Jackie Ashley ("Revealed: how Labour sees its women", 4 February) should not take the Fawcett Society's single-gender research so seriously. As the exclusion of the Tribune editor, Mark Seddon, from the Ogmore by-election shortlist indicates, men may also feel they have been unfairly rejected by the new Labour machine.

Ann Carlton

Burry Port, Carmarthenshire

Your sub-heading to Jackie Ashley's article refers to "the selection committee". But selection by committee was abandoned a decade ago in favour of "one member one vote", with its empowerment of the confused, the incapacitated, and the lazy who don't bother to go a few hundred yards to branch or constituency hustings. Blame this system for sexist shortlists and parachuted "celebrities".

Councillor Frank R McManus
Todmorden, West Yorkshire

Jackie Ashley claims that Britain comes 19th in a world "league table" of women's parliamentary representation. But the Scottish Parliament is right up there at the top of this particular league, alongside Sweden and Denmark - 38 per cent of MSPs are women.

Andrew Lockhart Walker
Dollar, Clackmannanshire

The introduction to Jackie Ashley's piece on the Fawcett Society report rightly describes it as a "shocking dossier of political misogyny". Yet what right has the NS to take a sanctimonious tone when the photo chosen to illustrate the issues arising from the report, on the cover and within, was so blatantly misogynistic itself?

Linda Cooke
London N7

This article first appeared in the 11 February 2002 issue of the New Statesman, Take cover: evil is back