LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
1 September 2018
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Pick and Mix

With autumn approaching, so are those endless Sunday morning shows with
presenters presenting themselves. Well, that’s Andrew Marr really isn’t it?

Andy now wants to bore us with his deeply-held-right-wing sympathies on
display - and thus guests at 10am. Look away now. Liam Fox, David Davis,
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks for starters. Pienaar’s Politics, which is staying
with its 10am slot. Uh oh, Andy.

Come back. We like Sophy Ridge on Sunday, now at the new time of 9am.
Hmm, it will be simply Preston – so ‘Cher’. Gone is Preston on Sunday
relaunching on a Wednesday night this autumn. Are you noting these changes?
Thought not. And the Sunday Politics is defunct.

After nearly 16 years – it will go all ‘modern’. Right. It is now Politics Live for 45
scintillating minutes at 12.15pm daily. Right. Well, usually right-wing isn’t it?

The editor of the BBC’s live political programs, Rob Burley: “One change is just
the way it looks. As people will see on Monday, we’ve got a very modern set
which is quite inspired by American television sets. It will look much fresher —
the other studio was essentially the same studio from 2003.” Right. Now isn’t
Britain renowned for its visual innovation and creativity? Always best to like go
American. You know, like eh, Rob?

“It’s going to be much more conversational…The core idea is you convene a
group of interesting people who talk about the political issues of the day; some of
whom are politicians, some of whom are commentators, and some who may
come from beyond that.” Oh good god. I’m close to unconsciousness at the very
thought: “and some who may come from beyond that.” Dreading the very
thought of what that is a euphemism for….

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Marvellous. Just. Now what has Coca-Cola done lately to help the planet?
Humanity? Well, other than force the third-world to drink coke as a replacement
for water, it has bought Costa Coffee for £3.9bn. So now they can force the
children to drink coffee instead of coke. How clever.

Started by Sergio and Bruno Costa as a single family-run shop in 1971, bought
by British Whitbread in 1995 for £19m, 39 shops became 4,000. It has now
become the second largest coffee house chain – on the planet!

Wasn’t taking over the London Eye and increasing the admittance price enough
for Coca-Cola? Clearly not. Skip-the-Line price: £32.45. It’s ‘queue’ by the way!
Should we assume the queues are longer than the 30-minute ride? Or: £26 for
adults and £21 for children. And what do we say to this? BOYCOTT! Both!

He’s Back

It has only been a week since Nige ‘was back’. He just can’t stay away from the
assiduous attention, can he? Well, now he wants it full on. See what happens if
you ignore him for even a nanosecond? He is going to stand for London Mayor
2020.

Nige in his own words: “I have been encouraged to [stand] by a group of people,
but that doesn’t mean I’m going to.” Ha ha ha. Come on, one more: ha. In an
interview with the Financial Times: “I haven’t said no to it, I’m thinking about it.”
Should we expect his face on a red bus? Oh I do hope so. We can never get
enough of Nige can we?

Oh Nige. You’ve tried - and failed, to be elected to Parliament on no less than
seven occasions. Poor Nige. Be afraid, Sadiq, be very afraid.

Oh Nige. And now no one, no one wants that portrait of you at the Royal
Academy's 250th annual summer exhibition. This is serious. Slade-trained David
Griffiths is known as one of Britain’s best portrait painters, having painted Prince
Charles and former PM Lord Callaghan among others. Nige evidently posed for
hours for the £25,000 painting. Cheap at that. Not a single bid. Oh Nige. Rather
like your bid to be elected to Parliament. Not looking good is it?

Oh Nige, you could have easily bought it yourself, as we would assume
considering your ego and your income. With your latest European Parliament
financial declaration, your broadcasting income is €30,000 per month and if you
have someone do the maths for you, that’s €360,000 a year — oh, and on top of
your MEP salary. Nice little earner for a frenzied Brexiteer, no Nige?

Bodyguard

Hmm. Twenty minutes of your life. What do you do? How do you waste it? Use
it? Don’t even give it a thought. Watch the first twenty minutes of BBC’s
Bodyguard. Just do it.

Written by Joe Mercurio, Line of Duty’s creator. Convinced? You should, will
be. It’s bloody brilliant! Everything from the direction, the story, the characters,
the actors. Six episodes. We will be desperate for more I’m thinking and
certainly hoping! Notice: button-down shirt.

