Tabloids reveal colours once again as Kelly totters

// 13 January 2006

Is Ruth Kelly a good Education Secretary? Perhaps not. But the right wing press have chosen push the idea that the reason she’s failed is that she’s spending too much time with her children.

Kelly is famous for refusing to work after 6pm in order to have enough time to spend with her four children – as such, she is a veritable pioneer, combining one of the top jobs in the country with a healthy work-life balance.

At a time when many mothers must accept poorly paid part time work for which they are overqualified, this should be welcomed.

So, what are we to make of the Daily Express using its editorial to call her a “boy doing a man\x92s job”? Let’s just reflect on that a minute. For the Express, a Cabinet post really is a “man’s job”. How much of its criticism of Kelly is rooted in reality and how much on the automatic assumption that no woman could do it?

All the other usual suspects (The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Daily Mail) line up with similar comments.

Meanwhile, across the pond we learn that keyrings showing God giving Adam a condom, based on the famous Michelangelo painting in the Sistene Chapel, has provoked a storm of criticism from right-wing religious types. Pandagon has more information. As one comment says, this particular section of the population seem to be “outrage junkies”.

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