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Dear Uncle Bert and Auntie Gert : I have just failed to get the job of a lifetime

I have been an obnoxious, dishonest, devious person who has always got what she wants. But today, even though everyone I know told me I was going to get a new job, the recruitment panel rejected me in favour of a person I have insulted and humiliated and even lied about to make sure I beat him. What should I do now? Hillary C.

Bert says: well, the first thing you should do is learn to spell your own Christian name. I have a basic rule that has served me well: never trust anyone who can't spell their own name. FYI, there is only one L in Hilary.

Next, wash all the gunk out of your hair and scrub off the inches-thick make-up. Together, they make you look like Mr Bobblehead.

You have more money than you need: go to Detroit, visit the mayor, Mike Duggan, and tell him you want to volunteer in a law centre in a depressed district. Don't try to run the place, don't try to be the senior lawyer, learn to deal with real people with real day to day problems like drugs arrests, losing their homes and being bereaved by murders.

You wanted to do public service: you still can, in ways that will make a serious difference. Use some of your "foundation" to restore some of the houses that are dilapidating and convert them into low cost housing for the needy. But don't tell anyone. And don't run "fund-raisers." Do this because you can, not because it'll make the well heeled of Washington and New York tell you how great you are. As you've learned, your sycophants were wrong: real people really don't like you.

You can do good without the brand-name, make a huge difference if you put your ego out to grass.

You lost because no one trusted you, and because you were a bitch.

Get over it, learn from it and make a difference to some of the people whose lives have fallen apart largely as a result of the failures of government, much of it in the past eight years.

Auntie Gert says:

For so long, you've been like one of those talentless kids who parents tell them they are a musical genius, you've traded on your looks, and your connections and on your husband's name. In fact, for much of your political career you've been a disgrace. Worse, you've skated from one scandal to another.

The latest scandal, the one about e-mails, showed you for the disingenuous person you really are. Your only defence to the allegations was that no one could prove that any confidential information fell into the wrong hands. In effect, you said "no harm, no foul," you sounded like one of those dodgy defendants in a TV programme saying "you've got nothing on me."

Well, the court of public opinion operates on the balance of probabilities. It does not need proof beyond reasonable doubt. You surrounded yourself with people who buoyed you up, telling you were leading, when you were not. Your supporters in the media produced poll after poll saying you were at worst unlikely to lose.

Well, tough titty, Missy. That rushing in your ears that you think is an anxiety attack is the sound of pride coming home to roost.

I agree with Bert. You need to take a long hot shower and wash away your ego. And your attitude. You need to re-think who your friends are, because, you know what, right now your best friends are those who voted against you. Out in the big wide world, you'd have been found out and your whole country would have been put at risk.

Also, you and your advisers who are obsessed with arming militant groups in conflict zones (don't deny it, we've got you and a senior adviser saying it, separately, on tape): don't you ever learn? Almost every major conflict in the world in the past 20 odd years has been created or made worse because the USA interfered and put weapons in the hands of those who should not have them.

Yes, Mrs Clinton. Walk away from the aspirations to be great: you are not the right stuff.

But you can be good. Do as Bert says. Quietly. Just because you can. In office, you'd have screwed up millions of lives. In a horrible, depressed district of a desolate town, you can make a few hundred lives better. That's the difference you should be aiming for, modestly, humbly and working with those whom governments have failed.

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