Mary Archer – My Life with Jeffrey
"Who you gonna believe – me or your
own eyes?" –
Like all gangsters’ molls, Mary Archer has one eye on her
man, another on her social standing. Whenever presented with
the numerous misdemeanours of her husband she reacts with snotty
condescension – unable or unwilling to acknowledge any wrongdoing
on his part or her complicity in his crimes.
"She likes to characterise him as Jeffrey, the risk-taker, the entrepreneur, the go-getter while pervert, swindler and shitbag more quickly spring to mind…"
herself would be, like, “Don’t
kid yourself, sister".
Channel 4’s documentary was a trade-off
– we got previously unseen home movies (yay!), she got a chance
to publicise her campaign Justice for Jeffrey (or something)
– a cause inexplicably not taken up by any national newspaper. "If you can’t
protect imprisoned peers who can you protect?" seemed
to be the gist of it.
Familiar territory was cursorily covered – her dazzling academic
career, Lord Archer’s serial shagging and inane business dealings.
She likes to characterise him as Jeffrey, the risk-taker, the
entrepreneur, the go-getter while pervert, swindler and shitbag
more quickly spring to mind.
Court cases were like "being stripped naked and held
up for examination" ignoring the fact that many people
in Soho pay good money for that kind of treatment – her husband
quite possibly among them.
Despite the contradictions of their marriage there’s little
doubt that they made an effective team. They were the consummate
social climbers – expert schmoozers with their now legendary
shepherd’s pie and champagne parties where the great and the
good would marvel at Mary’s incredible pie and Jeffrey’s significantly
less credible tall stories.
Professor Lisa Jardine, former school
pal at Cheltenham College, offered a rare moment of insight "I
think, deep down, it crucifies her that Jeffrey has not been
the huge success she had hoped for."
She seems doomed to live the existence of a moll – patient,
exasperated, star-struck – standing by her man like some pikey
Nice pie, though.