The Guardianista Origins of ‘Political Totty’

Some dreary Guardian hackette, Catherine Bennett (sister of the more famous exclamatory Gordon), had a piece yesterday whingeing on about bloggers. It was a classic of the genre, entirely predictable Guardianista wimminism – blokes write blokish things and talk about woman in terms which lack respect. The charge-sheet against Guido was sexism and a lack of respect for Mrs Fawkes. Mrs Fawkes laughed on reading it and told Guido to get some proper work done, “the house won’t clean itself”.

The charges are; calling Mrs Fawkes “Mrs Fawkes”, side references to porn and my interest in the “totty situation”. Guilty as charged m’lady. Ahh well, Tom Happold will never invite Guido to write for Comment Is Free.

How exactly is one supposed to refer to your wife these days? Since she prefers that her City lawyer colleagues don’t know her husband revels in political sleaze, her first name is out of the question. And we are, you know, like, well, errm married. Embarrassing to admit that we are in that minority of people who get married in church, settle down to have children and visit IKEA on weekends, instead of having “a partner” and all the complications with the children’s surnames. She is still Ms Dealmaking Maiden in her professional life.

As for the “totty situation”, Guido learnt the term and began using it in a political context only after her colleague, Ros Taylor (formerly also known as The Backbencher), ran her weekly “political hottie” competition. So direct complaints to Ros, she being the one who popularised this innovative approach to the evaluation of politicians. See her rather torturous justifications for this before she dropped it after a campaign by… guess who?




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