Friday 9 December 2016

Diversity is rewriting the rules of politics everywhere you look

Published 09/05/2016 | 02:30

Veteran socialist Eamonn McCann, who was elected to Stormont this week Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Veteran socialist Eamonn McCann, who was elected to Stormont this week Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Diversity is the new politics. Not just in Ireland, but everywhere, it seems. Diversity in every direction too: Independents, Greens, Sanders socialists, Trumpiteers, Brexiteers, ScotsNats - you name it, change and fragmentation of the political map are everywhere.

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Look at gender politics: then look at Scotland, where all three main parties are now led by women. Moreover, Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale all got there on their own merit - not a hint of strategic gender balance, or being put in place for reasons of tokenism.

And just to confound the rainbow-Left, Ms Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, is both a cheerful lesbian and an affirmative Conservative. She has just "put the Tory party back on the map" in Scotland, leapfrogging over Labour's poor performance in third place. (Kezia Dugdale, the 34-year-old Labour leader in Scotland, needs to up her political game, however: by coincidence, she is also in a relationship with a woman, although beyond that statement, she likes to keep her private life private.)

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