© Nick Taylor

Jackie Weaver: “I’ve read—and understood—the standing orders”

As the local elections are held across the country, we spoke to the woman who shot to fame at the now infamous Handforth Parish Council Zoom meeting
May 5, 2021

What is your favourite quotation?

It’s more of a misquotation, but: “If you can keep your head when those around are losing theirs, then perhaps you don’t understand the situation?”  It is a reminder that we don’t all see things the same way—and you might be wrong!

Is getting involved in local politics worth it? 

That will depend on what you wanted to get out of it. If you want to make a change in your community or local environment—yes. If you want to test the waters of a political career—yes.  If you want fame, glory, recognition—no.

Have you ever stood for election yourself, and what motivated you? 

Yes, 25 years ago in the small village that I lived in. There were no facilities for the young and the council was largely
older farmers.

What would people be surprised to know about you? 

Pretty Woman always makes me cry.

Which historical figure would you most like to have
dinner with?

Hitler—I’d really like to try to understand why he did what he did and why so many followed him.

Is modern communications technology a force for good or ill?

A force for good—but what we do with it is sometimes ill.

What is the biggest problem of all? 

Inequality.  Many of us have too much and so many of us have too little.

Do women make better politicians? 

No—but they don’t make worse politicians.

Do good rules make for good decisions, or does it come down to personality? 

Personality is important, but good “rules” and then proper enforcement helps.

What have you changed your mind about? 

How much progress has been made on equality for women—I had thought we were much further ahead than I now realise we are.

Had you read the standing orders?  

Read them—and understood them.