Sep 15 2011

Leaked memo on support from women for the coalition government

SOMEHOW, a policy document from No.10 on womenfolk’s attitudes to the Coalition Government has been leaked…


The problem
After extensive polling we have found that women don’t seem to like us. Cuts in public services will impact on women disproportionately and from the focus groups, women have told us that they find the House of Commons banter “prattish”. There is some suggestion that fear of privileged PR executives is a factor for most women. In addition, the group of old dears we assembled felt strongly that the choice of ‘safe words’ from Cabinet Ministers sent the wrong message as they weren’t adequately gender and ethnicity mainstreamed. Anecdotal views included the observations that this Government didn’t seem to know what it was doing and was destroying public services which would take generations to restore (But it is important to remember that this is purely anecdotal; and that we also found rather surprisingly that women’s views differ as much as men’s).

The messaging around addressing the deficit has not gone down well at all. Women resented being told to tighten their belts as many felt bloated after eating. We should perhaps consider a narrative centred on ‘loosing pounds’ to appeal to them.

After an integrated thought-shower, we generated a long list of ideas, including;

1. Restate an existing policy but press release it on pink paper and with a quote from Geri Halliwell (hard-working mother).

2. Back a campaign that Mumsnet is running. Research tells us that some women are mothers and those that aren’t are generally too jacked up on Magners with ice to vote anyway.

3. Event at No.10 for professional and high-achieving women; ladies love dressing up for parties. This event can include awards for contribution to their field and best dressed.

4. Cabinet members to wear more jumpers; particularly Aran ones.

5. Women like children (middle-class children exclusively), we have to make sure that we like children too. Get Igglepiggle to launch new education initiative whereby children can be taken on holiday during term time if the parents can demonstrate the trip will be educational and the deal was really good.

6. Further research into what women and other minorities think of us. Although women’s issues are certainly ‘niche’ they do seem to wield a certain power when it comes to voting. Polling at school gates and the Next sale queue should do it.

7. While we appreciate the Director of Strategy’s blue-skying, we’ve discovered that suggesting abolishing maternity leave didn’t go down well with women. We will however, look in to another rather radical solution, which will certainly address the problem head on, which is removing the vote from women.

Communications and messaging
8. Our polling shows the urgent need to up our game on communicating what we are already doing. Media profile is key so we will place strategic stories in key media. Initial ideas:

  • We recognise what women are doing already and most of them are menstruating. Let’s get out a story about the PM buying tampons for his wife and how he wasn’t embarrassed to do so. We should do more research into the menstruation market.
  • Support hard-working, reactionary women. Ensure that the lady MPs still front any work that restricts women’s rights à la Nadine Dorries. At all times think ‘What Would Loose Women Shriek’.
  • Check our comedy influences with focus groups. In hindsight it was a mistake to look to Michael Winner as a communications guru. Additionally, feedback from focus groups tells us that PMQ banter comes across as “private school ponces wanking in a tuck shop”. We’re talking to Michael McIntyre’s people.