Content note: lots of stuff about rape. Also: satire.
All eyes were on Washington DC today, as Britain’s stylish premier, Theresa May, shook tiny hands with former real estate tycoon and reality TV star Donald John Trump. But the question fashionistas were asking themselves was: would Mrs May be able to style out her first meeting with a celebrity sex offender with the same panache with which her predecessor Mrs Thatcher handled the late James Wilson Savile?
The omens were not good for the embattled chief executive of Brexit Britain: not only was this her freshman effort at glad-handing a multiple groper, but she would be doing it far away from her home turf, at mogul Trump’s charming antebellum-style mansion – whereas the Iron Lady always had the advantage of hosting serial rapist Savile at Chequers, the UK Prime Minister’s grace-and-favour mansion in Buckinghamshire.
Thoughts of those previous meetings between the twin harmers of miners and minors must surely have never been far from Mrs May’s thoughts as she diligently practised her technique. All told, the grocer’s daughter from Grantham invited multiple marathon veteran Savile to a whopping ELEVEN consecutive New Year’s Eve parties over the years, making her the undisputed champion molester-befriender.
And while Trump’s delicate digits may not have possessed the grizzled toughness of former grappler Savile’s felonious fingers, they would still be the first to brush the flesh of Britain’s primus inter pares while wearing a WWE Hall of Fame ring (Trump counts a proxy victory over fellow millionaire Vince McMahon’s henchman, the wild Samoan Umaga, to his credit). That, too, must have weighed on the mind of the nimble First Lady of the Treasury as she drilled herself in the steps of this so-important set-piece: the opening of the fingers, the ‘showing forth’ of the wrist – most crucially, the deft application of talc.
And not only would she be competing with Mrs T in the hand-clasping arena – fashion queen Mrs May must have been all-too-painfully aware that both Tory leaders would be doing battle in the style stakes!
In her classic twin-set and pearls combo, Thatcher always had the measure of serial shell-suitist Savile, and most afficionados of haute couture reckoned May similarly had the sartorial better of The Donad. While Trump – one-time pal of socialite-turned-convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein – could certainly buy a good suit game, critics doubted his ability to bring it. But to make this comparison was to belie the fact that the true battle was being fought not between May and Trump, but between the two historic Tory leaders.
Nevertheless, when the moment came, the People’s PM showed, with her solid and subtle technique, that she, too, could lock hands with a self-confessed sexual abuser with a firmness of grip to make the whole of Britain proud. And, with her beautifully colour-blocked red dress paying a subtle yet knowing tribute to the outfits of the former Queen of Downing Street, Mrs May boxed clever enough to square the nigh-unsquareable circle of both honouring and equalling the late Lady T. With Trump proving himself the goggly-eyeballed equal of Thatcher’s jocund foil, one can confidently hope this double act may even outshine its storied forebear.
And…who knows? Perhaps the spirits of Thatcher and Savile, seeing themselves so flattered by reflection in their successors, will look on, from the Vale of Shades, each bestowing their own unique glamour on their shadows in this mortal world? Call me sentimental, but I for one hope so. For, after all -who could doubt both leaders have proved themselves so very, very worthy of that sacred aura?