LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
26 May 2018
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Left Holding the Bag

“Ok. Let’s kiss.” Yes, you know it was Meghan’s instructions to Harry as they
stood on the chapel steps. We didn’t hear him say “Yes Sir” though. All right.
“Yes, Ma’am.” But he will.

Hopefully one last time: that endless wedding. Let’s begin with insults. Let’s begin
with the ‘goodie’ bags handed out to the peasants who did notable charity work,
devoted their time to others selflessly, without compensation, who were left
standing outside the chapel during the ceremony of celebrities. Those. And if it
had rained? They could have stormed the chapel. But would have been far too
polite and considerate to do so.

And what did MM so generously give them? Water. A bottle of water in a plastic
bottle. You know, in case they got like ‘parched’ as she would say. A big
chocolate gold, no, not real gold silly, a coin with Harry and MM embossed on it.
A keepsake surely. A tin of shortbreads. Oh, they would need that water after a
few dry biscuits wouldn’t they? And the best for last: a 20% voucher for the
Windsor gift shop. Oh joy, oh joy. Oh, all in a canvas bag with the initials of the
‘fairy tale’ couple. Their initials. Huh? Not even a photo image? Oh, and a
‘welcome’ letter from the couple. Bloody disgrace really.

All right. Here’s the good news. Insults adding to injury? No. Insults adding to
cash. One of the commoners, HR manager Claire Oliver, has sold those
‘goodies’ on eBay for £21,400! Cheers from the audience. Others are selling
theirs for £10. Bless.

Pressing On

The press couldn’t give it up. The Sun, the Mail, the Mirror, the Express, the
Metro and the Telegraph. Most of the papers carrying big colour souvenir
supplements. The Mail on Sunday offered a 300 page book of the wedding.
Really? 300 pages?

The Mirror: “I have found my prince.” He’s gone missing already? Oh right. She
meant all those years of strategy has paid off, as it were. So that’s the ‘fairy tale’
then? No evil wolf, witch, wizard, step-mother? Are we certain of that?

The Mail on Meghan’s statement on the royal website: she is “proud to be a
woman and a feminist”. Oh groan. Anything else?

The Telegraph headlines the day after the wedding the whole world watched.
“Meghan to Fight for Feminism”. Meghan will bring feminism to the UK…to the
royal family…to the world. Curiously not only had she never heard of Harry (oh
right, only of her idol Diana) but evidently not the Queen. 66 years on the
throne. All those women who marched and fought for feminism in the 60s. Oh
right. Possibly MM missed that history class. Well, an avowed feminist requires
a prince to be complete -  evidently. Meghan has spoken. Is it over yet?

You Spin Me Round

Yes, Boris was duped. The eternally brilliant Foreign Secretary took an eighteen-
minute phone call with two well-known Russian pranksters, ‘Vovan and Lexus’ if
you need to know, claiming to be the President of Armenia. As you do. YouTube
released the call. Boris was happy to talk about Putin, the Salisbury poisoning,
Russia. As you do when talking to the President of Armenia, the newly-elected
Armenian leader Nikol Pashinyan.

Boris began the conversation by congratulating the ‘President of Armenia’: “very
sincerely on your remarkable success…I’m afraid that Russia seems to be
unable to resist malign activity of one kind or another”. This in regards to the
Salisbury poisonings: "We are, like, almost 100 percent sure. We will be able to
do more to illustrate that.” Like, right Boris. Like, can you say that in like, Latin?

"I think it's very important for the Russians to know that, certainly the UK, is
absolutely determined to stand firm against them.” ‘Lexus’ told the Guardian he
was the one impersonating President Pashinyan in the call. He also said he had
also spoken to Europe minister Sir Alan Duncan before the call with Boris.
Goodness me. The plot thickened.

The duo said: “We read an article where the Minister of State for Europe and
the Americans Sir Alan Duncan congratulated Pashinyan. We first called him
and had a conversation with him and then he organized the conversation with
Boris Johnson." Goodness me.

“If this was an attempt to ridicule us, it has totally backfired,” Sir Alan told
Bloomberg News, shortly after the recording of the conversation was made
public. “All it has done is make the Russians look even sillier than we knew they
were.” A senior UK diplomatic source said: "Boris rumbled them pretty quickly
and ended the call.” Counting here: 18-minutes? ‘Rumbled’? Not really. Well
done, Sir Alan. Those silly Russians. Well done diplomatically.

Red faces all round the spin then? A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The
Foreign Secretary realised it was a hoax and ended the call. "We checked it out
and knew immediately it was a prank call.” Laughing here. "These childish
actions show the lack of seriousness of the caller and those behind him." Rolling
on the floor now.

Lest we forget, V and L also tricked Elton John 2015 when they phoned
pretending to be Putin after the musician criticized Russia’s stance on gay
rights. Oh those ‘childish’ Russians.

Not Just a Pretty Face  

Rekognition. Well, it is about recognition. Amazon has been marketing and
selling facial recognition software, called Amazon Rekognition, to US law
enforcement agencies.

In an emailed statement, Amazon said their new intrusive surveillance had “many
useful applications in the real world”, such as locating lost children at
amusement parks, and that the company “requires that customers comply with
the law and be responsible when they use” its software products.

Face it ( all right…). Coming to an amusement park near you presumably. You
know how often you misplace your children.

Everywhere: face, body, emotional recognition. Losing the will here….

If you are worried about losing your children, why not get them employed by
MI6? MI6 ran an advert on Spotify, digital channels and Ch4 to attract ethnic
minority recruits. It featured a shark – hmm – in an aquarium tank being
observed by an ethnic minority mother and her child.

We are told: “Secretly, we’re just like you.” Predatory? Really, really scary?
Dangerous? Life and limb threatening? Oh. The woman is a spy. I get it. They
want more women and parents.

No worries. The agency’s chief executive, Alex, known as C (huh? wondering
what ‘C’ stands for) Younger said: “I want people who have never thought of
joining MI6 to join MI6…there is no standard MI6 officer…a service that reflects
today’s society.” Surveillance society?

A surge of potential spies has emerged after the Salisbury poisonings. Join the
queue with your kids in tow. They need another 800 spies by 2021.

Watch Out

Richard Gere reality check. Oh dear oh dear. Who at the BBC is that thick US
sycophant? Desperately trying to shove US shows, ‘actors’ down our unwilling
throats? Just stop. Let’s all sit down and give it a little think. Who on this planet
wants to see Richard Gere in anything? Or even in life really. We are going to
get eight episodes of him on BBC. Now what could he be playing? A security
guard? A fruit and veg stall owner? A dog walker? Oh the usual: ‘a US media
mogul based in Britain who has trouble due to his son's bad behaviour’.
‘Trouble’? Leaving the room now.

Oh no. Back in the room. Suddenly RG is looking better. We have had the
threats for months and now a reality. The – oh come on now – the hideous,
annoying to the point of near violence, Shane Richie is back in EastEnders.
‘Argh’ will simply not suffice. Shane Richie anywhere, any time. All that cheeky
chappy crap at his age? Really? OK. Argh! Returning executive producer, John
Yorke, had warned us months ago that we loved and missed Kat&Alfie. No.
Actually we were relieved they were in that highly successful amazingly popular
spinoff, Redwater. You know, the one that had no audience viewing and had to
be cancelled. That one. Watching Kat and her accompanying breasts may be
torture, but Alfie. Way beyond. You just know that their storyline is going to
totally take over forever. Torture.
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