Cathy sets out a thought experiment. What if Jeremy Corbyn chooses to stuff his shadow cabinet full of women? What indeed. The shadow chancellorship should go to Angela Eagle, the foreign office to Yvette Cooper, to Liz Kendall social security or health, promotions for Gloria de Piero and Sarah Champion, and jobs found for Rachel Reeves, Emma Reynolds, Naz Shah, Stella Creasy, and Jess Phillips. She rounds off by noting that "the Labour leader has no excuse as he ponders his next move. If he cares about promoting women, there is no shortage of talent. Now he needs to tap it."
Indeed he does, but given how unassailable Jeremy's position is , is it likely his closest political ally is going to get dumped for someone who refuses to be drawn on whether Jeremy should be Prime Minister or not? Or, again, given the position of strength from which the putative reshuffle is to be made, why would Jeremy hand the shadow foreign office brief to someone, like Yvette, who thinks bombing raids over Syria in the absence of a plan is fine and dandy? And, to be frank, Jeremy would be out of his tree to hand health to Liz Kendall who, lest we forget, wants more markets and more businesses in the NHS - because she thinks they know how to run public services better. Cathy is an experienced political journalist, so to leave out the politics highlights either shocking incompetence or cynicism: when none of these get the call, Jeremy is obviously an awful sexist.
Let's also note that the MPs getting the Newman seal of approval - Yvette, Liz, Rachel, and Emma - were not passed over by Jeremy when he appointed his first shadcab. They ruled themselves out of participating. If they want to put themselves up for future consideration that's a matter for them, but let's not rewrite history and pretend they were unjustly marginalised by bolshevik brocialism.
The other thing about Cathy's list is that it's very, for want of a better word, metropolitan. It's only a matter of time before Jess Phillips is on Question Time more than Nigel Farage seeing as the media can't get enough of our blunt-talking comrade, and all of the others are very well known to the TV studios. Cathy's known to occasionally hang out with some of them too. Meanwhile, there's a pool of 99 female Labour MPs to choose from - many of whom never got a look-in under the blessed Ed, and who Cathy wouldn't know from Adam. For instance, she notes that Anna Turley has "laid low". No, since her election Anna's been neck-deep campaigning for Redcar steel works and is now dealing with the aftermath - I suppose Cathy cannot be blamed for such a non-Westminster trifle not figuring on her radar. There are plenty of other very able women currently knocking about in junior briefs and doing the business from the back benches. Perhaps now it's time they were given a chance instead of the same old same old.
Just like last time, Jeremy's appointments will reflect the political make up of the party, and given the strength of the left and the tilting of the balance against the PLP since his election, I imagine its bent will be more reflective of the new normal. I am sure any women who are brought in will, as with the men, get positions on the basis of their politics, their competence, and likelihood of their not undermining the leader. Whoever gets a job I'm sure Cathy and her ilk will find something to moan about, but tough. This is politics, not the bloody X-Factor.