Dear Emily Barr: Famous for 15 seconds: the MP for Finchley resigns as parliamentary private secretary because he was too friendly with you. Should you laugh or cry?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Now the first thing we have got to get straight is your priorities. What do you really want to be? An artist's model, a political mistress, a research assistant, or a journalist?

If you want to spend the rest of your life as an artist's model, you are doing brilliantly. I congratulate you on the course of your career to date, which cannot be faulted. This is a perfectly respectable way for anyone to earn pounds 5 an hour if they are under the age of 25, and no one could think any the worse of you as a result.

There are one or two other points to be made about this, however. You will, no doubt, have noticed yesterday's edition of the Sun, which was appealing for former art students who may possibly have drawn you to contact them ASAP. The Sun would, of course, pay very good money for any impression of you without any clothes.

On the other hand, if you want to be a political mistress, everything you have done to date spells disaster. Discretion has to be the key for political dalliances, and the second-worst crime is to be found out, have your name in the newspapers and bring about the resignation of the politician concerned.

But the worst crime is to do all this without actually having been to bed with the man. Do you remember Jimmy Carter disclosing to Playboy that he had committed 'adultery in his heart'? And how we all laughed? (No, probably not if you're only 22.) This only exposes the putative lover to ribald derision, his party to profound discomfiture, his constituency to exigencies of handling the press, and his family to a great deal of hurt. People also wonder what your game was. And was it really worth 50p an hour more than doing nothing with your clothes off?

It is also an entirely extraordinary state of affairs if an MP has embarrassed the Government by voluntarily resigning from a job that doesn't matter, in order to save the Government from embarrassment. All over Westminster yesterday MPs were greeting each other with a baffled 'why?'. There was no answer.

Another tip: if you were planning to have an affair, it would be better to lay off lay preachers.

Now, if you want to be a research assistant at Westminster, you must decide which party you want to support and never give a quote to anybody on the subject of orgasms, condoms, etc. It will only ever be used against you and your Member.

But finally, if you want to be a journalist, you had better move quickly. It is all very well to boast of being the Guardian Student Journalist of the Year, but you can't live off that for ever. One day you'll have to join the grown-ups. So act now: you will probably never be as famous as you are today.

(Photograph omitted)

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