Prince William said this week that the Windrush generation had been ‘profoundly wronged.’
Unveiling a statue at Waterloo station in their honour, he also said that racism remained an ‘all-too-familiar experience’ for black people, and that equality had ‘yet to come to pass’ in Britain.
Too true. Just ask Gary Lineker, Your Highness. The tedious, crisp-munching football pundit has claimed he received racial abuse during his playing career because of his ‘darker skin.’ Excuse me?
This came as a shock to absolutely everyone, because surely on the coffee-shop menu of life, Gary would be down at the whipped-cream vanilla latte end of proceedings, but apparently this is not the case. He was a double espresso man all along, only no one noticed, not even his mum.
Yes, OK. There was that year when Gary was distinctly caramel venti when he came back from a holiday in the Maldives, and I remember at least one Match Of The Day broadcast when an enthusiastic application of panstick made him look a bit Frappuccino. But is this really enough upon which to build a life as an oppressed minority?
He earns a seven-figure salary, paid for by the seething silent majority via an unfair tax, but posed on an RMT picket line, above, tacitly supporting a strike that inconveniences millions of hard-working people. He champions fitness and nutrition in schools, but flogs crisps to kiddies
The richly remunerated BBC pundit described how — hankies at the ready — he was subjected to racial abuse both at school and during his football career. ‘I was this tiny, geeky kid, with darkish skin and I had pretty much racist abuse, although I’m as English as they come,’ he said.
Pause for a second right there. As English as they come? Lineker implies that being white equates with being English, which is deeply offensive and wrong, as any Windrush descendant would explain if he bothered to ask.
What is irritating is if anyone else said something so inflammatory, there would be a huge outcry, resulting in Mr Lineker being cancelled and his membership of SLICK (Smug Liberal Intelligentsia Condescending Know-Alls) revoked.
Yet somehow, this virtue-signalling jumbo hypocrite gets away with everything and anything. He is against elitism, but accepted a visiting fellowship to an Oxford college. He earns a seven-figure salary, paid for by the seething silent majority via an unfair tax, but posed on an RMT picket line, tacitly supporting a strike that inconveniences millions of hard-working people. He champions fitness and nutrition in schools, but flogs crisps to kiddies.
Despite regularly expressing his disapproval of Qatar as a World Cup host, he will shortly be travelling there to broadcast for the Beeb, comparing himself to Ukraine war-zone journalists who do not support the Putin regime. Dear God.
He’s not all bad because at least he once hosted a refugee for 20 days, an act of generosity that is more than most of us have managed. Yet with Lineker, a different set of rules apply, even when it comes to the touchy subject of race relations, imagined or otherwise. Expounding on the racist abuse he has suffered, he added: ‘Even in professional football I had that a couple of times, I wouldn’t ever name any names.’
But why not? If this social justice warrior was serious about playing the race card, he should name and shame those who were racist towards him — otherwise we might not believe him.
Prince William said this week that the Windrush generation had been ‘profoundly wronged.’ Unveiling a statue at Waterloo station in their honour, he also said that racism remained an ‘all-too-familiar experience’ for black people, and that equality had ‘yet to come to pass’ in Britain. Too true. Just ask Gary Lineker, Your Highness
And why has he not mentioned this before? The former England striker has been afforded plenty of opportunities. Like in 2015 when discussing racism in football, he said: ‘It was dreadful when I played. Team-mates like John Barnes in those days were treated disgustingly. It used to make you feel sick.’
A year earlier, in a spat that I still can’t get my head around, Lineker used Twitter to castigate a journalist who had suggested that his then wife, Danielle Bux, was wearing too much fake tan and was ‘shimmering orange’ — am I getting this right?
‘An uncalled-for racist attack on a woman you’ve never met,’ fumed the SLICK supremo. ‘Inexcusably racist!’
What? He could have used that opportunity to expound on why his wife, who is mixed race, was mistaken for a white woman while he was mistaken for a black man.
As this weird, hot summer of discontent drags on, Lineker self-identifying as a black man makes a kind of perfect sense. It had to happen! In the league table of liberal suffering it is no longer enough simply to be seen to sympathise with the correct causes. You must suffer; you, too, must bleed if you are to be taken seriously as a fellow martyr on the path of true woke.
Next week: Me And My Menopause. Gary Lineker talks us through the hell of his hot flushes and how he coped with vaginal atrophy.
This idiotic rivalry’s not a good look
Victoria Beckham is supposed to be locked in deadly rivalry with Stella McCartney. I’m thinking dagger heels at dawn as Olive Oyl bashes Minnie Mouse over the head with an overpriced accessory and all their hems fall down.
As established fashion designers for the rich fripperati, both of these women charge well north of £1,000 for a simple day dress.
Even staples such as leggings are pricey: Victoria’s are £350, while Stella’s are on sale at £435.
And as they both leveraged their way into the fashion world via pop fame and family connections, you’d think they would be chinking champagne glasses together and saying, ‘Babe, can you believe we’re both still getting away with this racket?’ instead of ongoing handbags. Stop it ladies. Like Posh’s cut-out rib dress, it’s most unbecoming.
