Alf is hoping The Boss is not seized by his Pommie counterpart’s pathetic impulse to kick experienced blokes out of his Cabinet to replace them with a bunch of sheilas.
The hard-working member for Eketahuna North confesses to his concerns being driven by self-interest. He still hankers for a place in the Key Cabinet. If The Boss takes a sudden snitch against mature male MPs…
Well, that would put the kibosh on Alf’s ministerial ambitions, obviously.
Cameron has run amok, by all accounts, replacing older male ministers with up-and-coming women.
He has had the gall to declare his new team reflects modern Britain.
Does this mean blokes in modern Britain should be put out to pasture when they reach a certain age?
It’s heartening to hear Cameron now faces a backlash from some of the Tory old guard who accuse him of culling middle-aged male ministers regardless of their merits.
They should also accuse him of adopting one of our Labour Party’s sillier ideas, which is to have a quota, which means gender is a more important consideration than ability.
Cameron has raised the number of Tory women attending Cabinet meetings to eight out of 27, just short of his target of a third of his ministers being women.
Which one will make the tea?
According to the Daily Mail’s report of Cameron’s surrender to a fad for gender balance.
David Cameron replaced a succession of older male ministers with up-and-coming Tory women in an attempt to make his top team more representative of the population.
By this reasoning he should have a certain proportion of disabled people in his Cabinet. And a certain proportion of transvestites. And a certain proportion of jailbirds.
Former TV host Esther McVey was arguably the star turn in the new line-up, says the Mail, although one of the biggest winners was Liz Truss, who entered the Cabinet as Environment Secretary at the age of 38. This makes her the youngest-ever female Cabinet minister.
The ice-cool mother-of-two, increasingly tipped as a potential future Tory leader, replaced Owen Paterson, who clashed angrily with the Prime Minister as he was sacked after criticism of his handling of the horsemeat scandal, a cull of badgers and the winter floods.
Another meteoric promotion was handed to Nicky Morgan, promoted from No 3 at the Treasury to replace Michael Gove as Education Secretary.
Alf observes that:
There was particular anger that not one existing woman minister was axed in Mr Cameron’s biggest clear-out since becoming party leader.
MPs had expected Helen Grant, the sports minister, who has made a series of gaffes, to be dismissed, and there were question marks over the future of Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi after she poked fun at the Prime Minister’s Eton schooling.
‘What do you have to do as a woman to get sacked by Cameron?’ asked one ousted minister. ‘No matter how hopeless or how provocative you are, you won’t get sacked because he has to meet his quotas.’
Another senior Tory complained: ‘This really is the worst form of tokenistic gesture politics. Merit is out of the window.’
That’s where our Labour Party is sending it, too, with its silly quota system.