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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Women's Work

It is paradoxical that on the day when the number of women MPs came first to exceed 200 - still less than a third of the House of Commons - all the people who had to take a lead in potentially resolving the problem that Mrs May had created were women.

The Queen gave Mrs May the commission to form a government, Mrs Foster may be able to deliver the Democratic Unionists to give Mrs May a majority in the Commons; and Ms Davidson has already warned Mrs May not to allow Mrs Foster to set terms that would be unacceptable to the Scots. Ms Davidson's party has produced more Westminster MPs than the DUP can muster, so Ms Davidson is a power broker of considerable potency.

Just to add piquancy to that mix, the three Nationalist parties are all led by women as well.

All these leaders are currently most concerned with the dilemmas and problems that they face; but they should take time to reflect with satisfaction that the historic issues of gender have effectively been resolved in this country. The question of 'gay rights' might yet stymie the chances of Mrs May continuing in office, and it is obvious that she will never be in power. But the essential fact that women' rights have been consolidated is now self-evident, and is to be welcomed.

Mrs May has failed to convince the country that she can resolve the conundrum of Brexit. She excluded most of her cabinet from any decision-taking about the content and direction of the election campaign, and she put herself forward to the exclusion of everybody else. I have not yet heard anybody say that these are 'essentially feminine' characteristics; but I am sad to say that I expect to hear it - or read it in the paper -during the weekend.

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