Ed Lines – January 17, 2020

Ed Lines – January 17, 2020

IT GIVES me no pleasure whatsoever to say that I gave Harry and Meghan “five years at best” from pretty much the moment they met, a rash (and hopefully still to be proven wrong) judgement which was cemented when we all copped a view of her awful father.

You must remember him – the drunken bankrupt living over the border in Mexico, who flogged fantastical stories to the gullible British press? And now he’s offering to give evidence against her in a libel trial? Lovely.

Mix that with the heraldic whimsies of a Monarchy with its own share of fruitcakes, and the odds on a happy-ever-after were never great.

Bless ‘em, they’ve always seemed away-with-the-fairies – or to put it rather more colloquially, stuck so far up their own backsides they could taste yesterday’s breakfast. Meghan, the Hollywood princess who fancied being the real thing, and laddo Harry the simple, amiable  chap who was smitten by her celebrity. Not to make too fine a point of it, I’ll bet she has a Catwoman costume and  whip...

But still, where did it all go wrong?

So many of my American and Canadian friends have asked: “So what do you Brits make of Meghan…?” They really want us to love her. 

My reply? “A bit on the skinny side for my liking, but the lass seems okay. They seem to be the darlings of the media.”

My, how that has changed. Aussie bushfires, Indonesian volcanoes and shot-down airliners? Heck, Trump and Iranian despot Ali Khamenei having a shoot-out at the OK Corral couldn’t knock those two oout of the headlines.

Do people actually care? I can’t say I do, other than to wish them health and happiness like any young couple.

I started switching off the Sussexes when her US friends started feeding insinuations that Meghan’s colour was an “issue”. Really? I wasn’t even aware she was of mixed heritage until someone pointed it out. 

But good grief, this is 2020. Is there anyone who hasn’t got some form of mixed race in their wider family? 

But to read the New York Times is to know they’re fixated with it – those racist (Brexit) Brits and a ‘woman of colour’ being resented by the establishment. Dearie me.

Then came their cringeing ‘African journey’ which wasn’t quite Prince Andrew’s nuclear self-destruct button, but it triggered a sequence of pathetically self-pitying tosh that climaxed with the current very public spat.

Anti-monarchists aside, I think we Brits have always had a soft spot for William and Harry, given what they endured as children. You can’t overstate the psychological impact of what those boys went through.

And while it is clearly very 21st century to go public as a “man with mental health concerns” (trumped only by “transgender man with mental health concerns”), I suspect all their public breast-beating and sympathy-seeking had the senior Royals rolling their eyes and muttering “oh for crying out loud, grow a pair…”

But you can’t say that, these days. Not even to a soldier who has been on the front line of a war zone – probably especially to him. You’re being something-ist, because everyone who isn’t whimperingly acquiescent is a something-ist. Racist, sexist, mentalist (can I copyright that?) fascist, blah-de-blahist.

What ended any sympathy I had, was last week’s fanfare of trumpets announcing Harry and Meghan were retiring from public life and the hateful media. Okay, I get that. So quietly disappear off and go live your ordinary lives. Have a quiet word with Queenie, sort the finances and don’t make a fuss.

Except what this really seems to be all about is exactly that – making a big a fuss as possible. I suspect Meghan is carefully diarising this daily drama at her desk. 

Heck, her manuscript of the book/film is probably already being touted round. At least she could play herself in the film. And if you’re on social media you’ve probably seen footage of Harry embarrassingly accosting the head of Disney Studios on The Lion King red carpet, touting the missus to do some movie voice-overs.

You wouldn’t, would you? But young Harry seems to possess all of uncle Andy’s shamelessness hustle in that regard.

It’s difficult to see a happy ending, sadly, and the more the pair clamour to tell ‘their side’ the worse I suspect they’ll make things for themselves.

I DON’T know why the latest appalling report into Muslim sex gangs, this time in Manchester, stops short of calling it what it actually is: State-sponsored rape. 

The police and local authority knew about it and ignored it; by any other name they were overseeing it, legalising it. 

Will a social services executive or chief inspector ever see the inside of a cell? Not a prayer, although they are every bit as guilty as the rapists.

I would happily donate to any victims willing to bring a civil action against officials involved. Kirklees Council and police should be next, once the litany of grooming trials finally draws to a close, although with the volume of accused that could take years.

LOTS of rubbish is spoken about the NHS, generally in regard to it being pared down to the bare bones by Conservative ‘austerity’, a brazen untruth that barely goes unchallenged these days.

Left to its own devices, the NHS wasted – completely wasted – more than £10billion on its failed central patients records system. I wouldn’t try to blame the profligate economic vandal Gordon Brown for that, even though it was on Labour’s watch, because when it comes to waste and management incompetence few global organisations could compare with our NHS.

£10bn is a lot of hip replacements and a good few brand new hospitals, folks.

Yes, yes, I know we love our saintly nurses, praise our doctors and health workers etc to the heavens – especially when we live to tell the tale, which is far from always – but if you were building a public health system from the ground up, it would look nothing like today’s NHS.

I recently read an NHS staffer’s observation that it frequently takes 17 minutes to access bog-standard info on her hospital PC. Multiply that by the 1.8 million or so staff trying to make the damn organisation work, and put a price on the wasted time and money that amounts to.

But criticise the NHS? Racist, fascist, healthist far-right b*****d!

It would be fun to ridicule Labour’s boringly repetitive ‘defence’ of our health service, if it wasn’t for them blindly ignoring the fact that its biggest problem is treating the millions of people Blair/Brown and friends opened the floodgates to. Cat got your tongue,Unison shop stewards…?  

This weekend came news that one million GP appointments a month are missed, which costs Lord-knows how many quidzillions. But come on, even someone with Prince Harry’s meagre intellect could dream up a solution to this, if he’d just break off momentarily from being whipped by Puss in Boots.

The obvious one is that if you miss a GP appointment, you pay £10 for your next one. No excuses, no ticking the benefits box, the don’t-speak-English box, the OAP box. Miss another? Double it. Miss a hospital appointment? How about we make it a basic 20 sovs, rising to £40?

Simples. But seemingly far too simples for anyone in the NHS or Government to think of it.

IT’S Tuesday morning and by lunchtime the global population will have risen by three million people in 14 days. Lunch break? Better go plant a tree...

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