Last week a strange sensation of guilt overcame me while reading the newspaper. What had I done? Robbed a bank? Run over a rabbit?
I have just returned from a family holiday in Tuscany during the midst of which my husband and I also had a sneaky night away in Florence, just the two of us, in a fantastic 5-star hotel.
They reason for my feelings of guilt? According to the media, it is very politically incorrect to go overseas for the summer, as some MPs recently found out when they were asked where they were going on holiday.
Apparently, again according to said media, unless your wear a hair shirt and a cilice around your thigh, you are a capitalist who deserves to have all their belongings redistributed across society.
What has happened this summer?
I firmly believe that society should take care of its weaker members. In fact, I never complain about paying my taxes, I provide a living for more than 120 people and, for the record, I have never voted Tory.
However, I do not believe the media is doing society any favours when they start to ask where MPs go on holiday, why the PM wears leather trousers or David Davis wears a £1000 watch.
Does the media really believe that MPs (especially MPs of a certain age) should not be able to afford nice clothes or go on nice holidays? I am sure that if I went into the offices of large media outlets I would see designer clothes, Swiss watches and pictures on Facebook of nice holidays in the sun.
This is not a bad thing. People should be entitled to spend their money on what they want. Who are the media (or anybody else for that matter) to judge what others do with their money? How hypocritical is it to make money by castigating others in society who earn a living by serving society?
I am not a politician, and neither do I have any ambitions of becoming one. But when a woman who doesn’t have childcare costs to worry about (whether I like her politics or not) is criticised for wearing nice clothes I start to despair.
Petra Wetzel is chief executive officer of WEST Beer, Glasgow.