LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
14 February 2016
You Shall Go to the Ball

Boris arrived on his bike showing off his new-and-improved haircut. Hmmm. Or
is it a hair style? Possibly not, but when you are ruthlessly determined to be the
next PM you’ll do anything. Won’t you? Boris doesn’t really do rules does he?

Why just the other evening, Boris nearly created a repeat of ‘plebgate’. Mon
dieu! He tried to ride his bike past security guards. Boris was ordered to
dismount, regardless of his new look, and ‘to do so without resistance’. The next
day’s headlines: Boris wrestled several security guards to the ground and
claimed they mocked his new hair style. OK. Just kidding. But arguing with
security guards at a secret event; not good for his image surely.

And where was Boris going on his bike? Why off to the glitzy – oh really – let’s
be serious here – tawdry, tacky Tory Black and White Ball. The annual event
where Tory toffs gather to splash the cash to keep themselves in power.
Those uber-rich Tory donors paid up to £15,000 a table to make deals with
Cabinet members at the opulent dinner held in London's banking district.
Naturally.

Uber rich donors such as Pimlico Plumbers owner; the in-your-face and slightly
creepy Charlie Mullins. Surely you know him. The donor worth £70m with the
ridiculous 12 year-old’s hair style? Or is it homage to Rod Stewart? Do you
suppose Boris asked for his hair stylist? Charlie spends £100,000 every year on
daft number plates for his van fleet. The kind of donor who makes the
Conservative Party proud. More or less. Surely more.

Back to the ball. Time for the auction. In keeping with their love for blood sports -
a weekend of pheasant shooting in Northamptonshire, or a day-in-the-life on the
mayoral campaign trail with richer than rich Zac Goldsmith for £3,500, or tickets
for a sold-out Adele O2 Arena concert in March for 19 friends. Oh dear. Adele
will not be best pleased will she? As Adele prefers Labour. And what about four
campaign posters from the last four Tory election victories that actually went for
£50,000. Ah. For those gloating moments. Hmmm. Worth £50,000? Well, you
know those Conservatives….

One by one Cabinet Ministers claimed to have no memory of which costly items
were up for auction, how much they sold for, or even what they'd just had for
dinner…or if it was all a dream. Didn’t they realise the fundraising ball was
hardly a secret? It’s an annual event. All suffering from loss of short-term
memory syndrome? No one ever said they were clever did they.

Michael Gove’s denial is worth repeating. When asked: “I'm terribly forgetful.
Boris has this great phrase: 'Blessed sponge of amnesia wiping the slate of
memory clean’. I'm afraid that amnesiac sponge is always there for me." Oh
dear oh dear. If only we could forget MG with a wipe of that Tory amnesiac
sponge.

Clearly CallMeDave’s mum and auntie weren’t invited to the ball. They signed a
petition to save dozens of children's centres designated for closure by the
Conservative-run Oxfordshire County Council. Dave’s aunt, Claire Currie, plans
to demonstrate when councillors vote on the local authority's budget next week.
Dave’s aunt even went on TV: "The centres are absolutely essential. All the
research shows they make life for children very much better. It is a false
economy to cut them and absolutely wrong."

Dave’s mum, former magistrate, Mary, is fighting the cuts as well. But while
Dave, yes Dave and his mum blamed the council, his aunt blamed the
government – which has cut the council’s budget down to spare change.
Embarrassed? Not our Dave. Nothing embarrasses the entitled Dave does it?
Dickensian hypocrite Dave wrote to Oxfordshire council in November to protest
against cuts in his constituency. Dave expressed "disappointment" at planned
cuts to museums, libraries and day centres for the elderly. Really. Oh it’s Dave
playing the blame game yet again.

But lest we forget, CallMeDave is filling the coffers of Tory run councils. 83% in
fact. You know; an extra £300m relief fund. A miracle surely. For example:
Hampshire county council got an additional £9.4m, Hertfordshire £7.8m, while
Sandwell, Dudley and Birmingham in the West Midlands got precisely 0% in
extra support. What will mum and auntie say, Dave?


