|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
18 July 2015
|Raise Your Right Arm and Repeat After Me
It’s a coup. Well, an exclusive really. You’ve all seen it. You’ve all heard the
commentary. It’s images from the film of young Elizabeth giving the Nazi salute
in the garden of Balmoral with the arm raised Queen Mother, Margaret and
Edward the Prince of Wales on the front of The Sun. Meine Güte!
Hmmm. So where did they get it, from whom and erm, why? The Sun defended
the footage for its "historical and cultural significance". Oh. Right. Archival
footage and all that. Not more papers sold then....
The Sun: ‘Operation Willi was drawn up in the 1940s and would have seen exiled
Edward restored to the throne after a German invasion. Hitler was also an
admirer of the shamed royal’s lover Wallis Simpson. After meeting her in 1937
he reportedly said: “She would have made a good Queen.”’ Now there’s a scary
Hide nor Hair
That was 1933. Hitler was often derided in the UK...although as we know not so
much by Edward. This is 2015 and Republican front runner Donald Trump has
included homage to the Nazis in his ad campaign, and the KKK isn’t even
It isn’t just his hair that’s scary, it’s his stupidity. Oh must I add the obvious? It’s
the hair, stupid! Even if it must be said no one can talk about The Donald without
saying something, anything, everything about that candy floss he has glued to
his head can they?
Trump was caught out featuring soldiers in a stock image in the distinctive
Flecktarn camouflage worn by Waffen-SS, the elite arm of Hitler's personal
The stock photo used in the ad alongside photos of Trump, the White House and
a wad of $100 bills was uploaded to iStock in 2006 with keywords including
'German culture' and 'fascism.' The description of the stock image reads: 'World
War 2 German troops march to war.'
War? Telling how much he loved the military to his enthralled supporters, he
added his strategy for ISIS: “I would take them out so fast.” Clearly too much
hairspray has affected his tiny brain.
But wait. It has now been revealed exactly how that ludicrous, wispy coiffure is
achieved. You know you have wondered for years. It’s called a ‘fold-over’. Ah a
literal translation. ‘A source’ says: “Apparently he does his own. No! He starts
from the back (no!). He combs it forward (really!) so it reaches down past his
nose (oh too much information!) and then he folds (ew!) it back (oh stop!) and
then he sprays it (I did mention hair spray...).”
The Donald says: “People always comment on it. But it’s not that bad and it’s
mine...I had an article where someone said it was a hairpiece, but you can see
it isn’t.” Someone? One person? One article? Now that should make your hair
stand on end and now we know he never has a bad hair day.
Where There’s a Wills There’s a Way
Um. Royal courtiers are worried. Referred to as the ‘nearly royals’, the double
act, pushy Pippa and James have pushed, shoved, demanded their way into the
‘royal circle’ – and not just the Royal Box at Wimbledon – which invites people
who have contributed to society in some way. Here’s where you try to think of
any of their contributions. Oh don’t bother.
“It used to be the case that an invitation to the Royal Box on Wimbledon Centre
Court suggested a status similar to those who make it onto the Honours List — a
special reward for doing something for the greater good,” says a long-standing
Buckingham Palace figure.
A ‘pattern’ is seen and feared with the Middleton invasion of the Royal Box and
the royal photos that have set courtiers worrying. A bit late really. James’ ‘erotic’
baking endeavours have failed. Pippa’s ‘writing’ was mocked and her US TV
plans scuppered. So what’s left to do when you do nothing? Pretend you’re
royal of course. BTW The Queen calls Ex-Waity ‘the Duchess of Do-Little’. It
must be genetic.
Back to the Mario Testino photos. Oh dear. Carole is the most prominent, Prince
Philip is left on the side instead of directly behind the Queen, Carole, Pippa and
Kate have colour coordinated their outfits, Wills and Mike have gone for
matching pink ties. While considering the photos, I’d be remiss if I didn’t draw
attention to the Christening photo of the little family. What could explain the (way
too) bleached-out result, the practiced smile on Will’s face – all teeth, very white
teeth at that, the terribly boring landscape? I’m not getting the brilliance (I know)
of Mario here.
Clearly Wills married the Middletons. Kate who? Evidently Wills informs his real
royal family that the Middletons, all the Middletons, are ‘part of his family unit’.
