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Meghan Markle might no longer be in the UK, but Prince Harry Baseball-Cap’s “girl” is all over the Mail’s front page.
It is an “exclusive encounter” with Meghan Markle.
Scoop or what?
It’s only been a few days since Harry was complaining about the Press treating the celebrity Prince like a celebrity and abusing his lover. He is upset by “reporters and photographers trying to gain illegal entry to Meghan’s home”. Should we feel sympathy for Meghan? It’s “preposterous to claim that the publicity-hungry Ms Markle is a hapless victim,” said Sarah Vine in the Mail
No. She isn’t. She spoke with Piers Morgan in June “months before the world learned about her Royal relationship”.
Words about Harry in this front-page exclusive? None.
So if not Prince Harry, what did she talk about?
Meghan revealed some more obscure secrets about herself – such as the fact that she is a trained calligrapher who wrote the invitation cards and envelopes for pop singer Robin Thicke’s 2005 wedding.
Is that like the secret she revealed in 2014, when she told Fashion:
“I could either wait tables or use a skill I had that I could do on my own time,” she says. Markle’s calligraphy led to her addressing envelopes for Robin Thicke and Paula Patton’s wedding and writing Dolce & Gabbana’s holiday correspondence.
And the death threats? The Mail reports:
…she was bombarded with hate messages when her character in the US drama series Suits, Rachel Zane, cheated on her boyfriend in the show. She said: ‘People wanted to kill me! Not Rachel… ME. I never knew there were so many emojis with guns and knives. It was very unpleasant. Fortunately, Rachel got back on her pedestal and it stopped.’
“Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle’s terrifying death threats,” screams the Daily Mirror. Butthose threats were nothing to do with her dating Prince Harry.
Elsewhere in today’s Mail, you can read:
The Mail exclusively revealed images of Meghan this week out in Kensington, near Harry’s home at Kensington Palace.
Time to once again revisit the pledge made by the Mail on 8 September 1997, eight days after the death of Princess Diana:
“The proprietor of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard announced last night that his papers will not in future purchase pictures taken by paparazzi
“Viscount Rothermere, chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc said: ‘I am, and always have been, an admirer of Diana, Princess of Wales, and nagged my editors to protect her so far as they could against her powerful enemies. In view of Earl Spencer’s strong words and my own sense of outrage, I have instructed my editors no ‘paparazzi’ pictures are to be purchased without my knowledge and consent.'”
The absurd laws that make marijuana illegal continue to impinge of lives. In Victoria, Canada, police spotted a 22-year-old man operating what appeared to be a marijuana delivery service.
The suspect’s cart cried the legends “420 delivery, no minors”.
Lest you think this a stunt, know that police officers found the man to be in possession of 50 grams of weed. As he awaits a December court date, we wonder why weed is illegal in Canada?
In April 2016, Canada’s health minister, Jane Philpott, opined: “We will introduce legislation in spring 2017 that ensures we keep marijuana out of the hands of children and profits out of the hands of criminals. We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures. We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem.”
So why bother?
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party declared:
Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.
…We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code…
So will everyone arrested for possession of the stinking weed get a pardon when the new laws are passed?
The United Kingdom is “At The Back of The Queue,” says the Daily Mirror. The front-page headline echoes the words of Barack Obama, who thoughtfully flew to the country to remind British citizens that a vote for Brexit would mean the country relegated to the foot of the international business league table. Vote for Brexit and British companies seeking to do business with the US would be behind Germany, France, Egypt and Chad. At first glance, then, the headline looks sarcastic.
So much for being at the back of that queue, Barack, with Donald Trump in charge, a man with solid links to the UK, we’ll be closer to the front.
But the Mirror is serious. It says that after becoming President-elect, Trump only called Theresa May after first speaking with nine world leaders.
We’re Number 10!
The UK got the call after Trump dialled Ireland, Egypt, India, Mexico, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Turkey and Israel. He then called the UK. Yes, that means that after Ireland, the UK is the second most important European Union nation in Trump’s pecking order – ahead for France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The Mirror calls this a “snub”. But isn’t it progress? In 2009, the Guardian reported: “Barack Obama snubs Gordon Brown over private talks – White House spurned five requests from PM’s aides for bilateral meeting.” The Telegraph noted: “Barack Obama rebuffs Gordon Brown as ‘special relationship’ sinks to new low.”
In other Special Relationship news, the Mail says May is Trump’s Tatcher.
And the Express says Trump will help the UK thrive after leaving the EU.
Having read in the tabloids that Trump is both dire and great for UK-US relations, the Mirror lists on Page 3 – after more headlines of doom (“A new danger for the world order”; “Poor start to Special Relationship”) “10 reasons Donald might not be all that bad”. That comes after Thursday’s front page which predicted a Trump-triggered armageddon.
