Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Lib Dems, parental leave and flexible working. Old Etonians, Red Princes: Tories, Labour revert to dynastic politics.

Old Etonians and Red Princes: Tories and Labour are reverting to dynastic politics (blog) …Cameron’s trouble is that his chumocracy is overlaid with more than a whiff of class privilege that most of us thought had disappeared from politics 40 years ago. Since the 1970s the composition of prime ministers’ kitchen cabinets has been remarkably diverse. Edward Heath, Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher were all grammar school educated. Admittedly they all went to Oxford, though Margaret Thatcher used to boast: “I never let it hold me back”. Jim Callaghan went to a bog standard secondary school and did not go to university. Nor did Bernard Ingham, another grammar school boy. Campbell, McBride and Balls all went to Oxbridge after going to state schools or private day schools.

Friends: The One with The Other Woman ‘Dave was in a splendid mood as he arrived for his weekly strategy meeting with the Central Office whizz-kids Julian and Sophie.

“You can’t tell me I should be more like Nigel Farage this week!” he chortled. “He’s been accused of having an affair and paying for his mistress with EU funds. This’ll prick the Ukip bubble all right – no pun intended, ho-ho!”

The two young masterminds did not seem amused, however. “Actually, PM, what with the upcoming Euro-elections and the likelihood we’ll come third behind Ukip and Labour, we still think you should go the Farage route,” Julian said.

Dave was aghast: “But I can’t be any ruder about immigrants, just to appease that mob. Sam and I can’t get a dinner-party invitation in Notting Hill as it is.”

“We’re not talking immigrants,” Sophie explained. “This is all about your problem with women.”

Headhunters take on Cable over all-women shortlists Scotsman (blog) Business Secretary Vince ­Cable has called for an investigation into the idea, which he believes could lead to more women taking top posts at Britain’s leading companies, even if it means excluding men entirely from the recruitment process.

But headhunters have warned the proposal is fraught with legal difficulties, is unfair, and could backfire. Sue O’Brien, chief executive of City recruitment consultants, Norman Broadbent, said: “We always look for a diverse shortlist. It’s the headhunter’s responsibility to provoke the thinking of their clients. But I don’t agree with 100 per cent female shortlists. We have to make sure that the top, say, four candidates for a job are the best four people…

Jenny Willott writes… How Lib Dems are giving families choice through shared parental leave and … Liberal Democrat Voice As a mother with two small children myself, I know how hard it can be to balance work and family life. And as a Lib Dem, I firmly believe in equal opportunities for all and tackling discrimination, whatever form it takes.

So I am really excited that with Lib Dems in Government, we are shaking up the status quo to make it easier for parents with young children to arrange their work/life balance however best suits them.

David Cameron praises Selsdon teenager for raising awareness of ‘barbaric’ female genital … Croydon Advertiser A SELSDON school prefect has received praise from Prime Minister David Cameron for her work raising awareness of a “barbaric” practice.

Katie Tomsett this week organised a conference at her school, Croydon High, about female genital mutilation, which was attended by world-leading experts on the issue.

The Advertiser recently discovered more than 140 women had been treated for FGM between 2010 and 2013 at Croydon University Hospital, although experts say thousands more girls in Croydon are at risk.

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