7 Majestic Minutes

BY FRANK HAVILAND Award ceremonies have long since been redundant, but it was not always the case. In the Golden Age of cinema, they provided a rare opportunity for stars to go off-script, and actually say something of significance. It wasn’t perhaps until 1973 with Marlon Brando refusing the Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather that politics became infused with self-congratulation. For the record, in … Continue reading 7 Majestic Minutes

Brits Are Not Racist

BY FRANK HAVILAND As Dirty Harry famously put it, opinions are like arseholes: everybody’s got one. Celebrity opinions on the other hand are more like Hugh Grant electoral endorsements: amusing curios, with all the efficacy of oral sex from Siri. So forgive me if I can’t get too excited about December’s angst-ridden multi-millionaire, ‘Stormzy’, or Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr., as I prefer to … Continue reading Brits Are Not Racist

The Watershed Election

BY FRANK HAVILAND Gaining 66 seats, and securing the Conservative Party’s largest majority since Margaret Thatcher, Boris Johnson has reclaimed the keys to Number 10 while dispelling any remaining questions on the legitimacy of his tenancy. As the smoke clears from election night celebrations, it’s time to take stock of where we are. Britain has emphatically rejected Corbynism, but it’s more than just the naked … Continue reading The Watershed Election

Policing Pronouns

BY FRANK HAVILAND As some of our more myopic MPs will tell you, there’s never a copper around when you need one. They must be looking in the wrong places. Sadiq Khan tweets a good police cut, but always keeps half a dozen burly officers stashed under his mattress, ready to accompany him on walkabout around London. Never forget: ‘diversity is our strength’, except when … Continue reading Policing Pronouns

Gender Wars: Penguin Edition

BY FRANK HAVILAND Of all the pandemics the world has faced, equality may be the most dangerous. Not egalitarian principles or equal rights (which I fully support), but enforced equality: the notion that people must be equal. In the post-truth age, facts are only relative to the sympathy you can garner pretending to be offended by them; truth is out, social constructs are in. Intelligence … Continue reading Gender Wars: Penguin Edition

Abigail

BY FRANK HAVILAND Society’s foremost duty must be to protect the innocent and the vulnerable. In the age of perpetual victimhood however, the lines are so blurred we no longer get it right. Instead the indefensible is now defended: treacherous politicians who slander their own voters; middle-class deadbeats who spend their gap-year with ISIS; and child rapists, traumatised by the unwelcome advances of Tommy Robinson’s … Continue reading Abigail

Neil Down

BY FRANK HAVILAND Unlicensed alcohol sales were dealt a tragic blow last month, as BBC prohibition finally called time on This Week: the late night speakeasy masquerading as a political show. After 16 years and countless bottles of Blue Nun, the cult after-hours watering hole has closed its doors for the last time. Chief bartender, Andrew Neil, is a refined cocktail himself: part avuncular host, … Continue reading Neil Down