The winner of the Conservative Party leadership race was announced yesterday with Liz Truss beating her opponent Rishi Sunak to head up the party and take her place as our country’s Prime Minister. But here Woman Alive’s Editor-in-Chief Tola Doll FIsher explains why she’s not overly impressed or excited about the new head of state.
Today, along with thousands of children in the UK, is Liz Truss’ first day at school. Well, kind of. Those of you who listen to the news, or like me, are paid to, will know that yesterday, Liz Truss was announced as the new Prime Minister for the UK following Boris Johnson’s exit and representing the Conservative party. So she will be attending the same school but she’s now kind of head girl.
In my secondary school, we had four Houses: Raleigh - red, Wesley - yellow, Nicholson - green and Gordon - blue. Similarly to those in politics today, each student had a tie which corresponded with the colour of our House and when the head girl was chosen, it was seen as a huge win for her House. Today’s situation being only slightly different, I sense I’m meant to feel as though Liz’s win as Prime Minister is a huge win for like, the nation of women. And unfortunately I don’t. But before you bend down to pick up a stone and I have to remind you of John 8:7, do hear me out.
I sense I’m meant to feel as though Liz’s win as Prime Minister is a huge win for “the nation of women”. And unfortunately I don’t.
Despite studying Economics at school and fully intending to go on to do Government and Politics, as an adult I have had zero interest in what the UK Government is or is not doing. I’m fully aware that in polite British society, one is not meant to discuss politics (or religion for that matter so bearing in mind this platform, that’s already a moot point) but I’ll let you know that in my years of voting, I’ve voted for Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats largely based on what they have promised at the time. I know, I know, where is my loyalty? The truth is, I don’t have any, and maybe this is why her appointment has not – for me anyway - elicited much excitement.
Liz Truss is only the third woman to become Prime Minister in the UK, she’s pretty young at only 47 and she represents the Conservative party. The first means people will compare her to her formidable female predecessors: Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May; the second means people will start commenting on her family life and the third means she will get a dressing down from people who have been unimpressed with her party’s work so far.
MY thoughts, upon considering the above, landed on the following:
- I hope she has a stylist because that’s all 70% of news reporting is going to consist of from now on
- I wonder how my ex-husband feels about being exactly the same age as the new PM
- Why have all three female PMs represented arguably the most patriarchal Party?
Yes, my thinking is particularly highbrow.
I once interviewed a Chief Exec who worked closely with politicians and he commented that all of them, regardless of the party they were affiliated with, started with the same intentions: do good, make a difference, see things through. But as with most jobs, what you get on the spec and what your role looks like day to day are often two very different things.
I honestly couldn’t care less what Liz says, I am very interested in seeing what she does.
So when, in her speech, Liz announced confidently: “I will deliver on the NHS!” I was amused and slightly bemused, because I don’t really know what that means. She also said, in another short statement that felt very much like an exercise in Keyword briefing: “I campaigned as a Conservative and I will govern like a Conservative!” Again, baffled. The choice was between two Conservatives; she wore blue; we get it. I assume she sees this as a good thing? But still, the ebullience on this felt slightly jarring.
Look, to be honest, this is as much enthusiasm as I can muster for this topic. I honestly couldn’t care less what Liz says, I am very interested in seeing what she does. And the best way to do that as a British citizen is simply to pray for her. Not because she’s a Christian or because we want her to be a Christian, but because she has been chosen to lead. We, like the Israelites in the desert, have named our leader and we will need her to fight for us and for the position of responsibility she now finds herself in, she’s going to need us to “fight” for her too.