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It's not a bloody pet. I don't want to call my handbag "Roxanne" or "Betty" any more than I want to call my knickers Sandra. How infantilised can female shoppers be? I don't hear men getting excited about rushing out to buy a nice new pair of Brians or a smart striped Armando. As far as twee monickers go, at least "the Pippa" wasn't a mere flight of patronising fancy, but named after a real person who chose the item of her own volition — like the original Kelly bag, named after Princess Grace was snapped holding one shyly in front of her pregnant stomach.

Pippa Middleton's handbag offers a modern morality tale | Victoria Coren | Opinion | The Guardian

Chapter Two: it is revealed that Pippa's handbags were freebies, given to her by the company in four different colours. Out came familiar barbs about the Middleton family's "mercantile instincts" and "social climbing", and poor Pippa, like her near-namesake in Great Expectations , learned a hard life lesson about snobbery. Call me an old hag knitting at the scaffold I've been called worse , but I sensed another grim twist coming. You know that sense of doom you feel when the jolly story you're reading starts to hint at misery to come?

There were a few days before the next instalment, but we somehow knew what it was going to be…. Chapter Three: yup, the handbags are made in India by factory workers earning a few pence an hour.

Spanish office bondage scene S

And yet, before we assume that the moral of the tale is "There's no such thing as a free handbag", or "Big business is evil", let's just pause to look at the slogan of the company, from its website: "Quality and style don't have to cost the earth. This is not intended to carry a double meaning about environmental concern; they are just saying their handbags are inexpensive.

The newspaper quoting this slogan did not question its principle.

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The discrepancy between that price and the wages earned by the factory workers was pointed out, of course, but nobody has actually said: Have we gone mad? Since when can a company selling two hundred quid handbags advertise itself as the bargain option? This is not solely the fault of the company.

They wouldn't say it if it didn't work. So the moral of the story has got to be about us.

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Us and our lame credulity. The prudent choice. The canny purchase. A Victorian Tale Series. Book 2.


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