Mike Dewar and his team at MDA have an unenviable task trying to
turn round perceptions of the freemasons of the United Grand Lodge of
England. Who can forget Monty Python's satire on freemasons? Middle-aged
men clad in aprons and antler horns, shaking hands in extravagant
Yet for many this is the perception of freemasonry - as a secret, sexist
organisation made up of mysterious chaps doing each other favours.
As part of this PR push, the masons are claiming they are secretive due
to persecution by fascists in the 1930s. They also claim that they are
prolific fundraisers and refute any claim of sexism.
But will the victim tag for this elite bunch of men really wash in the
21st century? When asked how he would counter claims of sexism, Dewar
said members were far from prejudiced, but were merely upholding an
This is not an easy message to find public sympathy for. After all,
surely women are just as capable at fundraising as men are?