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Theresa May – future-leader or good cook?

So Theresa May thinks Delia Smith is ‘too precise’ and prefers to follow the culinary approach of Ottolenghi. Oh, and she owns over 100 cookery books reports The Telegraph, (July 8th 2016),

seeing this as a relevant infill to the debate on migration. We are now waiting, with baited breath, to know if Angela Leadsom loves Nigel Slater or Gordon Ramsay. Or maybe she relies on Deliveroo.  (Telegraph - We don’t know how you manged to get it so wrong with journalists like Alison Pearson on board – or was she out sticking to the central story and ignoring the so-called twitter frenzy?)

Anyway, now we have all we need to know. Theresa May, our likely future leader, likes to cook up a storm in the kitchen and doesn’t like the constraint of the scales. Leadsom has yet to declare. Who needs analysis of leadership and ability when a woman can cook? Really?

When we set up Staying Sassy, we vowed to stay out of politics, religion and race. Well, a good business adapts - and we are adapting right now. The Sassistas are angry – very angry – that our media patronises us with piffle when our future is at stake.

A few facts about our current political situation and Brexit

  1. We have a majority vote to leave the EU – an unprecedented and uncharted move into a future which no-one can predict. Consequently, conjecture is presented as fact and Britain is in analysis paralysis.

  2. The people who led both sides of the debate have melted away – Cameron resigns, Gove has become the Conservative’s Iago, Boris sulks in a dark corner, the vocal Remainers are giving up and the Labour party is in freefall.

  3. We have no clear leader – Cameron has checked out, the new leader is yet to be checked in.

  4. We have no opposition – the very balance on which our political system relies.

  5. The rest of Europe is looking at us with a mix of ‘Sacre Bleu’ and frustration, desperately hoping we will fall and fade into economic oblivion and prove them right.

 

What do we need?

We need leadership and fast. We need someone who will:

  • Pull together a plan with milestones and goals and a clear route to negotiating the path dictated by a democratic decision by the people

  • We need some certainty which will calm the markets and the currency

  • We need a timeline, a leadership team and trust that something is being done

So does it really matter if that person is male, female, black, white, transgender, gay, English, Welsh, Scottish, mixed, Christian, Muslin or atheist? For some, yes. Yet our press has descended into the classic, puerile focus on gender stereotyping.

So what are we getting?

  1. When BBC news delivered the Conservative party leadership results, they did not say that Theresa May and Angela Leadsom were through as contenders. Instead we were informed ‘Our next future Prime Minister is a woman’. Well shock horror, probe! We cannot recall the BBC announcing the ascendancy of Gordon Brown as ‘Our next Prime Minister is a man’.  This is not new. We had a female leader in 1979. Scotland and Northern Ireland have female leaders now. Only Wales will be man-led.

  2. We are fed foolish comments from an erstwhile wise-head, describing Theresa May as ‘a bloody difficult woman’. No doubt she refused to blush and ruffle her skirts while saying ‘yes’ to old Clarkie. Were Blair, Brown Cameron ever described as ‘a bloody difficult man’? No! Men are not difficult – they are tough, assertive, decisive, tarzan-like. Women who behave the same are bossy, aggressive, difficult bitches.

  3.  We know what Theresa May wears, her age and that she has lost weight through diabetes (though she had to set aside rumours that this was a wicked female plan to oust Cameron by losing two stone! Of course, that’s how women get ahead!). Sorry, but have we ever had the low down on the labels in Cameron’s clothes or the width of his girth? Did his waistline make him a better leader? Are his clothes of any concern? No - because he is a man.

  4. And today we get cookery. So the leading contender likes Ottolenghi. Now, can anyone tell us if Cameron is a Delia boy or is he more of a bish, bash, bosh Jamie Oliver lad in the kitchen? No? Why? Because he is a man and we think man-things about him – not what he is like in an apron.  Such concerns are only for the women.

So a message to our press:

  1. We need and, hopefully Conservatives will elect, a strong leader. Let us hope, they will elect a person who will have the guts, determination, wisdom and foresight to get us out of Brexit panic and into a positive future.

  2. Clothing is irrelevant – constructive planning is essential.

  3. Delia-gate is offensive in the face of our need for decisive leadership.

So please stop fumbling around in the easy-press mess of gender stereotyping and give us facts. We want to know policies, plans, values, intentions, style, likely cabinet allies and negotiation goals. We want a leader and we want a press which will focus on the important issues above preferred ingredients for Sunday lunch. The Times has gone some way today with their comparison, but we need more.

We are heading for a female leader. So press editors - get over it and focus on the recipe for leadership, with a good measure of facts, a glug of information, a pinch of policy followed by a quick–fry of decisiveness. Oh, and a reduction of patronising please.

 

Thank you.


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