At number 3, the Mirror notes:
“OK, so he didn’t get round to ringing Theresa May for a while. But his mother is Scottish. He has many business interests in the UK. And he;s a big fan of Brexit. He will probably want to hug us close”
And at Number 10: “”Starting WW3 is not in his interests.”
To recap: the Mirror hasn’t got a clue what a Trump Presidency means. But if it can scare the readers, why not?
It’s been a while since Sir Cliff Richard featured on the BBC. Last night Sir Cliff was on The One Show, BBC One’s early evening magazine program. Cliff wasn’t there to asks the BBC why it chose to broadcast live a police raid on his home in 2014, something he’s suing them for. He was there to promote his new album, Just…Fabulous Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Anyone wonder why Sir Cliff is now back on the Beeb?
You might recall how in 2008, Sir Cliff opined in the Express: “When I hear myself on the radio I pretty much phone a friend and send a bottle of champagne round. I’m so excited to get one play.”
Why was Sir Cliff so amazed to be played? Well, it could be linked to Chris Evans (now a DJ on BBC Radio 2). The Mail noted:
In the same year, Radio 1 DJ Chris Evans announced he would not be playing the singer’s records on his breakfast show and even went as far as to smash up his discs on air.
In 2004, Tony Blackburn was suspended from his show on Classic Gold for defying an order not to play Sir Cliff’s tracks.
In 2011, Absolute Radio ’60s banned Cliff’s tunes. DJ Pete Mitchell claimed: “Timeless acts of the decade that remain relevant today are the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors and the Who, not Sir Cliff.”
When Barack Obama was elected US President in 2008, the news cycle was full of stories of his imminent assassination. We called it the Barack Obama Death Cult. Today we get a look at the assassination of President-elect Donald Trump. The Daily Star leads with news that “TRIUMP’S A DEAD MAN WALKING”.
Grassy Knoll writes in the Star of a “series of threats to gun him down”. Knoll, aka Ross Kaniuk, says would-be killers have made their threats on twitter. One tweeter notes;” My mum is talking about assassinating Donald Trump. Watch out guy my white suburban mother is coming for you.”
She’d best be slim, blonde and young if she wants to get close to The Don.
From the University of Michigan-Flint’s Trump-proof safe safe, we hear news from Virginia Tech. Students have received an email entitled “Support & Community Today”.
“Many in our community, and among us, are waking up with fear, anxiety, concern, questions, and confusion among many other emotions,” begins the missive. It notes that “not every member of our community has felt they belong. And today, this may feel almost insurmountable.”
And then it gets really creepy: “I want you to hear clearly that you are loved. You deserve wellness. You deserve to thrive. You deserve community.”
You’d think any college with such a low opinion of their low-esteem student body would be laughed at. “All of your emotions are real,” the email continues. “And your decision is yours.”
And on it goes.
At Stanford University – motto: “The wind of freedom blows (Die Luft der Freiheit weht) – more students are being offered refuges.
It’s Day 1 in the World According to Donald Trump and already his fellow reality TV stars are feeling the aftershock. President Trump’s catchphrase – “Grab her by the pussy” – is all over the Daily Star.
“Cami Lee sexually assaulted: Big Brother star molested as boyfriend slept beside her,” says the paper.
Like most of you, we too have no idea who Cami Lee is. Helpfully, she recognises this and introduces herself.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Cami Li, reporting live from Las Vegas. Think tatts, boobs, and more opinions than Katie Hopkins and Piers Morgan put together.
Are her boobs larger than Morgan’s? Dunno. Is she tattier than Hopkins? Not sure? Is she cheaper to have write for your organ than both of them? Says Cami:
So, what could I possibly have to talk about? Well, a f*** load of s***.
If Cami is cheaper that Hopkins and Morgan, and paid by the word, swearing just cost her a couple of quid. She then goes into flashback mode. It’s a deeply unpleasant story.
I, for one, became more passionate about politics after these five (now infamous words) were splashed across the world, “grab her by the p****”.
Cami is in bed. A man is in her room. He is making unwelcome advances.
The freak of nature slips his hands under my jeans, caresses my butt, then tries to make his way to the motherland. He attempts to slide one finger, and for once, I am thankful I ate too much and am bloated with wine, as my jeans are too tight, with little room to move around.
Once he realises he wouldn’t get away with his perversion without waking me up, he retreats. While the ordeal may’ve lasted a few minutes, it has scarred me for an eternity.
After this alleged assault, Cami relates a bout of violence with the middle-aged “beast”. “My boyfriend punched him, knocked him to ground, then the door was slammed repeatedly,” she writes. “Open, close, open, close, open, close.” Next days the man seeks medical help for a broken eye-socket
Cami says she old the authorities but a lack of funds meant she was unable to pursue the matter further. “At that time in my life, I wasn’t financially able to retain a lawyer and fight this rich couple, so I had to hang my head in defeat and walk away,” she writes.
