Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
:sunglasses: 64.1 % ❤ 5.1 % :thumbsup: 2.6 % 😯 5.1 % :grinning: 20.5 % 😟 2.6 %
By Bones McCoy
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All the most scummy candidates are sending women to declare their excuses or declare them non-guilty.

If the candidates can't do a bit of facetime with the press pack, how do we expect them to fare in negotiations?
By Big Arnold
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SARAH VINE: Who's got the backbone to end this dementia outrage?
Asks the wife of a government minister. Moderated comments, so I doubt that my answer to her question will get through.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... ilies.html
By Andy McDandy
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So she blames the NHS for not treating it the same as a physical disease (bit like blaming the London fire brigade for the blitz), politicians for kicking the can down the road (fair enough), and finally poor people for daring to access funds paid for by richer people. Literally.

By Big Arnold
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Spare me the forty-something celebrities with the bodies of twenty-year-old athletes ...they are turning every beach into a body shaming battleground, writes SARAH VINE
Just an excuse to show ten aging slebs in bikinis of course.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... -VINE.html
By MisterMuncher
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Next week: Ooooh, hasn't she let herself go? Must have gained a full ounce last week. I'm not one to judge but...

(Continues, oh but it continues....)

The mere idea they're not fucking doing it for her benefit never do much as twinkles.
By youngian
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We are forever hearing how images of skinny models in the Press and on social media put pressure on young girls to aspire to unrealistic body shapes.

And there is no doubt they do. But lately the rot has started to spread — to the older generation.

Chill out Sarah, the middle aged celebs presented as evidence for this trend are paid shed loads of money to look like that. As Audrey Hepburn or Faye Dunaway would have looked in middle age donkeys years ago.
By The Red Arrow
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So there I was, innocently googling 'Open G guitar tuning and techniques'...

Michael Gove fixated with the size of Mick Jagger’s penis, claims wife
Jenny Stevens May 3, 2013 11:57 am BST

https://www.nme.com/news/music/the-roll ... 79-1264810
youngian, Oblomov, oboogie liked this
By Safe_Timber_Man
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In case you aren't aware of the incident in Ayia Napa which is currently being covered; a very brief summery:

19 Year old British woman goes to Ayia Napa. Accuses a bunch of Israeli men of raping her. Turns it she allegedly lied about it. Those accused are (I believe) released without charge. She's being charged for lying about it.

Now, this is not a hugely uncommon story and sordid stories of goings on in places like Ayia Napa, Magaluf etc are certainly not a new thing.

Somehow, though, Vine has tried to blame it on Love Island. The link is tenuous, to say the least.

There’s no doubt in my mind that shows like Love Island, which finished on Monday night, have their part to play in this lack of personal responsibility.

SARAH VINE: The tawdry saga of a British rape accuser who partied with 12 Israeli men in Ayia Napa reveals the ugly truth about the legacy of Love Island
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/arti ... sland.html

Talk about a tale of our times. A 19-year-old British woman accused 12 Israeli men of gang-raping her in Ayia Napa, but then changed her mind and withdrew the charges.

The blonde teenager allegedly told police she had filed a report of rape as revenge after the men allegedly filmed her having consensual sex with three of them.

She herself now faces charges of ‘public mischief’, and will be named if she’s found guilty. The men, meanwhile — released from custody and now back home in Israel — are preparing to launch a legal action against her.

If it’s true she made up the rape story, that’s a very serious criminal matter. But for their part, these young men should be ashamed of themselves. Arriving at Tel Aviv airport, they celebrated by posting a video on social media chanting: ‘The Brit woman is a whore.’ In other words, no one comes out of it smelling of bougainvillea.

But the real question, in my mind, is not so much which side is at fault. It’s what this tawdry saga tells us about sex and morality in the modern world — and, in particular, in swelteringly hot resorts all over Europe right now.

Because, let’s face it, this sort of feral behaviour is becoming increasingly common. Indeed, among certain groups of people in certain situations — on holiday, under the influence of alcohol or drugs — it has become the norm. As, too, has the practice of sharing exploits on social media.

