Some years ago I felt that Theresa May would be the next female PM. That was before the referendum and the emergence of Andrea Leadsom who conducted herself with level headed composure whilst Teflon Theresa decided to hide behind the sofa, waiting for her chance to leap out at the opportune moment and let slip the dogs of war against all who stood between her and Number 10.
Today I read that her top policy is to immediately commission the replacement for Trident. Hardly a pressing issue as it has cross party support anyway. We hear she supports the ECHR. We hear she refuses to commit to the security of those immigrants from the EU who have already made their homes here.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is waging a slur campaign on Andrea Leadsom. It is throwing the kitchen sink at her. How is she responding? By calmly refuting every piece of dirt thrown at her. She is explaining why she changed her mind on the EU, not denying that she has done so. She is being statesmanlike.
She is prepared to offer the olive branch and reassure those EU citizens currently living in our country that they will be able to continue doing so. She is promising to implement Article 50 as soon as she is in power.
In fact, she is doing everything that Saint Theresa isn’t. She is addressing the issues that are most pressing and that are most worrying for ordinary people. She is, in a word, showing that she might actually make a pretty damn good Prime Minister.
What she is not making noises about is spending billions of pounds on a nuclear deterrent which is not a contentious issue anyway. Basically, she’s not muddying the waters and trying to deflect attention.
I sincerely hope that she has the courage of her convictions and fights this contest to the bitter end. If so then I believe there will be two female candidates on the final ballot and I think Mrs Leadsom might just be surprised with the level of respect and support she commands in the rank and file.
I certainly hope so, because this country needs nurses not nukes – and I know which should come higher up the priority list, even if Theresa May doesn’t…