The church and the Tories have finally realised they need a woman's touch [Guardian]

We’re run by small communities of men who bus in a few women and call it diversity

As David Cameron seeks to elevate some women to cabinet and even floats the idea of women-only shortlists in order to present the Tory party as “modern”, the everyday myth of meritocracy lies shattered on the carpet. Quick, get “a lady who does” in to hoover it up and throw around some scatter cushions. After four years it has conceded a woman’s touch may be required.

The whole situation is actually quite ludicrous. Has it been impossible to find a woman with the communication skills of an Andrew Lansley or the charisma of a Chris Grayling until an impending election? Do these guys never feel awkward as they loosen their ties around a table full of clones drawing up policies that slam women and children?

Apparently not, as we are assured by the hipster wing of the Tory party that they personally have no problems with women. They marry them, employ them as assistants and presumably watch Benny Hill together as a treat on date night.

It’s the other bit of the Tory party that can’t figure out those funny chaps called women. Out of a longlist of 11 to replace South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo, seven were women, but three men made the shortist.

Does it matter? We all know that women may be as tough and as illiberal and rightwing as any guy, and often peculiarly distrusting of their own gender.

Indeed it is fascinating to see some of the 2,000 women within the Church of England ardently arguing against women bishops, an idea that was basically agreed years ago. This coalition of Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics believe it is God’s will for the church to have male leadership.

A new deal may be brokered in which congregations can be “safeguarded” from having to deal with women bishops. In the light of current paedophile scandals, the use of the word safeguarding to mean protecting people from women in positions of power is telling.

Don’t tell them that the head of the Church of England is a woman! Although perhaps the Queen has a special exemption.

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