The Good News: The King of Lesotho is looking for a wife.
Don't know about you but I need a breather from the Royal Family's shenanigans. I feel like I've been forced to watch Gone With The Wind again and again for 15 years. All ball-gowns, blather and bombast. "Oh Ashley (Charles), oh, Rhett (Hewitt), oh, Melanie (Camilla), get me into my stays so I can go paw the earth of my beloved Tara (Kensington Palace)." Will he, won't he marry Camilla? Frankly, I don't give a ****.
Liam ("I need to be happy") Gallagher is not the only one with a "problem at home". Most Iraqis have one, too. Wasn't the point of "remembering" the Nazi holocaust to try to prevent a repeat of such a thing? Yet desperate refugees are again being turned back from British shores. Shame on David Howell MP, and his posse, intent on sending the Iraqi hijackers back to their deaths. Shame on the Daily Mail, which asked on its front page this week, "Why did we let in the hijackers?". A more appropriate question is, which bigots are so reliant on a daily dose of pernicious idiocy that they buy the Daily Mail?
The hijackers' criminal status was much emphasised. They allegedly commandeered an aircraft and scared people. But the RAF gets away with this crime every day, perpetrated against British civilians! The way they fly their helicopters is a terrorist act. Last week an inquest into the death of a woman in Yorkshire heard she fell from a horse when it was apparently spooked by the low-flying helicopters from RAF Odiham.
The pilot and his two trainees deny flying below 200 feet. But when I once wrote to Odiham about low-flying helicopters over my house, I was told they had to do so to fulfil their Nato commitments. Last week one came within 10 or 20 feet of the roof. I thought it was going to join me on the couch. I called up RAF Odiham (pronounced Odium) to demand an explanation. This is what middle-class people were born to do, after all, make tiresome fusses. Squadron Leader Bob Parrott called back to say he'd remind the pilots, as they do from time to time, not to fly so low. Maybe they should also remind the pilots that frightening horse- riders is not one of their Nato commitments (as far as I know).
Here's something to do on a boring Saturday afternoon: go down to the local chemist and find out how much longer you've got to live. A gene machine will soon be available to pinpoint the people most likely to come down with a fatal disease. Great. I can't wait to find out.
Applied to foetuses, it will also offer new incentives for abortion. Says Barry Ross of Glaxo Wellcome, "You might decide not to continue with a foetus which was going to have a genetic susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease at 60." Eh? This is no longer about a woman's right to choose. It's just Nazism.
Lord Winston, lord of all fertility at Hammersmith Hospital, says he'd be happy to test embryos for breast cancer, and "if a child has a 90 per cent probability of developing the disease, it would be good to avoid it. There is a strong case for screening these people." How do they know those embryos would not make a significant contribution to society before coming down with breast cancer? The most perfect bodies don't always house the most fascinating minds. If Lord Winston's programme had been instituted earlier, several people I know would have been culled as embryos, including my mother.
I have a better solution: let's abort all foetuses that display the Nazi- scientist gene. Stick that in your speculum, Lord W.
Independence Day seemed like an anti-abortionist's dream come true, with the whole world united in fighting for the "right to life". The enemy ships were like a malevolent womb encircling the helpless earth. Alien planes spurted out to fight with earthling planes like competing sperm, and in a tangle of sexual symbolism, the alien ship was finally impregnated against its will by complex American stock (a black, a Jew and a drunk), who had to fly up a craggy tunnel and through a pointy cervix thing. What would sci-fi do without Freud?
Despite its sprinkling of liberal sentiments (heroic underdogs and omnipresent golden retrievers), this was very effective election-year propaganda on behalf of the Republican party. Perhaps they felt a need to redress the nice image of Clinton developed by The American President, where a wheeler-dealer president with no military background and a gawky teenaged daughter, but minus Hillary, managed to Do The Right Thing. Independence Day instead made much of the president's combat pilot experience, and the real hero of the hour was the Vietnam vet. The very thing one respects Clinton for most, his refusal to fight in that war, is still seen by rednecks as a culpable omission that the American public should be reminded of on a weekly basis. Sex scandals are nothing. What sticks in people's craws is that he once had principles.
The interesting thing about Clinton is that he's inspired so many movies as well as the celebrated Primary Colours. Why are writers so thrilled by him? Perhaps all the character-assassination has only served to make him seem human.
It's hard to think of Major or Blair ever inspiring a work of fiction. And who would read it if they did? The book would be remaindered all over the country, and eventually turned back into the cardboard from which it came.
The Bad News: Two dogs, left inside a Range-Rover, managed to slip it into neutral, whereupon the car zoomed down the street and ploughed into a parked BMW.
The Good News: The Range-Rover's windows were rolled down a fraction, in accordance with RSPCA guidelines on leaving dogs in cars.