Cami concludes her tale:
Take a step back, look in the mirror, male or female, we’re the change the world needs to see. Women’s rights are human rights. There are too many Donald Trumps in this world.
In other unrelated news, we read that back in April,Daily Star owner Richard Desmond “cut his last remaining ties to the pornography industry, selling adult entertainment channels including Television X, Viewers’ Wives and Red Hot.”
Good for him. Those channels have not alway shown the good stuff.
A viewer of adult subscription channel Television X had complained after a baby’s legs were caught on camera for a few seconds in the background of a scene in which three women were simulating lesbian sex. The baby could also be heard out of shot, gurgling and crying, later in the scene, which was filmed in a bedroom for Television X’s Viewers’ Tapes programme.
The channel apologised.
This week you can watch on Channel X:
Sexual Predator: “Jay Romer came for the thrill of the hunt… to f*** his female prey. In his sexual underworld there are no rules, just his desire to ravage beautiful women… Through the urban London jungle Jason poses as a photographer to bang Michelle B. he acts as a barman to plough into Elizabeth Michelle Lawrence… He buries his thick **** into Evie’s tight hole while still looking for his next victim!“
Looks like women were victims before Trump came along.
Miley Cyrus has been crying. She’s upset with democracy and the choice made by tens of millions of people for allowing Donald Trump to become President of the USA. Other Americans are letting off fireworks and hoarding bottles for Mazel Tov cocktails should the street fighting demand it. As Miley Cyrus (singer; unelected) cries for a return to feudalism and monarchy – she should lament a Democrat Party too narrow and uninspiring to challenge Hillary Clinton; just as the weak GOP was too inept to stop Trump – Owen Jones is talking to Guardian readers about the horror of all that hope and change.
Donald Trump’s victory reflects a rightwing thriving in a vacuum. There must be a plan to counter that threat.
Well, yes. The Left is bereft of ideas and direction. It’s not all that into trusting people to forge their own paths and freedom of speech. The authoritative and censorious Left demands rules and laws to control people into doing ‘the right thing’.
Trump’s victory is one of the biggest calamities to befall the west and the effect is that every racist, woman-hater, homophobe and rightwing authoritarian feels vindicated.
After insulting everyone who voted for illiberal Trump and rejected enlightened Hillary Clinton – the woman seeking to “destroy” “bimbos” who accused her husband of sexual impropriety; who cheered for war; who played identity politics and lost to a man who played that game better; and who, yes, must certainly have been the victim of some degree misogyny in a country that likes its leading woman to be an unelected ‘Lady’ – packaging people in neat boxes and building a pyramid of desirables to deplorables – and lost – Jones suggests its time the Left wooed the people it’s portrayed as thick, racist and problems to be controlled and re-educated through therapeutic means.
Where to begin in bridging the chasm between the Left’s culturally superior elites and the people they deride? Get this for snooty:
Multiple factors explain this calamity. First: racism. The legacy of slavery means racism is written into the DNA of US society. The determined efforts by African Americans to claim their civil rights has been met with a vicious backlash. The exit polls suggest that Trump won a landslide among both male and female white non-graduates: only white women with degrees produced a majority for Hillary Clinton.
A vote for Trump is a vote for racism. Trump’s wife is an immigrant – and a female (she voted for him, right?) – over 30% of Latinos backed Trump – are they thick racists, too?
Centrists have an easy retort. OK, smug radical, if we’re not the answer, let’s hear you list the flourishing leftwing governments, describe how the left bridges its divide?
Stop portraying Trump voters as Untermensch.
And, of course, they have a point. The style and culture of the radical left is often shaped by university-educated young people (a group that includes me). They are a growing and diverse group; often they hail from modest backgrounds. But their priorities, their rhetoric and their outlook is often radically different to older working-class voters in small town England, France or the US. Both groups are critical to building a victorious electoral coalition, and yet they are, indeed, divided.
That must change. Unless the left is rooted in working-class communities – from the diverse boroughs of London to the ex-mill towns of the north, unless it speaks a language that resonates with those it once saw as its natural constituency, shorn of contempt for working-class values or priorities, then it has no political future.
And here’s the news: the things the knowing Left believe the working class care about are not what the working class care about. They want opportunity not patronage. They want freedom.
The Democratic electorate also believed that, with the election of an African-American President and the rise of marriage equality and other such markers, the culture wars were coming to a close. Trump began his campaign declaring Mexican immigrants to be “rapists”; he closed it with an anti-Semitic ad evoking “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”; his own behavior made a mockery of the dignity of women and women’s bodies. And, when criticized for any of it, he batted it all away as “political correctness.” Surely such a cruel and retrograde figure could succeed among some voters, but how could he win?