There is a difference between letting off steam and being so disinhibited you end up in bed with someone you’ve just met, and possibly a couple of their pals, too.

Youngsters have always enjoyed letting their hair down on holiday. But what’s unusual about this wave of debauchery is that the older generation is at it, too.

In the Spanish resort of Benidorm, older Brits — in their 50s and 60s — are causing similar levels of chaos with marathon drink, drug and sex sessions.

This week, a drunken British couple in charge of three children were arrested at Gibraltar airport after the woman fell over in the departure lounge. Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s something especially weird about a mother who gets in that kind of state in front of her own children.

There’s no doubt in my mind that shows like Love Island, which finished on Monday night, have their part to play in this lack of personal responsibility.

Its entire premise is to get semi-naked men and women to have sex with each other for the entertainment of the viewing public. And when they do, the morality of what’s going on is never called into question on the show.

Instead, the contestants are rewarded with prize money and lucrative contracts, all predicated on their willingness to bare almost all in an ever-decreasing spiral of self-abasement.

Depressingly, the live viewing figures for this week’s finale hit a record high of 3.6 million. That’s an awful lot of people swallowing the message that casual hook-ups are a natural — even expected — part of a sun-kissed trip abroad.

I don’t deny I’ve watched Love Island with my daughter and found it diverting enough. Some will say I’m being an old prude. But when the amoral code it promotes lands a British teenager in a Cypriot courtroom after a liaison with a group of men, surely no one can deny there’s something sick at the heart of this hedonism.
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
She's their headline story. Possibly I'm being a bit cynical but I suspect Vine is absolutely loving this.

Not a hatchet job or her usual snide attacks, though. I think making it clear she was besties with the Prime Minister and his family is more important to her than score settling. She has a social ladder to stay at the top of.

Two families utterly intertwined. Holidays, triumphs and crises shared for 20 years – until Brexit. Now, as David Cameron’s memoirs plunge the knife into her husband Michael Gove, SARAH VINE gives this intensely personal and emotional response

They say you should never go into business with friends or family. The same is true — only more so — of politics. Because, however much you think you won't be faced with difficult choices, sooner or later they come. And they can be agonising.

All this week, with the publication of his book, For The Record, David Cameron — Britain's former Prime Minister, my husband Michael Gove's ex-colleague and my one-time friend — has been explaining in quite colourful language just how tricky and divisive politics can be.

In particular, he has laid bare his disappointment with Michael's decision to follow his heart on the EU referendum, instead of sticking to the party line.

Of course, Dave (as all his friends know him) also expresses his frustration with a number of other people, including current Prime Minister Boris Johnson — but it is clear that he is particularly unforgiving of Michael's decision. And that is because their relationship was a little different.

They were not bound by class or school, but by something else: real friendship, not just as individuals, but also, and perhaps even more so, between their wives and, in time, their children, who grew up together in each other's houses.

Dave's wife Samantha and I shared the school run and spent weekends and family holidays together as political 'widows'.

It had been Dave (along with George Osborne) who had helped persuade Michael to leave a successful career in journalism to become an MP, and who counselled and comforted him through that difficult process.

As they worked together in Opposition, there was a real intellectual kinship between the two, a real sense that together, and with the help of others, they could make a difference in the areas that inspired them: education, equality and justice.

To see that friendship — which lasted more than 20 years — placed under such terrible strain is not only testament to the destructive power of politics, but it is also, in a funny kind of way, a metaphor for how deeply and irretrievably the referendum seems to have divided the wider nation.

Dave's feelings, like many of those who argued for Remain, are all the more powerful because, I suspect, he and others didn't appreciate how strongly many people, including my husband, felt. That once the referendum question had been put to them, they had no choice but to do what they thought was right.

As Dave himself acknowledged, the 'latent Leaver gene' in the Conservative Party — indeed, in the country — was stronger than any of them had anticipated.

I can understand why people feel so passionately that remaining was — and still is — the right choice, and that in losing the referendum they lost more than just a vote.

