LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
21 July 2018
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My Hero

We surely don’t have to reiterate the Putin-BabyTrump meeting do we?  But one
moment was rather – erm – awkward yet amusing when two of the world’s
dictators met to do some sort of ‘love-in’.

When Putin was asked if the Russian state has any compromising material on
Trump…referencing the infamous claims that BabyTrump watched prostitutes
urinate on a hotel bed while visiting the country…or was it on him? Who knows;
who cares really.

But Putin insisted no one even "warned me he was in Moscow" at the time,
adding, "It’s hard to imagine nonsense on a bigger scale than this." Not invited
then?

BabyTrump added emphatically: "If they had it, it would have been out long ago."
Huh? Wasn’t it or we wouldn’t know about it. Huh? A tape for future
blackmailing? Just saying.

“Now that I’m like Brexit Pres, can I be like, ya know, President of Russia too,
Vlad? Vlad. Vlad. Are you listening? Hey. I’m with you in like destroying Europe
ya know. We’re in it like together ya know, Dude.”

Putin seemed to maintain his menacing ‘power stare’ throughout their meeting.
As he would. You just know he was trying to restrain his desire to slap his mans-
splayed leg and laugh out loud in a sort of cowboy style, preferably shirt-less.
Aughhhh…ew.

Tipping the Balance

Which side is the BBC taking? Naturally the Baby Trump side – in everything. It
says it is simply ‘balancing’. Oh right. Oh right, that right. Balancing anti-Trump
coverage, as you would feel compelled to do. Really?

So, in the balance, clearly the best idea would be to choose and quote – note
here: quote - a frenziedly zealously racist right-wing source, wouldn’t it? Of
course it would if you are the BBC. American Breitbart is the frenziedly
zealously racist right-wing source responsible for racialised reporting,
documenting “black-on-black” violence, headlines such as “political correctness
protects Muslim rape culture” for starters. Flying the racist Confederate flag isn’t
racist, don’t you know, while being black is an ‘advantage’, in Africa? and “gay
rights have made us dumber”…huh? And how did they determine that exactly?
Aren’t they dumb enough already? Clearly not.

And who makes these insane BBC decisions? Sarah. Now we know we can
blame it on the Today programme editor, Sarah Sands. She spent nearly five
years as editor of the Evening Standard, thus backing Zac Goldsmith’s ‘racist‘
campaign in his bid to become London mayor. The Media Reform Coalition
accused the paper of acting as a “mouthpiece of the Conservative Party” during
the campaign.  Not looking good here, Sarah.

Off and Rerunning

And if that isn’t disturbing enough – and it surely should be – if you have had
thoughts of: am I in a time warp? Am I in a time machine? Am I in the time-
space continuum? And the answer: no, you are watching the BBC re-runs.
Haven’t noticed? Oh surely you have. It isn’t déjà vu! It’s 6pm to10.30pm. Would
I lie to you? No, the programme, that is. And why would you want to watch a
programme you have already seen about deciding if a celebrity has told a lie or
not. You wouldn’t. You would remember.

But if you want to test your memory – or attention span - you might want to
watch EastEnders to see who has been brought back, dragged back from ‘the
dead’. OK. Not Den obviously, but clearly everybody else who has ever been in
an episode preferably at least ten years ago. And why do we want to see
characters we were happy to see the back of? We wouldn’t. Evidently we are
collectively turning off soap operas. Wonder why….

Reruns are taking up 100 hours of any other viewing. It was more than 26.7
percant last year. Evidently the BBC has blamed it on sports. Not enough
sporting events. Oh that explains it. BBC is exclusively a sports channel. Did we
miss something? For example creative, innovative programming? Apparently not.

The BBC has been recycling such hits as Mrs Brown’s Boys. So if you missed
even a minute of brilliant humour, you can suffer though it again, and again and
possibly again. Spare us! Please! With the fact that 40 percent aged 16-34 are
not regularly watching the BBC, best to keep showing Mrs Brown’s Boys then.
Only logical.

BBC’s chairman, Sir David Clementi, who explained that the market was
dominated by “global players with extraordinary creative and financial
firepower…” Hmm. So the BBC is unable to meet the challenge? Isn’t that what
they do? Original, imaginative? Oh right, used to do.

Oh No! Now in a row with Virgin, the BBC is pulling out of its partnership.
“The BBC puts UKTV in a very difficult position and we have been unable to
come to terms and will replace the channels.”

Virgin Media’s four million pay-TV customers will no longer be able to  watch
UKTV’s 10 channels. Ten! These include Dave, Gold and Drama. Virgin Media
has been locked in negotiations with UKTV over renewing a deal to carry its TV
channel portfolio. UKTV is jointly owned by the BBC and powerful US Discovery.
You say you don’t care, you are too busy watching Netflix, well, possibly not as
their viewing is markedly down, but wait - where would life be without Taskmaster
I ask you. Really. Where?

Criminal Negligence

Oh dear. What is the Home Office up to now you ask? No need really. We
always have so much to choose from. This time it’s turning children into
criminals. Well, OK, not quite, but close enough.