Victoria Beckham is supposed to be locked in deadly rivalry with Stella McCartney. I’m thinking dagger heels at dawn as Olive Oyl bashes Minnie Mouse over the head with an overpriced accessory and all their hems fall down
Sherwood is fantastic TV, but the Maggie-bashing is the pits
Sherwood, the big new drama on BBC One, is pretty fantastic. An astonishing piece of writing from James Graham, it calls upon an elite team of British actors to deliver note-perfect performances of emotional complexity in humdrum suburban living rooms as kettles whistle and bins need putting out — which they all do flawlessly.
Sherwood concerns itself with murders, miners’ strikes and the aftermath of both in a small community. I settled down, prepared for the usual Maggie-bashing, and was not disappointed.
In episode four, an NUM lawyer played by Lindsay Duncan roars on about how the Thatcher government needed a strike in a nationalised industry to calibrate the political landscape away from collectivism and anarcho-syndicalism towards deregulated market forces. They picked coal, provoked a phoney war and won. Eh? Is that what really happened? Yes, said Lindsay, who smoked furiously and compared the miners’ strike to policing scandals such as ‘Hillsborough, phone hacking and Stephen Lawrence’.
I would have switched off at that point, but the sympathetically portrayed police chief Ian St Clair (David Morrissey) saved the day.
Still, a great number of viewers who endured the grim lights-out 1970s have good reason to be grateful to Mrs Thatcher. And many regard her as the finest prime minister this country has ever had, but you would never guess that from the unrelenting hostility of BBC dramas and topical comedy shows.
Blissful joy of waiting for my Friday night thrill…
Streaming platforms have given us control over our viewing habits, but is that always such a good thing? When you compare the binge-watching, sugar rush of instant gratification to the delayed pleasure of old-fashioned weekly episodes, surely it is the latter that is more satisfying?
My favourite show at the moment is the spy thriller Tehran. Shown on Apple TV+, a new episode is ‘dropped’ every Friday — and I find myself looking forward to it, perhaps more than it deserves.
It stars Glenn Close as a Mossad agent handler charging around Iran. She is trying to help hopeless girl-spy Tamar (Niv Sultan, above right with Close). Who is the real enemy? The thrill is that in this morally complex drama we never know for sure — only that all will be revealed. On Fridays.
My favourite show at the moment is the spy thriller Tehran. Shown on Apple TV+, a new episode is ‘dropped’ every Friday — and I find myself looking forward to it, perhaps more than it deserves
Brad’s golden wonders
Oh dear. Brad Pitt’s interview with GQ magazine made for uncomfortable reading.
All my life I have been hoping and praying that Brad is not the big, dopey, rich dumb blond he sometimes appears to be.
How I yearn for hidden depths and moody silences, but now it is too late.
GQ’s new pix make Brad look like an embalmed hairdresser, and the magazine reveals he was fooled by a man who convinced him there was gold buried under his French villa — and paid him a fortune to try to find it.
Wasn’t there anything about Mr Shergar Ponzi-Madoff that raised his suspicions? I do worry about that boy. Elsewhere in the interview, he tried to explain himself. ‘I am a murderer. I’m a lover. I have the capacity for great empathy and I can devolve into pettiness,’ he said.
Indeed he can. Tragically, we discover that the actor also has a line by the Persian poet Rumi inked across his gorgeous right bicep. ‘There exists a field, beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there,’ it reads.
Can’t Brad just tell the Amazon guy to leave it behind the bin, like everybody else?
Find myself feeling oddly sad at the news Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to divorce after only six years of marriage. They were the poster couple for late-life romance, encompassing a golden possibility that new happiness could still be found, even at the grand old ages of 91 and 65 respectively.
I loved their love! But now — sob — that love has circled the drain and been swept out to sea, along with a million other washed-up dreams.
Surely, Keir Starmer is to blame somehow. Everything is his fault these days, and let us not forget that it was a Labour leader who was said to have contributed to the end of Rupert Murdoch’s last marriage.
Some are asking why the couple will even bother to get divorced at their age; why not just live separate lives? I’ll tell you why. Because yes, it does all come down to money in the end. And when he dies, a man like Rupert cannot have a woman like Jerry still being called Mrs Murdoch.
Find myself feeling oddly sad at the news Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to divorce after only six years of marriage
Sorry renters, your pets are a luxury
Every private tenant could get the legal right to keep a pet in a rules overhaul launched by Housing Secretary Michael Gove.
Under new rules in his Renters Reform Bill, landlords won’t be able to ban cats or dogs on their premises. And if you can’t ban Rover and Tiddles, then how can you ban snakes or cockatoos or tarantulas, lizards, rats or grizzly bears?
Isn’t that rather lovely? No it is not. It is an absolute nonsense. Landlords should be able to decide whether or not they want animals to be housed in their properties.
If tenants want to keep pets, they should select a rental that will accommodate their luxury lifestyle choice.
At the risk of sounding like a wicked witch, no one has got a right to a puppy or a kitten.
And all this is going to do is discourage already beleaguered private landlords from renting out their properties in the first place, leading to an even bigger shortage of homes.