I myself struggled with the decision to back Leave, not least because my own family is firmly rooted in Europe: my parents live there, my brother is in Spain and I grew up in Italy. Europe may not be in my blood, but it is very close to my heart, a deep and indelible part of my cultural DNA.

So, while I sometimes wish there was more respect for people who voted to leave, whose integrity in doing so is just as great as those who fought to remain, I appreciate where Dave is coming from.

After all, it is in large part because of Boris and Michael that Dave's political career was cut short. That was never the intention, but it was the outcome. They weren't the only catalysts, of course.

It may also have had something to do with the fact that, having decided to go ahead with a referendum that many, including Michael, counselled against, Dave allied himself so closely to the Remain campaign he almost had no choice but to resign when they lost.

But still, DC's anger is understandable and he is entitled to express it however he sees fit.

That said, I still believe it should be possible to disagree fundamentally on political issues and remain friends.

I seem to remember trying to tell Dave that in the early weeks of the campaign, over New Year at Chequers, and later when he cornered me in a lift and told me he was fighting for his political life. That was at Tory chairman Andrew Feldman's 50th birthday party, when Samantha and I exchanged cross words for the first time ever.

That was the last time I saw Dave, back in February 2016. But, by then, it was already too late. Politics and its corrosive influence had driven a wedge between us. The referendum was just the final hammer blow.

It was not always that way. Dave and Samantha were guests at our wedding in France in 2001. Samantha was pregnant with Ivan at the time. Their names are inscribed, next to others — many of whom we have lost to Brexit — on the seating plan that my artist friend, Lucy, painted for us and which hangs in our sitting room.

A few months earlier, we had been to stay with the Camerons on the Isle of Jura, where Samantha's mother, Annabel, has the most beautiful, magical house.

Crossing the sea from Oban, we had shared one of the most frightening, white-knuckle experiences of my life, skirting around the infamous Corryvreckan Whirlpool in stormy waters in a vessel distinctly ill-equipped for the purpose.

I had brought with me an absurdly urban pink leather suitcase, and I remember Samantha's stepfather laughing like a drain as he helped me off the boat with it, irretrievably soaked in salty water.

I spent one of the happiest weeks of my life there with their extended family, basking in the warmth of their hospitality and kindness, laughing at Dave's inexplicable desire to swim in the freezing cold sea, dining on freshly smoked mackerel and soaking in steaming baths rusty with peat at the end of long, midge-infested walks.

I remember also the first New Year at Chequers after Dave entered Downing Street in 2010, overwhelmed by the excitement and privilege of it all.

Sitting by the roaring fire in the Great Hall, bilious Elizabethans and their bug-eyed mistresses staring down unblinkingly at us from the walls, our children engaged in a riotous game of Capture The Flag, Dave producing an endless supply of White Ladies (he makes a mean cocktail does Dave).

Gazing in fascination at Oliver Cromwell's death mask in the Long Gallery, sleeping in the so-called 'prison room' where Lady Mary Grey, sister of Jane, was confined by Elizabeth I for daring to marry without her consent.

The children delighted in discovering the secret stairway leading from her attic to the drawing room below, next to her eerie handprint etched into the wall, and scared themselves silly with tales of ghostly occurrences.

Earlier, we had made a trip into town to procure a karaoke machine, ostensibly for the children, but in reality so that Dave could indulge his passion for X Factor. Trailing around the shop behind him, I watched as other customers did a double take. 'That bloke looks just like David Cameron,' one man said to his wife as he walked past.

It was a uniquely special experience — and, of course, a great honour to enjoy Chequers in that way.

There are other memories, too. The heart-rending sadness of Ivan's death (his is not my story to tell, but believe me, never was a boy so loved); my joy at becoming godmother to the Camerons' daughter, Florence; helping Samantha choose party conference outfits; half-terms spent in Ibiza, just us wives and the kids on the beach while the boys worked hard in Westminster.

