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Monday, July 11, 2016

One by one the Brexit leaders fall by the wayside

As Oliver Hardy used to say, "This is another fine mess you've gotten me into."

The leading exponents of Brexit have now slid back under their stones, presumably too cowardly or just not good enough to handle the sensitive negotiation on Article 50 and the inevitable hubris and discontent that will create for our beleagured nation.

I'm sure Mrs Leadsom will paint a pretty picture in tomorrow's papers of a) not being prepared for the cynicism and public name calling that public life entails;  b) worn down by the bad publicity over what she said about mothers and Theresa May, which The Times didn't appear to take out of context, but she insisted they did  (Rule no 1 in politics: always blame the media);  3) we need to rally behind one leader quickly to start making all the changes.

Then there is also my cynical suggestion, which is:  4) Resign and give the reasons above, when really it's the tax return that is the issue.  (She still hasn't shared it and there are rumours she has offshore investments).

Nigel Farage thinks he has achieved his life's work and can now sit back and wait for the invitation to the Lords. Boris was stabbed in the back but that was a mercy because he was totally unsuited to the role of PM. Gove shot himself in the foot by stabbing Boris in the back, if that isn't mixing my metaphors. Crabb withdrew but just as well seeing as he had been playing away from home.

Theresa May is, I'm glad to hear, a "bloody difficult woman" and to my mind, having no children makes her more focused on the task in hand, as well as giving her something in common with Angela Merkel. Women have to work 10 times harder and achieve 10 times as much to get to the top of the slippery pole.  We're forever hearing about girls outperforming boys in school, and women starting to earn more than men, but when you look at the real numbers, they're derisory. The number of women in senior positions is still very low, even though data shows that having women on the board makes companies perform better.

Kudos to Mrs May for stepping into the breach, even though she wanted to Remain, and picking up the poisoned chalice.  Nobody else has got the guts. It's not surprising to me that a woman has to sort out the mess caused by Cameron / Farage / Johnson. The only good news for Mrs May is that Labour still won't present a credible alternative by the time we get a General Election.  Angela Eagle would be a fine leader but Mr Corbyn seems determined to hang on, deluded by the idea that the voters are going to swing far left when even Neil Kinnock wrote that off more than 30 years ago.

Finally, I hope Theresa May will be allowed to do her difficult job without the media trivialising her because she is a woman.

At the start of the leadership challenge, the Mail decided to compare the skirt length and shoes of Mrs May versus Mrs Leadsom. But they didn't compare the jacket cut, or trouser length of the male candidates. The only time David Cameron's sartorial style has been mentioned is when he wears the same blue polo shirt every year on holiday.  Tabloids, you spend your whole lives building female "celebrities" up and tearing them down. You shouldn't need to analyse what our PM is wearing.

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