Arggh!! Sometimes I think the Tories have an evil masterplan to disenfranchise women. Slashing benefits for carers and single parents, destroying public sector jobs, etc, etc. Then I realise their plan goes even further than that. They're actively trying to break down the credibility of women in the public eye by appointing the most stupid ones they can find to the highest offices they can spare. Witness Anna Soubry. Weep.
"I've noticed that every public health minister has been a woman"
Great observation. Have you noticed anything else? Like your government auctioning off our healthcare service to the highest bidder? Mega corporations force-feeding junk food to children? An obesity crisis?
"and it's been seen as the soft, girly option."
I'm sure some people out there think jobs done by women are easy. That's probably because they (a) don't do those jobs and (b) are misogynist tossers. Don't let them influence your use of language here.
"It's bloody well not, it's one of the most important jobs."
Indeed it is, so you might want to think about doing it well.
"To be quite frank, when the PM said to me: 'I want you to do public health,' I thought: 'Oh boss, I respect you so much, but I'm the only woman here and I get public health – I hope there's no connection there.'"
You were the only woman at the meeting and you suspected the person who called the meeting might be behaving in a sexist way? No shit sherlock. Amazed he didn't pat you on the bum and ask for two sugars.
"Maybe I can make people realise that this is not a soft bloody girly option, it is a big serious job."
Girly does not mean easy.
"I'm a huge fan of our prime minister … but I did sit there in the cabinet room and think: 'Boss, you do know what you've just done? You've given public health to the girl again"
Who is this "girl"? I want my government run by sensible adults though frankly I can think of some toddlers who could do better than this lot.
"except I'm not a girl, I'm a tough old bird.'"
I'm a tough old bird who loves to use sexist language to describe myself. What is wrong with "woman"? I never hear David Cameron describe himself as a "boy" or a "tough old cock".
"I came into politics to fight lefties …"
Were you drunk when you gave this speech? You came into politics to "fight lefties"? Not to make people's lives better or to serve the nation...? No, fighting them goddarn rootin tootin leftie scum. And which ones? Us lefties are constantly falling out over stuff, when we're not too busy growing organic veg and being gay.
"That's where political fighting goes. The Tory party must learn from its own history that when we fight each other, you can guarantee to lose."
And also win. Confucianism 1.0.
If you want to do something useful Anna - how about signing up to the Leave Our Kids Alone campaign? I think it's brilliant. And it would definitely be a positive for public health.