Are we intolerant or simply bonkers?
As Boris Johnson’s burqa row has illustrated this past week we live in an intolerant world but two other stories which caught my eye have left me feeling extremely frustrated and wondering if the world has gone completely bonkers.
The first story revolved around a pensioner who complained that her hotel in the Spanish resort of Benidorm had ‘too many Spaniards in it’.
Freda Jackson even asked why the Spanish couldn’t go somewhere else on holiday. She claims some of the Spanish guests were just so rude leaving her in tears and she was also angry that the in-house entertainment was all geared to the Spanish.
Now she wants her £1100 holiday fee back or a free trip. I suppose it’s quite possible Spain has its fair share of chavs as well but can we hold a holiday company responsible for rude guests? And why shouldn’t the Spanish go for their own staycations?
Imran Khan goes out to bat for Erdogan
Delighted to see Pakistan’s newly elected leader Imran Khan sending vocal support to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
As regulars to my column know, Turkey and America have been plunged in to a war of words over detained US pastor Andrew Brunson who has been held in Turkey since October 2016. Erdogan says claims by US President Donald Trump that he had agreed to free the pastor as part of a deal with the US and Israel are simply not true.
The deal is said to involve the release of Turkish national Ebru Ozkan who was allowed to leave Israel for Turkey in mid-July. Brunson, meanwhile, was released into house arrest last week but he’s still been refused permission to leave Turkey.
Trump, unsurprisingly, took to Twitter to threaten more US sanctions against Turkey but, as I pointed out recently, the worst course of action the US President can do is try to threaten the Turkish leader.
Sun seekers in space
I see the US space agency Nasa launched its mission to send a satellite to find out more about the Sun. Hopefully the scientists will all be well versed to the story of Icarus, the son of Daedalus who dared to fly too near the sun on wings of feathers and wax.
Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos of Crete within the walls of his own invention, the Labyrinth, but made a daring escape by creating wings for his son and himself. He warned Icarus not to fly to close to the sun otherwise the wax would melt. The rest, as they say, is history.
Greek mythology aside, the Parker Solar Probe rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida and will become the fastest-moving manmade object in history which, we hope, will tell us a lot more about the sun.
Mum mourns baby whale
A female killer whale who broke all our hearts as she carried her dead newborn around for nearly three weeks covering over 1000 miles finally let go of her calf on Tuesday. She’s now returned swimming with her pod-mates off Canada’s Vancouver Island.Her unprecedented grief was monitored by the Centre for Whale Research. While the cause of death is unknown climate change and plastic pollution are being indirectly blamed as the prime suspects for the baby whale’s death on July 24
Respect to Aretha
Please spend a few minutes of thought and prayers for soul queen Aretha Franklin who is “seriously ill”, according to a close friend. The 76-year-old who whose career spans seven decades, is best known for songs including Respect and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Corrie double stumps up £1m in Brexit battle
So multi millionaire Julian Dunkerton has donated £1m to campaigners who think Britons should be able to vote in another EU referendum.
The co-founder of the fashion label Superdry said he was backing the People’s Vote campaign because he thinks the public should be able to vote on the final Brexit deal. Predictably Theresa May’s Tory government is ruling this prospect out insisting the UK is on course to bail out of the European Union on March 29 next year.
Dunkerton’s donation, the largest received by the People’s Vote, will go towards funding opinion polls apparently. Frankly I’d take him a lot more seriously if he didn’t look like a doppelgänger for Coronation Street car mechanic Kevin Webster!
Sign of the times
Most of you will be too young to remember the fuss caused when a contact lens wearer would suddenly lose one of their lenses on a Sixties disco floor. There’d be a sudden shriek and everyone would be urged to stand still amid flashing strobes while the precious little glass disc could be found, spat on and popped back in to the eye.
Of course today’s throwaway versions are much cheaper with people buying daily, weekly or monthly disposables. So life should be much easier except now it has emerged the softer plastic contact lenses in use today end up being flushed down the loo and are increasing plastic pollution in the environment. Hardly productive progress, eh?
So Ireland’s Catholics are getting the bunting out for Pope Francis’ long-awaited visit but there’s just no accounting for taste when it comes to souvenirs. Someone is producing “lollipopes” which will take some licking in terms of dignity but apparently these confectionary lollipops bearing an image of the religious leader’s face are said to be flying off the shelves ahead of the ubiquitous mugs, keyrings and fridge magnets.
Tweet of the week
My thanks go to journalist Jason Michael @jeggit for his thought-provoking offering.
It is possible miniskirts, stockings, and knee-high boots are more potent symbols of the oppression of women by men than the burqa or niqab? pic.twitter.com/1sjcCo2QhE— Jason Michael (@Jeggit) August 13, 2018
It is possible miniskirts, stockings, and knee-high boots are more potent symbols of the oppression of women by men than the burqa or niqab?
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