Letter of the week

<em>Letter of the week</em>

Phew! Cherie Blair is not like Diana, Princess of Wales, but is the new Madonna. If her sister Lauren Booth says so ("The diva of Downing Street", 13 August), it must be true. Glad that one's sorted out.

I was under the impression that Diana was a former member of the royal family, Madonna a singer and actress, and Cherie Blair a respected QC and human rights campaigner. Lauren Booth falls into the same sexist trap as the media misogynists she complains about when she compares this toothsome pair to the apple of the Prime Minister's eye. They are unique individuals.

If Booth is really arguing that the mass media have a perennial problem with women who project an image of strong, independently minded femininity, then she should examine that issue and what it says about society. Instead, she rattles out an ill-considered diatribe that gives the New Statesman the opportunity to put Madonna on the magazine cover in the hope of selling a few more copies. Just like the Daily Mail, in fact. It's called hypocrisy. You know what I mean, like.

Andrew Morton
London N6

This article first appeared in the 20 August 2001 issue of the New Statesman, Ulster enters the endgame