And that, ultimately, and despite all that has been said and done, is how I will always remember Dave and Samantha. As dear friends who were there at key moments of my life. In the years before power and politics got in the way of those simple, happy, human connections.

Two incredibly kind, generous souls who overcame unspeakable loss with the death of their beloved Ivan, who always embraced life even in the face of tragedy, and who inspire love and admiration in all who truly know them.

Hard as these past few years have been, nothing will ever erase those memories. Because that is what really matters: people. Not politics, not power, not Brexit.

We make mistakes and we move on. Or we should at least try. And we remember the good times. Because, in the end, that is all that remains.
By Safe_Timber_Man
Membership Days Posts
Harry and Meghan have lately been behaving more like paranoid Hollywood celebrities than members of the monarchy.

Taking private jets while lecturing on climate change, flying half-way around the world just to watch a tennis match. All while keeping baby Archie jealously under wraps.

I get the argument (although I think it's bollocks) that some people think the Royals "owe" it to them to show them the baby but my god, it's fucking pathetic and needy.

There... that wasn’t so hard, was it! SARAH VINE watches in delight as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle finally share adorable Baby Archie with the world

Baby Archie's first appearance where we saw all of him – as opposed to one limb at a time in arty black and white via the Sussex Instagram feed – took us all by surprise today.

All the more so because we had almost given up on the idea. Unlike the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who seem more than happy to share their family's adventures, Harry and Meghan have lately been behaving more like paranoid Hollywood celebrities than members of the monarchy.

Taking private jets while lecturing on climate change, flying half-way around the world just to watch a tennis match. All while keeping baby Archie jealously under wraps.

The British public treats the Royal Family with considerable generosity. In exchange, we don't expect all that much. A bit of smiling and waving, the occasional hat – we're easily pleased. But, as the Queen has always appreciated, there are times when you just can't avoid us.

And the birth of a royal baby is, I'm afraid, one of those moments.

From the moment of Archie's arrival, it felt we were being kept at arm's length. The Sussexes' apparent desire to micro-manage the details of his birth, as well as the way he was hidden away from the world, felt less like a plea for privacy and more like a snub.

This was compounded by the fact that the couple's 'cottage' on the Windsor estate had just been refurbished at a cost of £2.4million, not to mention their lavish wedding last year.

It seemed they were happy for us to do our bit (ie. stump up the cash), but not so keen to do theirs. Now, at last, they've come good. And not a moment too soon. Just think how much heartache and aggravation we might all have been spared had they done something like this months ago. Because all it really took was a few short minutes for all that resentment to evaporate and be replaced by sheer delight.

It was lovely to see the three of them together at last as a family. Grinning and wriggling on his mother's knee, Archie stole the show, Meghan a tad uncertain in her vertiginous heels (how she manages those things I'll never know), Harry radiating quiet pride. Their connection as parents is clear.

Inevitably there have been comparisons with baby Harry and it's true there is a strong resemblance (although I can also see a lot of Grandpa Markle in him).

As for star of the show himself, he's clearly a strapping young lad, bright as a button – and the way he responds to both his parents is indicative of a small person who is very obviously much-loved, happy and confident in the safety of his family unit.

These early months and years are so incredibly important for the development of a child's sense of self and Archie clearly couldn't hope for a better start in life.

Not only does it feel like a significant moment for the Sussexes, but also for the rest of us who, starved for so long, are now suddenly able to feast our eyes on his Royal Archiness.

It also feels like the beginning of a rapprochement between the public and this young couple who, for all the goodwill out there towards them, have not in recent months made it easy to love them. See – it wasn't so hard after all, was it?
By Oblomov
Privacy isn't a concept to these intrusive cunts. Whatever walk of life you're in, as soon as you pop your head above the parapet you're fair game for their op-ed snipers.
By KevS
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I suspect it's the "but we pay for them" argument, and yes we do. But bearing in mind that when you break it down it's pennies a week or something, how much of that do we think filters down to the sixth and seventh in line to the throne, considering as well that the wife of the sixth is probably very wealthy in her own right, and the Seventh is only a few months old.
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