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Post Britain's Notable Women Politicians
Created by John Eipper on 04/19/17 9:04 AM

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Britain's Notable Women Politicians (Timothy Ashby, South Africa, 04/19/17 9:04 am)

To respond to John E's "tongue in cheeky" (as my British friends would say) quip about Britain getting its own "Hilary" as PM, it should be noted that the UK has a steadily rising number of formidable female politicians. In 1979, the year that Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, only 3 percent (19 MPs) of the Parliament was female. Today, nearly a third of MPs in the House of Commons are women (193), the highest percentage in history, and young women won two of the last by-elections (Trudy Harrison, a 40-year-old mother of four, a Tory, and Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney, a 39-year-old mother of two, who represents our Richmond Park constituency).

Aside from Theresa May, aptly described by the Financial Times as a "liberal Conservative" and characterised as a "non-ideological politician with a ruthless streak who gets on with the job," the UK has a number of extraordinary female politicians in powerful positions. I have met Amber Rudd, who took over May's old job as Home Secretary, and who I believe has aspirations of following in her footsteps as PM. Love her or hate her, Nicola Sturgeon, the "First Minister" of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (which virtually wiped out the Labour Party in Scotland in the 2015 general election) is a tough and brilliant politician whose ego drives her goal of an independent Scotland (with her as President or Prime Minister). The leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, Ruth Davidson, is a cheerfully overweight 38-year-old working class Glaswegian ex-soldier and kickboxer who is openly lesbian, as is Kezia Dugdale, leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

I have my doubts that such women would have much future in US politics. Can you imagine Ruth Davidson as a rising star in the Republican Party?

JE comments:  One senses that Hillary (Clinton's) implosion may have set US women politicians back a few years.  Who do we have at present?  Elizabeth Warren?  Kirsten Gillibrand?  Nikki Haley?

Tim:  could you give us your thoughts on Ms May's supposed ruthless streak?

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