Sandi Toksvig’s departure from The News Quiz to enter politics has been described by John Lloyd, the creator of the programme, as a ‘national tragedy’. I actually find the prospect of the sharp-witted presenter contributing to the political life of this country rather exciting.
Toksvig told the Guardian: ‘I’ve made jokes over and over again about politics and I’ve had enough. I need to take part in it.’ Accordingly, she is one of the founding members of a new ‘Women’s Equality Party’, which plans to field candidates in the 2020 general election. On BBC Radio 4‘s Woman’s Hour she pointed out that 9.1 million women didn’t vote in the last election. ‘We need to attract them. We also need to attract the more than seven million men who didn’t vote.’
She is concerned with the question why people are not engaging with politics. ‘The party’s going to be non-partisan,’ she explained. ‘It’s not going to be right or left. It’s going to be a very pragmatic, female approach to things, which is to say, “What is the problem that we have in front of us? And what is the most practical and possible way in which we can solve this?” I want the party to attract people from all sides to work for a fairer, more equal society, aimed at everybody,’
She added that in her opinion the current political system is ‘broken beyond repair. We have politics driven by fear and greed, and instead of whinging I decided to do something about it.… I know that equality is better for everyone and a society founded on equal principles is more at ease with itself.’
I’m sure that most of the rational, moderate middle-ground of the electorate, who are heartily sick of right-wing governments obstinately wedded to half-baked ideologies, will find Sandi Toksvig’s approach very refreshing.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say, Sandi Toksvig for PM. I for one would welcome being ruled by this level-headed Dane after such atypical English men and women as Mrs Thatcher, Tony Blair and David Cameron. We might at last get away from a polarised political scene in which right continually fights left – as demonstrated week after week at Prime Minister’s question time, when David Cameron spends most of his time attacking the opposition rather than answering the questions that are put to him.