26 January 2011

A Woman's Place is in the Home (Office)

For all Britain's women politicians the state of the cabinet is a deeply depressing one. You don't have to be a rabid feminist to be concerned about the fact that only one portfolio was found for a woman and that it is the brief conventionally labelled 'home'. The after-thought of the token Asian female without portfolio just rubs salt into the wounds.

Having Yvette Cooper, clearly Labour's most competent and popular politician inside and outside the party, in the Foreign Office was some comfort, but now she, too, has been moved out of the three main offices of state, as though all that foreign travel might have been too much for her children.

What has made people most disatisfied about politics in recent years is the cronyism and apparent old boys' network. If the representative assemblies of our land were to be truly representative (meaning more that half of their members would be female, as well as having a fairer scattering of ethnic minorities), some of these concerns could be assuaged.

It is clear that couples where both aim to be politicians have difficult choices to make about their children's care. Neil and Glenys Kinnock and Tony and Cherie Blair were two couples who faced this decision - and in both cases the man became the politician. How refreshing it would have been if Ed Balls had been able to rise above his personal ambition and recognise that his wife has the makings of a much better politician that he does.


  1. And they ALL put their careers before their children

    If you choose to have a child, then put the time in and bring it up. There's nothing more important. It's not a fucking accessory.

  2. what aboutr disabled people molly? Does society not have these