RACHEL JOHNSON: No, ladies, #MeToo doesn’t mean ‘can I have a free holiday?’
Right, that’s it. I’m officially more worried about the WAGs than the England team – even after the boring Belgium match.
They’ve put on their shortest dresses and strappiest heels to pose for the cameras but, somehow, it’s not a good look. It’s not working.
I don’t blame them, I promise.
It must be ghastly being the wife or girlfriend of a manscaped, ponytailed goldenballs (just imagine – being abandoned in your spotless, gated ‘mansion’ with the kids while your bloke is always playing away, in every sense).
I blame the manager. Pains me to say it, but Gareth Southgate has dropped a ball here.
This was supposed to be the #MeToo tournament, the first global football event of my lifetime when anyone has pretended to take women the tiniest bit seriously.
Having a ball: WAGs Megan Davison, Annie Kilner and Rebevkah Vardy are pictured left to right with Millie Savage below at England v Belgium in Russia
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The BBC and ITV are fielding three female pundits/presenters apiece (out of 24 and 22 respectively), which is hailed as a stunning advance for my sex, up there with women being allowed into a stadium in Tehran for the first time since 1979 to watch a screening of their national team losing against Russia.
We’ve come a long way, baby – or so the agreed narrative runs.
Which means all these photos of our lovelies in playsuits, heels and floral minidresses feel backwards and Baden-Baden, basically.
For those who’ve deleted it from blessed memory, when we crashed out of the World Cup in Baden-Baden in 2006, the WAGs raised hell regardless: dancing on tables, shopping, and parading around the sleepy spa town as if on a catwalk.
Elen Rives – Frank Lampard’s then GF – threw a tantie for not being allowed to take six items of hand luggage on the flight there, Coleen Rooney brought her tanning consultant along and Posh wore a pair of denim hotpants so tight they must have been stitched on by her gynaecologist.
Right, that’s it. I’m officially more worried about the WAGs than the England team – even after the boring Belgium match, writes Rachel Johnson
But that was then. Twelve years ago. Women are no longer appendages, chattels, accessories in 2018. No sirree.
We earn our place at the top table on our own merits and not because we are ‘proud plus ones’ (as one picture caption had it) of anyone. Right?
Er, what on earth are the WAGs all doing there, with their extra security laid on by the FA, then?
I’ll tell you. Breaking open the beers in the stands during the England match, smoking shisha pipes in bars till the wee small hours and trotting off in a highly groomed girl gang to a Japanese restaurant for dinner, where they ignored screens showing the footie to knock back pink bubbly, that’s what.
This is not how to end long decades of hurt, according to Amir Khan, the boxing champ.
Speaking after BEL v ENG, he said he always goes on a ‘sex ban’ for six weeks before a big fight and the secret to sporting success is ‘keeping your family away and staying focused’.
Do top CEOs drag their wives (or husbands) to crucial board meetings upon which the future of the company rests?
No. Do the Three Lions perform better knowing the missus is watching and the kids are out of school whooping it up in a hotel room? I doubt it.
Pictured: Megan Davison girlfriend of Jordan Pickford at England v Belgium
I wouldn’t kick up, but now we’ve got to the knockout stage, I am daring to hope. This is always dangerous, as John Cleese groaned in Clockwise: ‘It’s not the despair… I can take the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.’
There are small mercies. ‘I think we’ll struggle to do it anyway with four kids in tow,’
Mrs Vardy said, speaking to Grazia mag of marital relations with Jamie. ‘It’s a logistical nightmare.’ That’s a relief, if that’s the right word, then.
Mrs Vardy also rejected the WAG tag, saying: ‘WAG is a dated term because we’re not defined by what our husbands do.’
Well, if true, Bekky, the wives and girlfriends must have jobs to get back to, while the lads crack on with winning.
I’m so confident in this, I’d almost place a small bet, if I wasn’t so mean. Football’s not coming home while the WAGs are away. Football is a game of two halves – not other halves, lads.
Megan Davison, Annie Kilner and Rebekah Vardy are pictured in the stands at Kaliningrad
Enjoyable watching other Royal ‘experts’ putting the boot in Lady Colin Campbell for having the temerity to publish a book called The Royal Marriage, which purports to reveal the secrets of the Queen and Philip’s actual wedding night, and more.
Former Royal butler Paul Burrell and former Royal corr Jennie Bond have already derided her effort as ‘unworthy of public discussion’ and ‘distasteful, unnecessary and tawdry’. Give both gongs for services to pots and kettles, Your Majesty!
The Queen has finally melted. She has swerved a St Paul’s service with Ms Jolie on the grounds she is ‘under the weather’.
Not even (awful word) ‘poorly’. I plan to use this elegant excuse as long as the heatwave persists.
When I went to the ‘Jezfest’, protesters unfurled a huge banner saying ‘Stop Backing Brexit’ in front of the stage.
A telling sign at Labour Live. The grassroots Momentum movement is now militating for a plebiscite on the final deal.
In the circs, hard to see how the Labour leader can credibly oppose a People’s Vote on the most earthshaking decision the UK has taken since the war. Awks, Jezza.
‘Trying to think of the equivalent of a Conservative saying ‘F*** business’ for other parties: Labour = F*** the NHS; SNP = F*** Scotland; Greens = F*** the environment.’
Craig Oliver, speech writer for David Cameron, after Boris Johnson’s latest indiscretion.
‘When I bent down, he said, ‘You can stand up now’ and I said, ‘I don’t think I can.’ ‘
Bee Gee Sir Barry Gibb, 71, tells of the chat he had with Prince Charles about his sore knees while being knighted.
‘I think this book is bigger than the Bible. And do you know why? Because this is going to spread cheer like the Bible.’
TOWIE’s Gemma Collins modestly plugs her new book.
Gemma Collins is pictured on the set of Loose Women this week
‘We used to be the clever country, now we’re the stupid country.’
Lord Bragg laments the dumbing down of our university system.
‘Too often we hear about drinking from disposable cups or enjoying the warm glow of our wood-burning Goves… I mean stoves.’
Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss moonlights as a ‘comedian’ as she teases Michael Gove.
‘There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.’
Phil Davis, a reporter on the Capital Gazette in Maryland, where a gunman killed five.
‘England can’t stop Putin it in the net’ and ‘Harry Kane super tsar’.
Football banners hung in a South-East London estate.
‘Come on both of you.’
A confused tennis fan cheers rival Brits Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund at Eastbourne. Edmund won.
‘My eyes are weird. I have a crooked smile and my nose looks like a ski slope. No, I would not win a ‘Miss’ contest.’
Actress Jane Seymour plays down her natural beauty.
Actress Jane Seymour plays down her natural beauty this week
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