Well there’s only one subject on the nation’s mind today so if you can’t beat ‘em, may as well join ‘em. For these with suffering from an election overdose, I can only apologize…
The day started reasonably well from a feminist perspective with the news that we, the Great British public, have returned the highest ever amount of female MPs, passing the 200 mark for the first time. Hurrah! OK, still not enough to form an official opposition (heh heh, now there’s a thought), but progress is progress, and should be celebrated. Before you open the prosecco, though, please note the dispiriting postscript to this statistic: “It was not until 2015 that the total number of women ever elected surpassed the number of male MPs in a single parliament (454)." Yes, you read it right - that says "ever elected." Wow. So just 3 years ago, fewer women had EVER been an MP in the UK than there were men in the current parliament.? That’s pretty scary.
From there, I’m sad to say, my tentatively positive feelings of this morning were rapidly eroded. Nimco Ali, the FGM activist and co-founder of Daughters of Eve, who was standing for the Women’s Equality party in Hornsey and Wood Green, polled only 551 votes. And let’s not forget that just days ago she was the victim of death threats signed “Jo Cox” which is just beyond words, frankly. Sophie Walker, leader of WE, polled just over 1000, which is sadly still not enough to get her deposit back.
And now, as though all of this wasn’t depressing enough, we are now looking at a Conservative coalition with the DUP. I’m sure you’ve googled them already, but in case you haven’t here is a quick recap of their policies: opposition to gay marriage, opposition to an extension of abortion rights in Northern Ireland, and climate change denial. Sounds like a fun few years ahead, eh?
What is there to do in times like these? The answer is obvious – turn to the redoubtable Jess Phillips who - somehow - always manages to keep smiling. And there she was on Twitter, as she always is, laughing at herself, gently poking fun at the haters, and making the world a tiny bit of a better place. I leave the final words to her: I know everyone is hanging their own ideological hat on this result, but I think the rejection of hatred by so many is the one I chose.
Well, actually, maybe it's not quite the last word, I probably have one more thing to say.
Jess Phillips for PM, anyone?