LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
12 August 2016
All That Glitters is Not Gold

“Are you holding my leg again?  Yes she was. Rebecca Adlington placed ‘a frim
grip’ on co-pundit Mark Foster’s leg during the swimming coverage. Twice.
Other co-pundit, Helen Skelton ‘joked’ she felt like the "third wheel" alongside a
photo she shared of the trio yesterday. ‘Is she wearing underwear?’ Skelton has
been slated for wearing a thigh-high dress and possibly no underwear on social
media. Really. No underwear? Do I detect male fantasy here or a female
competition?

Surely you have been staying up late into the night to watch the Olympics. Then
you already know: the diving pool turned inexplicably green (algae or bacterial
spores due to ‘heat and wind’ – right), Dan Goodfellow was deleted from front
page coverage in favour of Tom Daley, Michael Phelps was photographed using
‘the evil eye’, a sort of ‘I win, you die’ narrowed-eye glare at the back of his
rival, South African Chad Le Clos. Charming – and scary. Upon winning his gold
medals, he displayed aggressive winning gestures. Charming yet again. Rowing
events postponed, a stagey rowing row between presenters, a disapproving
finger waving grudge match, the Williams sisters out, Djokovic out, horrible
weather, near death descent experiences of the road cyclists. Oh dear. It’s the
Olympics don’t you know and how could we not commit to memory the first days?

Well, it could worse. A competitor could be poisoned. All right, that was
Wimbledon last month.18 year-old British junior tennis player, Gabriella Taylor,
was forced to withdraw midway through her quarter-final match after falling ill.
She spent four days in intensive care with a rare bacterial disease. The curious
bit, other than the fact that she was possibly deliberately poisoned, is that it is
transmitted through rat urine. The mystery has yet to be solved – rather like the
green swimming pool? Police are naturally investigating – the poisoning.

OK, OK some good news in regards to life and death. It was all tears and cheers
at the green swimming venue. You surely already know Chris Mears’ story. One
of the British gold medal winning duo, first ever British synchronised divers to
have won, Chris Mears and Jack Laugher. At 16 he had a five percent chance
to live – seriously now: a ruptured spleen, organs started to fail, five pints of
blood lost, glandular fever, in a coma, on life support, alone in Sydney, told by
doctors he would never dive again. Blimey! Well, he surely did. Ah. Who doesn’t
love a good Olympic story….



The Silly Season Continues:

A Fracas at Foxtons

Foxtons estate agents in their slim-fitted suits sacked after brawling. No. Not over
one of the flats. Not even with each other as you might expect. Now Foxtons
does not exactly elicit ethics and scruples does it? But fighting in the streets?
This fracas took place in front of Boris’ home in Islington. Police were called.
Evidently face-covered activists – yes, in predictable hoods as well – set off
smoke bombs, waved a banner featuring Boris’ face beneath the blade of a
guillotine. Ouch! The anarchists, Class War, had encouraged others to join in
the two day demonstration: “Bring pitchforks, flaming torches and incandescent
rage.” OK. The rage, but pitchforks, flaming torches? And who exactly has those
to hand in Islington?

So, how did this happen you might wonder? Well, the Foxton boys closed shop,
went out to the pub, encountered the activists, wound up being charged with
‘assault by beating’, ‘assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty’. Three
were sacked. No mention of what happened to the Class War members.
Foxtons said: “We pride ourselves on the professionalism of our agents…”
Foxtons has been known for ‘robust’ tactics, dishonest methods, ignoring tenant
complaints or as tenants call them: “bullies, con men, rude, incompetent, liars,
ruthless” and delivering the one-two punch: “It was the worst experience of my
life.”


Paying Lip Service

Been wondering where Nige has been hiding lately? Probably not. Nonetheless,
ex-Ukip star (ha) Nige has a disguise; a moustache. Nige has grown his very
own. It’s not painted on or glued on. It’s far too dreadful. He has been likened to
a porn star. This has created tumultuous laughter and relentless mocking. The
man looks like an idiot. Oh. Well then it is perfect.


Off the Mark

Mark Fowler Jr arrives on EastEnders. Mark who you ask? Actually it doesn’t
really matter. The homage to The Silly Season is simple: terribly good-looking
lad who has been born ‘n raised in Miami comes with an authentic Cockney
accent, hair styled à la Elvis impersonator or John Travolta’s Danny Zuko, white
T-shirt covered by causally open shirt with short sleeves rolled up. I think I
missed the compulsory leather jacket.

What is wrong with this picture? Everything. Someone thinks 20 year olds from
Miami live and dream James Dean. Oh forget this “I’m too cool for school” look,
what about his accent? Someone on EE mumbled (as they do) he went to a
British school in Miami. What? What? Who writes this stuff? Have they ever
been there?

The new and so not improved EE has a new boss, Sean O’Connor, who has
plans to kill off characters – or send them to Leeds – whom we actually like.
Well, perhaps ‘like’ is a bit of an exaggeration, but we did like Paul didn’t we?
Well, he’s making a right mess of it. And by the way, where’s Mo? Locked in a
basement for the last year? EE is annoying enough. He’s making it even worse.


Frack On, Frack Off

It’s back. Fracking is back. Communities want to see the back of it. Airborne
pollutants… constant irritating noise… bright lights… groundwater
contamination… massive disruption… decimated landscapes… endless lorry
processions … smog… earth tremors/quakes… toxic waste disposal… huge
open fluid pits… flares and explosions… millions of gallons of water required…
chemicals used are a ‘trade secret’ (but are known to be endocrine disruptors
and carcinogens)… methane, Benzene, Toluene, 2-butoxyethanol along with
353 other chemicals, etc, etc, etc.

The government threatened home-owners; that was unsuccessful. Now the
government are offering cash for conscience. Several hundred thousand  
pounds are being offered to destroy their community, landscape, lives and
health. Ah. The little peasants will surely sell out for a few thousand quid on offer.
£5,000. Really. Not insulting at all then. A pity the peasants will never be able to
sell their homes, suffer from ill health and possibly die prematurely. Oh those
compassionate Conservatives.

Those living on ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ – away from planned
fracking areas say repeatedly: “We want fracking because it will create jobs.”
Right. “In the US fracking has been a major success.” Hmmm. Not quite.
Enormous states such as Texas, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming vs a small green
island. Hmmm. And actually, it hasn’t been a major success. Toxic waste water
is recycled into the air, on roads, farms – and as dust suppression. Huh? It has
killed: livestock, trees, people and their pets. Corporate-government collusion
created loop holes and kept secrets in regards to fracking-USA. Oh and lest we
forget, the inevitable law suits have followed those praised lower utility bills. Oh
must we say yet again: “frack off”!?
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