Cameron’s top team lacks women
THE smattering of women at the top of the new coalition government is a self-inflicted one in the eye for David Cameron’s attempts to make the Conservative Party more reflective of Britain life and society by encouraging constituency parties in safe seats to disregard gender, race and sexual orientation when choosing a candidate.
Theresa May was the big winner when the jobs were handed out.
She has been rewarded for her hard work and loyalty by being appointed Home Secretary, but the only other women around the Cabinet table are Caroline Spelman who has taken the farming, food and rural affairs portfolio, Cheryl Gillan, who has been appointed Secretary of State for Wales, and Baroness Warsi, who is the Chairman of the Conservative Party.
But at least Cameron can say that he has appointed four Tory women to key posts - the Liberal Democrats, which have the worst record among the main parties of choosing women candidates, have not one female Cabinet representative.
We have yet to see if any women decide to join the contest for the Labour leadership.
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But already, Harriet Harman has said she will not standing, although she will be acting leader until a successor to Gordon Brown is elected.
Harman, who follows in the footsteps of Margaret Beckett - a rather successful stand-in leader after John Smith’s death - will have the unenviable task of trying to puncture the coalition’s honeymoon.
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However, a woman did breach the world of the smug, male dominated opinion formers during the post-election analysis when Olly Grender kept popping up on television and radio giving her thoughts from the Lib Dem prospective.
Olly became a speech writer for Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown in the mid-1980s, having been plucked from the ranks of the party’s researchers.
It wasn’t long before she was appointed as the party’s communications director where she quickly acquired the black arts of spin and manipulation. She left after nine years to join housing charity Shelter.
COLD HEARTS IN COLCHESTER: You can always rely on the Labour Party in Colchester to spoil the party, and last week it was bemoaning the new coalition government.
I’m sure the town’s Lib Dem MP Bob Russell is quaking in his boots at the Labour allegation that “Mr Russell has traded policy and principle for the trappings of power, becoming nothing more than a ‘Yes’ man propping up David Cameron’s Government.”
But hang on a moment, this is the same Labour Party which has just done a deal for a rainbow coalition in Colchester “for the good of the borough.”
Or should that read “for the good of Labour councillors in Colchester?”
APOLOGIES for writing last week that the London Oratory is a fee-paying school. It isn’t, but it is proudly elitist.