Labour MP Diane Abbott’s answer to the line up of five, white straight men (all Oxbridge educated) jockeying to replace Gordon Brown as the leader of the Labour party was to enter the contest herself.
The fact that Miss Abbott is black and certainly never one of ‘Blair’s babes’ – that is, she is quite left wing and seen as a bit of a maverick within the party, will definitely make the leadership contest more diverse, and we think, a lot more interesting.
That such a low percentage of our MPs and even less ministers (the politicians who actually wield the power) are women and from ethnic minorities is a real concern. But the idea that female and ethnic minority candidates are selected because they might ‘make up the numbers’ rather than for genuinely being the best person for the job is worrying too.
No one in the know about politics thinks Diane actually has a real chance of winning the leadership. So we ask you: Are you looking forward to her input into what could be quite a stale process without her media pleasing presence? (she has long been a prominent TV pundit and appears weekly on The Week in Politics with Michael Portillo)
OR is it another example of patronising tokenism that we have a women candidate, but one that very few believe is a serious contender?
Comments below if you please.