They got lazy.
But what about women? In 2000, we were told that women feel uneasy about Hillary:
Mandy Grunwald—a consultant who worked closely with the Clintons in 1992, as media director of the campaign—notes that women in politics often make other women uncomfortable: “They feel threatened—they’re looking at a woman who is close to their age and has made totally different choices.” Hillary, she says, “forces them to ask questions about themselves and the choices they’ve made that they don’t necessarily want to ask.”
She forced them to wonder: is there only one woman the Democrat Party thinks good enough to be leader?
Maybe it’s just all about Hillary Clinton and what she epitomises? Let’s go back to 2000, when Peggy Noonan was making The Case Against Hillary Clinton. Daniel Finkelstein retells a moment from that book:
In January 2000 Hillary Clinton, First Lady of the United States of America, appeared on The Late Show and she did well. Laughing it up with the late-night TV host David Letterman she was relaxed and funny.
Then Letterman changed the subject. He was, he said, going to ask her some questions about New York. Since it was already clear she would be a candidate for the Senate for that state, she looked earnest. A mistake might cost her dear.
But she didn’t make a mistake. Sometimes she had to grope a little for an answer. Sometimes she pondered and appeared uncertain. But she didn’t make any errors. It was pretty impressive stuff. The next day, however, the reason for this straight-A performance became clear. She’d been given the questions in advance. The uncertainty had been an act.
Trust, eh. Hillary was neither worthy of trust not trusted the voters.
At the end, Trump, the Reality TV star, beat Hollywood Hillary.
To the University of Michigan-Flint, where fans of Hillary Clinton (who she?) can hide from the terrifying orange lunk (that’s President-elect Donald Trump) in a safe space. Counsellors are here to help.
The Washington Examiner has published an email it says was sent to students by Chancellor Susan Borrego, who noted:
“…there would be additional support for those traumatized by Donald Trump’s win. UM-Flint’s Ellen Bommarito LGBTQ Center, Women’s Educational Center and Intercultural Center will provide ‘safe spaces’ for anyone suffering from election loss… counseling is available.”
Counsellors for Trump! From the Rust Belt to the Trust (Conveyor) Belt, the therapy industries continue to boom under Donald. Your jobs are safe!
In addition, next Tuesday the “Diversity Council” will hold a “Post-Election Conversation.”
If that doesn’t make your spine shudder, you can pop along and have a diverse conversation with like minds. Who knows, Hillary Clinton might be in there, too.
According to the Safe Space Network: “A Safe Space is a place where anyone can relax and be able to fully express, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, religious affiliation, age or physical or mental ability.”
It’s an expansion of the golf club mentality, but one where every group gets their own room.
Big media cheered for Hillary Clinton. Then Donald Trump won. The blinkered, biased and monocular media missed the story. Unable to examine, understand and sympathise with Trump voters, they echoed Hillary’s description of them as “deplorables”. White working class Americans were just another problematic special group in a top-down, divisive, barrier-building, illiberal, condescending narrative guffed out by a coterie of know-alls under whose wings these lesser people – Latinos, blacks, gays, Muslims and women – could be protected, cosseted and above all kept in their place. Hillary wanted to smashed a glass ceiling. She represented an elite that doesn’t allow the great unwashed to see that high.
Every American makes the same pledge of allegiance. There are no caveats for every focus group and – dread word – community? You get one vote each.
Today the Guardian faced the facts. Democracy won the day. Trump – that terrifying and marvellous orange lunk- will be President Trump:
The polls were wrong. And because we are obsessed with predicting opinions rather than listening to them, we didn’t see it coming.president will be Donald Trump.
President Trump: A colossal failure for democracy, and our terrifying new reality
No. Still not getting it. Democracy won.
Simon Maloy laments the millions and millions and millions of idiots that failed to, well, agree with him:
…all the democratic institutions that are supposed to prevent something like this from happening, or at least warn us about it. Donald Trump, a candidate who ran an openly racist campaign, who is as proud a misogynist as you’ll find anywhere, who is manifestly ignorant of public policy, who is brusquely authoritarian, who has little respect or understanding of democratic norms, and who embodies every moral failing that’s supposed to disqualify a candidate from higher office, has apparently been elected the next president of the United States.
The markets are collapsing, the globe is reeling, and nobody can quite explain what the hell happened. But here’s what this failure will mean. The climate, which is warming precipitously, is now guaranteed to continue along that trajectory toward global catastrophe.
“Why America failed,” says Think Progress.
The only comfort anyone can feel tonight is that the human brain lacks the capacity to process true enormity. We will not understand what this election means.
From the Guardian. The poor lambs of the liberal elite feel hated. Well, now they know how millions of Americans felt for decades when they were written off as dumb, backward, lizard-brained rednecks and cretins and made into the butt of every East Coast comics’ joke and the target of every decent politicians’ sneer. Sow hatred, get hatred.
