In response to Gary Oliver: What Today’s editor SHOULD have told Moaning Martha, Double Gloucester wrote:
Forty years ago, as a young and inexperienced Third Secretary in the Diplomatic Service, I was sent on my first overseas posting. I replaced an experienced First Secretary and the FCO, knowing that a drop of two ranks in filling that particular post would offend the host nation, locally graded me Second Secretary. When I enquired if I would be paid as a Second Secretary, I was told no and that I should regard both the local grading and stepping into the shoes of a far more experienced officer as a compliment. They were right, of course, as I appreciated when I later achieved promotions, and received salaries, which I had earned and merited. But then my generation did not automatically believe that ‘Jack’s as good as his master’. As a woman from a family of working-class origins, grammar school and redbrick educated, I felt privileged to have been selected for the Diplomatic Service. I was determined to prove that the selectors had not been mistaken, both on my own account and for others from similar backgrounds. I’m probably a hopeless old dinosaur but I think today’s feminists would do well to take the same attitude – work hard and prove your worth.