Dear Carol Thatcher: Congratulations on being such a good egg, despite being the less favoured twin in a family from hell. Praise to a good daughter from an agony aunt

Since you probably spent the last couple of days with the bed-covers pulled over your head wondering what on earth you did in your past life to be cursed with being reborn as a member of the Thatcher family, I'd just like to twitch the sheets back a bit and say don't worry. We're all on your side.

It must be bad enough being the daughter of one of the most loathed women in Britain; it can't be nice having a dad who's been regularly portrayed in Private Eye as a goofy old gin-toper. But that wouldn't matter so much as long as you had a jolly brother or sister to share the burden.

But you don't. It turns out that your twin's not just a prat, but a prat on the make.

And it's not just the millions of pounds he's meant to have made out of brokering arms deals, there are other accusations around, like the fraud and racketeering allegations going through the Texan courts . . .

You may be twins, but you're different as chalk and cheese. He has homes in Belgravia and Dallas; you have a small west London house. He drives a Lotus; you drive a Mini Metro. He has bodyguards, a personal valet, an entree to oil-rich society from Dallas to Saudi; you're a trackie-bottom sort of person, a take-away pizza kind of girl. He's prickly, petulant, and always looks as if he's standing above an evil-smelling drain; you're open, smiling and joking, the ultimate good egg.

Funny, really, because by rights you should be the resentful one, clawing for material success to make up for a deprived childhood. For it was Mark, apparently, who was the doted-upon child.

In your mum's eyes he could never - can never - put a foot wrong. When he got lost on some crack-pot rally in the Sahara, she even cried in public. Has she ever cried over you? I wonder.

But there's a catch. It seems that the secret to your brother's success has been your mother's coat-tails - from when he modelled tennis-wear in Japan to the Cementation affair, and now possibly in brokering an arms deal. If he wasn't called Thatcher, Mark's name would be Nobody.

But you've done everything yourself. You've struggled as a journalist, doing bits on radio, writing the odd book.

Despite the fact that you could probably make a fortune from your inside story, you've never spilled a single political bean. And, unlike your brother, you always manage to be polite and likeable - even turning down Nick Broomfield, when he was making a programme about your mother, with charm. (Your brother simply refused to return calls or open the door.)

You've been quoted as saying: 'I do wish people would realise I'm just an ordinary sort of bugger.'

But actually, considering the weird family you sprang from, and considering that you were the less favoured child and yet have ended up with inner resources of the kind that money can't buy, I, for one, think you're rather exceptional.

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent