Born with a silver spoon between her uncomfortably thin lips, Muriel had just the sort of background a seriously radical feminist solicitor is supposed to have
From the well-polished comfort of her prominent position on the frontbench, pro-feminist Muriel rises and tells the house that women are more exhausted these days than they’ve ever been.
Given her direct descent from those lazy ladies of the ruling classes who sat on their
arses sofas all day gossiping and sipping tea, she’s probably got a point. Feeling faint and getting out of breath drafting a menu plan was about as near as her lady forebears ever got to exhaustion, whilst the poor service girls downstairs simply gritted their teeth and worked their 14 hour days and despaired at their red, throbbing hands.
Muriel’s mummy managed to avoid anything like useful work during the war and was spared even the worry of a husband serving abroad (a Bloomsbury conchie). Muriel herself doesn’t even acknowledge the astonishing work done by women in the wartime factories and her misjudged observation that modern women are more hard done by is nothing more than an insult to their memory.
Dear old Muriel, she was born with an adorable sliver spoon between her uncomfortably thin lips, educated at Cheltenham, finished in Lucerne (cleverly described as a gap year on her official biography), and from there to Somerville - taking Law instead of the ubiquitous PPE – surely just the sort of background a seriously radical feminist solicitor is supposed to have.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when the lower levels of Maslow are amply taken care of by ‘the good old trust fund’, a girl like Muriel can really self-indulge herself with the top ones. The problem was that she needed some sort of calling, and Contract, Criminal and Chancery provided few sparks of interest, so, after a few weeks of Tuscan contemplation, she made a career choice.
Commuting to the Community Women’s Legal Action Office in Stratford from her charming house in Primrose Hill wasn’t an easy journey at the best of times (and the parking was a right bugger), but she struggled womanfully on, taking the cases of the little people, sorry, little women, as far as she could and celebrating her successes with green tea and carob cake at the office and prosecco and lobster at home.
She was offered (interviews are so fascist), the position of Bleater-in-Chief at some rabble-rousing GLC unter-quango in 1982 and she grabbed her chance and dropped the poor ladies of East London like a red hot stone, never looked back, never rang, never wrote.
Not that they particularly missed her but some of the ‘sisters’ did.
Nowadays Muriel’s star has ascended to the extent that she is one the ‘voices’ of the party. Her views are sought after and noted. Revoltingly coquettish when she wants the approval of men, strident and screeching when she doesn’t, Muriel can bend words to mean whatever she wants them to mean and can take offence at just about anything that takes her fancy. (She’s almost dropped that habit nowadays though. Age you see. Catches up with you in the end).
So, Muriel believes that women have never had it so bad and in doing so denies centuries of truly un-empowered and exhausted women their remembrance and their due. But that doesn’t bother Muriel in the slightest.
The dead can’t vote.
Adrian Moss is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator and a screenwriter. The above is an extract from "MPs: A Spotter's Guide" - A humorous and scurrilous compilation of portraits of 48 different MP archetypes highly likely to be spotted hanging around the Westminster postcode, to be published this autumn. The content is satirical and the MPs are completely fictional creations…
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