America is a nation of many economies, but those that produce real, tangible things — food, fiber, energy and manufactured goods — went overwhelmingly for Trump. He won virtually every state from Appalachia to the Rockies, with the exceptions of heavily Hispanic Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, and President Obama’s home base of Illinois.
Some of his biggest margins were in energy states — Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Wyoming, North Dakota — where the fracking revolution created a burst of prosperity. . . .
Class has been a bigger factor in this election than in any election since the New Deal era. Trump’s insurgency rode largely on middle- and working-class fears about globalization, immigration and the cultural arrogance of the “progressive” cultural elite. This is something Bill Clinton understands better than his wife.
Trump owes his election to what one writer has called “the leftover people.” These may be “deplorables” to the pundits but their grievances are real – their incomes and their lifespans have been decreasing. They have noticed, as Thomas Frank has written, that the Democrats have gone “from being the party of Decatur to the party of Martha’s Vineyard.”
Many of these voters were once Democrats, and feel they have been betrayed.
The voters were looked down on. You do that for long enough, and the people look elsewhere for some of that change and hope.
Oh, and get this: the new President’s wife, well, she’s an immigrant! Spin your head on that.
David Cohen notices that the media got it all wrong on Donald Trump:
As someone who has given decades to the media life, may I just say what a disgraceful job my fellow Scribes and Pharisees in the biz did this year. Rather than trying to explain, understand or sensitively report on the Trump uprising, they ran and ran and ran with a narrative based on their own set view. Now they stand revealed as total chumps. So really, if any soul-searching is to be done, it ought to start with this crowd of mountebanks.
Prince Harry is dating American actress Meghan Markle. And he’s unhappy with the media. The celebrity Royal doesn’t much like journalists behaving like, well, journalists. Kensington Palace say the Press have subjected Markle to a “wave of abuse and harassment”. It says “the past week has seen a line crossed”.
The BBC notes: “In recent days a number of newspapers have carried front page stories about the 35-year-old actress, best known for playing Rachel Zane in the TV drama Suits.”
Tsk! Those pesky tabloids, eh. Nothing like the BBC, which punctuates that news with a link to “Who is Meghan Markle?” The Times has more with “Everything you (secretly) wanted to know about Prince Harry’s ‘friend’”.
The Beeb’s bio tells us Megan has really good handwriting, was married and is now divorced, and is mixed race.
The Daily Telegraph wonders, “Could Harry marry a divorcee (when Margaret couldn’t)?”.
In the Times Hilary Rose reviews Markle’s acting role in Suits (something the Sun likens to porn – see picture below): “The show seems mainly to consist of pretty people saying inane things with the utmost gravity which, when you think about it, is pretty much what the royal family do.”
Yes, but with more guns.
The prince’s communications secretary warns (and is that very much like a celebrity to talk through ‘my people’):
“His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.
“Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”
The Guardian fingers the Sun:
Sun’s ‘smear’ about actor’s links to adult website prompts statement in which royal attacks reports’ ‘racial undertones’
Who she? She’s an actor, very beautiful, 35 years old. You might know her as Rachel Zane from the legal drama Suits.
I don’t. Never mind. She’s also … how can I put this?
As long as she’s not a divorced American. The royal family has had enough of them after that Wallis Simpson business. Actually, that’s exactly what she is. But I was thinking of something else.
Harry’s not going to be king, so maybe it will be OK as long as she behaves herself and offers up her body as a vessel for the royal bloodline. That’s the thing. Markle is dual-heritage. Her father is white and her mother is African American.
So? Look, most of the 20th century was a mistake and we want racial superiority back. We had a referendum about it, remember?
After the Guardian has looked down on the tabloids and smeared pro-Brexit voters as bigots (plus ca change), we hear more from Harry’s “cry from the heart” (BBC):
“He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his. He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”
The Guardian then fingers the Mail:
One comment piece in last weekend’s Mail on Sunday, by Rachel Johnson, said: “Genetically, she is blessed. If there is issue from her alleged union with Prince Harry, the Windsors will thicken their watery, thin blue blood and Spencer pale skin and ginger hair with some rich and exotic DNA.”
That’s racist? No. Of course it isn’t. Unless you think it nasty to mention Harry’s watery blood and accuse Johnson of gingerism?
The Guardian is in an absurd position. It wants to protect royal Harry from those awful tabloids, but has told its readers “Forelock-tugging is all the rage thanks to Harry and Kate” and that Princess Kate is trapped in a “cliched gilded cage”.
that;s the problem, isn’t it: Harry doesn’t behave like a Royal. He, Kate and Wills behave like celebrities. They don’t patronise; they endorse.
