London High Society seen through the eyes of a disillusioned dole monkey
Fri, 16:09pm Being unemployed, there is nothing I love better than an afternoon in with the Tatler (or Twatler, as I have heard it referred to in the past). Just when I may be getting ideas above my station and am fantasising about a possible high-flying career in the media, a good read of this magazine will always put me firmly back in my (proletarian) place. Nothing brings out the Marxist in you better than 200 odd pages of toff whimsy. So let’s get started.
16:12pm I need a cigarette to start. No wonder only rich people read this- it comes in at a cool £4.10, about the price of a pouch of Golden Virginia. This month’s Tatler has that posh one off Peep Show on the cover (Big Suze)
16.14pm After skipping through about thirty pages of ads, I finally reach “Here’s Looking At…Alannah Weston.” What does the Selfridges heiress have to say for herself? Little of consequence, it turns out.
“My daughters will pluck a little pink sparking thing from my cupboard that looked like a good idea from the beach in St Barth’s and say, “Wear this Mummy!”
So far so inane. But who is the real Alannah Weston? What makes her tick?
“Her voice is strong and fearless but is that of Tinker Bell with a twang.”
`’I wear what are described as “architect’s wife’s clothes.”
What wouldn’t she wear? “Vintage. I don’t like the smell.”
Frankly, I am none the wiser.
16.20 Time for another roll up. I can feel my pulse quickening and my temper rising. The next page is a feature on yellow, or, to be precise, Grazia yellow. It’s been nearly four weeks since Grazia co-opted yellow and I have yet to see anyone on the streets of London wearing it, but perhaps it’s because I don’t travel by town car.
16.23 Had to lie down for a minute after seeing a pink and white diamond bracelet advertised for £190,000. It’s utterly rank, btw.
16.24 Get ready. It’s the Tatler list of “The People Who Really Matter.”
Some of the women who matter and what Tatler says about them:
Cara Delevigne: “the best eyebrows and the sweetest temperament we’ve ever seen.”
Samantha Cameron “just like the rest of us, LOVES to holiday in Ibiza.”
Natalie Massenet: “has an almost infinite capacity for sleep, cuts her own hair and mints make her sneeze.”
Rachel Whetstone: “has two children and houses in Queen’s Park and Oxfordshire.”
The Duchess of Devonshire: “Heavenly manners, the softest hands and obsessed with chickens.”
I have to pause here because I am laughing so much tears fill my eyes and I accidentally swallow half my fag.
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper: “Does a great job of balancing motherhood with politics, watching the X Factor and eating chocolate digestives”
Claudia Winkleman: “Hates summer, loves peanut butter and has a thing for owls.”
16.31pm I think I can see what they’re doing here. Tatler is obviously trying to display a degree of self-awareness by describing their “people who matter” not by their achievements but by listing seemingly irrelevant trivia. They’re trying to be funny, because they know full well that nepotism and family connections are the main reason that most people are on this list, right?
16.36 Read that Richard Curtis brought an end to fagging while head boy at Harrow, and retract previous theory.
16.38 Abandon the Tatler List of People Who Matter and eat three pages of Das Kapital to make myself feel better
16.39 Post-snack cigarette
16.44 Are you Tatler’s next Top Model? “Tatler has a tradition of spotting stars virtually at the embryonic stage.”
16.47 “How long should you wait to change your Facebook name after you accede to your father’s title?”
16.48 Feel faint.
16.49 “The thing is, it is cool to be knighted or introduced to the House of Lords because you done good, or to inherit a family title because your ancestors once done good.”
I have news for you Tatler. The posher you are, the less cool you are. This is something that everybody knows. Think about when rockstars come out as Tory and what it does to their rep. Think about how mad the Smiths were when David Cameron said he liked them. You may dominate the proles of this country, but you are doing it whilst wearing chinos. Never forget.
16.52 “Your housekeeper might refer to you in front of your friends as Lord So-and-so but your wife cannot.”
16.54 Quentin Letts. Can’t face on a full stomach.
16.55 “Country house capers”
16.56 “Trance-inducing beef” (Perhaps with a side of those country-house capers?”
16.57 Dinner for two: £250 aka a package holiday for a family of four to Tenerife.
16.58 “This is a bodice-ripper: there are bosoms galore.”
17.00 Bumper feature on a member of Chaka Khan’s divorce. Can’t face. Resolve dwindling.
17.01 Oh, wait, it’s Aga Khan.
17.02 I’m everyyyyy womaaaaan. It’s all iiiiiin me.
17.03 Skip Big Suze straight to article about Norland Nanny College.
17.13 Cigarette. Feel sad for all those kids growing up without mums.
17.15 Ring my mum to tell her how much I love her and to thanks for never having had a career.
17.28 Have just about enough emotional energy left for the party pages. Porcine, red-faced public schoolboys frolic with waif-like, horse faced blonds and double-barrelled cherubim offspring. It’s clay pigeon shooting, alarming hats and open-necked shirts a plenty. Then I see the Claridge’s children’s Christmas Party, attended by 300 hundred children called Leopald and Celestine, and I lose all hope in humanity.
Conclusion: this magazine needs to die.