Friday 14 December 2018

Colette Fitzpatrick: Claudine should keep some things private...

It's a pity Claudine Keane feels the need to give direct answers to questions about her private life.

Robbie Keane's wife said in a magazine interview recently that she could never control anybody and that if someone is going to be unfaithful, sitting at home crying isn't going to stop them.

If I was her, I'd tell everyone to buzz off; that my private life was none of their business, that I didn't need to answer anything at all.

Claudine is a genuinely nice person. When she agreed to appear as a panellist on TV3's Midday programme, she surprised me.

I had conveniently and lazily put her in that handy media box of 'good looking WAG'. Therefore, must be completely dim and have nothing to say about anything at all except be nice to everyone. The kind of girl who nods and smiles and agrees with everything that you say.

I was right. At least partly. Claudine is really nice. Genuinely, really nice. She doesn't want to be cornered on saying something about a fellow WAG that isn't nice, not because she's hypocritical, but because she really doesn't have anything nasty to say about most people. It's not that she's trying to be all clever and PC about anyone or anything, it's just that she finds the positive in most people.


Claudine, believe it or not, is one of those rare people who can't bring themselves to say anything negative about anyone, not because she's playing some sort of media long game, but because she wouldn't have the heart to say something she doesn't believe in.

This footballer's wife may have a first class honours degree in economics, but she hasn't worked out the value of telling journalists that she simply isn't answering questions about her private life.

But that's Claudine. Most people would tell them straight up, it's none of their business.

Queen Bee Lucinda is wrong: anything that helps women into the Dail is a good thing

HAS there been an outbreak of Queen Bee syndrome among our female politicians in the Dail?

The condition refers to women in upper management who advance in the ranks without the help of any type of affirmative action programmes or gender quotas.

Many Queen Bees often see other women as competitors and will refuse to help them advance.


Some Queen Bees may actively take steps to hinder another woman's advancement as they are seen as direct competitors.

Have politicians such as Lucinda Creighton, Maureen O'Sullivan and Roisin Shorthall caught a dose of this syndrome? They've come out against gender quotas that would mean more female representation and therefore more female power and influence over decision making for our society, economy and future.

Female TDs are part of an exclusive club. There are only 25 members and some of them believe that once you have clawed your way to the top, no other woman should get there unless they get there by the exact same method they used. The theory is, 'If I can do it, so can you', as they yank up the drawbridge.

These politicians are falling into the trap of assuming that a quota system will simply result in finding female TDs that aren't suitable for the job. How about assuming that a search for a female candidate would result in finding an excellent one?

"It's discrimination against men," they'll say. Handy that this happens to let all those members of the ol' boys club off the hook. "Where do you draw the line?" they ask. "Gay men? Single men? Minority religions?" Well, none of these groups makes up 50pc of the population.

Just because women are selected, doesn't mean they'll automatically be elected; no one forces a voter in the privacy of a polling booth to vote for someone they don't want.

I used to be against quotas because in theory they interfere with the political process. I thought that the only thing that mattered when voting for a candidate, was what was between their ears, not their legs.

But the fact of the matter is interference is necessary in the short term.


Quota systems introduced in other countries years ago, have been so successful, they've been abandoned. Now no extra stimulus is needed.

Without gender quotas, women will be chronically under-represented at key decision-making level and some key issues for women like equal pay, tax breaks for childcare and health and education will stay on the back boiler.

It's a bizarre day when it takes a middle-aged man -- Fine Gael's Phil Hogan -- to channel his inner feminist by moving to bring in these quotas. And more bizarre still when it is women such as Lucinda, Roisin, Maureen et al who are dragging their knuckles on the ground.

Come on. Don't do a disservice to women. Support them.

Lower that drawbridge and make some room in that exclusive club of yours.

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