The row that broke out over Andrea Leadsom and motherhood reminds me that many successful journalists have an interesting approach to developing a story.
From my own experience as Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, particularly with the Oxford Mail, many journalists will work to the following established pattern:
- write the headline;
- draft the story that sits under the headline;
- conduct the interview with the sole purpose of extracting the short phrase that underpins the desired headline and story;
- sign off the story and submit.
I strongly suspect this is the approach Rachel Sylvester took with Andrea Leadsom in The Times piece. It has led to several days of shrieking headlines and may have helped the establishment push for Theresa May. I have taken David Cameron’s studied silence and abstention from voting as a silent endorsement of Theresa May as his successor. This is the same David Cameron who instructed his MPs to ignore the Eurosceptic views of their constituents and imposed same-sex marriage on a startled and unready Party membership.
Well, the Party and a majority of the country pushed back on the EU referendum and shocked the establishment with its clear decision. I have a sneaky feeling, the Party membership may well administer a second shock to their parliamentary representatives by ignoring the establishment line and electing Andrea Leadsom to be our next Prime Minister. I certainly hope so.