They are now trying to extend the amount of time it can use kids as infiltrators. I
know: collective “HUH”? And how have they done this? Well, use them on
surveillance operations. Little MI5 recruits. Details? The ‘problem’ is that they
want to extend their spying from the one month limit, after which it has to ‘re-
register’ a spy-child, to four months. And you just know they will extend that
further as no one seems to have noticed. Beggars belief (sorry) doesn’t it?

A government committee has raised “grave concerns” over the government
exposing children to “serious, violent crimes” - obviously!  Subjecting them to
possible terrorism, gang violence and drug offences, child sexual exploitation –
and potentially without parental consent! Aren’t the children trying to escape all
that? Spying by stealth?

If we have forgotten, the UK currently has the “most extreme surveillance law
ever passed in a democracy”. Ah, something to be proud of.

And while we are all proud and patriotic, let’s see what else the Tories have done
– by stealth naturally.

In regards to the Code of Conduct, MPs have voted to grant themselves
anonymity if accused of sexual harassment or expenses fraud. Good idea
considering how commonplace it is.

So MPs being probed for misconduct of any nature will not now be identified
and will remain anonymous while being investigated – AND might not be named
even if they are judged guilty. WHAT!? Oh right. It’s OK for the commoners, but
not for the entitled ones.

And what did the duplicitous MPs do next? Why minutes after the decision, a list
of politicians under investigation vanished from Parliament's website. Dishonest?
Deceitful? Disgrace? Beyond!

Silence is Golden

“I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!” We have noticed. Meghan’s father is back. He
is “terrified”. Not of the Firm which is quite understandable, but for his
daughter's new role.

In an interview with The Sun On Sunday Thomas Markle said: “I know her smile.
I don’t like the one I’m seeing now. This one isn’t even a stage smile – this is a
pained smile.” Not a painted on smile then? And, as a retired film lighting
director, surely he should know.

MM’s face does appear to be frozen in a rabbit-in-headlights expression – or
simply her frozen in her predictable actress face. Do you really care? At all? I
thought not.  But clearly her father does.

Let’s give his version, the one to his celebrity website of choice, TMZ as of this
week: “I fell silent for a full year and the press beat me up every day…so I gave
my story. Apparently the interview put the royal family in their silence mode…so
I gave another interview to break the silence. All they have to do is speak to me.”
And then: “Tomorrow is my birthday, 74 years old, and I’m enjoying the fact that
I can make the entire royal family not speak and maybe I can get a laugh out of
the duchess.” I don’t think so, Thomas – the laugh that is. He celebrated his
birthday alone with a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Come on now: ah.

There is still hope, Thomas. OK. Probably not, but according to ‘palace sources’
for Us Weekly, Harry and MM are reportedly planning to visit the US so that MM
can show Harry “some of her personal favourite places to visit before they
attempt to have a child”. What? Wait! A bit premature don’t you reckon? Poor
Thomas will be contacting TMZ about how he will never see his grandchild. “They
are so excited to head to the US Meghan is looking forward to introducing Harry
to everything she loves about the U.S.” What about cow herding in Idaho?
Confederate marches throughout the South demanding their own states?
Considering a permanent move? I am thinking LA? Or especially for Harry, Las
Vegas. You know, with all that love of the US et al.

How can they revel in all the glories of US without a visit to the Obamas surely
you have asked? The Us Weekly has said they have been supportive of their
recent marriage. Huh? Supportive? Oh come on: huh? “President and Mrs.
Obama have been stalwart supporters.” Am I missing something here? All those
protests and rioting for days to prevent the wedding? Those?

Royal experts Victoria Howard and Liz Brewer have told Yahoo UK that as a long
tradition of not responding to unfavourable headlines, the royals themselves,
including the Queen, will ignore the Markle family.

Ms Howard reminded us: “it’s the Queen Mother who said “never complain,
never explain” and we were told it was Kate Moss! “People will think you’re
whinging – being a royal comes with privilege.”

Managing the Markles is a subject the senior communications team at
Kensington Palace has been coping with since their engagement was
announced in November. Full time job. Hmm, with overtime as well.

Me Too

Poor Princess Eugenie. No really. But not because she is privileged and rich
and the granddaughter of the Queen and has Fergie as an unrelenting
embarrassment, but because she feels compelled to mimic Meghan. Goodness
me. Beyond pathetic.

She and fiancé Jack Brooksbank are planning to invite members of the public to
their wedding in Windsor this October. 1,200 peasants will be able to view the
arrival of the Royal Family, listen to a live broadcast of the ceremony and see
the bride and groom depart St George’s Chapel. Oh joy! Oh joy! Thank you.
Thank you.

Worse really is Eugenie’s very obvious desire to become an MM clone. Silly isn't
it? Someone tell her. Please. She is displaying her aspiration by wearing the
same £420 Aquazzura nude stilettos wore by MM for her engagement pictures
with Harry at the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebration. Not subtle, Eugenie.
Then there was the very same £3,645 (ouch!) M2Malletier bag she took to MM’s
marriage in May. Did she think no one in the press would notice? Really? I am
tempted to say, “as you do”, but you don’t, do you? It really is a ‘look away now’
moment with that not such a good look and with many more to come surely. I am
tempted to say ‘get a life’. Sad.
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