Gina’s no martyr: She’s a pushy Posh Mum just like Catherine Tate’s comic creation, writes SARAH VINE
At first, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. There was something about Gina Miller — the glossy investment manager who took the Government to court over Brexit — that was very familiar, even though we’ve never met.
It wasn’t until I read an interview with her that the penny dropped. In it, she recounted how on the night of the EU referendum, she had slept for just 36 minutes.
She knew exactly how long because her husband had given her a new smartwatch that tracks sleep.
Later, she was ‘physically sick’ as she tried to take in what the UK had voted for. But it was OK because, as the interviewer records, ‘by breakfast Mrs Miller’s brain was clunking into gear.
‘When her 11-year-old son heard the news, he said: “But you’re going to do something, Mummy, you always do.” ’
Gina reminds me of Catherine Tate — or, more precisely, her brilliant comic creation: Posh Mum. The Range-Rover-driving mother of Thomas and Chloe whose husband is something super in the City.
The woman whose world is pitched into turmoil when, during a ciabatta-baking session with her children, her husband’s PA calls.
‘Thomas, Chloe,’ she says, putting the phone down. ‘You know Daddy left for Paris this morning? I’ve got some bad news . . . Daddy hasn’t been able to find any good brie this trip.’
Catastrophe! How will they cope? Do something, Mummy, do something! Don’t worry, Mummy will fix it. No one will have to suffer substandard cheese on her watch.
Just hand her two Nurofen and a bottle of San Pellegrino mineral water and she’ll have everything back to normal in a jiffy.
As a satire on the pretensions of a certain type of woman, Tate’s creation was spot on.
Posh Mum exemplified not so much the absurdities and arrogance of the very wealthy, as a total inability to empathise with anyone outside their circle of privilege.
It’s not that Posh Mum harbours any hostility to the inferior cheese-munching classes; it’s simply that she cannot fathom them. They are as alien to her as a Primark dress.
Miller has this quality in spades. She is almost Mitford sisters-like in her ability to misunderstand and patronise ordinary citizens. To her, only the hopelessly non-U would vote to leave the EU, as Nancy Mitford might have put it. And any idea that Brexiteers should get their way while she and those like her do not is simply not an option.
Miller has this quality in spades. She is almost Mitford sisters-like in her ability to misunderstand and patronise ordinary citizens
This much was clear from her speech outside the Supreme Court. She just doesn’t get it. And, as the wealthy wife of a fund manager (her third husband, Alan) who cultivates the image of a modern, multi-tasking Superwoman, how could she?
She has no concept of what life is like for those who have not thrived under the yoke of Brussels (for a start, she lives in a £7 million house).
Nor, quite frankly, is she telling the truth when she claims her case is about ‘process, not politics’.
In fact, that statement confirms how little regard she has for the intelligence of Leave voters.
It’s hard to imagine a case that’s been more about politics than this one, about the attempt by those who see power and privilege as their entitlement to wrestle it back from those who have dared to exercise the only real power they have: a democratic vote.
Miller is fooling no one when she claims to have been motivated by a passion to uphold the sovereignty of Parliament.
We all know her real desire to reverse the result of the referendum — a result, remember, that made her ‘physically sick’.
The bottom line is this: her side lost, she didn’t like it — and so she used her privilege to secure a top legal team to find a way of helping ‘Mummy do something’.
That neither makes her a hero nor a martyr. It just makes her a very pushy Posh Mum indeed.