With the final vote of the Parliamentary Tory Leadership race through, one thing is clear: the next Prime Minister is going to be a woman, whilst Labour is yet to elect a single female Party leader, let alone give the country a woman Prime Minister. The uncertain thing is whether that will be Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom.
As Labour trudge through the trenches of their bitter civil war, dithering and deliberating about nominations and who should be the one to finally put Corbyn out of his misery, the Conservatives are demonstrating that post-BrExit there is a huge job to be done: and because men aren’t up to the task, they’re going to send a woman.
The left must acknowledge this achievement by the Conservatives and they must also reflect on the fact that, despite their noise on equality, it was the Conservatives that gave the LGBT community equal marriage, and it is the Conservatives that are set to give Britain a second woman Prime Minister.
For Conservatives this must be a huge source of pride. It must also highlight their ability, if enforced and encouraged, for the Conservative Party to set the tone of progressive social reform. As the leadership campaigns move forward, the Conservatives must not negate their achievements on social reform, but instead champion them.
From ensuring working class kids gain a meaningful apprentice, or encouraging children from poorer backgrounds go to university, to demonstrating that equal love is equal in the eyes of the law, the Conservatives have achieved a lot.
They have reformed education so that most state schools now perform better than most private schools. They have introduced the National Living Wage, meaning that those on poorer incomes will see their wages dramatically increase. They have also created 1000,000 low cost homes, a substantial amount more than Labour.
Under David Cameron the Conservative’s progressive One Nation policy of social reform has meant that it has been the boots of Conservative polices that have kicked down the doors which block social mobility.
To not undermine or sabotage the progress made, each Conservative candidate must present to One Nation Tories and the rest of the country, how they plan on building upon these foundation blocks.
The country needs the well-supported infrastructure, schools and public services that are the springboard for entrepreneurs and wealth creators, which create the firms and pay the taxes, which fill the coffers to reinvest in to public services.
The challenge in this 21st century, globalised, post-BrExit Britain, is to go one step forward from the previous Conservative Administration, and establish a dynamic market that chases off all consuming capitalist greed, that builds a platform for the poorest, that doesn’t just create opportunities, but champions it. At the centre of modern Conservatism is social justice, and outside of the European Union, Britain is awakening to the global opportunities. It is time for the Conservatives, and both candidates, to awake to the potential of a radical social reform agenda.
And one thing that must give all Conservatives a sense of pride, and Labour a sense of envy, is that it will be a Conservative female Prime Minister leading the charge.