Last night I went to Ashford for Any Questions. It was, unusually, an all women panel: Margaret Beckett, Laurie Penny, myself and Anne McElvoy, public policy editor of the Economist
As ever – because you never know what questions might come up – there is a lot of ground to cover in preparation. Of course – you can make an educated guess as to what those questions might be.
My guess was: Libya, (because it is the key news issue), AV (because Margaret Beckett is Chair of the ‘No to AV’ campaign), the protests over cuts and the policing thereof (because Laurie Penny, a young journalist, had written an outspoken article in support of direct action) and something on women (because of my position as Minister for Equalities ). On this occasion – I got it right. The last question – which is always the ‘surprise’ was about what we had learned from our mothers that had stood us all in good stead.
I won’t rehearse all the arguments – but it is repeated today on Radio 4 at lunchtime – for anyone who is interested.