Tilly

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The opinion columnist for the Ankh-Morpork Times. The prime qualification for such a job is that the person expressing an opinion should be (i) opinionated and (ii) prolific. Consistency, while desirable, is not mandatory.

Miss Tilly fills the bill admirably, in that she is firmly of the opinion that the world has gone to the dogs since she was young, and that all young people should be regularly horsewhipped just to teach 'em for being so offensively and provocatively young. As "young people" covers just about everybody else, from her specialised and elderly point of view, she is therefore not short of material for a provocative weekly column that never fails to stir response in the letters' column.


Annotation

To those rather old and set-in-their-ways lady columnists to be found in the more genteel British newspapers. Jean Rook and Lynda-Lee Potter, for instance, who graced the pages of the ultra-conservative (and at one memorable pre-war point, outright Fascist) Daily Mail for many years. A current commentator who aptly fills the sensible shoes of a Miss Tilly is freelance editorial commentator and bloggerMelanie Phillips, whose rantings are somewhere to the Right of Attilla the Hun and which can make Mary Whitehouse seem like a libertine.

This appellation could also justly be tagged to middle-aged left-wing columnists as they grow older and further away from their youth as fiery feminist commentators, such as Polly Toynbee of the Guardian, in her youth the scourge of male chauvanism in the fiery Guardian Women page of old, today a rather tired apologist for New Labour's right-wing revisionism.

Of course, this leaves no room for the new generation of younger female columnists, fiercely attitudinal ladies of a Julie Buirchill, Charlotte Raven or Barbara Ellen stamp, who tend to believe, among other things, that if all a woman wants is to be equal with a man, she lacks ambition. Perhaps Releventia Flout fills this niche on the Discworld?

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