Monday, 29 September 2008

Bridget Jones

No, I'm not going to start doing a Bridget Jones diary type blog. (Cigarettes smoked - nil (v.good); units of alcohol - nil (v. good); weight - don't know, haven't got any scales. Nope, I'll leave that to Mad Nad).

Here's some enlightened thinking from David Willetts, who has form on this, though I seem to recall everyone made excuses for him last time. It's from the Telegraph.

Tory party conference: Bridget Jones generation blamed
The "Bridget Jones" generation of career woman who struggle to settle down and start a family is driving the breakdown of British society, the Tories have said.

Men are being left behind by university-educated women who cannot find a partner with the academic achievements and career prospects to match their expectations. As a result, David Willetts, the party's work and pensions spokesman said, an increasing number of young men were entering adult life without the opportunity to settle down and act as the main breadwinner for a family of their own.

In the film starring Renee Zellweger, the character Bridget Jones works in publishing and despairs of settling down with one of two feckless suitors, played by Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.

Speaking at a fringe meeting at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, he added: "Bridget Jones is a real phenomenon, driven partly by the way the pattern of university education is changing. For the first time, in a historic experiment in our society, we have more women than men emerging from university. The majority of young people not in education, employment or training are men. Of course the world is changing, and it is fantastic, it is. But the fact is that even if men want to be the breadwinner, they are no longer being given the opportunity of being the breadwinner. They are no longer given the opportunity to bring home the bacon, and the evidence is that that is bad for families. Of course the family is an emotional and personal thing, but it is also an economic institution and what we are describing is the collapse of the economic circumstances that hold families together. The man who can't go out and command a decent wage is not going to be able to hold a family together.''

Mr Willetts said that research showed that the most important factor in the increase in the number of single-parent families over the last 30 years was unemployment in men.

In contrast, the majority of university graduates were now female, with 45 per cent of young women going on to get a degree compared to 35 per cent of their male counterparts.

Emily Thornberry, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, said: "The Conservatives seem to think there is something worrying in more women going to university. Is David Willetts saying that someone as clever, funny and creative as Bridget Jones should not have gone to university?''

Ignore for a moment whether there is any point to what he is saying (there isn't)... He obviously hasn't even seen the film. Mark Darcy, internationally renowned human rights lawyer didn't get where he was without going to university. And whatever the Hugh Grant character was called... erm, he was her boss. So presumably not a man 'who can't go out and command a decent wage'. The lesson of this is, Mr Willetts - stick to the 'Two Brains' stuff in future. Popular culture is obviously not your strong point.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I watched a bit of the conference on channel 504. It was willets giving the faithful a history lesson about chamberlain and the liberal unionists - yes you guessed it the pan shots of the delegates showed much nodding off