Paula Mumdex

Well, that was an eventful Wednesday morning – definitely a break from the norm! I was invited to attend the launch of Labour’s ‘Woman to Woman’ campaign at Asda Stevenage, which is trying to engage more female voters. The campaign has been characterised by a ‘pink bus’ that will tour 70 locations, hopefully encouraging female voters on its travels.

It is a key issue; approximately 9 million women did not vote in the last election, and as many as 48% of women feel that the main political parties do not empathise with their needs.

It was a really eye-opening experience, witnessing first-hand the media ‘scrum’ that follows these events, where planning is paramount but only so much can be controlled. This was illustrated when a man gate-crashed the discussion between Asda employees and the MPs, determined to undermine what was being said.

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Posted by Paula Mumdex on 18 February 2015
Mumdex Laura

When I travelled to Asda Stevenage on Wednesday to observe an MP store visit yesterday I did not anticipate the media circus that quickly availed.

MP Harriet Harman meets a local group of women

Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman MP and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Gloria De Piero MP arrived in the highly controversial pink Labour bus to a greeting of cameras and party activists.

The pink bus set off on its tour to visit 70 constituencies with the intention of attracting female voters and particularly to reach out to the ones who currently don’t vote.

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Posted by Mumdex Laura on 12 February 2015
Esther McVey MP

Esther McVey, Minister for Employment and MP for Wirral West

It was a pleasure to meet with the Asda Mumdex panel in Parliament and see some familiar faces from the launch event in May last year. It really is a great way to hear about the issues facing Asda mums from different parts of the country, with different ages, backgrounds and circumstances.

There were several key points that I found most valuable from the session. First, that MPs need to be realistic with the public about what the Government can genuinely do to assist them and their families. It’s up to politicians, of all parties, to honestly explain what they can do to help groups of people like the Asda mums – and crucially what they can’t do.

Whether that’s ensuring families have more disposable income at the end of the month by cutting taxes and freezing fuel duty, or providing free school meals for primary-age pupils. These we can do and have done, but we should not make promises we can neither keep or deliver – like cutting electricity and gas prices because global energy markets are outside our control, or spending money we don’t have. It may sound good, but it can’t be delivered and it is such empty promises that make the public lose faith in politicians.

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Posted by Esther McVey MP on 04 February 2015
Jenny Willott MP

Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central

I really enjoyed the Asda Mumdex listening group in Parliament in December. We had a really good discussion about a whole range of issues, from getting a GP appointment to how to get more women into Parliament. It was great to have a chance to hear from thoughtful women about what’s really important to them, and we heard a mix of views from a diverse group of women who looked at issues from different perspectives.

Jenny Willott MP

One of the main discussions we had was on politics and how to get more women engaged and even standing for Parliament. I think most, if not all, agreed we need to change the culture of politics to encourage more women to get involved.

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Posted by Jenny Willott MP on 04 February 2015
Yvette Cooper MP

Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary and MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford

Yvette Cooper MP

Over the last 18 months I have travelled around the country, visiting Asda stores and talking to groups of mums – both shoppers and employees.

We’ve covered a huge range of subjects – house prices, school exams, wages and the rising cost of household bills.

And we’ve swapped stories about bringing up our children. Like me, many parents find the hours between 7am and 9am the busiest of my day; getting breakfast, finding lost PE kits and checking homework. Or those panic stricken mornings when your children suddenly announce that it’s World Book Day today, you’ve no costume planned, and you can’t just draw a lightning bolt on their foreheads because they went as Harry Potter last year!

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Posted by Yvette Cooper MP on 04 February 2015