25 Jun 19
IF, like me, you’re a baby boomer, then cast your mind back to 1986 – the year when Chernobyl exploded, Andrew married Fergie and the EastEnders Christmas special was watched by an astonishing 30million viewers.
The same year, you might remember, a thought-provoking TV ad aired showing a central casting skinhead running along the street towards a bemused woman standing alone.
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds are seen together loved-up in the Sussex countryside for first time since cops called on their Camberwell, South London, apartment after reports of a row
“An event seen from one point of view gives one impression,” says a crisp, very British narrator. The skinhead is then shown running past the woman and towards a shocked businessman who holds up his briefcase as a shield.
“Seen from another point of view, it gives quite a different impression,” says the commentator.
“But it’s only when you get the whole picture that you can fully understand what’s going on,” he concludes as the skinhead then pushes the man out of harm’s way just as an avalanche of building rubble falls from above their heads.
It was an advert for The Guardian to highlight its supposedly balanced coverage of events. The same newspaper that, despite often affecting a sniffy tone when referring to “the tabloids”, gave a verbatim account of Boris Johnson’s screaming row with girlfriend Carrie Symonds, thanks to a recording made by their immediate neighbours.
NEIGHBOURS’ DASH TO THE GUARDIAN
Makes a change from pressing a glass against the wall, I suppose.
An argument that, “seen from one point of view,” suggested that Carrie might be in danger and, therefore, the police should be called.
Fair enough. Anyone who feels genuine concern about someone’s safety should always be encouraged to do the same. However, once the police had attended and concluded that all was well, the left-leaning neighbour’s subsequent decision to hand the recording to The Guardian has the whiff of political opportunism rather than any ongoing concern. But I digress.
“Seen from another point of view,” a different neighbour said she could hear a lot of shouting and plate-throwing, adding: “I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I could hear a male voice too. He wasn’t shouting, he sounded much calmer.” In addition, an ex-boyfriend of Carrie’s came forward to describe their relationship as “tumultuous”, “high octane” and “very emotionally charged”.
Boris and Carrie’s leftie, anti-Brexit neighbours, Tom Penn and Eve Leigh
WHAT’S THE WHOLE PICTURE, BOJO?
So, five days on, are we now at the point where we have “the whole picture” and “can fully understand what’s going on”?
Well, not entirely, no. For PM hopeful Boris is flatly refusing to discuss it and, according to sources within the Westminster bubble, has made it clear to his girlfriend that he wants her to stay schtum too.
Why? Because he believes that, despite being a public figure, he’s entitled to a private life and, if they comment on this, it will open the floodgates for further questions about his luridly colourful past.
And let’s face it, some of those questions would be intensely awkward — some might say damaging — for someone running to be PM and, consequently, shape policies that affect millions of people and their families.
But surely, in this social media age, someone who once advocated that police should wear body cameras because “sunlight is the best disinfectant” has to accept there will be scrutiny and, within reason, certain questions about what he gets up to in his spare time?
Boris has repeatedly refused to answer questions on his row with Carrie
Yet when a conveniently cosy, Athena-esque photo of him and Carrie in the Sussex countryside mysteriously popped up online on Monday morning, he wouldn’t confirm or deny when it was actually taken, or whether its sudden appearance was a stage-managed exercise in damage limitation.
If he knew about it, then it emits the stench of hypocrisy — a behaviour that has ended the prospects of many who aspire to a role of power.
An argument between two, co-habiting Alphas aside, another eavesdropped comment of Carrie’s after Boris had reportedly spilled red wine on her pale sofa was the following . . .
“You just don’t care for anything because you’re spoilt. You have no care for money or anything.”
A pretty revealing, some might say damning, observation about a man whose detractors frequently say he’s just an over-privileged toff with a gift of the gab and absolutely no idea of the everyday struggles faced by ordinary people.
So, the “whole picture” may still elude us but, to my mind, the timing of this latest drama means that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s chances of becoming our next Prime Minister have just been seriously dented.
You can see the 1986 Guardian ad in full at youtube.com/watch?v=_SsccRkLLzU
Anna’s big underboob
AT first glance, I thought that Love Island contestant Anna Vakili had overslept and, consequently, got last dibs on that day’s bag of sponsored swimwear.
What other explanation could there be for the choice of a bikini so itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny that her breasts appear to be making a bid for freedom?
Love Island’s Anna Vakili sports the new ‘underboob swimwear’ trend
But no. Turns out that “underboob swimwear” is the very latest fashion.
On occasions like these, it’s such a relief to be middle-aged.
Feed the birds… £150 a bag
SALLY-ANN Fricker was eating a sausage roll during a shopping trip in Bath when she broke off a small piece and fed it to a pigeon.
Seconds later, a passing “enforcement officer” for the local council slapped her with a £150 fine for the offence of “littering – food waste”.
Jane Darwell as The Bird Woman in 1964’s Mary Poppins
Once the story hit the headlines, Bath and North East Somerset Council said it would review the action “to determine whether it was proportionate”.
Wouldn’t it just be easier, cheaper and infinitely less stressful for all concerned if they just employed people capable of exercising common sense?
[bc_video video_id=”6050258928001″ account_id=”5067014667001″ player_id=”default” embed=”in-page” padding_top=”56%” autoplay=”” min_width=”0px” max_width=”640px” width=”100%” height=”100%” caption=”Gran fined £150 for littering after feeding sausage roll to a pigeon”]
GRAN Kay Crane, 81, has been banned from wearing a bikini in the garden of her Stockport home because it is overlooked by a nearby nursery.
Ex-model Kay Crane, 81, was given an ASBO for wearing a bikini in her own garden
How will the poor lambs cope when their parents take them on holiday this summer and they see thousands of bikini-clad women of all ages, shapes and sizes?
Stocken up trouble
PRISONERS at Stocken jail, Rutland, are being encouraged to busk with guitars, flutes and – uh, oh – recorders, to try to reduce anti-social behaviour.
Hmmm. One imagines the level by which it reduces anti-social behaviour in others depends entirely on how well they can play.
If, like me, their recorder skill set begins and ends with a not entirely note-perfect Frere Jacques on an ear-bleeding loop, there could be a riot.
Jen’s killing it
NETFLIX says 31million people have tuned into its crime caper Murder Mystery, starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd.
Jennifer Aniston at the premiere of Netflix’s ‘Murder Mystery’ in LA
As I gave up after 20 woeful minutes, the burning question is: How many of those millions actually got to the end?
SMART speakers could spot sickness within the next ten years.
I don’t know whether to be impressed by this burgeoning technology . . . or terrified.
Pay for your own Megover
AS they are working royals, I have no issue with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex living in one of the luxuriously appointed grace and favour apartments available within Kensington Palace.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry must pick up the £2.4m bill for the Frogmore Cottage makeover
But as they wilfully chose to reside at Frogmore Cottage which – until 2019 – was used to house workers on the Windsor estate, then they should fork out the £2.4million renovation bill, not the hard-pressed British tax-payer.
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UBER has announced plans to launch flying taxis by 2025.
Presumably, its app will still show hundreds of available vehicles in the area, which all then miraculously disappear when you press “confirm” and find yourself subjected to a £48squillion “surge” charge owing to lack of availability.