As Cameron, Clegg and Miliband line up like a trio of privileged peacocks ready for political pontification, I don’t think I have ever been as disinterested, disillusioned or turned off by politics in my life! It just looks like another tiff in the Eton dining hall to me and I know I am not alone in feeling utterly depressed by the whole process.
As Baroness Warsi becomes the latest female to experience a very short career in the cabinet I know, intellectually, this lack of parity should spur me into action and encourage me to get my campaigning head on, but I feel deflated and disempowered by the whole affair and as I am sure you know by now this is, totally out of character for me.
The media has done a pretty solid job of vilifying any women who dares to step up to the political plate – Harman, Mensch, Widdecombe and May are all examples of smart women ridiculed and battered for everything other than their political prowess. This makes the game very unattractive to women and helps to maintain the male majority.
Our so called democratic system is definitely not female friendly – late night sessions in the house, a ‘he who shouts loudest’ mentality and the need to maintain both a London and a constituent visibility means serious sacrifices for a working Mum.
We are asking so much of these frame-breaking women to stay the course in a system that constantly chips away at their identity and forces them to defend themselves for every move they make. Unless we make some fundamental changes politics will remain yet another men’s club and our economy and society will suffer big time.