Harry and his PR team continue:
“Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public. He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads. He is also aware that there is significant curiosity about his private life.
“He has never been comfortable with this, but he has tried to develop a thick skin about the level of media interest that comes with it. He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about.
“But the past week has seen a line crossed.”
A red line? Or is it a ginger line that’s being crossed?
Books. Ever hear of them? The Sun says “SHOCK LEAK Game of Thrones fans sent into a frenzy as ‘entire plot for season seven leaks online’”. Games of Thrones is based on a series of books by George R.R. Martin. If you want to know what happens in the TV version, why not just, you know, read the books?
Yes, yes, the TV version does differ from the books. Producer David Benioff says the show is “about adapting the series as a whole and following the map George laid out for us and hitting the major milestones, but not necessarily each of the stops along the way”. But you get the gist of the plot.
The Mail says “a Reddit user going by the name awayforthelads posted an enormous list of very detailed spoilers”.
How do we know to trust awayforthelads? Maybe they made it up? After all, the Sun looks at the leaks and says it is”reveals a pregnancy and a saucy romp between two main characters”. Sex in Game of Thrones is like the weather at the end of the evening news. It’s expected. As for a pregnancy, the show is about dynasties. Kids are part of the process.
And then comes the truly conniving part: the Mail wants to turn the taps open on that leak.
If you want to read the leaks, you can, of course. If you enjoy escapism, you might want to pass over the leaks and just wait for the entertainment.
To Thornbury, south Gloucestershire, where swimmers at the Thornbury Leisure Centre hear music in the changing rooms. Hilary Kingswood, 64, says the music is “chronic” and “annoying”.
Music should be joyous. “Music is the best means we have of digesting time,” said Igor Stravinsky.
Kurt Vonnegut noted:
If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
Neither made their remarks while doing laps at a public pool in the early morning.
“Beforehand it was peaceful, but having this music is such an intrusion, something that no one has asked for,” Hilary adds. “We don’t need it and all it does is ruin the peaceful atmosphere that many of us want for an early morning swim. If people want to take music into the gym, they take headphones anyway.
Kate Hand, 62, adds: “I put my towel on, packed my bag, got in my car and went home to get ready for work. It is not that loud anywhere else in the centre, so why it has to be there I don’t know. We are customers and our opinion should be heard, but it seems like they don’t want to change anything.”
Andy Robinson, the centre manager, says: Music can be both motivational and relaxing and we hope it doesn’t hinder Mrs Kingswood and Mrs Hand from maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
Well, it is raising their heart rates.
Friedrich Nietzsche has a word:
God has given us music so that above all it can lead us upwards. Music unites all qualities: it can exalt us, divert us, cheer us up, or break the hardest of hearts with the softest of its melancholy tones. But its principal task is to lead our thoughts to higher things, to elevate, even to make us tremble…
The musical art often speaks in sounds more penetrating than the words of poetry, and takes hold of the most hidden crevices of the heart… Song elevates our being and leads us to the good and the true. If, however, music serves only as a diversion or as a kind of vain ostentation it is sinful and harmful.
And annoying. Other people’s music can be truly awful.
Silence is golden, as the psychiatrist Paul Goodman observed:
Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.
Drones can hack your lightbulbs. It’s true. It sounds mad to say it, granted. But it’s true. PC World reports on a cyber attack on your so-called smart bulbs:
Researchers were able to take control of some Philips Hue lights using a drone. Based on an exploit for the ZigBee Light Link Touchlink system, white hat hackers were able to remotely control the Hue lights via drone and cause them to blink S-O-S in Morse code.
The drone carried out the attack from more than a thousand feet away.
If they can blink for help, presumably they can also be turned off and on in, say, an attack by an enemy? The war-time command to “Put that light out” would be null and void if the enemy was controlling the things.
“There is no other method of reprogramming these [infected] devices without full disassemble (which is not feasible). Any old stock would also need to be recalled, as any devices with vulnerable firmware can be infected as soon as power is applied,” according to the researchers.
Apparently, the Israeli and Canadian researchers have informed Philips of the design flaw and it’s been “patched”.
Scottie Nell Hughes was talking to CNN about Hillary Clinton’s props Jay Z and Beyoncé. She made a reference to Jay Z and Kanye West’s 2012 video for “No Church in the Wild. It features a ‘Mazel Tov’ cocktail.
No. Not a Molotov cocktail. Hughes spotted a “mazel tov cocktail”.
One in the eye for parents tired of Other Parents boasting of their kids’ top marks in spelling and sums. Pupils at Inverlochy Primary School in Fort William, Scotland, don’t get any homework. In a poll, most parents voted against it. Instead of homework, the children are told to read anything.
In all, 62% of parents (the ones with the less bright kids?) at the 193-pupil Highland school voted to stop homework; 79% of pupils (the sane and those with no interest in passing 11-plus exams?) voted to ban homework. The 10 teachers were unable to reach an consensus and split the vote 50/50.
