The Topical Barometer!


I’m very happy to report that this has been a great week for women over fifty.

First I want to applaud the resilience and courage of Anna Soubry MP (62). In the face of daily acts of intimidation from socially frustrated men who think they look good in neon, she continues to go about her business.

I’m not sure I’d be able to stand that daily tirade from bullying louts myself. My preferred option would be to hide under the duvet reading PG Wodehouse.

(I mean, if looking back to a putative golden age of Britishness  is what Brexit is all about, I prefer to summon the Drones Club of the 1930s to the three day week, power cuts and sugar shortage of the early 1970s, but hey, if that is the final destination of Brexit, we’ll have Seaborne Freight, so we’ll be ok.)

The young, burly, shouty man who leads the assault on Ms Soubry  has been released on bail to continue to live-stream his bollocks.

When it comes to who’s got bigger balls, Ms Soubry’s win hands down.

And then there was Fiona Bruce’s debut on Question Time aged 54.

What can I say? She was elegant. She was confident and self-assured. She took James Cleverly and Emily Thornberry to task with ferocious serenity and articulate incredulity. She was intelligent and masterful.

The bosses must be wondering why they didn’t replace Dimbleby years ago.

Finally in the news this week, women over 50 represent the fastest growing demographic of learner drivers.

It’s thought this is down to the burgeoning divorce rates amongst older couples. There being no hubby to run ex-wives to work, they’re learning to drive themselves.

The car has been too long uncelebrated as a tool of women’s emancipation. Learning to drive is the single most effective thing a woman can do for independence.

It will be much better for all of us to have more women drivers on the road. It is a fact that they are safer and present less risk.

That’ s not to say they can’t drive every bit as aggressively as men.

I know I can tailgate flashing my lights furiously with the best of them, for example. And I’ve totally perfected that ‘wanker’ signal so beloved of men on roundabouts.

So, get out of my way or you’ll be eating your windscreen wipers and wearing your steering wheel.



I know, I know! Say the words ‘tractor girls’ and you immediately think of the female tractor drivers of 1950s China – model workers trained in heavy machinery.

Or perhaps you think of the Soviet women hailed as champions of agriculture and so often depicted on propaganda posters.

But no, I’m talking here of the dancers employed by Agrifac, manufacturers of agricultural machinery at Britain’s biggest tractor show in Birmingham last week.

Wearing short red dresses and white knee boots they weren’t actually dancing.

Instead they draped themselves over the giant machines. Presumably to make them more saleable? Though it should be pointed out that you don’t actually get two women free with a tractor if you buy it.

At least, I don’t think you do.

‘What’s wrong with a bit of glamour!’ Piped up loads of men on social media.

‘Where’s the harm?’ opined some men. Other men stood up passionately for the women’s right to take that job if they chose, citing ‘equal rights.’

Funny how those same men think women shouldn’t be on the roads, in parliament or the board room, or, dammit, driving the bloody tractors themselves.

‘Let them look sexy if they want!’

Last year, Formula One called time on the so called grid girls.

The same men demanding rights for those girls to strut around looking sexy ‘if they wanted’ didn’t see that allowing (and I use that term advisedly) women onto to the track to add glamour whilst denying them positions on the trackside engineering teams or indeed in the vehicles themselves, made any talk of ‘equality’ laughable.

We’ve really got to move on from these worlds where the untamed heterosexual penis is aggressively championed in this way.

And I speak as one who is awfully fond of the heterosexual penis.

Boxing seems to be the last bastion of this explicit sexism.

I appreciate there must be many in a boxing audience who need help counting to twelve. But does it require semi naked women to do that? I’m sure there must be a twenty first century technological solution which doesn’t involve tits?

I’m happy to say that the Danish company behind the tractor girls debacle have apologised and said they won’t be draping their goods in women again.

For those who regret the loss of glamour to the world of agriculture, be comforted. The Wurzels are on tour this year.

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1 comment

  1. Years ago ladies who drove tractors in the Women’s Land Army could be easily be identified by a muscular right arm from hand-cranking their vehicles to start and well-developed left leg muscles from kicking down a heavy clutch pedal to change gear. None of that press-button and auto-transmission stuff back then . . .

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