The Third Leader: Tooled up

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The Independent Online

Oh, dear: more social upheaval. Soon, we report today, British women will be introduced to the tool party, the DIY rival to Tupperware gatherings that has already had great success in the United States.

This will cause all manner of nervous sniggering among the male population. Few areas of supposed male superior competence survive, and DIY is the one invested with the deepest anthropological and sexual significance. Go to any large DIY supermarket and you will find a feature known in the trade as Drill Alley, to which large numbers of men are irresistibly drawn, and where they point, pull and appraise with that serious, slow-nodding mien familiar from used-car forecourts.

The scream of the drill, you see, is the last call of the Hunter, that tough, practical protector and provider who still hasn't really appreciated that there is only one clever choice when deciding whether to go out and kill a woolly mammoth or stay at home and look after the kids.

Or that, now expeditions are, on the whole, less life-threatening, competence is the thing. The latest figures show that botched DIY jobs in Britain cost householders nearly £600m a year. And you know who's been doing most of it. Up to now.

So, what's left? Well, since the off-side rule monopoly fell, not much more than barbecues, changing tyres, putting the cat and the rubbish out and the world to rights.

I do have a suggestion. I notice that you can now host Tupperware parties on-line, which would be a great help in addressing our problems both with catering and getting the lids on properly.