Saturday, April 22, 2006

 

Fat Cats Part III: Cherie's Hair

I mentioned Cherie's hair in my last post and note the predictable press furore which has erupted around the "275 a day cost of tending to her coiffeur. Cherie is indeed damned if she appears less than perfectly turned out and damned if she spends to achieve this end. On balance she receives a very bad and unfair press. Should we care? Yes, a little, but she must expect that this really does go with the territory. If she were a retiring little mouse like Norma Major or Mary Wilson, she would escape the predatory talons of Fleet Street's female cats, but she is, into the bargain, a prominent lawyer with views of her own and so she cops for it. I generally think she does well to survive the merciless attentions of the media but I think she has a real problem with money which is damaging to her party and her husband.

This sounds like so much media carping over the absurdly trivial matter of someone's hair. But small things can matter out of all proportion if they transmit certain kinds of signals and Cherie's hair does just this. We learn today that focus groups reveal that Tony may be 'more damaged by his wife's money conscious reputation than by the war in Iraq'. Now that is something to worry about. Of course she has every right to look as nice as she can but this degree of spending- more than many families have to last the whole week- sends out a horrendous message about New Labour's asumptions regarding lifestyle. Sandra Howard, we learn, spent only £65 thoughout the campaign, having had her hair done once only- and as a former model, one might have expected a rather more extravagant attentions to such matters. Cherie is scarecely in the Imelda Marcos category, but she shows tendencies in that direction which greatly concern ordinary members of the party her husband leads.

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