The demise of Tsipi Livni has puzzled me for some time.
Supposedly we all go on impressions but I liked her, as apparently did many others, hence her showing pre-2009. She always came over as quite firm on her principles and a straight-down-the-line sort of person. She’s still popular in the west though not with the left. However, the left in Israel saw her as the lesser of evils and her commitment to the two-State solution was at least something. She looked like the one who might broker the peace.
She is now completely out of parliament and many wonder why. It’s partly her own limitations, partly the doings of others, so it appears.
The verdict of Amotz Asa-El, a Hartman Institute fellow and a former executive editor of The Jerusalem Post was:
“They played up her Mrs. Clean image, emphasized her femininity, changed her hairdo and dressed her in elegant business suits. But she was a shallow politician who could not seriously debate anything,” he said. “She was no match for Bibi.”
“Many in the party simply refused to reconcile themselves to remaining in the opposition,” said Nachman Shai, a Kadima Knesset member and Livni supporter. “They wanted someone who they thought would give them more of a chance to return to the coalition.”
Livni also managed to make many enemies within Kadima. In one incident caught on camera, she repeatedly interrupted Mofaz as he attempted to present his diplomatic plan for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Kadima lawmakers in November 2009.
The beginning of Livni’s downfall was her inability after the 2009 general elections to form a coalition, despite winning a plurality of the votes. A bloc of several religious and right-wing parties made it much easier for Netanyahu to form a coalition.
Meanwhile, left-wing parties Labor and Meretz, which had lost votes to Kadima, declined to support Livni because they were concerned she would form a coalition with Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu. Negotiations for a rotation government that included Likud and Kadima fell through in part due to Livni’s opposition to the idea. Ironically, if the deal had been finalized, Livni would have started her stint as prime minister.
An American leftwing Jew put it down to Operation Cast Lead removing her reason for political existence:
And that’s what happened to Livni - she became a hollow shell afterward, an image of liberalism, of change, of a new future, but with nothing inside.
Thus the left, which had seen her as the possible way forward to accommodate Palestine abandoned her and the right were never impressed by her political naivety anyway. If that’s all it was, there’d still be residual sympathy for her but when her leadership went to the vote in March, 2012 and she was trounced, then she left the Knesset altogether in May, saying she wasn’t interested in politics any more, then changing her mind and saying she would not leave altogether, it was time for a rethink on this lady.
Livni is now displaying that unfortunate motif of the woman in politics today – accepting only a senior or the senior role and nothing less will do. I’d always thought she was above that, like Thatcher, that she was beyond the gender card and the throwing of the toys out of the pram.
There was an ulterior motive for me personally too as I needed examples of women who were excellent in public positions to kill off the vague sentiment of misogyny always hovering around any criticism of women. To be able to point to someone I liked – her – would have been useful as a counterpoint to the Harmans, Mensches etc.
And there is most certainly a prejudice against women in parliamentary politics – let’s be honest about this.
It is both unjustified and justified at the same time. Look at Caroline Flint – she made it to a ministerial role and if she’d been prepared to stick with it and do a good job, without the pettiness of the biscuit issue, for example or the issue of the witch hunt, she might have slowly risen.
There were a few factors militating against that:
1. She had an overweening ambition and had swallowed the PC narrative without realizing that for Brown and Co, that narrative was mere lip service to make themselves look good with the EU and women [who have the vote] in the community.
2. She truly believed in the quota idea, i.e. half the cabinet places had to be women and as she was already a cabinet minister and a woman, well she saw the plum jobs coming her way. When that did not occur, she threw the toys out of the pram and showed gross disloyalty to one who had kept her in that position she had. She attended Harman’s meeting about disloyalty to women and misogyny but everyone at that meeting was in it for herself, not for women in general.
3. She used the term “female window dressing”, which showed precisely where she was coming from and her prejudice, as well as her complete swallowing of the PC narrative. She was apoplectic when she found out the narrative was bollox. Now the very term “female window dressing” is an interesting choice of words, given her own behaviour:
Even the woman who interviewed her for that shoot called her “feisty”.
