Theresa May’s new Cabinet photo reveals her to be an equal opportunities discriminator

Out of 28 Cabinet minsiters, two are from ethnic minorities and seven are women – a genuinely impressive lack of diversity

Tom Peck
Wednesday 14 September 2016 20:30
At the front we have a rotund Etonian shattering his own world record for manspreading
At the front we have a rotund Etonian shattering his own world record for manspreading

It is not a single error but a compound one that has set people talking.

If Priti Patel and Sajid Javid had been placed on the front row, would the internet have been so quick to point out there are “more purple ties than non-white faces” in the new official photograph of the new cabinet? Maybe yes, maybe no. But what moved the likelihood in the direction of absolute certainty is that the spot that might have been theirs is instead occupied by a rotund Etonian shattering his own world record for manspreading. We can only wonder whether an invisible medicine ball between Boris Johnson’s legs is where the Foreign Secretary keeps his shame. There must be plenty of it after all, and no one’s ever seen it.

It’s basic stuff. By way of a randomly selected example from my own past, anyone who had more than a passing glance at the admissions prospectus for a particular Cambridge college in the early 2000s might have found themselves wondering if they were the presence of one of the great polymaths of the age, as the face of the same South Asian man was staring back at them, alternately beavering away in the law library or bent over an electron microscope, singing in the chapel choir and punting his way up river. By the time the two-day shoot was done, Ahmed from the 2001 intake and the photographer had become such good mates I believe they even went on each other’s stag dos five years later.

Still, Javid and Patel combining to make two out of 28 gives an ethnic minority score of 7 per cent, a respectable 50 per cent below the UK population at large, a score that should actually rise on the basis that Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood has snuck in at the back of the pic and shouldn’t in fact be in it.

More to the point, no one can claim Theresa May is not an equal opportunities discriminator. Seven women in 28 is a full 25 per cent, so they’re exactly 50 per cent off whack on that too, a statistic that appears, as a mother, to be comforting Andrea Leadsom, who is grinning her little Brexified heart out on the middle left.

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