Does the Mail’s Quentin Letts write for Mills & Boon on the side?

Sexist garbage on Amal Clooney from a columnist who has a women problem


Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney attended prime minister’s questions in parliament yesterday.

Here’s how the Daily Mail’s sketchwriter Quentin Letts wrote this up:

“She had dressed for the occasion in a jacket and skirt whiter than the Himalayas’ autumn snows. Her skirt was shorter than my shirt-tails and she swung her lustrous mane to right and left, in the manner of a shampoo model.

For sheer, shimmering blackness it exceeded the barnets of Caroline Flint (Lab, Don Valley) and James Morris (Con, Halesown & Rowley Regis), the House’s two inkiest ravens.”

Two things to note here. One, this is god-awful writing. ‘Whiter than the Himalayas’ autumn snows’?

Two, this is a demeaning way to talk about lawyers and MPs. (I’m sure Ms Clooney went through several years of law school to be likened to a ‘shampoo model’.)

Letts has form here. Here are some recent quotes:

‘Ms Bonkers Barnet flashed her majorities’ – on SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon

‘Theresa sat in a suit so low-cut she could have been taken for Sam Fox’ – on home secretary Theresa May

Everyone watched her – watched the back of her Bay City Rollers hairdo, her Thunderbirds-puppet gestures, the slender hands curled under her pointy chin.”

That was from yet another piece about Sturgeon.

Isn’t this all a bit Mills & Boon for a political sketchwriter in a national newspaper? It’s bad enough that Letts feels the need to produce writing usually reserved for trashy romance fiction.

(Fiction may be the operative word. Clooney’s skirt is only short if you haven’t left your house since 1969.)

But the combination of this hot-under-the-collar style, with the related paring down of every woman to her clothes and body parts, is embarrassing to read.

Perhaps Letts should move to the MailOnline. It may turn out to be his spiritual home.

It has been brought to my attention that Quentin Letts couldn’t possibly write for Mills & Boon. This is because 1) his writing isn’t good enough, and 2) M&B novels are written for women. They would never publish anything so lecherous and creepy. I accept these corrections.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Quentin Letts’s class war on ‘Hampstead Left’ hides the Mail’s real hypocrisy

Everyday sexism, every day in the Mail

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