Rest finally came to the political commentators and journalists this week when David Cameron, our Prime Minister, appointed Nick Clegg as his deputy in a coalition government. So far this has been a bit of a love-in, with Cameron promising a Liberal-Conservative government and a ‘seismic shift in politics’.
Concessions have been made by both sides up to this point, and it’s all very happy families but it will be interesting to see how this continues when talks on international and defence policy begin.
What is strikingly obvious and disappointing, although not wholly surprising about our hybrid cabinet, which can be seen in full here, is that it is rather male-centric in make-up.
Labour are, if nothing else, supportive of women in politics but in general Britain has a poor track record of keeping women in cabinet and there have been angry reactions following the announcement of Cameron’s team.
Before we get those proverbials in a twist, and in fear of getting a bashing from my fellow ‘wimmin’ I think this subject should be approached with a reasonable head. What is interesting, and potentially disappointing are the possible reasons for this.
Of course we need to encourage more women to enter politics, in order to send the message that door is open but I am not about to endorse a quota-filling approach to appointing female front-benchers, I want the best possible candidate for the job – male or female.
The paths into politics and the professional opportunities available to women may need to be questioned and discrimination on any level is unacceptable, but blind, bra-burning fury at a majority male cabinet is not helpful either.