Monday, March 8, 2010

This is rather curious

Naturally enough, I am aware of the fact that today is International Women's Day. I was also aware that it was founded nearly 100 years ago in Copenhagen by Klara Zetkin, a left-wing German socialist, who, as a Spartacist, subsequently became a leading member of the first KPD and one of the stars of the Communist International. What I did not realize was that she did escape to the Soviet Union in 1933 but, luckily for her, died soon afterwards in Archangel. I did know that her ashes were in the Kremlin wall.

What I cannot understand is why the House of Lords feels it necessary to celebrate such an obviously socialist entity. How else is one to explain the fact that all the Starred Questions today had to do with women's issues, that women peers were given obvious preference (not that I mind if it involves the Countess of Mar asking a sensible question but she does not need quotas) or that Lord Davies of Abersoch felt the need to say:
First, may I, on behalf of all the men, wish noble Baronesses a happy International Women’s Day, and suggest that we adopt the same practice as Russia and China, where the men give gifts of flowers and chocolates, maybe a year from now?
I trust the noble Lord knows about some other customs so common in China and Russia and that is the habit of making women do some of the hardest physical labour.

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