Of course it matters not a jot. The tiger / pushy / middle-class / anxious / immigrant parents will make their children work at home whatever the school says. Some will hire tutors.
Human skill fills the voice in Manchester, where bin collecting has become a luxury. You’d think getting rid of human waste would be a priority for any Western society, living longer and better on the back of improved hygiene and the availability of fresh water and cheap food. But in Manchester, collecting rubbish is a lifestyle choice.
Some householders in Greater Manchester are paying a private firm to empty their bins. Many are angry because some councils have reduced rubbish collections in an attempt to cut costs, and to motivate people to recycle more.
You’re motivated to recycle by having overflowing bins? Maybe not. For every problem, ingenious humanity conjures a solution:
A local businessman who bought himself a truck eighteen months ago is now emptying up to 800 bins a week.
Between 1 August and the end of October 2016 we’re taking your old rubbish bin away and replacing it with a new, smaller grey one. We’ll put an information sticker on your old bin on the collection day 2 weeks before the swap.
On the day of your swap we’ll take away your old bin and recycle it.
We’ll leave new grey bins outside front doors or in front gardens, anytime during the day until 7pm. Your address will be on your new bin.
We can’t let you keep your old larger bin – the switch to smaller bins is to help cut the amount of waste from grey/black bins and increase recycling – so we won’t empty old bins after the swap.
Coun Nigel Murphy, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “When recyclable waste is put into the wrong bin, money is being needlessly being thrown away. Taking this action to boost Manchester’s recycling rates now will save the city almost £2.5m every year in waste disposal costs, helping to protect the vital council services that residents care about for the long-term future, while also helping the environment.
“Doing nothing is not an option and we are determined to work with residents to ensure that as much waste as possible is recycled.”
In steps Bury Bins.
Josh Morris, a 25-year-old businessman who is licensed to handle environmental waste, manages the bin collection service in Greater Manchester.
Local authority rubbish collection day – green wheelie bin being loaded onto a refuse cart, UK ALAMY
After starting in his hometown Bury, he quickly expanded his services to nearby Rochdale and Oldham due to a huge spike in demand.
He told the Daily Mail: “I started with a van last year. Now I have three trucks collecting 200 bins a day.”
He sends the rubbish he collects to a private sorting plant.
Says Josh of Busy Bins, “…apart from the regular emptying of their bin, they absolutely love the fact we put their bins back outside their home & not down the road.”
“Many households struggle to keep on top of their rubbish following the reduced bin size, citing problems with overflowing bins, fly-tipping, bad smells and increased problems from flies and rats.
“It’s a problem that a significant number of households’ face and our service provides people with the option to have their bin emptied before it is overflowing”.
People will pay for a good service. Demand and supply, right?
Still wondering why Ukip is so reluctant to let go of Nigel Farage? The Herald reports:
Ukip leadership hopeful Suzanne Evans has suggested judges should face the prospect of being sacked by MPs in the wake of the Article 50 case in the High Court.
Ukip wants politicians to have control over the judges? What lunacy.
She warned about judges increasingly intervening in political decisions and suggested the judiciary should face being grilled by a Commons select committee with the power to recommend sacking them.
What a terrible idea. An independent and impartial judiciary is one of the cornerstones of a democracy.
The fundamental concept of judicial independence came into being in England and Wales in 1701 with the enactment of the Act of Settlement. This statute formally recognised the principles of security of judicial tenure by establishing that High Court Judges and Lords Justice of Appeal hold office during good behaviour. Appropriate and formal mechanisms had to be in place before a judge could be removed.
Before 1701 senior judges held office at the sovereign’s pleasure and there are many examples of judges being removed from office for failing to decide cases in accordance with the wishes of the King or Queen. Since the Act of Settlement it has only been possible to remove a senior judge from office through an Address to the Queen agreed by both Houses of Parliament.
But, yeah, better to let the MPs decide on their own who is fit to uphold the law as they see it. We trust our MPs implicitly, don’t we? That question to you, Nigel Farage.
I will only accept Brexit on MY terms says Jeremy Corbyn as he tells Theresa May he’ll force a spring election if she doesn’t agree
Brave, isn’t he. Trouble is, of course, that Corbyn’s terms are not worth a jot because Labour will be thrashed in a General Election.
The BBC adds:
Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would block the triggering of Article 50 if Mrs May did not guarantee access to the single market.
So we get a General Election. May wins a landslide. Labour get a new leader. The country gets an effective opposition. The will of the people is done and the country leaves the EU. As May writes in the Telegraph:“The people made their choice, and did so decisively. It is the responsibility of government to carry out their instruction in full.”