Charles must be best pleased.
Adding insult to injury, Carole and Pippa are given starring roles in a series of
royal baby books on sale at the Buckingham Palace gift shop. I’m feeling
nauseous here. Do you reckon Wills will move them en masse into Kensington
Palace, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham, Balmoral when the
Queen dies? It’s known that what Wills wants, Wills gets. It’s all so - Kardashian.
The Rational and Irrational Rants or I’m Losing the Will to
Changing his position, yet again, PM CallMeDave said it is the “right thing” for
him and the other MPs to be “paid the rate for the job. That's what I will do".
The MPs’ pay rise comes a week after the Tory toffs announced the lowly public
sector workers, you know, nurses, care workers, police, doctors, armed forces,
council staff, cleaners will get 1% per year to the end of the decade, having
already suffered five years of real-terms pay cuts.
Did you seriously think that was all the boys had planned this last week? Oh
surely not. Just a few highlights, continuing to play the long game: the
strangulation of the unions, the end of the Freedom of Information Act (this is
really serious – they are planning ‘a review’ ie; process to prevent anything
distasteful, dishonest, duplicitous the MPs are involved in), another 35 to be
added to the House of Lords – surely not Tory donors? Oh surely not. And then
the Tory Telegraph is urging Tories to pay £3 to support Labour so that they can
direct/control/sway future elections. Labour party? What Labour party? In power
again? Probably not.
The Fun Bits:
The House of Lawrence at Littlewoods. Well, that is the fun bit. Has
decorator/designer, considerable shirt cuffs, Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen,
affected to the point of farcicality, revealed his association with the budget brand
when he went to China to sell his Rocco, 18th C ‘inspired’ velvets, satins, silk
boudoir-inspired objects-d’art? I think not.
“I AM the go to designer for the luxury look. Everybody in the UK is very much
into this look, including “Victoria Beckham, Princess Kate …” ‘Princess Kate’,
oh dear me, and Victoria shopping in Littlewoods? I think not. A lover of
baroque, brocade, flocking? LL-B compares himself to Coco Chanel and Karl
Lagerfeld. Surely he was being facetious. All right, you can give him Lagerfeld –
his 19th century ‘look’, but Coco???
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen: Cracking China was shown on BBC2. Cracking
China - you’re thinking clever repairs for cracked tea pots, cups, plates, no?
Cool China? No, LL-B’s selling bras and pants to ‘rich, executive Chinese
women’. He was inspired by his own elaborate – if you like – raaaather tasteless
Baroque boudoirs, so why not add underwear. As you do. Shame they are quite
– horrible. Hint: M&S is closing five stores in Shanghai in August. Yikes. And
you know how lovely their underwear is.
Poor Lawrence – yes, poor Lawence who is panicked over the loss of some
British homeware contracts. School fees et al. Strapped for cash? He just
bought his latest house from Charles – via the Dutchy of Cornwall. Perhaps LL-B
should worry about the Chinese stock market affecting the newly rich.
Cross That Bridge When you Come to It
Patrick West in Spiked thinks British humour gets lost in translation. “The
English have a reputation for being a funny people. This, I think, derives from
the sloppiness of our language, the messiness of which leads to
misunderstandings. Indeed, the word ‘funny’ itself has two meanings.”
He offers up a joke he heard on BBC Radio 4: ‘Two nuns are driving along when
the devil suddenly appears on their car bonnet, surrounded by fire and
brimstone. One nun says to the other: “Quick, show him your cross.” The other
leans out the window and shouts, “Get off my fucking bonnet!”.’
OK. I must have been tired, really tired - it was late, but I embarrassingly did
laugh out loud. After rolling on the floor laughing (not literally true you realise), I
had an obvious thought. ‘Cross’. Yes...it does have multiple meanings.
Our paths crossed, annoyed, slightly cross and at cross purposes, we made the
sign of the cross (we didn’t want to cross over as such) when we crossed the
street, fingers crossed on our way to play lacross (I know), it crossed our minds
that life was a cross to bear if you’ve been double crossed, we were hoping
someone would cross our palms so we can eventually afford the new Crossrail.
Giving up here...I don’t want to cross the line.