The number of female advisers at PJFS is stratospherically greater and the proportion of female MPs and cabinet members is far, far higher than that of chief execs of leading companies. And yet it could be argued that the way a FTSE 100 plc is run is as important for as many lives as trotting up to parliament for part of the year for a few years. The money is certainly better, and we can argue round the houses about glass ceilings, meritocracies, female PMs, and the likely fallout of the N. Farage/Alison Rose/NatWest resignation this week. But if you’re in a high place and you make a mistake, the fallout will always be greater, no matter who or what you are. Let’s hope it doesn’t mean yet more Andrews, Simons and other-names-are-available, at the expense of further much-needed diversity.
The ’70s were for my coming-of-age time, as they were for Stuart Maconie, author of ‘The Nanny State Made Me’. It’s when I took my 0 and A Levels, went to uni and started my first job. My view of the decade will always be rose-tinted, I’ll remember the music, discos, student grants (wouldn’t have known what a tuition fee was) and monthly inflationary pay rises negotiated by unions of which I was not a member. The strikes, high taxes and IRA bombs were background noise to me and, yes, I was the first in my family to go to university and, yes, despite everything, felt more secure with a nanny state in charge than at any time since. I’d happily pay more tax to give my kids and grandkids the same.