Hot or Not?

Ros Taylor writes the formerly pedestrian weekly Backbencher column for the Guardian. She was told some months ago by the political editor to “sex it up”. You know, so it was more like those blogs, racy, more damn sexy.

She took it literally and started a new feature “Political Hotties”, asking readers to nominate good looking politicians. (A lot of the nominations were foreign young women MEPs, not too surprising after looking around the Palace of Westminster – not all the gargoyles are on the architecture.) The Sun noticed and called it sexist, which it is, as well as discriminating against ugly people. How refreshingly politically incorrect. Lets hope the Guardianista public sector advertisers and student union readers don’t notice and start a boycott.

Guido has managed to locate a grainy picture of both Ros and her cartoon alter ego. Guido’s cartoon representation (above) whilst handsome enough, if anything fails to fully capture his roguish charm. I wonder however if readers think the same can be said for the Backbencher? Is Ros Taylor ‘hot totty’ or notty?

Guido’s readers previously reckoned Newsnight’s Martha Kearney their favourite political hottie and definitely wanted her to replace Andrew Marr.

UPDATE: Ros emails to complain “Really, Guido, you need to calm down and get your facts right. If you’d been reading the Backbencher you’d know the efforts to which we have gone to achieve a gender balance among the Political Hotties. And we’d never be so graceless as to ask whether an MP was hot or not; we just flatter the ones our readers choose to nominate.” Details dear, mere details.

But isn’t the whole ‘hottie’ concept a bit un-PC, never mind uncharitable, if not dangerous. To highlight the more beautiful politicians of any sex rather than judge them purely on their merits as servants of the people, seems not only shallow, but distasteful. Implicitly Ros is making a value judgement on appearances. Replace “hottie” with “Aryan” and you’ll see where this leads. Should we judge journalists by their picture byline rather than what they write? (See Guido can do Guardianista gobbledeegook.)




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