Lost in France with Nigel Lawson and a herd of male bosses…

The aged white male hypocrite can be found roaming the plains of modern life, waiting for someone to take a pop. Oh, look – there’s that old rhinoceros Nigel Lawson trampling through the grass burnt brown by the global warming he doesn’t believe in.

Behind him in the distance is a herd of male bosses forming into a circle to make sure no women can find a way in.

First and with a sinking heart it is time to shuffle towards Lawson, Tory lord, Brexit enthusiast and famed teller of environmental porkies.

Incidentally, you do wonder about a man who christens his daughter after himself by adding a ‘la’ to his own name, if that was indeed how Nigella ended up being called that. Wikipedia says the name was suggested by her grandmother, so bang goes that cheap joke. But Wikipedia has been known to be wrong, so I’ll do my bit for aged male hypocrisy by keeping the jibe in.

Arch Leaver Lawson has just applied for his official French residency card. Yes, that’s right: a man who campaigned loudly to get us out of Europe wants to get himself in there. Or rather he wants to carry on living there. He wishes to be snug in his Gascony home, while making it harder for anyone else to live in Europe.

Interviewed by a newspaper before the referendum, Lawson said: “I love Europe! That’s why I live in France.”

Of course, the anti-European bigwigs are a shameless bunch, as illustrated by the patron saint of shamelessness, Nigel Farage. He refused to give up his taxpayer-funder pension after Brexit, saying: “Why should my family suffer?”

He has also spent years creaming a fortune from a parliament he despises. In ten years’ time, when he turns 63, he will be entitled to a pension of £73,000.

A gold-plated pension to match his gold-plated hypocrisy.

At which point I will just run something past you again: Nigel Farage is only 53! How can that be possible?

Now on to that herd of male bosses. A government-backed review has been looking into the reasons the boards of FTSE companies give for not appointing women.

The excuses they come up with sound like something from a 1970s sitcom. Here is my favourite: “All the ‘good’ women have already been snapped up.”

I’ve never set foot in an FTSE company, but have had a few male bosses and a far smaller number of female ones.

We all know that some bosses are fine and some terrible. Same thing with people who sit on the boards of leading companies, I’d imagine (imagination being necessary here, as that’s the nearest I’ll ever get to the board of an FTSE company).

Shuffle the words a bit and you soon see the patent inadequacy of this excuse. “All the ‘good’ men have already been snapped up – so we’ll just snap up a few inadequate time-servers, board hoppers and golf club members, like we’ve always done since God first put on brogues.”

Why the old boys’ club can’t become an old girls’ club is a mystery known only to old boys, or perhaps their nannies.

As a certain level, bosses and board members seem able to mess up at one job only to be given another. The idea that there aren’t enough ‘good’ women collapses when you consider how many men who aren’t much cop continue to be given a turn.

And with that, I am going to retire to France. Oh, drat – go to work.

It’ll be a long time short of never, before I can join the Lawson rhino in Gascony.


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