Vanessa Feltz

Vanessa Feltz is a British television presenter, radio host, and journalist, associated with several popular broadcasts. Feltz was the first female columnist for The Jewish Chronicle in the 1990s and later joined the Daily Mirror and Daily Express.

Has Suella cleverly sorted her new job? ask Vanessa Feltz

We all grew up believing in the phrase "third time lucky". Could it be that's what ex-Home Secretary Suella "two sackings" Braverman is banking on?

Suella Braverman could be in luck

Suella Braverman could be in luck (Image: Getty)

Does she believe that history will repeat itself and – as happened the last time she was given her marching orders – she’ll be comfortably re-employed?

Let’s face it: even her fans must agree that Ms Braverman was asking for it. She’d been brazenly counter-briefing, tub-thumping and playing to a
gallery present largely in her own imagination. Her missions to “stop the small boats” and “obsession” to see planes deposit migrants in Rwanda have as yet both amounted to nothing. More vessels are making the perilous passage than ever and not a single soul has yet been sent Rwanda-wards.

In the lead up to Christmas, Suella has single-mindedly channelled a pantomime Wicked Queen. She deemed no sector of society too vulnerable for her invective. And as the weather grew colder she selected homeless tent dwellers, branding their
fragile hand-to-mouth existence a “lifestyle choice”. On my TalkTV Show, for avoidance of doubt, I asked the chairman of a charity helping the homeless if she spoke the truth.

He said categorically that she spouted falsehoods. By no calculation is there enough accommodation
in hostels, dormitories or anywhere else for those sleeping on the streets simply to take up the option of going inside.

Braverman’s bark – which we assume to be worse than her bite but cannot be certain – had grown increasingly cacophonous. If she wasn’t flying off to Washington to give the world a headache, she
was accusing the Metropolitan Police of left-wing bias just days before the highly controversial pro-
Palestine march on Armistice Day. It is not lost on any of us that her assertion might well be accurate, but by then she’d lost much of her audience. Did her parents never tell her about the hapless boy who cried “wolf”?

Instead, Suella should have held fire, built up momentum and given rare seismic utterances. Openly defying her boss, the Prime Minister, on a tediously regular basis confirmed her as a desperate attention-seeker peddling a kind of muted mutiny.

What’s more, her strategy was baffling. Was it that she wanted to be given the boot and become a
martyr, then to be rescued by the Tory right-wing and rise Phoenix-like to become the post-election leader of the opposition?

And did any of us have the stomach to watch her fan the flames of division for one more woeful week? For now she’s toast – and she did it to herself. Let’s hope genial James Cleverly brings warmth to an office deep-frozen by Braverman’s heart of ice.

Maggie’s attire is V&A’s strong suit

Will someone influential please ring the Victoria and Albert Museum urgently and tell their people that contrary to their plans, we very much want them to purchase the collection of Baroness Thatcher’s iconic power suits that have been thoughtfully put together and offered by insurance magnate Sir Peter Wood.

These remarkable feats of sartorial engineering are redolent of a political era presided over by a woman who saw fashion
as armour.

They are “Don’t **** with me” carapaces and we need to witness and learn from them. The V&A’s current Chanel exhibition is a bit dull. There are only so many immaculately stitched tweed suits we can stand.

Bring us Maggie’s Iron Lady regalia, left and give us all a thrill.

When it comes to puddings, most of us don’t bother distinguishing possets from ganaches.

We don’t know which is which, and we don’t care.If we are going to succumb to the bliss of a restaurant dessert it is far more likely that we’ll seek the comforting familiarity of nursery fare.

After all, we are risking a huge calorie hike so it had better be worth it.We’re not going to take a punt on a coulis or torte when we can choose proper puddings like sticky toffee pudding and custard or apple pie and ice cream.

How much longer till restaurateurs grasp that and dish up more of our favourites?

No prime or reason to use old pictures of dynamic women

I know I should have more important things to worry about, but something I dislike keeps happening. Articles about women who are alive, kicking and strutting their stuff are illustrated with photographs of them taken decades ago. It is intensely annoying.

I loathe the phrase “in their prime”, which is so often used in these articles. How do we know that their prime isn’t right now? They’ve done it to Barbra Streisand. They’ve done it to Jilly Cooper, above.

What’s the message? Do editors think we’ll faint with horror at a contemporary photo of a woman in her 80s?

We’re robust enough to deal with a picture of a powerful woman as she is today. We don’t need censorship of the ageing in favour of a mirage of eternal youth. Stop this age-defying airbrushing and bring on reality.

History repeating itself in new guise

Driving home on Saturday morning I passed countless coaches delivering protesters to the capital. Some banner-wavers turned down a side road. With my heart in my mouth I saw them walking straight towards a small bunch of families leaving synagogue after sabbath prayers.

Fervently I prayed the marchers wouldn’t realise who they were passing on the pavement.My mind flew instantly to my fellow Jews being forced to wear yellow stars in Nazi Germany. I checked myself. We are a million miles from that. Or are we?

Later that day just a few hundred yards away in Abbey Road of The Beatles’ fame, worshippers were threatened, jeered at and had green smoke flares thrown at them. Antisemitism posing as pro-Palestinian action. What else?

Snooze and you lose after an illuminating night at the opera

Don't hate me – I’m an opera philistine. One note sends me hurtling for the hills. I was forced to sit through Puccini’s Tosca in Verona and only cheered up when a chunk of scenery fell on top of the chorus.

On Sunday, I took my grandchildren Zekey, nine, and Neroli, eight, to La Traviata at the English National Opera. The elegant euphemisms I used to impart a vague understanding of the term “fallen woman” – it is about a Parisian courtesan – would have pleased Mary Whitehouse.

Given my opera-phobia, I thought I’d indulge in a snooze. Instead we were transported. Verdi’s heart-rending melodies and a pared-down production captivated us. Later, Neroli cried and Zekey said he had PTSD. I couldn’t sleep. We understood every word. The ENO performs in English. It is a cultural resource that the Government should nurture.

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