LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
29 December 2018
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Reality TV

After no watchable programmes on telly – if you hadn’t noticed – unless you
wanted to relive 1968. Or Strictly Come Dancing – I’m losing the will to live - or
Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special – let me kill myself now – or Call the
Midwife - I’m already dead.


Having just seen photos of the second series of Killing Eve what do we have?
What we should just stop having to see. A woman in the bath. No really. Give it a
moment. Nearly every drama features a woman in the bath. So men evidently
either only take those macho manly showers or never bathe. You choose. What
is the ludicrous reasoning behind a woman naked – of course – in the bath?
Can’t think of any can you?


Did you watch the Queen’s speech? Hundreds of thousands of others did. Did
you immediately rush to social media to vent your anger? Oh yes. The source
was that ‘gold’ piano.


The Queen chose to focus on the topic of family and unity, not her immense
wealth and privilege. She’s used to it, but lest we forget, she uses Tupperware
and is quite frugal, unlike the new Modern ‘We’re Just Like You’ Royal Brand.  
The queen spoke about austerity and Brexit, and the ties that bind. She praised
the Commonwealth for "the bonds of affection it promotes, and a common desire
to lie in a better, more peaceful world".


Many called her 'out of touch' for talking about poverty while she sat in front of a
golden piano. Well, she wasn’t actually playing it was she? It was in the
background.


The elaborate piano features cherubs and has been in the royal family for more
than a century. Repeat out loud now: “for more than a century”. It is made from
mahogany and painted gold – painted! Not ‘made of’. The S & P Erard piano
was first purchased by Queen Victoria in 1856. Now doesn’t that rather change
things a bit? Social media junkies were convinced she ordered it from Amazon
with our cash.


Let’s do a bit of irony. The Queen’s Speech was Britain’s biggest Christmas Day
hit. 6.8 million tuned in. It’s the Queen. It’s where the Queen spends time. It’s
where queens do that sort of thing. Regardless if you are a republican or a
monarchist, it’s reality. Perhaps: get over it.

Trumped Up

Trump trumped Santa as the gift giver of the year. We all know the Christmas
story. Good little girl all excited to be receiving a phone call from the President,
regardless of his terminal idiocy. Every Father Christmas believer was relieved
that she didn’t know the word ‘marginal’. But then, rather surprising that Donny
knew.


Donny asked: “Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven, it’s marginal,
right?” Trump then chuckled before concluding the call with the child, Collman
Lloyd. “You just go enjoy yourself.”


Children who called the US military's North American Aerospace Defence
Command to track the 63-year tradition Santa Claus' annual trip around the
world and surprise, surprise were greeted by the Donald and Melania on
Christmas Eve.


"Helping children across the country track #Santa is becoming one of my
favourite traditions! @Potus and I enjoyed working with @NORADSanta," the
first lady tweeted following the calls. Oh really. Embarrassing? Toe-curling?
Cringe-making? Surely not for Santa’s chubby hair-obsessed tweeting elf and
his wife. Elves have wives? OK. OK.


Out of Control

Britain had a chance to “take back control” of Gatwick Airport last week, but a
French firm, Vinci Airports has bought the controlling interest in it instead for
£2.9bn. Non, vraiment.


It’s bad enough that Gatwick wasn’t owned by the British when it was sold, but
selling it to the French. Quelle horreur!  But no worries, Theresa keeps
reminding us that we are taking control. Of what exactly. Those ‘foreigners’
control our water supplies, energy suppliers, railway services and are worryingly
involved in our technology industries. Conservatives originally sold off our state-
owned assets to mostly nationalised European firms.


Let’s not review 2018. We know what happened so why relive it? On that cheery
note: let’s welcome in 2019. Really? Oh let’s just stay buried under the duvet
because we just know it is all going to be a massive mess.


RIP Dame June Whitfield: ‘just the one’…absolutely fabulous.
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