There is one other group in society who do this – who pout and get stroppy, throw the toys out of the pram went they don’t get what they want immediately and so on – and that’s a child.
That is, in fact, what Brown, for all his faults, had on his hands – a troublemaking teenage girl. And one not above using her body in a photo shoot when entitlement didn’t do the job. Can you see Norman Tebbit or Gordo or even iDave reclining on a chaisse-longue? Clegg might be persuaded.
We’re skirting around terms here no one is daring to use for these women – politically and emotionally immature.
Ms Flint told him it was not good enough. At this point, exasperated Mr Brown is said to have exploded: ‘But the Minister for Europe is one of the most important jobs in the whole Government. You will have a permanent seat in the Cabinet and attend every meeting.’
Ms Flint dug her heels in, told him she was resigning – and left.
A Labour insider said: ‘People have got tired with Caroline’s “Hello boys” walk down Downing Street when she attends meetings. The PM was right to refuse to negotiate with her. She has a reputation for talking up her own prospects.
‘She had only been Housing Minister for five minutes when it was put about that she wanted to be Transport Secretary. No one has a God-given right to be a Secretary of State. It is for the Prime Minister to decide.’
Only a female would dare indulge in such behaviour with a sitting PM. Now look at the passing parade – Louise Mensch, Chloe Smith, Nadine Dorries, Theresa May, Rachida Dati, Carla Bruni, Patricia Dunn, Carly Fiorina and so on. It’s not PMT, it’s not lack of logic, it’s that they are childlike, with the sense of responsibility of a child, with big eyes for the main prize and wanting whatever they see which looks good for them.
And did dorries succeed in her venture Downunder? Of course not. She is not the type who can succeed – she is full of herself and her ability to “have it all”. She sees nothing wrong whatever in walking off from her responsibilities in her day job to indulge herself for a month.
Such people are temperamentally unsuitable for high office where a certain gravitas is required. True the Cleggs, Camerons and Millipedes also lack that but that is what is required. Plus competence and parachutees rarely go together- just ambition and privilege.
Louise Mensch for example – very good at going on HIGNFY and big-noting it – just observe her body language and ignorance – making a complete ass of herself over the injunctions issue, playing fast and loose with the law, playing at politics, being the big minister but when promotion to the really prestigious roles was not so immediately forthcoming, what did she do?
Left her constituency in the lurch and flitted off to America. And the legacy all these sorts of women leave is that … well … they’re not very good at what they do, they’re loyal only to themselves and they’re untrustworthy – you can’t rely on them to hold down a job for any length of time as they’re constantly wanting promotion – they feel they’ve failed if they don’t keep going upwards.
There are many women who are great but sadly, they’re not in parliament or in high office. They’re not parachutees, they have worked their way up, like the men and they are taking their turn.
Now I thought Tsipi Livni was above all that, that she hadn’t been parachuted in, that she wasn’t into the gender issue – a killer for high office – that she wasn’t PC and for all this gay marriage and other rubbish. Seems I was wrong on all counts. When she was offered a rotating leadership in the parliament, she refused.
Why? Because she wanted to be the Big Kahuna herself, the one who told people to do this and that. Sad to see it is also the case in Burma, where people are resigning from the NLD in their hundreds – this is now outdated – and the charge is that the party is being dictatorial to the activists. Aung San Suu Kyi is either party to that or she can’t control the other elements in the leadership, precisely the criticism of Livni as well – that she had no natural control.
Not everyone has understood this yet about women at the sharp end of politics. Mid-East Matrix certainly thinks she can bide her time and have another go:
I realize you aren’t interested in taking a secondary or tertiary position to others, but face it: you’ve lost your political base after you left Kadima and politics. You don’t have a political vehicle for returning to the game. Drop the delusions of grandeur and don’t sulk: you’ve got a real opportunity here, and you need to seize it.
