Leading article: No first lady, she

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The Independent Online

Hooray for a woman who says she has better things to do than be out full-time, cheerleading for her husband on the campaign trail! Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, married to the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, said last night that she would do her bit by the election, but that her children and her career came first. Best of all was the way she put it: "How am I going to do that," she exclaimed, "while I have children and I have a busy job?" How indeed? Well done, Ms Gonzalez Durantez, the working women of Britain will be with you.

How did we get to the point where an attractive, adoring and professionally accomplished wife was a necessary accoutrement of the successful leader? Ms Gonzalez Durantez may indeed be all three, but we should have no truck with the trend towards "first-ladyism". We don't wish our politicians to hide away their spouses, but nor are they baubles to be flaunted. We don't need two for one in this country; one will do just fine.

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