Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Business Partner - Banking Finance - Brentwood - £45K

£45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...

PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

Mechanical Lead

£65000 - £75000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Mechanical L...

Nursery Nurse

£8 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurse The Nursery Nurse wi...

Letter from the editor: When families fall out

For some reason, Les Dawson came immediately to mind when I read the story of the woman who sent an email to her future daughter-in-law to admonish her about her manners.

“I can tell when the mother-in-law is coming to stay,” Dawson would say, in his deadpan delivery. “The mice throw themselves on the traps.” Les Dawson, of course, belongs in another era, long before the advent of political correctness, but the mother-in-law remains a figure of comic potency.

Yet the story of Mrs Bourne and her email is much more than that of a cartoon mother-in-law. She complains about her son’s future wife’s behaviour when she was a guest: staying in bed all morning, being a fussy eater, getting stuck in to her dinner before everyone else, and generally behaving like Lady Muck.

The email went viral after Heidi Withers (the daughter-in-law to be) sent it on to a number of her friends, and yesterday her father defended her honour in forthright terms. But I’m afraid Mrs Bourne gives the game away when she complains that she’s been saddled with much of the cost of the wedding, suggesting that Ms Withers might be a little less Victoria Beckham in her aspirations.

The point is that whenever families fall out, it is almost always about money. Brothers never stop talking to each other because one eats with his mouth open. Sisters are not driven apart because one says “less” instead of “fewer”. So, Mrs Bourne, you should admit it: you might find Heidi’s peccadilloes a little more tolerable if you didn’t feel you were subsidising a wedding day that you consider the height of naff. Anyway, I don’t think you need worry. Either the wedding will be off, or any number of glossy magazines will want to pay for it, given the potential for high jinks or even fisticuffs. You can imagine the groom’s speech: “I’d like to toast my new mother-in-law ... on both sides!” See you tomorrow!

Career Services

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on