Jeremy Corbyn gives Theresa May ultimatum: Agree to Labour’s Brexit terms or I’ll force election in spring
Corbyn says access to the single market should be a red line for the Government.
He says: “Sorry, but we live in a democracy and the Government has to be responsive to Parliament. It’s not my timetable so it’s up to her to respond.”
Mr Corbyn’s bottom lines are:
UK access to 500 million customers in Europe’s single market.
No watering down of EU workplace rights.
Guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment.
Pledges on Britain picking up the tab for any EU capital investment lost by Brexit
Government has to be responsive to Parliament. And Parliament has to be responsive to the will of the people. We voted to leave the EU.
Intolerance is the byword in illiberal Britain. The Times reports on a disturbing case of right and wrong thinking. A foster couple want to adopt two children in their care. The bairns have been living with the married couple for almost a year.
Social services said it would not consider the couple’s request to adopt the children because they had aired “concerning” opinions about the possibility of a same-sex couple being chosen as the adoptive parents instead.
The issue seems to be one of equality. You must recognise, accept and validate an alternative point of view even if it is at the expense of your own heartfelt beliefs. If you thought fostering was about raising children in a secure, loving and thriving home, you were wrong.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting them, said: “This couple’s viewpoint is lawful and mainstream.” This weekend the husband said: “We don’t want to fight or make ideological arguments. We are normal people.”
We live in age where identity is all and action is rooted in therapy. Life is about symbols and signalling.
The State seeks to control and legitimise your thoughts, using constraints on conduct to heel past wrongs. The irony of ironies is that the State that outlawed homosexuality, branded gay men a danger to children and decreed what consenting adults could think and do with their own bodies now says you must support gay rights or be despatched to ‘the wrong side of’ and, er, deemed unfit to be around children.
They added: “We are Christians and we expressed the view that a child needs a mother and a father. We expressed our views in modest, temperate terms based on our Christian convictions. We love everyone (regardless of sexual orientation) and we love the children and believe that they would benefit from the foundation offered by a mother and a father.
“The decision… appears discriminatory to us and not related to the children’s needs. The children love us: we love them. All the reports show that we are a loving, caring and stable family. What more could a child need?”
Asked how he would react if one of the children came out as gay, the husband said: “It is hard to accept, but we would accept it.”
But the State is not listening. It’s telling. It has an agenda and you must comply to it.
They claimed that the social worker became upset that they did not endorse “views that go against our conscience” and they became “concerned about his motives”. They claimed that he threatened that their status as foster carers might be reviewed…
They also said that they had mentioned their interest in adopting the children many times to the social worker but he had put them off, saying their home was too small. Two days after they were told that a gay couple were being lined up as adoptive parents, the husband and wife formally applied to adopt the children themselves.
This smacks of a new form of religious persecution. Agree and adhere with State policy or be relegated in the country’s status league tables and punished. You are no longer an upstanding citizen worthy of the State’s trust. All of us – gay and straight – should recognise that when the State tells you what to think, what to believe in and how to be human, none of us wins.
The idea bveing that don’t vote and get Predient Trump. Do vote and gt PResident CLinbton. Or, better, yet, just take a bus and tell the driver to take you back in time to when the US President had gravitas and the people’s trust.
The ruling on article 50 is a huge opportunity. It would not be anti-democratic to try to stop what many other countries see as economic suicide.
It would not be undemocratic to prevent a democratic vote. Got it?
Stephen Phillips,Tory MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, has stepped aside. In an open letter he writes:
The campaign to give parliament the right to determine our future relationship with the EU is not about reversing the referendum result. Nor is it about subverting the will of the British people, or having a second bite of the cherry. It’s about the sovereignty that I and others cherish, a sovereignty that resides principally in the House of Commons and in its ability, when given the opportunity, to inform and direct the government of the day.
And did you get that, peeps? Westminster gets to make the final decision on Brexit. Parliamentary sovereignty was earned the hard way to ensure the will of the people won the day. Parliament should not be bound by the rule of the monarch. Parliament should support and ensure the will of the people. If MPs now subvert the vote, what purpose do they serve?
Do you trust MPs, like Paul Flynn (Labour MP for Newport W), who opined, “The Brexit vote deserves the same respect as Boaty McBoatface…
The Brexit vote deserves the same respect as the vote which chose to name a state-of-the art ship Boaty McBoatface (it was named RRS Sir David Attenborough instead).
Ah, TV’s Voice of God, Sir David, who opined:
The veteran broadcaster, 90, said the decision about the future of the UK should have been left to MPs who could have voted on behalf of the electorate. Attenborough said allowing the public to vote on the monumental decision earlier this year has created a “mess”. In an interview with Emily Maitlis for Radio Times he said: “I mean, that’s why we’re in the mess we are with Brexit, is it not?
“Do we really want to live by this kind of referendum?”