writer, broadcaster, portfolio woman


Why are even women biased against women?

BBC Online, January 29 2018 “Women are assumed to be incompetent unless proven otherwise, and men are assumed to be competent unless proven otherwise.” That’s the observation of someone who has the rare experience of having lived both as a man and as a woman: Professor Joan Roughgarden, formerly of Stanford University. Her experience as […]

Why are women in politics less authoritative on Twitter? Because men (and women) are less likely to retweet and follow them

The New Statesman, 5 December 2017 We all know that men in politics tend to shout more loudly than women, but when a big data analysis showed that there wasn’t a single female voice in the top ten most influential British political journalists on Twitter during the recent general election campaign, the general reaction was […]

Cameron the Calm walks a high wire

The British prime minister asks more of Europe than Thatcher ever did. Politico, 11th November 2015 One of David Cameron’s most striking traits is his calmness under fire. His predecessor as prime minister, Gordon Brown, would hurl objects around the room, swear and shout. His predecessor as Conservative prime minister, John Major, succumbed to panic […]

Five lessons from the Tory party conference

This week may have been the Tories’ high point in what promises to be a ghastly next few years ahead Politico, 7th October 2015 The Conservative party gathered in Manchester this week for its annual conference on a high. Activists barely flinched at having to fight their way through crowds of protestors shouting “Tory scum” […]

The best eyebrows in British politics

Denis Healey was a force to be reckoned with in Labour Politico, 5th October 2015 In an era in which British politicians have, with a few exceptions, become bland, formulaic and inauthentic, Denis Healey’s death at 98 is a poignant reminder of how it is possible to be none of the three and still succeed. […]

The Dirty Dozen: 12 people who ruined the NHS

It’s free, it’s cheap to run, and it’s in a right mess Politico, 2nd October 2015 Ask a Briton which national institution they are most proud of and chances are they’ll say the National Health Service. Remember the weird spectacle of patients in pyjamas bouncing up and down on beds during the London 2012 Olympic Games […]

Lessons from the Labour Party conference

Corbyn puts on an intriguing show, but the party is still gasping for air Politico, 29th September 2015 Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s accidental leader, has lived all his life in a hall of mirrors. He has never talked to people with different views. Even within his own party, he hasn’t mixed with anyone outside the far left. […]

Five takeaways on Corbyn’s leadership victory

Be careful what you wish for Politico, 12th September 2015 Over the past year or so, British politics has detonated bombshell after bombshell, laying waste to pollsters and pundits alike. There was the Scottish National Party landslide north of the border, the extraordinary victory by the U.K. Independence Party at the European elections, and then, […]

The Corbyn dreamers

London’s hipsters may think the Labour politician is ironically retro — but he is simply stuck in the 70s Politico, 4th September 2015 Walk down the shopping streets of Hackney or Dalston and you will find a plethora of hipster shops and cafés. The inspiration is retro: Vintage leather suitcases, Bakelite telephones, tweed jackets and […]

Migrants, hysteria and Fortress Britain

Calais and the silly season Politico, 4th August 2015 There’s something about living on an island that makes people think differently. Because we are surrounded by the sea, we British have always taken our impregnability for granted. We haven’t been invaded since 1066, and we even fought off the Nazis, who overran most of the […]

The Dirty Dozen: 12 people who ruined Labour

It’s not only Ed Miliband who is to blame for the Labour Party’s benighted state Politico, 24th July 2015 As Labour lurches toward its leadership election, a mere seven weeks away, here we name the 12 guilty men — well actually, 11 men and one woman — who between them should take responsibility for Labour’s […]

Nick Clegg won it for Cameron

Britain’s prime minister owes a major political debt to the erstwhile leader of the Lib Dems. Politico, 14th May 2015 When David Cameron says his prayers at night, he should make sure to thank God for Nick Clegg. No one else seems to give the departed Liberal Democrat leader much credit or appreciation. But it’s […]

A ‘curly Labour poodle’ bites back at her bullies

The Daily Mail is vindictive, hypocritical and misogynous – and I should know The Times, April 25th 2003 When I first told my colleagues I had agreed to propose the motion “The trouble with this country is the Daily Mail” in a debate last night, their responses came in one of two forms: either, “That’s brave!” or “Are […]

What happens when high-flyers in the finance sector fall to earth

The Times, February 19th 2013 It can be a long way down, or a happy release   They are used to earning exorbitant sums, being lavishly dressed, housed, fed and travelled, and trading billions as if they were ten-pound notes. They use taxis, not Tubes, and eat out without a thought. If they want something, […]

Cosmetic surgery is bad. That women feel the need for it is worse

The Independent, January 2nd 2013 The pressure to look attractive can be the worst part of being female A friend went to the wedding of a British man and his Texan girlfriend. She looked across the aisle and saw a whole row of identical-looking women. “I didn’t know Diane had so many sisters,” she said […]

Women still can’t have it all – but perhaps their daughters can

The 20th-century model designed for men with wives at home isn’t suited to the 21st century

A referendum is coming. So why doesn’t David Cameron take the lead?

Britain is potentially the most influential of all the non-euro members

If they give it away, it’s probably too expensive

We need to understand the price of free

Let’s have more fathers holding the baby

We’ll know equality has arrived when we ask a man ‘What will you do after the baby is born?’

Judge women on their ability – not on their age or their looks

They’re patronised when they’re young, and deemed past it at their peak

Labour’s wrong if it thinks it’s time for a shift to the left

If Labour had been less arrogant and complacent in Bradford West, it could have won

You don’t have to believe in God to cherish the Church

It is precisely because the Church is established that it feels a duty to serve the whole nation

The dreamers who gave us the eurozone stand condemned

This was a policy blunder born of arrogance and insouciance at the highest levels

What women see in the mirror is self-hatred

Women feel depressed because the ‘ideal shape’ is almost as remote from reality as Barbie’s