As someone who attended the Scottish Conservative Party conference last week, I did not recognise your political editor, Kieran Andrews’ sour description of it as “pale, male and stale”. He seems unable to acknowledge the transformation – both symbolic and practical – Ruth Davidson is effecting in the party.
The conference replayed her election broadcast last week. It showed conservative values of work, education and family as not only entirely consistent with being a young professional, independent and extremely successful woman who is gay, but as the secret behind her success. Attractive and with a genuine sense of humour, like Ms Davidson herself, the broadcast did not trumpet its radical credentials – unlike Ms Sturgeon and her 50% female cabinet.
Mr Andrews completely ignored the broadcast in favour of a cheap jibe, however inaccurate. The Scottish Conservatives are fielding five strong female candidates, as well as a couple from ethnic minorities and one with a serious disability. Everybody wants more diverse candidates to put themselves forward for selection, and they are, but as the other parties know, it’s a long, slow process, particularly if you are starting from where the Tories are in Scotland.
The SNP may have more female candidates standing for election at Westminster, but it still contains plenty of the pale, male, and stale, who wield the real power in the party. Does the same hold for the cadre of Scottish political editors to which Mr Andrews belongs?