I was going to mix it up and pen one of my ditties today, entitled ‘Yesterday …’. Clearly, an upbeat celebration of life, as one would expect – inspired by Remembrance Day -I will write it but, for now, I have just too much to say. Who would have thought?
11th November. Remembrance Day. Commemorating the end of the First World War on 11th November, 1918 and those who died for our freedom, it has grown to incorporate all those who have been lost in subsequent conflict, too. A day to reflect and give thanks, it is one worthy of respect – and deserving of much more than the school gathering on a playing field, just before 11am, told to talk amongst themselves before one of the Management team pulls a scrap piece of paper from his pocket and reads a few lines ending in ‘We will remember them’! No words, no hymn, no context – no respect. Is this it? Have we sunk so low? More than a century has passed, now, and this country is all but unrecognisable. Back then, Great Britain was proud and its people, patriotic. Displaying courage and selflessness, it was a case of all for one and one for all in the fight against the Third Reich; the fight for freedom. Today, the problem is two-fold: ego and apathy. There is no ‘us’. So, the powerful control and the apathetic comply and that freedom for which so many laid down their lives? Take it! With freedom comes responsibility and who wants that? That would mean thinking for oneself.
A poem would never suffice, here, given my profusion of notes. In a week when everyone and his mother is promoting a book, the skill of ‘writing’ must, surely, be one acquired from tap water! Ka-ching! Ka-ching! There are those who are believable, such as Michael McIntyre, who, obviously has more than a grasp of the English language; however, at least Jeremy Clarkson’s tome is more aptly entitled, ‘Diddly Squat’ and his promotion videos on Instagram, hilarious, as he reads a couple of words at most. Self-deprecation. Now, I wish that were found in tap water!
The point is, they’re all at it! Churning out cook books, memoirs, ‘Reflections’, more fiction, the lot. Same story, ‘Well, I was approached by a publisher …’ who just wanted to print me money! Celebrity: ‘I can’t write.’ Publisher: ‘Don’t be ridiculous, what does that matter? Just sign a contract agreeing to put your name to it, recount a few anecdotes – or, preferably, lay claim to a troubled childhood – and one of our team will record and transcribe.’ Voilà! Couldn’t be simpler. Not one host ever questions the writing process: how long did it take? How many hours a day? Where did you write? Drives me mad. Seriously, can you picture any of them sitting down and, painstakingly, constructing sentences for months on end? Beginning to sound as though I am consumed by jealousy! No, I suppose it’s just that I can’t stand dishonesty or fraud. I know how time-consuming and personal it is to write a book – and the amount of discipline it takes. Long ago, I gave myself the deadline of Christmas to have finished my first draft. Six weeks, two days and counting. A doddle!
On the subject of dishonesty and fraud, two words: Meghan Markle! Oh, how the veneer has crumbled. So endeth the act. Now, before us, is her true self – a cold, calculating, manipulative woman who is not only prepared to lie to the High Court but, moreover, to throw anybody under the bus; and that means anybody! Her specialist subject is victimhood. Her driving force, ambition. Hell of a memory, though, considering she forgot all her meetings with, and her emails and texts to, Jason Knauf, a former aide who acted as a go-between with the authors of the unauthorised biography, Finding Freedom. Sounds as though she is suffering from the same memory loss as Nicola Sturgeon! Who can forget her performance under oath?
Back to Meghan. Her ‘forgotten’ emails, published this week, make scary reading as she issues underhand instructions to Scobie and Durand – the authors of the book – and manipulates their portrayal of Harry and herself. Most shocking of all, though, is the narrative around that letter to her father; her cold calculation damning in the extreme.
‘Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice but please do let me know if anything stands out for you as a liability.’
As someone who claims tabloids are ‘toxic for your mental health’ – and, obviously, publishers of fiction – there can be no exoneration of the following:
‘Given I’ve only ever called him daddy it may make sense to open as such (despite him being less than paternal), and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings.’
Clinical. Cold. That is the hand of someone capable of much! God help you, Harry and – to Piers –ENJOY!
Amazing how those who shout loudly of being victims are often revealed to be brutal in their execution of others. Meghan Markle, meet Azeem Rafiq … Hear the continuing story of his single-handed attempt to bring down Yorkshire County Cricket Club and his former teammates. (For further background to this story – and opinion – look no further than my Seriously?! page.)
It was brought to light this week – under the radar, I might add – that a delegation of Yorkshire staff wrote to their board on 14th October to bitterly complain about the club’s failure to stand up to Azeem Rafiq who, this week is considerably richer having accepted a six-figure pay-out in response to his claims of racial abuse and bullying. The following is an excerpt from their letter:
‘There are endless episodes of Azeem’s behaviour, well-known to the club, which reflect on him as a person well before he decided to accuse the club, staff and players of any wrongdoing. We find it difficult to comprehend how this part of Azeem’s character has not been released or at least used by the club in its defence.’
Not really that difficult to comprehend once one accepts that, in this ‘woke’ world, claims of racism – whether proven or not – absolve the ‘victim’ of any wrongdoing. Full stop!
What a world! What a week! One in which it was revealed that Cambridge University theatre has added a disclaimer to their booking website for the upcoming performance of the beloved fairytale, Rapunzel. The warning pertains to kidnapping, homophobia, sexism, drugs and alcohol abuse – who knew? – and claims to help audiences make an informed choice as to whether to attend. Gosh, how we ever survived without ‘help’ of this kind – from those with the minds of sewers!! Deserving of pity, they have no understanding of childhood innocence, the power of imagination, the joy of escapism or the age-old concept of good triumphing over evil. They see only darkness where there is light.
A week in which I learned of a new production of Romeo & Juliet with a ‘modern twist’. Alarm bells! Warranted. The ‘modern twist’ sees the star-crossed lovers swap roles, rhyming couplets replaced by street slang and ‘fair Verona’ as present-day London abound with issues of racial inequality and the pandemic! Perfect. Performed by Intermission Youth Theatre under the direction of Darren Raymond, the play can be seen, now, at The Chelsea Theatre, London. In the words of Mr Raymond, it is a ‘real mash-up of classical and contemporary. It’s what Shakespeare should be.’ I beg to differ. Is nothing sacred?
A week in which Upper Austria is proposing to impose lockdown measures on the unvaccinated – punishment for not complying – and, here, in the UK, the mandate for all care workers to be vaccinated or lose their jobs came into play yesterday. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the government set out plans to extend the mandate to all frontline NHS staff, effective come April 2022. Have emergency powers, will use them! Oh, even better, why not impose a ban on all over-65s who refuse the booster from public spaces? Anyone who still believes this is in the interests of public health, please step forward!
Better still, click on the following link to The Light: a people-funded paper, distributed independently, containing original material devoid of censorship. This is Issue 14 and, scrolling to Page 18, one will find – in my opinion – perhaps the only article one need ever read on this mess! Entitled ‘Why doctors have failed us’, it is courtesy of retired doctor, Vernon Coleman. Dare to argue that he doesn’t make sense …
‘No single person, no body of opinion, no political doctrine, no religious doctrine can claim a monopoly on truth.’
This is Trish, signing off.