If I’d been at the press briefing for Helena Morrissey’s report into the Liberal Democrats (which, as I’ve said, is well worth a read for its accurate and thoughtful insight into the culture of political parties), this is what I’d have asked:
You’ve talked a lot in your report about the importance of our political culture and that within political parties. You’ve also generously noted the constraints our electoral system place on efforts to change the male-domination of politics.
However, appointments to the House of Lords are within the gift of political party leaders. Do you think therefore that party leaders, and more specifically Nick Clegg in the next few years, should consistently appoint more women than men to the House of Lords?
And the answer I hope she would have given?
Yes – and given the amount of historic baggage we all still have to deal, it would be a mistake to think that it is enough to appoint the same number of women as men, or just one more.