He looks at how Hilary Clinton went about it and is not badly placed, should she wish to rejoin the
But these women mentioned above are not like Clinton and Thatcher. Those two were/are more manly than a man, they’re hard nuts and ruthless, they lack compassion and … well … womanliness. Flint and Dorries and Mensch et al – they’re real women in the worst possible ways and consequently handicapped.
There is not one woman heading up a major country, department or firm, at this time in the west in November 2012, who is doing it well.
Now look at men and there are any number of deadheads out there, especially in parliament – that’s not in dispute. However, to get to their position, most have had to play the game. Even silver-spoon Ed Balls had to go to the Bilderberg meeting and pay his dues, sell his soul. That meathead is perfect for Them – not bright enough to have thoughts of his own, willing to destroy for the cause, loves playing the troll in parliament – thinks that’s his role.
Most of the men there though have had to pay their dues and be patient. No card to pass Go, no special pleading, no quotas, no PC support. So they sit there in office and rise or fall on their doings and sayings, e.g. Chris Grayling. There are no women doing that and it’s not entirely their fault and yet they accepted the bunk-up, they didn’t say no and who would when everything is running for them?
The thing is though that the closer one gets to the top job, the more scrutiny one comes under and the more the track record has to be achieved without help. This is where women are falling down and failing to break the glass ceiling for any length of time. What so many fail to understand is that in a very non-gender way, there are a whole load of other people, admittedly men, with their eyes and those of their wives, on a limited number of jobs.
There is a lot of criticism by the feminazis that the proportion of women in top jobs is actually declining, rather than “improving”. This is equally so in America. So think about why that is. And if there is prejudice – why is there? Could it be that once women did occupy higher office, they were then in the public spotlight, with no further mollycoddling by political correctness, i.e. they had to perform and simply couldn’t.
I’m not saying certain women in the community could not perform – just that the type who were parachuted in with all their self-entitlement could not. Just like the feminazis themselves, these parachutees have done enormous damage to the “progress” of women towards that glass ceiling. That is – there is now justification to refuse them on solid grounds, whereas before there was just prejudice.
If my agenda was the promotion of women, I’d be most peeved by the poor quality we see up there at the moment. Things take time and women of quality take the same time as men, i.e. the length of their working lives, to achieve. They will do so eventually but first they must overcome the hurdle of the harpy and harridan.
Look again at one very important principle previously mentioned – that Thatcher and Clinton weren’t women in the accepted sense of the word. They were machines and though Clinton plays the gender card when it suits and hoped it would get her over the line against Obama, she doesn’t rely on that exclusively but on her ability as well.
Thatcher always ran on her ability and do you know anyone who sees her in purely gender terms?
That’s the whole thing, the nub, the bottom line. When a woman allows herself to retreat to the special pleading and the quotas, she’s never going to get the top job, she’ll never break through that glass ceiling and why should she? She is representing only half the party, half the electorate. She is only interested in women’s benefit or more usually – her own – and she can’t disguise her hunger for her own glory. While men might sympathize with women to an extent, they’re not going to support someone who dislikes them as men.
I’m surprised that women in politics haven’t studied Thatcher more closely.
And so, while Livni acts as a woman in the worst ways, she’ll not cut it at the sharp end. It’s wrong, it’s unfair but there it is. She essentially has to have a complete rethink in order to rejoin the game.
Of course, there is another angle I’ve failed to cover above. Macheath explains:
Lynne Featherstone has put her elegantly manicured finger on what is stopping today’s women achieving their full potential: “One of the main barriers to full equality in the UK is the fact that women still have babies.”
Er…yes – I mean, who else is going to do it?
Special pleading, anyone?
Despite the damning ruling by a jury yesterday that she had committed 21 counts of fraud, the 57-year-old will not be punished after a judge ruled she was too depressed to stand trial.
That’s rather good really. I commit 21 crimes and when they come for me, I plead depression. It used to be that the devil made me do it.