A week ago I commented for Progress in response to the question “what next?”
…I always thought it was suicidal to go round saying “a period in opposition will do us good” before the election as some did, but I guess that is the situation we are now in thanks to the ConDem stitch up/ collation/ sell-out so we must use it to our advantage. As the saying goes “don’t get mad, organise”. We need a proper leadership election now, a contest, not a coronation. After days of seeing men in suits cook up deals on the television news I would hope at least one woman would stand and all wings of the party be represented…
A week on it seems that the blokey aspect of the Westminster bubble continues. Not only is the new ConDem Cabinet achingly “pale and male” as the Liberal Democrat equalities minister Lynne Featherstone put it herself but Harriet Harman and Yvette Cooper have both ruled themselves out of the Labour leadership race leaving only Eds and Milibands to slug it out. The Guardian has had a “run Hattie run” post up on its site. To offer the party the widest choice of candidates I think she (or someone) should.
Meanwhile in relation to that Cabinet cooked up by PM Cam in comparison to executive office elsewhere: Fewer than one in five of Cameron’s ministers are women compared with 53% of Spain’s cabinet, 50% of Sweden’s and 38% of Germany’s, according to the Centre for Women and Democracy.
And on the legislature: There are seven female Lib Dem MPs, compared with nine before the election. The Tories have 48 female MPs, up from 18, and Labour now has 81, a marginal increase.
Still not good enough be truly reflective of the population as that’s out of a total of 650 odd. Will be interesting to see how the usually macho fest PMQs shapes up in the brave new world with Harriet Harman at the opposition dispatch box.