High brow debate

10th June 2005 at 01:00
The Diary wants to be the first to reveal that Ruth Kelly has had a makeover. As the photos to the right show, the Education Secretary has had her eyebrows slightly pruned.

This seems to be the sole response of her minders to concerns about her public image and monotonous performance.

But the answer is surely not so much to raise her eyebrows as to raise her voice. "Deep and somewhat sinister" is how playwright Sir John Mortimer describes it. "A 14-year-old boy in a pub trying to sound older" suggests a less kind observer.

As with Margaret Thatcher, a voice coach is needed. But whereas Maggie had to moderate her strident tones by lowering the pitch, Ruth Kelly needs to raise hers, or at least vary it. It worked for Mrs T. But please, Mrs K, don't end up sounding like her.

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