More proof if you need it. Theresa switched off after 20 minutes of the first
episode and told reporters while visiting Africa that she preferred watching
programmes that were not so close to home. Home? Memories of her failures as
Home Secretary as well? So what does Theresa prefer then? She’s ‘a fan’ of the
American action police show NCIS, The Great British Bake Off and – no really –
not Strictly Come Dancing! Clearly she hasn’t been paying attention!

Blood Thirsty

Number of game birds killed every day during the shooting season? Guess. OK.
Perhaps we can ask Prince George. He’s FIVE! He’s been taken with Ex-Waity
to watch Wils shoot and/or maim as many game birds as possible. As you do as
a royal. Right? Right. George’s very first grouse shoot on the Queen's Balmoral
estate. Ah. Sweet.

An estimated 700,000 grouse are shot in the UK every year for ‘sport’. Sport?
£75 to shoot each bird.

Well, we know the love of killing innocent sentient animals does run in the ever
so entitled-to-kill (and maim) family. Ah. The love of blood sports. Bless. Perhaps
they should be forced to eat their kill, bullets included in the cooking, or what
about raw? Liking that better. Well, the whole family did have lunch after the
shoot.

“Oh look, George. Daddy has a gun. You know, guns that are used to shoot
people, but this time Daddy is going to shoot a little bird. Oh look, George. Is that
blood spurting out of the bad bad bird? Oh look, George. It’s missing a wing.
He's winged it! Look! There it goes, it fell down. Good Daddy, good Daddy. Let’s
give him a little clap. More Daddy. We want to see more blood don’t we,
George? We could shoot clay pigeons, you know like the clay you play with, but
– no blood, so no good. Remember we royals adore, simply adore slaughtering
all animals and you will as well. I love slaughtering now that I manoeuvred myself
into the royal family forever. You can practice with your nanny.”

Oh those new and improved, très modern young royals….

Deal With It

So, on Theresa’s first trip to Africa it has been confirmed that Britain would
replicate a deal the EU currently has with six southern African nations. So then,
the new deal is actually a deal we already have via the EU, which includes
adherence to all EU rules and regulations, eh Theresa? So, in order to
"replicate" a deal we already have, she promised £4billion?  Really? And how
does that work exactly? It doesn’t. Oh dear. Not smoke and mirrors again. It is
getting so boring, Theresa.

But at a press conference after her speech Theresa was forced to deny she
was “late to the party”, well, late to the scramble really with African leaders she
met having already formed relationships with the US, Germany, Spain, France
and of course China – from the mid 90s. Theresa. Everybody has been already
been there. You know, that massive continent? Previously colonialised? You
know.

Theresa’s on a mission. Oh dear. Not sounding good is it?  “Mission”. A bit of a
post-colonial view and attitude, no? Theresa is going to make Britain the biggest
‘player’ regardless if those six African countries agree or not.

The government is euphoric. “We’ve made a deal! A trade deal!” This
unprecedented deal will allow UK shoppers “to continue to enjoy southern
African wine, tea and fruits. It will provide the strong foundations on which we
can build a closer trade and investment partnership in the future”. Hmm. Those
very same foundations we already have.

While the imports from Europe in most African countries are on the rise, the
total number of African exports to most European countries is decreasing. Oh.
No big deal then? Hmm.

You Could Be Dancing

Oh Theresa. And you thought we wouldn’t point out that – erm – dad-dancing.
OK robot-dancing didn’t you? Theresa pulling shapes has naturally gone viral.
Ed Balls, she isn’t. Where oh where was Phil? Hiding? Shouldn’t he have told
her to stop? Shouldn’t someone?!

Oh, Theresa. There’s Merkel. She’s back to do trade deals in tech and services.
Oh look, Theresa. She’s not dancing is she? Clearly not inspired by your ‘moves’
….
At Theresa’s final African stop-off, during a press conference Kenyan president
Uhuru Kenyatta: “Last year if you recall the foreign secretary then, Boris...
erm... Boris... Boris... the bicycle guy was here.” Making Britain great again. Oh
oops. That’s America isn’t it? Well, Baby Trump… Boris… what else can we
say?

On her final day, he was ‘pleased’ she had “found time” to visit. He said he was
glad Theresa had “honoured our invitation to come and see for yourself our
country and continent that has changed in the last nearly four decades since a
UK prime minister visited”. Sometimes ‘dancing’ just doesn’t do it, does it,
Theresa?

Her response to being told she was now being called “Twinkle Toes Theresa”?
“I've been called many things in my time.” Oh come on now, Theresa. Let’s
Dance, Dancing Queen….Don’t Stop the Dance – oh do, please.
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