There aren’t enough women in the Conservative Cabinet. In fact there aren’t enough women in politics full stop. There is talk of all-women shortlists and the like, but I reckon one of the real problems is we don’t consider a career in politics a practical option, or an appealing one.
I am passionate about politics. Actually I am passionate about people, and fairness, and health, and education, and world peace, and all those things come under a politicians remit. I might be a great politician, but I don’t want to be one. Why?
Firstly because I am a Mum. I just can’t quite figure out how you fit the job round a family. I doff my imaginary hat to those that do, like poor Yvette Cooper rushing the kids to school while Ed Balls bashes away at the ivories. Is it just me who would be threatening to shove that piano somewhere it really shouldn’t fit? For me though, I can’t just miss bedtime for an evening debate or work 6 day weeks between two homes a couple of hundred miles apart. Which is a shame, because Mums would add something that is lacking in Westminster – long-term thinking. I don’t just want solutions for the duration of a parliament, I want to put things in place that make life better and sustainable for the whole of my children’s lives, and their children’s. So how about some family friendly working hours to encourage some more Mums into office.
You know what else Mums are good at? Banging heads together. If my kids shouted and brayed at each other in the way politicians do, they would get short shrift. How I long to grab David Cameron by the ear and make him apologise for being rude to his opponents. And vice versa. In fact the whole way they behave in the chamber is frankly childish, and probably puts women off.
I wouldn’t want to be made to shriek my points over the hee-hawing of a bunch of be-tweeded men who are still behaving like life is one long Eton bun fight. Why don’t they listen to each other properly? You can learn something from someone, even if you disagree with them. The whole point scoring debate thing is not for us, we prefer our discussions civilised, we haven’t had the years of rugby tours to prepare us for sledging masquerading as political debate.
Tony Benn once mooted the idea of each constituency being represented by two candidates – one male, one female. I would love to see this implemented. That level of balance should see off the old-fashioned sexist behaviour so hotly denied by its perpetrators, and I think bring some much-needed new ways of looking at and dealing with politics in action.
Love Miss Cisco XXX