Home » Conservative Cabinet is the most diverse in history…really?
Conservative Cabinet is the most diverse in history…really?
Hats off to Liz Truss.
Our new Prime Minister has beaten her rivals in the race to become the leader of the Conservative Party and she has put together her first cabinet…the most diverse group of senior minsters in the history of UK politics, if not the world.
Former PM Theresa May could barely hide her smugness when she asked, in the House of Commons during Prime Ministers Question Time, why all three female PMs have been elected as Conservatives. Its’ a fair question I suppose, and one which will make Labour Party grandees rather uncomfortable. The current opposition has never appointed a permanent leader, let alone seen a woman represent their party in the highest office.
And Truss has wasted no time at all putting together a cabinet which, on the face of it, is more progressive than anything seen before. Eton old boy Kwasi Kwarteng is following Rishi Sunak into the most crucial job as Chancellor of the Exchequer – the former analyst at JP Morgan Chase has the pedigree for the job and he’ll need to gather the experience pretty rapidly.
Therese Coffey has picked up the tough gig as Health Secretary, as well as the prestigious role of Deputy Prime Minister, while James Cleverly is in the role of Foreign Secretary. But possibly the most eye-catching appointment is that of former Attorney General Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. Ms Braverman has continuously criticised woke culture and has promised to take the UK out of the European Convention of Human Rights.
There you go; the big five jobs have been filled and there’s not a single white bloke in sight.
So far so good.
Last month we published a blog which said that ‘diversity is more than skin deep’ and here we have living proof at the very centre of government. The cabinet room is full of women and men of colour which all looks great but, in reality, Truss may be doing little more than the huge UK and European businesses which merrily wave the ‘diversity flag’ because it is good PR.
Yep… it looks good but the cabinet is not diverse.
In terms of the things you can’t see the record of this bunch is not particularly edifying. The LGBT representation is apparently non-existent, not one of the party’s openly gay MPs has made the cut, and four of the most senior members, including Braverman and Coffey, voted against extending same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland in 2019.
And if you are a champion of the working class all you can see is a backward step. Evidence from the Sutton Trust, the organisation set up to champion social mobility, found that a higher proportion of privately educated ministers are in the Truss cabinet (68 per cent) than were in Boris Johnson’s, as well as Theresa May’s and David Cameron’s.
Liz Truss has taken the keys to 10 Downing Street at a difficult time, for sure, and she, like any Prime Minister, needs a talented and strong cabinet around her. Time will tell, fairly soon, whether she has assembled a team which can deliver (her new catchphrase) so we’ll have to wait and see.
But for all the smugness around the diversity of the cabinet, we can see through it to the reality. Yes there are plenty of women and people of colour… but they aren’t the most progressive bunch and they are a bit posh.
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