End Game is the biggest fan of public health minister Anna Soubry and was distressed to see her dragged into controversy after attempting to make a sensible point about women doctors.
The minister for shooting from the hip - as her distractors unfairly label her - got herself in trouble during a Westminster Hall debate after her Conservative colleague Anne McIntosh made some remarks about the “burden” women doctors place on the NHS when they inconveniently have babies and go part time.
Instead of making the point that it’s better for everyone if the species continues to reproduce, or suggesting the real problem is a cultural one relating to unequal attitudes and expectations about parenting roles, Ms Soubry’s good nature got the better of her.
Instead of shooting Ms McIntosh down in flames, she said it was an “important point” which highlighted the “unintended consequences” of having lots of female doctors. Surely no one could interpret that as agreeing?
Those nasty hacks in the national press could, and they all ran vindictive reports suggesting Ms Soubry had somehow endorsed Ms McIntosh’s views.
So the minister had to issue a “clarification” saying that she fully supported women, families, GPs, women GPs, women with families, GPs with families and women GPs with families, or something.
She also ran a more personal piece on the ConservativeHome blog, in which she said the press’s hysteria over her failure to disagree with a load of palpable nonsense “risks undermining the detailed and thorough parliamentary debate necessary in a democracy.”
Yikes! Obviously had the press known that in responding to Anne McIntosh the minister was actually keeping us safe from tyranny we’re sure her remarks would have been treated with the respect they deserve.
“It risks reducing any discussion of important issues to bland and safe soundbites; thankfully something I’m not known for.”
It certainly isn’t Anna, though we thought the whole point of this was that you hadn’t said anything at all?