Jeremy Corbyn has assembled his Shadow Cabinet and, for the first time, it is made up of a majority of women. Topping his 50/50 promise by one, Corbyn has appointed talented, able and exciting additions to what could’ve been the same old same old. But it seems old JC can do no right; all night he’s been under attack for not having enough women in “the top jobs”.
It’s true! He appointed John McDonnell as Shadow Chancellor when Angela Eagle would’ve made a great job of it! But then, considering the closeness with which Corbyn and McDonnell have worked over the past few months, maybe Jeremy wanted someone he already knew and trusted, someone who had a large hand in formulating the economic policy that the Shadow Chancellor will be responsible for championing.
He gave Shadow Home Secretary to his leadership opponent Andy Burnham, when there probably was a woman able to do it. But why pick a woman just because she’s a woman?! Why appoint against your strongest just to make up the numbers, woman-wise? That would be awful! Yes, I wish there were more women in the higher roles but, as Corbyn’s team ask us to think about in their press release, what ARE “top jobs” and why those particular roles?
Still, against the fact that Corbyn has fulfilled his promise for at least a 50/50 split in Shadow Cabinet and the fact that Labour now have more women on the front bench than ever before, even his own Party members are kicking him, calling him a sexist liar. I have a theory as to why this is and it’s nothing to do with anything Jeremy has done. He could’ve created a 95% female front bench and these people would still complain.
It’s because, I think, we on the left like to take the moral high-ground. We – some of us anyway – secretly like it when politicians (especially) are a bit sexist because we then get to fluff our feathers and display our True Progressive Inclusivity. We cry “where are the women?” when there aren’t enough women “in high places” and “tokenism!” when there are. We like slamming politicians because we’re above them morally, obviously!
So when Jeremy Corbyn rocks up with his 50/50 Shadow Cabinet we need something to rage against. We can’t be having him being more progressive than us, putting women in charge of health, education and defence! We’ll fight him until he sacks McDonnell and appoints Angela Eagle (whether she wants the job or not – it seems nobody cares what she thinks!), swaps Watson for another woman (they can’t think who just yet) and then resigns himself so Yvette can have the job (because the majority of these people voted for her anyway).
Many of these people don’t want Corbyn in power because they didn’t vote for him, so – regardless of what he does or says – he’ll take a beating from those who should be getting behind him. There’s a bigger fight happening and, as usual, the left are ignoring it to beat themselves up.
Meanwhile, the Tories are pushing through a Trade Unions bill that will devastate the rights of workers and their ability to speak up against oppression at work. But never mind, eh? Sod all that. Let’s all have a stab at making Jeremy Corbyn cry.