Brexit and a question of leadership


Sir, – Una Mullally presents a picture of Theresa May as an example of a phenomenon whereby female politicians inherit precarious positions (“glass cliffs”) when they achieve power (Opinion & Analysis, January 14th).

Theresa May actually inherited a Conservative majority of 12 over all the other parties in the House of Commons. This was effectively a much bigger lead given Sinn Féin’s abstentionism. Through her own ill-judgment in calling an unnecessary general election, and subsequently running a disastrous campaign, Theresa May managed to achieve a situation whereby she now leads a minority government propped up by the DUP.

Mrs May is a victim not of some spurious “glass cliff” but of her own poor leadership. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.

A chara, – The idea that women who overcome the glass ceiling to attain leadership roles face thereafter a “glass cliff” might need more thought.

If treated seriously, it equally provides women with a “glass safety net”, an excuse that means failure is never their fault because they were set up to fail from the start.

It is also suggestive of the notion that some women owe making it to the top not on merit but in the expectation that they would fail (whether they do or not is irrelevant).

I’m not sure what one could call that – a glass trampoline perhaps?

Neither proposition, it would seem to me, helps advance the cause of equality. – Is mise,



Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – Theresa May’s courage in the face of adversity is admirable. However, her stubborn perseverance in recommending a deal that almost everyone else acknowledges faces certain defeat in parliament does raise questions about her judgment. Her stance, which appears out of step with reality, is increasingly reminiscent of Monty Python’s Black Knight who, despite the sequential loss of all four limbs in combat, dismisses the wounds as “but a scratch” and demands that the battle continue. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – As the degree of Brexit chaos heats up the possibility of seeking a delay to article 50 is being mooted within some quarters in the UK. If this happens Ireland and the EU should take a leaf from the DUP’s playbook and simply say “No”. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.