Ed Lines – November 10, 2017

Ed Lines – November 10, 2017

THE world is going mad, losing its marbles. You do realise that, don’t you? And leading the mad rush of lemmings over the proverbial cliff are members of my own dishonourable profession, journalists.

My metaphorical in-laws in the national press have got themselves in a right tiswas, foaming at the mouth over any and every thing that, quite frankly, needed to stay in the staff canteen.

‘Queen invests in dodgy tax havens’? For crying out loud, the old gal probably can’t pull her 90 denier tights on without help. You really think she holds court with a room of city brokers, debating whether to put a few million into Alaskan shale gas or keep it all in Colombian poppy production?

I mean, come on – she doesn’t even carry cash, bless her. The last £10 note she saw, the picture of her on it looked as if she’d just left school.

So far, every story relating to the ‘shocking’ Paradise Papers that I’ve seen – detailing the various global investment strategies of the rich and famous – has included in the small print, “none of which is illegal”.

So people are getting their knickers in a self-righteous twist why, exactly? 

The Times yesterday almost choked on its greens, ‘revealing’ that funds linked to Oxbridge Universities invested in fossil fuels. Shock, horror, hold the front page. A pension fund had shares in Shell? String the polar bear-killing bar-stewards up, why don’t we? Let’s drop them on a melting ice-cap and see how they like it!

Presumably not a single Times employee drives a motor, gets on an aeroplane or has gas central heating. Maybe that’s why I never got a job there – because the Lockwood household isn’t self-sufficient in solar and wind energy (although in fairness I could probably come close after a few pints and a chicken madras).

Lewis Hamilton found himself castigated for claiming tax back on his zillion-dollar private jet, when the bounder must have used it privately. Eh? His life IS business – but is that the best they can do? 

No mention of all the commerce, jobs and tax Hamilton generates obviously. Oh, and those journalists never submitted an expenses claim that didn’t have the odd private taxi ride or lunch on it?

But no, in this day and age, the joyless oberleutnants that dictate the national debate won’t rest until he is browbeaten into flying Ryanair.

It isn’t the rank hypocrisy, however – because the point of these Paradise Papers boils down to pure jealousy – but the complete lack of proportion. The media establishment, led yet again by the BBC, is riding a moral high horse trying to convince people it’s actually important. 

Those Paradise Paper exposés, that lazy character assassination, is far easier than taking the time and trouble to explain international finance, investment, the way global money works. 

That’s too complicated, boring. Far easier to try to get ordinary Joes in a green-eyed lather by accusing posh and rich folk of preventing a cure for cancer and leaving their grans to die on a hospital trolley, while funding their own inter-planetary palaces for when they’ve choked planet Earth to death.

I can’t wait until Jeremy Corbyn’s had 12 months of turning the UK into a mirror-image of his Venezuelan utopia. That’ll give folk something to properly bleat about.

Mind you, as dumb as the level of public conversation is, Jezza and his Marxist mate John McDonnell, will probably get away with blaming it all on the rich.

MENTION of useless journalists and onto Channel 5’s latest cheap and amateurish pretence at solving the Karen Matthews riddle.

Did you see it? If not, don’t bother – save yourself an hour you’ll never get back.

I scratched my head at all the talking head gobsh*tes – sorry, learned national journalists – pontificating on the whats, whys and wherefores of Karen Matthews and the mysterious abduction of her daughter Shannon. 

It was nothing of the sort and I still haven’t seen a single shred of evidence to suggest otherwise, but it doesn’t stop these numpties generating an hour’s worth of hot air – dismally assisted by the hysterical Julie Bushby.

I hope self-proclaimed Saint Julie pockets a decent wedge every time she rents herself out to these donkeys. It’s getting a bit old though, proclaiming that she won’t rest until she gets the truth out of her old slag of a mate Matthews.

Julie love. A word. Nobody died – this was a happy ending, if you’d forgotten. You make it sound like she kidnapped and buried alive one of your own. As for getting an answer out of Karen – good luck with that. She made up so many stories she probably hasn’t a clue what the actual truth was.

My money remains on her planning to leave her pervert boyfriend for his uncle Mick Donovan – taking Shannon – and whether she simply forgot or lost her bottle, when someone raised the alarm and the post-Madeleine McCann media circus showed up on the doorstep, she was stuck in a lie. It was a lie she clung onto just too long, and which she was too thick to work a way out of.

The jail time she and Donovan got was entirely justified – not for kidnapping Shannon – but for the grief, time and money she cost other people.

ANOTHER day and another middle-aged bloke with delusions of male-modelhood is thrown to the wolves without the faintest semblance of justice.

The grotesque theatre culminated in Welsh Labour MP Carl Sargeant killing himself this week. How tragic, how unnecessary, how self-affirming I sincerely hope for the women who fell over their sensible shoes rushing to accuse him of … well, something suddenly inappropriate, but not considered important enough to previously report to the police – or anyone – until the Sisterhood declared their 2017 war on mankind.

We don’t know what petty behavioural shortcoming Mr Sargeant was accused of and neither did he. That’s the terryfying bit. Even the Spanish Inquisition had to give notice of its intention to pay you a visit and today’s perverse frenzy of guilt-by-accusation adheres to no such code.

Did he pat a bum? Blow a kiss or wolf whistle? Send a suggestive text? Doesn’t quite deserve the death sentence does it? But don’t expect any of the principals in this quite unbelievable horror show to display anything but crocodile tears of sympathy to his family, or for the mad rush to settle old scores – imaginary or otherwise – to abate any time soon.

WHAT do you have to do to upset folk, these days? I’m a bit disappointed with you lot. 

Even last week’s very anti-PC rant about what constitutes sexual harassment has gone unremarked upon, save for one dear soul in our letters pages actually praising me.

That’s not what I do this for, you know? You lot are supposed to want to drag me out and throw me on the nearest bonfire for my irreverence and objectionablenessitytude (I couldn’t work out the right suffix to that adjective so I threw a few in). I’ll have to try harder – upsetting you lot that is.

True to my commitment to rank, inappropriate sexism, I’m going to declare my disappointment at the news that Priti Patel got the boot as International Development Secretary over her Israeli dalliances this week. Have you seen pretty Priti? By gum, but she could have the top off my boiled eggs, any morning. What a loss to the modern face – literally – of politics.

Mind you, I then saw full length camera footage of her walking along Downing Street, and presumably they had to open the double gates to let her in.

Priti might have a face to launch a thousand ships, but like the iceberg that sank the Titanic, about 90 per cent of her is below the waterline.

Good news however, in that Penny Mordaunt is her replacement. The Portsmouth MP and Royal Navy Reservist can row my boat round Batley Park lake whenever she likes...

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