Thursday, 18 July 2013

My supportive, non-sexist message to Culture Secretary Maria Miller – do shut up, you silly tart!

Actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever previously used the word “tart” to describe anything that wasn’t edible. In fact, I’m sensitive enough to have been shocked many years ago when an impeccably left-wing, New Statesman-reading, claptrap-spouting colleague at the BBC habitually used the term to denigrate female presenters and fellow-producers. I’m pretty sure I had a lot more respect for woman than he ever did, but as I don’t espouse morally correct political views, I’m careful when it comes to sexist, racist or classist epithets.

But I’m breaking the habit of a lifetime in Maria Miller’s case, because by writing to the Director-General of the BBC to ask what punishment he intends meting out to sports presenter John Inverdale for having dared to suggest that Wimbledon Women’s Champion Marion Bartoli isn’t as physically attractive as Maria Sharapova, she has proved herself to be a shrill, silly, finger-wagging, interfering, intolerant, time-wasting, career-obsessed, insensitive, dimwitted, confused harridan who should be dismissed from her post instantly and then kicked out of the Conservative Party on the grounds that, as an irritating, self-important, ridiculous, freedom-hating, mean-spirited, posturing ninny, she’d be far happier on the Labour or Lib-Dem benches.

Look, John Inverdale isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. I remember him once asking a little girl at Wimbledon who her favourite female tennis-player was, and, on being told “Sharapova”, him saying: “Yes, but what about your favourite woman player?” Not, I’m guessing, a MENSA member. And, yes, his comments about Bartoli were clumsy and ungentlemanly – but it was obviously more a case of a lack of mental dexterity than a deliberate desire to offend.

When we turn to Maria Miller we’re dealing with a politician on the skids flailing around trying to save her doomed career (Cameron’s about to sack her), and viciously attacking a pedestrian but harmless BBC sports presenter to buff up her tawdry credentials as a Wimmin’s Champion, presumably on the basis that, as Dave has spent most of his time as Tory leader sucking up to Guardian readers rather than the members of his own party, he’ll be sympathetic. My guess is that Ms Miller’s nasty, desperate ploy isn’t going to work. I certainly hope it doesn’t.

The BBC deserves to be attacked by the Conservatives on a daily basis – its naked left-wing propagandising on climate change, the EU, public sector unions and public spending (and myriad other issues) is disgraceful. But when a Tory minister takes the corporation to task, it has to be about something that actually matters. A female Tory cabinet minister wasting government firepower by demanding the public humiliation of a sports presenter (for God’s sake!) for making a thoughtless comment about a foreign sportswoman’s looks – an act for which he immediately apologised – is wantonly selfish. And stupid. And unforgivable. I simply can’t believe that any conservative or right-winger isn’t appalled by Maria Miller’s behaviour – or that any woman who doesn’t read the Guardian imagines for a moment that her “outrage” isn’t entirely synthetic.

I promise never again to stoop to using the word tart to describe any woman who isn’t actually a tart – as long as Cameron makes it clear that there’s no place for a Polly Toybee-wannabe like the wretched Maria Miller in his team.


  1. Another excellent post. Thank you.

  2. Oh I think the "danger" of her being slung out in a reshuffle has now realistically disappeared. This is the consequence of her standing shoulder to shoulder with Harman concerning the men-only membership rule at Muirfield. No matter how excellent your post - and it was excellent - Dave will no more sack Maria than he will tell his wife to f*ck off re her particular bien pensant enthusiams.

    1. Depressingly, you're right. I'd forgotten about the silly woman's assault on Muirfield. Can you imagine what it's like being married to her? "How many times have I told you put down the loo seat after using it. And do we have to watch football again when there's Women's Gold on Sky Sports 93? And you left the lid off the peanut butter - again! And when are you going to get round to fixing that window that keeps sticking? And have you taken the dog for a walk? Of course not! And when are you going to throw out that smelly old jumper?" etc. etc., on and on and on.