Feature

A setback for working women

You can&rsquo;t be both a good mother and a good Cabinet minister, said Jan Moir in <em>Daily Mail.</em> That, in effect, is what Ruth Kelly has told Britain.

Jan Moir
Daily Mail

You can’t be both a good mother and a good Cabinet minister, said Jan Moir. That, in effect, is what Ruth Kelly has told Britain. In announcing her resignation as transport minister, Kelly said she realized “it was time for her to put her children first.” But coming as it does from one of the most ambitious women in the Labor Party, that platitude doesn’t ring true. “In fact, it steams with exactly the kind of self-serving, ideologically righteous hypocrisy that this Labor lot have always excelled in.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown was about to sack Kelly, a close ally of his predecessor and rival, Tony Blair. She quit to avoid the humiliation of being fired, which is fine—many politicians choose that route. Using her children as an excuse, though, is “a stab in the back” for working mothers. Most of us have no choice but to balance child care and career, and we don’t need one of the most prominent women in government announcing that it’s impossible. “Come off it, Ruth! Being a working mother did not work out for you? Perhaps you should have thought of that before popping out four baby Kellys on the trot while simultaneously clawing up the Westminster greasy pole.”

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