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Talking points: Clooney, UKIP, and viral games




Oh UKIP, it hasn’t been your finest week, has it? In fact, as Harry Wallop writes in the Telegraph, the endless horrendous gaffes, and mounting evidence that some of its members are pretty nasty pieces of work, would have finished off most political parties. Yet somehow, even after UKIP candidate William Henwood tweeted that Lenny Henry should “go and live in a black country”, a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times puts the party in the strongest position for the Euro elections it has ever held, with 31 per cent of the vote to Labour’s 28, and the Conservative’s 19.  So what’s going on? Well, luckily for UKIP it simply seems that ‘a large section of the electorate appear rather relaxed about any rogue elements’ in the party. But the Torys are wrong to be laughing off the consequences of a strong UKIP performance in May. This time 'the old pattern of success in the Euro elections followed by failure at the general election may not repeat itself.'


 ‘Get ready for the celebrations’, writes Larry Elliot in the Guardian, tomorrow’s release of Britain’s growth figures for the first three months of 2014 may well show an increase of 1% gross domestic product - impressive stuff when you consider that a year ago there were rumblings that we were on the verge of a triple-dip recession. But don’t buy into the hype, which assumes that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the economic model of 2007. The economics department at Manchester University have published a report , with a noteworthy forward by the Bank of England's Andy Haldane, to refute this view. ‘The conventional wisdom is that policy stimulus has worked’ says Elliot. ‘A study of any of the six disciplines cited by Haldane would show that this is not the way the world really works. In the short term, growth could easily be higher than the consensus because the behaviour of consumers and firms is affected by what others do and think. Increases in confidence become self-reinforcing. But the mood can change quickly, especially if the model is biologically unsound.’


Never before has the flash of a rock caused so much anguish. People Magazine report that George Clooney is engaged to his partner Amal Alamuddin – a 36 year-old human rights lawyer – after she was spotted at Nobu in Malibu wearing a diamond ring on her left hand. But it’s not all bad news in the world of love and lust: social network site LinkedIn has launched their very own dating app, 'LinkedUp!’ based on your CV. Who said job hunting and sex didn’t mix?


If you have anything – anything – left to do today, do not click here. Flappy 2048 is the dastardly offspring of the two most viral games of the year and is just as addictive as you fear. Hear that? That’s your deadline whooshing past.



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