Catherine Bennett (journalist)
Catherine Dorothea Bennett is a British journalist.
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- As Mrs Blair never speaks in public other than about solemn matters, far removed from personal grooming, the only reason we know about [beautician Bharti] Vyas's handiwork must be because Vyas is apt to mention it. So much so that these days Vyas's name is rarely to be found, in her extensive media appearances, without some reference to that ultimate respectability-clincher, Mrs Blair's patronage. Is it possible to imagine a more compelling recommendation for a miracle-worker such as Vyas, a woman who believes that drinking "magnetised water" can "help control", among other things, cholesterol levels, obesity and hay fever? While, a few years back, the patronage of the Duchess of York would instantly confirm to any right-thinking woman the idiocy of whatever she touched, the invocation of Mrs Blair's name has precisely the opposite effect. If Mrs Blair, as the duchess once did, went and sat on a stool beneath a home-made pyramid, we should remark on the impressive, if unproven results of regular pyramid-shelter, rather than speculate on the mental agility of the sitter.
- "The alternative Mrs Blair" The Guardian (8 November 2001).
- With hindsight, we can see that if Cook's loyalty to his facial hair did not actively foreshadow his later determination to stick to his principles, it was, in the intervening years, a sign that some important part of him would never be a smooth, New Labour man. While Peter Mandelson, Stephen Byers, Alistair Darling and Geoff Hoon all recognised that hairiness is inescapably associated with woolly, unreconstructed leftiness, Cook stayed firm.
After he completed his speech on Monday night, he sank back into a veritable hedge of springy backbench furze, a brigade of hedgehogs led by Jeremy Corbyn and Frank Dobson, whose beards, now that Cook's has joined their number, are recognisable as individual acts of in-your-face defiance. In fact, with this week's principled resignation from the shadow front bench of the only bearded Tory, John Randall, New Labour's Tebbit-like suspicion of hairy ministers ought to become, if anything, more intense.
While Blunkett's beard is explicable, there must now be suspicions that Charles Clarke's stubble is nothing less than a signal to disobedient backbenchers that he will not be long in joining them. Resignation or the razor, Clarke; the time has come to choose.
- "Unsure? Be swayed by the stars" The Guardian (20 March 2003).
- Disastrous in every other respect, the recent revival of Etonian premierships did have a solitary benefit: a related succession of damning memoirs and studies of and by Etonians. When combined with the staggering failures of David Cameron and Boris Johnson, they conveyed one overwhelming message: the threat from this school is enough to justify some targeted form of vetting. It was ignored, of course, and the result is Kwasi Kwarteng.
If additional checks seem extreme, it has become clear that a general and well-founded suspicion of Eton, the academy also known as charity 1139086, offers the public little protection from its faultier products, partly because it considers them the flower of its system.
- How well it still works. The advancement of Etonians by Etonians, as if to compensate for the lost years of grammar school premiers, became so normalised after 2010 that it was never addressed as an actual scandal – as it might have been had the fraternity been exposed as freemasons, or ex-miners, or members of the same betting syndicate.
- "As an act of charity, perhaps Eton could protect us from its less impressive products" The Observer (1 October 2022)
- Kwarteng's September 2023 mini-budget, dropped within weeks, led to the end of his term as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Liz Truss resigning as prime minister.
- If Labour’s responses to its woman problem (as Duffield rightly calls it) can never compete with Tate's videos, its progressive approach to misogyny is arguably more instructive for men who would like to shut women up but cannot afford a Romania-based chick compound. Men who study, for instance, the conduct of Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle may even conclude that the manosphere could have done more to nurture, as he does, male belief that bullying and insulting women is indicative of moral superiority. For Russell-Moyle, when he brought himself to apologise for insulting and intimidating Miriam Cates MP (having previously barracked Duffield in the debate about the government’s section 35 order blocking Scotland’s gender recognition reform bill), the aggression only confirmed the purity of his sentiments.
- "Forget Andrew Tate – what about the host of misogynists in Labour’s ranks?" The Observer (28 January 2023)