Prezza's everything we women despise in a man

By AMANDA PLATELL, Daily Mail

Last updated at 23:28 07 July 2006


There cannot be a woman left in Britain who, whatever her political leanings, can now stomach the sight of the Deputy Prime Minister.

This bloated, unfaithful, sneering hypocrite represents everything we despise in a politician - and in a man. And as such, he has become the Tories' greatest electoral asset.

For once, David Cameron has called it right by deliberately keeping a low profile as Prescott's woes have mounted, instead leaving it to the virtually unknown MP Hugo Swire to ask all the pertinent questions. 'Save the Hull One' has become the Tories' secret strategy.

Hilariously, Prescott himself still demands that we should judge him on "what I do on the job" - an unfortunate choice of words for a man who kept himself so busy with Tracey from the typing pool. And given he has no job, no department and no ministerial role, what are we left to judge him on?

But as we laugh at this buffoon's increasingly ludicrous attempts to save his skin, let's remember that it's he who, when Tony Blair heads off on his summer freebie, will be left in charge of running Britain.

This, at a time when our troops are dying in a war on two fronts and when, as Mark Almond wrote in this paper on Thursday, North Korea's dictator has made the world as dangerous as at the time of the Cuban Missile crisis.

Prezza funny? We could all die laughing.

Footnote: Amid Prescott's indignant blustering against a supposed media conspiracy was his refusal to deny rumours of more extra-marital affairs. There was, he said, "no truth in much of the stories". I think we can all work out what that means. How public. How humiliating. And how very, very sad for Pauline.

JUST when you despair of ever seeing a real man in football again, up strides the magnificent Zinedine Zidane. Zizou has fire in his eyes; Becks has pound signs. The French captain is regarded as the most important player of his generation; our Dave is the most photographed.

And am I the only one who noticed that when Becks came back on to the pitch to commiserate with his team after losing against Portugal, he had done his hair for the cameras? Our boys played like a bunch of girls - and cried like them afterwards. What did England ever do to deserve this?

What on earth was she doing here?

Birmingham social workers allowed seven-year-old Toni-Ann Byfield to stay in a hostel for ex-offenders, where she was shot and killed after witnessing the murder of drug dealer Bertram Byfield, a man who sometimes posed as her father but was in fact no relation.

The Toni-Ann case bears uncomfortable similarities to the death of Victoria Climbie, who was sent from her home in the Ivory Coast aged four to live with her aunt in London, where she was brutally tortured and murdered.

Like Victoria, Toni-Ann was sent to Britain from her native Jamaica to be 'cared for' by a virtual stranger. We rightly condemn the social services in this country when they fail children like Toni-Ann and Victoria, but isn't it about time we were equally condemnatory about this barbaric practice of sending tiny children halfway across the world to people who neither love nor look after them?

Shouldn't we be asking not how Toni-Ann ended up in a hostel for ex-offenders, but how this tragic child ended up in Britain in the first place?

A high price for PC values

Former WPC Michelle Butler sued Hertfordshire police for discrimination and won £93,000.

She deliberately got pregnant two months into her police training, then claimed the work given to her while pregnant was dull, and that she was forced to leave after being refused family-friendly shifts once her daughter had been born.

What did she expect - high-speed car chases and murder investigations at 28 weeks pregnant? A creche in among the holding cells?

While I feel great sympathy for Mrs Butler and any woman trying to make their way in a male-dominated world, her case highlights the fact that much police work is unfit for women at many stages in their lives.

After all, would you want a pregnant bobby turning up to investigate a violent crime?

Mrs Butler says she wanted to make a difference. She did - quitting and suing has set the cause of WPCs back a generation.

THE BBC's female presenters shone in their coverage of the 7/7 anniversary. Sian Williams just gets better and better, equally able to handle real people and hard news. Kate Silverton has true compassion and journalistic agility.

And then, of course, there's Natasha 'Spangles' Kaplinsky, as brittle as ever, even on this most tragic of days. But then when none of your features move it's hard to show emotion.

Behind the presenter's desk, Spangles is just wooden. When she's out on the streets, she's the full lumberyard.

THEY don't play as long, as fast or as well as their male counterparts, but I'd happily pay female tennis players as much as the Wimbledon men if it would mean they would stop grunting so much on court. Maria Sharapova makes more of a din than the entire male contingent put together. Enough, ladies! You're playing tennis, not auditioning for Meg Ryan's role in When Harry Met Sally.

FOLLOWING Kate Moss's drugs scandal, her earnings have trebled to £11million a year. Virtually every fashion company that dropped the cocaine addict has now taken her back. And it's society that will pay the price. For decades we have rightly blamed the fashion industry's role models for the crippling eating disorders and low self-esteem many young women suffer.

Now they can also take the credit for the increasing number of girls who think it is cool to take drugs, sleep around, have kids out of marriage and be lousy mums. Well done to Britain's fashion elite. You should be very proud of yourselves.

HYPOCRITE OF THE WEEK: Sean Connery has signed a deal to write a book about what he knows best - his beloved Scotland. I do hope there will be a chapter explaining how to remain a local hero while living in Barbados as a tax exile.

TOWN OF THE WEEK: Royal village Sandringham has been dubbed the most romantic place in Britain because people there order more delivered flowers than anywhere else. Which I would rather imagine makes it the illicit affair capital of Britain.

Westminster Noticeboard

• JOHN PRESCOTT says that he visited Philip Anschutz's home because he's had a lifelong interest in cattle ranches. Not since former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies claimed he had a lifelong interest in badger-spotting, after allegations of a homosexual encounter in a motorway lay-by, has an excuse for dodgy activities sounded so lame.

• DAVID MILIBAND implied on BBC1's Question Time that we should excuse John Prescott his foibles because "he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps". How patronising to people who have climbed out of deprivation - many of our own parents did. Yet they managed to remain honest and decent throughout - two words that could never be applied to our morally bankrupt Deputy Prime Minister.

• A NOVEL solution to the Tory dilemma of how to broaden its appeal - appoint another Old Etonian as your campaign supremo! Enter George Bridges, 35, who joins Old Etonians Oliver Letwin, Boris Johnson and Edward Llewellyn in David Cameron's Notting Hill kitchen Cabinet. Say what you like about Dave, but he does look after his school chums.

• BRAVO to the marvellous Gwyneth Dunwoody, quizzing the Prime Minister in the Liaison Committee about migration chaos. He dodged and dived, then conceded he didn't have an immigration policy at all. "I thought it was what you were paid for," she cried. You're not alone there, Gwyneth.

• FORMER Coronation Street actor and Tory hopeful Adam Rickitt defends his decision to appear in the Norwich Theatre Royal's panto, saying it is exactly what the Oscar-winning actor Sir Ian McKellen did at the Old Vic. Yes, dear, and it's also what Jade Goody did, but that doesn't make her Meryl Streep, does it?

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