This article is from the February issue of Total Politics
One of the first things I see each morning as I walk through Westminster tube station, trying to apply my lipstick without spilling tepid coffee down my front, is a poster for The Iron Lady. Many have moaned or criticised the topic of the film but like it or not; Maggie is back, and I'll bet she never broke a heel whilst trying to get past the tube station's Big Issue seller without making eye contact.
Of course for me, as a young Tory working for an MP, she had never really left. Margaret Thatcher is now forever imprinted on our minds whenever we think of powerful women and one can't help imitating her. And before I get any funny looks, I don't mean wearing 1980s shoulder pads and a mighty bouffant when I wander to the vote office. It's all down to the attitude and it's one that is sorely lacking with some of our female MPs, both new and veteran.
Ladies of the House; wear your sharpest suit, slap on the war paint and march from one meeting to another as though an entire army follows in your wake. Take a perverse pleasure in offering a painted, jewellery adorned hand to a gentleman and then crushing his digits with a professional smile!
I always find it quite impossible to hold back a grin whenever Theresa May leans one elbow on the dispatch box and takes a verbal swipe at the opposition with a mischievous glint in her eye. There is a lot to be said for the ability to purr with authority rather than bark with indignation.
So for 2012: whether we're MPs, staffers or simply watching the mad house from afar - let's all find our inner iron lady. Handbags at the ready!