Alert Financial Advisors

MPs will get another pay rise; £962 beginning in April. ‘Wait’ you say. If only I
say. This in addition to the 10% last year? Yes. It will take the basic wage of
Commons members to almost £75,000 a year, plus expenses. Did you suddenly
start paying attention at the word expenses? We all know about those expenses
don’t we? A Sunday Mirror investigation revealed “the grasping MPs enjoyed
nearly £800,000 in freebies over the last year…many are enjoying wining,
dining and jet-setting beyond the wildest dreams of most of their constituents”.
Indeed. Alexandra Runswick, director of campaigning group Unlock Democracy,
said: “Corporate hospitality is a well-known tactic for big business [and party
donors] to buy access and influence”.

A few examples? CallMeDave accepting a £500 luxury hamper and free
membership to an exclusive golf course worth £1,165 a year, and those special
gifts are the ones we know about. While his Chancellor Georgie-Boy was waving
from a helicopter on his way to a top Tory dinner. The bill paid was paid for by
big property developers. It came to nearly £8,000.

More than half a million pounds was spent by donors on trips and
accommodation outside the UK for MPs. The total bill? £775,660.70 as of
February 8. But that was only the last time the register was updated. Annoyed
yet?


Doors to Manual

We know Ex-Waity has ignored, denied, hidden those tenacious embarrassing
relatives when she became oh ever soooo royal. Not so easy for Dave.
We certainly shouldn’t be in any way surprised that Kate doesn’t do ‘common’
as in modes of transport, or anything common really.

Meanwhile, the Queen took advantage of the train service from Norfolk to
London. £54.90 for a one hour 40-minute journey travelling first class.
Meanwhile Ex-W made the same journey - by helicopter with a return cost to the
peasants of about £3,000. Continuing the family tradition then?

She took the Queen's Flight helicopter which is used by members of the Royal
Family on official engagements. You can see it land and take off on Perk’s Field
behind Kensington Palace - if you really wanted to. But I digress.

The 110-mile flight would take around 45 minutes. The flight picked her up at
11am and dropped her off at 1pm. Surely after a hard day’s work. A Kensington
Palace spokesman said: “The Royal Household makes careful decision about
transport plans and always seeks to travel in the most appropriate way possible
considering the arrangement for an official engagement.”

Ex-W wore an Alexander McQueen suit, but no tiara – unless she surreptitiously
put it on once the helicopter took off. Really now. You just know she wears one
when at home surely.


Mind the Gap

No. Boycott the Gap. Overpriced, rubbish-quality, boring styles, non-tax paying;
what’s not to love? The Gap hasn’t paid UK taxes in four years. I feel the need to
repeat: boycott.


I’m Trapped

The BBC has moved us from Italy to Iceland for our Saturday night viewing.
Enticing us with clips from Trapped, we were intrigued and ready to be
entertained.

Well, what can I say? The plot has holes big enough to drive that white camper
van through. You’ll see. But first we have a lovely nubile young woman and her
erect nipples to titillate (oh sorry) – whom exactly? – receiving oral pleasure from
her clothed lover. Yawn. Oh look. A shot of her in a totally relaxed (slightly
stoned) satisfied state and there’s yet an erect nipple. Did I mention she was
close to comatose? Shouldn’t the male director/writers/producer have a basic
understanding of physiology? Sigh.

Moving on from their objectification of a naked compliant woman, a woman and
young girl from Nigeria escape into a massive blizzard into the black night in
clothing appropriate for Nigeria. Where do they go? Suddenly they appear in a
house sans any evidence of hyperthermia. Wait. Two Nigerians arrive in an
unprecedented blizzard where the roads and airport are closed and there is no
explanation? No shock? No surprise? Really? It’s a small town in Iceland for
God's sake. And I feel compelled to ask: why do only young attractive women
always fall when escaping? Best we ask Jessica Ennis Hill don’t you think?

There’s more. One scene goes from the night time blizzard to day with a hint of
puffy clouds and then back again to the blizzard in the next scene. Hmmm.

Next. The evil human trafficking Lithuanian rapist looks straight out of central
casting. He could be sent right over to Dickensian. Evidently Iceland doesn’t
have access to buckets. When he repeatedly yells he needs “to shit!” he’s
basically let out of his cell, no surprise overpowers the police officer, takes the
key to the handcuffs left on the desk – oh really now - and escapes into the
historic blizzard - to go where exactly? Are you beginning to see my point here?
I’ll continue to watch the grim homage to the Brothers Grimm and view it as a
sort of noir fantasy.

RIP The Independent newspaper print edition. It’s a sad day.
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