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Handbag for sale. One careful owner. Vegetables not included

Wed 2011-Apr-27 @ +08 21:40:47 pm

Down, boy! Handbag lady in power relationship

It was a symbol of her uncompromising style as prime minister and added a new word to the dictionary. One of Margaret Thatcher’s handbags is expected to fetch at least £100,000 when it goes under the hammer at auction. The black Asprey accessory was at her side during some of the most important summit meetings of the 1980s, with Reagan and Gorbachev. It is being offered by Christie’s on June 27 in a charity sale of items donated by celebrities
The Daily Mail

The word “handbagging” was a reference to Mrs Thatcher’s abrasive style when dealing with those who incurred her displeasure, and is often attributed to the late Tory MP Sir Julian Critchley. It first appeared in print in 1982 when a Conservative backbencher commented: “She can’t look at a British institution without hitting it with her handbag.”

The late Nicholas Ridley reportedly quipped during one meeting when she had briefly left the room, leaving her bag on the table: “Why don’t we start? The handbag is here.” The term “handbagging” was so widely used in reference to Mrs. Thatcher that it entered the Oxford English Dictionary. Daily Mail

Dear handbag: A few words of appreciation to the former prime accessory

21 Oct 1993

So farewell then, trusted friend.

Your week has been chock-full of photo ops. You have starred in numerous newspaper headlines. Last night you appeared on Thatcher: The Downing Street Years. These are the poignant, dying embers of your career. But you will not be forgotten.

You were never a star, always one of a team. Even the black patent, the favourite, was frequently replaced. According to Cynthia Crawford, your owners PA: We always have half a dozen on the go. They get quite a bashing.

You also got a bashing from the press. You became a verb meaning to nag, to bully, to shout down, to sack. Last year the speaker of the Irish Dail banned the expression on the grounds that it was unparliamentary.

But, dear handbag, do not despair. You had many fans.
MORE: » Dear Lady Thatcher’s handbag

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