QotD: “To stand on the shoulders of idiots”

At least Liz Truss broke one of the last glass ceilings. I don’t mean as a female prime minister, of course, since she was merely the third. But Truss is the first woman I’ve seen reach the highest office propelled by gargantuan self-belief alone.

Until now, “winging it” has been regarded as a male preserve. Indeed, feminists witnessing a corporate bro flame-out or the career of Chris Grayling have been known to pray: “Lord, grant me the confidence of a mediocre man.”

I’ve often had to persuade brilliant, well qualified but hesitant women friends to go for big promotions. “Oh, but there’s probably someone better,” they say. Then they point out the one minor flaw in their otherwise golden CV. “What if I’m found out?”

Meanwhile, younger, less experienced men are lobbing in applications, to wing it on bluster and charm. So well done, Liz Truss. You went where your timid, try-hard sisters feared to tread: to the very top and down again. “At least I got to be prime minister,” you reportedly said, as people boggled at their mortgage bills.

The shameless, narcissistic, talent-free entitlement. Seldom seen in a woman — until now. You and Penny Mordaunt have forged a new path, so that future generations of rubbish but ruthless women may follow. To stand on the shoulders of idiots.

Janice Turner

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