Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine resumed her weekly column for the newspaper on Wednesday after a three-week break – a break occasioned, it was rumoured, by the chaos in the professional life of her husband, the ex-justice secretary and former Conservative party leadership hopeful Michael Gove.
Vine’s column last appeared in the Daily Mail on 29 June, days after her husband had played a key role in the referendum victory for the leave campaign. She told her readers that Gove responded to the news by exclaiming: “Gosh, I’d better get up.”
Vine’s role came under scrutiny when an email to her husband was leaked in which she suggested that if he supported Boris Johnson, he should get something in writing about the role he would land in any Johnson cabinet – and that her boss, Mail editor in chief Paul Dacre, would support Gove in a leadership bid. On 1 July, the paper threw its weight behind the winner, Theresa May.
This week, it was as if the columnist had never been away, with only one oblique mention of life in the Vine/Gove household since Michael was relegated to the backbenches.
Instead, she led her page with her views on whether the proprietor of a seaside cafe in Suffolk was right to give a customer’s child a “ticking-off” for being noisy when the parents refused to intervene. She went on to tell actor Thandie Newton that she didn’t like a picture of her breastfeeding her son wearing nothing but “the smuggest, most self-satisfied Earth Mother expression”, passed comment on the size of Sir Philip Green’s stomach, and commented on the tragic murder of Pakistan’s social media star Qandeel Baloch, who was killed by her brother in a so-called “honour” killing.
She saved her views on the post-Brexit fallout for the foot of the column. Under the heading “PS: What really matters in life”, she wrote: “Last Thursday, the man of the house suddenly found himself the centre of attention. Standing on the brink of massive change, I couldn’t help but be proud of the fact that he held his own throughout …”
But the columnist was not referring to her husband; instead, she went on to describe how their son, William, had played a character called Captain Deadeye in his end-of-year school play, Pirates of the Curry Bean. “Seeing my boy on stage, alongside his friends and teachers, was an immensely moving moment – and a salutary reminder that these are the things in life that truly matter,” she wrote.
This article was written by Dan Carrier, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 20th July 2016 00.28 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010