15 July is Emmeline Pankhurst Day, marking the birth in 1858 of Britain’s most notable suffragette, the founder of the Women’s Political and Social Union in 1903 whose motto was “deeds not words”. Over the years their deeds repeatedly landed Mrs Pankhurst and her supporters in prison for acts various, including assaulting policemen and smashing windows. On one infamous occasion in 1910 the WPSU demonstrated in Parliament Square where the police, on the orders of Home Secretary Winston Churchill, were reported to have punched protesters and “pulled on women’s breasts”. She died on 14 June 1928. Just under three weeks later, on 2 July, all women over 21 were enfranchised under the Representation of the People Act 1928. Job done. Sort of…..
Now flash forward to 15 July 2014. It might well have been a coincidence but this was the day that Call Me Dave chose to shove a few middle-aged men overboard to make way for what the Daily Mail, with its customary delicacy and enlightenment, chose to call Cameron’s Cuties. Dave, no doubt riled by the polls reporting that the Tories are a turnoff to an ever-growing number of women and taunted about his election promise in 2010 that a third of his Cabinet would be female by 2015, decided to show Britain that he was as emancipated as any emancipated man could be emancipated and invited a selection of women to knock at the door of No 10, whence they emerged with new status, smiling broadly at the cameras whilst moronic hacks shouted inanities at them. Along came Liz Truss, Nicky Morgan, Baroness Stowell, Claire Perry, Anna Soubry, Penny Mordaunt, Amber Rudd, Esther McVey (ticking two PR boxes, being female AND Scouse) and Priti Patel (also doing the double, being female and Asian). What a shame Dave couldn’t find a bearded lady – it would have saved him having to appoint a man as the new Secretary of State for Wales. Perhaps he should have asked Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. As Dr Faustus nearly asked,
“Were these the faces that launched a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?”
But when the cloud of facepowder settled, it became clear that this was all a con. Yes Morgan and Truss, a Margaret Thatcher mini-me, are Secretaries of State for Education and Environment respectively with full Cabinet rank. But McVey, for whom WTF harbours an intense dislike on the grounds that she is gobby, arrogant and thick, remains at Ministerial level and will attend Cabinet but not as a member. The same is true of Baroness Stowell, unlike her predecessor Lord Hill who had full Cabinet rank. Her salary is also £22,000 lower than his although an embarrassed Tory party has promised to make up the difference. So what we actually have are two new women of full Cabinet rank joining the three already there and one more permitted to attend Cabinet in addition to two more already in the same position. In other words, he is back to where he started in 2010 with five female Cabinet Ministers. Mrs Pankhurst would not be impressed. As the WPSU motto had it, “deeds not words”.
The Mail chose to mark the arrival of this Brave New World by describing their walk along the “Downing Street Catwalk”. Er, it isn’t a “catwalk”, it is the street leading to the home of the Prime Minister. “Thigh-flashing” McVey was keen to show off her “toned legs”. Soubry was wearing a “lower-cut blouse”. Lower than what? Cuts to welfare benefits? To the right-wing Mail, these weren’t the women going to meet the Prime Minister to get new jobs and help win the next election – they were just Tory Totty. But then the Mail hasn’t had much time for female politicians since Mrs T hung up her handbag. Instead it chose to do the equivalent of the coppers in Parliament Square in 1910 and pulled on their breasts. Meanwhile WTF is still searching for any Mail comments about what any of the men were wearing or how toned their thighs were. Don’t hold your breath waiting. You might go a funny colour….
Unlike the Mail, WTF is an equal opportunities sartorial critic and both men and women get it in the neck. Our first stop this week is at the ESPY Awards in LA. These are awards for sporting personages including American footballer Victor Cruz clad in a quite preposterous ensemble.
You probably get bashed about a lot playing American football and Victor must have sustained extreme brain damage if his truly terrible trousers are anything to go by. That crotch is not so much dropped as drooping and it is not at all clear what is occurring around the ankles.
Next we have female soccer star Sydney Leroux wearing Hervé Leger.
Blimey. You don’t see Wayne Rooney in something like that. This piece of overpriced tat ($1,500) is plain ugly and Sydney should subject her stylist to something akin to Dutch shocker Nigel de Jong’s tackle on Spaniard Xavi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup Fi
To be fair to Costello, this has less minge on show than usual but it is still rank. The skirt is like an old net curtain that hasn’t been washed in years.
Draya has had a number of beaux, including rap star Chris Brown who was also in attendance.
WTF is not a fan of women-beaters, especially ones with leather jackets and blue suede shoes. And she really, really hates any sort of tie with a leather jacket, especially a spotty bow tie worn over an untucked shirt.
This Week’s It’s Got To Go is brought to you courtesy of WTF aficionado Philippa Charles, who wrote to WTF all of a quiver with indignation about the Daily Mail. It was bad enough, she said, with the Sidebar of Shame, that chronicle of people who have never heard of or wished you never had once you have and the maligning of George Clooney’s mother in law elect which would have been a great story had there been even a word of truth in it, which there wasn’t. But the final straw, she felt, was the Cameron’s Cuties stuff and the paper’s hysterical reaction to the demotion of Education Secretary Michael Gove with article after article by broken hearted Tory Toffs extolling his virtues and carrying on in a manner last seen when Rudolph Valentino died in 1926. She’s right. It’s Got To Go.
Still in LA we meet blue-haired designer, TV Personality and woman-about-town Nicole Richie wearing Jenny Packham.
Right. WTF has had enough of this. What is the point of a sheer skirt? As Peter Finch cried in Network, “GO TO YOUR WINDOW, OPEN IT, STICK YOUR HEAD OUT AND YELL ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANY MORE'”. Well said that man……
And finally, to Paris and supermodel Anja Rubik wearing WTF’s other bugbear Anthony Vaccarello.
It could only be Vaccarello. He and Anja are a dangerous combination like gelignite and dynamite. The ripped skirt exposing a jutting hip bone is starvation chic and WTF hates peep toe boots almost above all things. Apart from a sheer skirt. Hang on, I have to go the window, open it, stick my head out and yell ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANY MORE’. Again.
OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. WTF is off on her holidays and won’t be WTFing for a while although she will be tweeting away on @WTF_EEK when the mood takes her. Keep your comments and suggestions coming in and let us meet again on Friday 8 August 2014. Be good x
I always wondered who Mrs. Pankhurst was.
She is mentioned in the Walt Disney movie “Mary Poppins”.
The song “Sister Suffragette” contains the lyric:
“Take heart! For Missus Pankhurst has been clapped in irons again!”
Who knew Walt Disney was such a subversive?
Wonderful! So educating to learn about the British parliament, about which I know very little (not much news makes it across the pond, here…) Have a lovely vaca and think about your fans over here!
Was reading about the changing of the guard in the New York Times which was far more adult in its reporting on the topic. Had a good laugh about the remonstrance vis-a-vis the sheer skirt. Will miss you while you are away, Ms. WTF.