SARAH VINE: The so-called ‘Royal racist’ allegations are just ANOTHER example of how we’re all trapped in a cultural straitjacket and the lunatics are taking over the asylum
Sometimes it's the smallest things that provide the greatest insights. While I was having lunch with a friend recently, I noticed that her hair looked particularly good. “Thanks,” she said. 'I had a hairdryer – God, it was traumatic.'
She told me she wanted to tip the person who washed her hair, but she was puzzled: the person in question was clearly a man – with facial hair and a pleasantly firm massage technique – but was dressed as a woman. Which pronoun should she use? It? Her? She? She hedged her bets and decided to go with 'They'.
“Actually, it's her,” the receptionist said scathingly.
Argh! Wrong again. My poor friend fled, mortified.
Maybe it's my age or there's just something wrong with me, but modern life is increasingly a series of bewildering obstacles and pitfalls. You feel adrift in a strange sea, lost in a fog of political correctness and constantly changing rules.
King Charles is right to remain silent about the appalling accusations of racism, but why are Palace lawyers so circumspect? The institution that Charles represents has the right to defend itself against unscrupulous publishers.
It's as if they take every opportunity to get offended or angry, while enjoying the drama and the chance to put others down. A glaring example is the so-called “royal racist” accusations, reheated with a side order of triple-fried malice from Omid Scobie.
Daily life is filled with difficult tasks and challenges that I inevitably fail at. I feel like I'm living in a surreal version of the Celebrity Jungle, forced to swallow a variety of unappetizing concoctions and where if at any point I so much as misplace a toenail, I can be canceled: I'm a Gen
Of course, everyone experiences some form of age-related alienation. I'm sure my grandparents' generation was as baffled by the groups I once avidly followed on Top Of The Pops as today's fiftysomethings are Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion.
But even though the different generations in the past did not always agree with each other – culturally, politically, socially – we usually respected each other's points of view. Or even if it wasn't, we left each other to move on.
That is no longer the case. Everyone is expected to adapt – or else. We, 43 to 58 year olds, need to be educated, shaken out of our gentle Gen can explode at any time.
Another example. A friend was stuck in traffic when her hearing aids started making a horrible screeching noise. As she frantically tried to sort out her device, a cyclist took a photo and reported her to the police.
Now she risks a fine and up to six points on her driver's license. Granted, she was technically breaking the law. But sometimes the law is an ass. Sometimes people are donkeys too.
For my generation, such interfering, inflexible behavior is anathema. We grew up minding our own business in a live and let live way of life. Self-determination and freedom of expression are central to our mentality. Common sense is our key word.
However, the generation that gave us avocado on toast and matcha lattes – the millennials – is very different. They try to mold the world into their holier-than-thou image. There's a persistence and almost deliberate desire to offend so many younger people that makes me think they're doing it almost on purpose, waiting for the rest of us to stumble, and get into a fight.
Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the whole thing is a complete overreaction to what is most likely a completely harmless and possibly mild joke about which of their parents' very different physical characteristics the Sussexes' first baby might inherit. The kind of conversation every family has in the run-up to a newcomer
It's as if they take every opportunity to get offended or angry, while enjoying the drama and the chance to put others down.
A glaring example is the so-called “royal racist” accusations, reheated with a side order of triple-fried malice from Omid Scobie. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the whole thing is a complete overreaction to what is most likely a completely harmless and possibly mild joke about which of their parents' very different physical characteristics the Sussexes' first baby might inherit. The kind of conversation every family has in the run-up to a newcomer. “Let's hope the baby doesn't have your huge nose/feet/terrible teeth” and so on.
But in a world where everything carries the threat of insult, and where even the best intentions are weaponized, such things can become a battleground.
It's better to just keep your mouth shut or not take the risk at all. Don't pay anyone a compliment, don't comment, don't ask questions – and for God's sake never try to use humor. And that's why the world is getting crazier and more intolerant, why it's hard to escape the idea that we're all trapped in a cultural straitjacket, and the madmen are taking over the asylum. Because that's what happens.
I guess the only consolation is that at 56 I only have to last a few more decades? Assuming they don't throw me off first.
Forget Liz Truss's 44 days as Prime Minister: she would have a legacy to be proud of if her bill to prevent under-18s from accessing hormone therapy is passed into law, saving countless young people from having their lives ruined before they are ready to give an informed opinion. decision.
If politicians are so enthusiastic about net zero, why don't they attend climate change summits via Zoom, instead of flying halfway around the world to places like Dubai, the global capital of conspicuous (and planet-burning) consumption?
● Jozef Puska, Ashling Murphy's killer, attempted suicide during his trial but was thwarted by officers. Why? If such a bastard wants to please us by surpassing himself, no one should stop him.
My cat could use a Ted talk about manners
My fellow columnist Amanda Platell says her cat, Ted, disdains a study claiming dog walking can help prevent dementia.
How different from my cat, who wakes me up every morning with her razor-sharp claws and asks for breakfast.
How different from my cat, who wakes me up every morning with her razor-sharp claws and asks for breakfast
She then spends hours whining to be let in and out, running around the house and attacking my soft furnishings before settling down for the day, after covering everything in cat hair.
Amanda, is there any chance I can borrow Ted? He might be able to teach my cat some manners.
● King Charles is right to remain silent on the disgusting accusations of racism, but why are Palace lawyers so circumspect? The institution that Charles represents has the right to defend itself against unscrupulous publishers.
Claudia's clone is a mini-me too far
New to my growing list of things that don't make sense is the obsession that otherwise perfectly intelligent women seem to have with Barbie.
Now Claudia Schiffer, who I've always considered one of the wisest supermodels, dresses like a Disney princess and talks about her 'limited edition' mini-me Barbie
The hysterical hype surrounding the film (starring Margot Robbie) was bad enough.
Now Claudia Schiffer, who I've always considered one of the wisest supermodels, dresses like a Disney princess and talks about her “limited edition” mini-me Barbie.
Come on, Claudia, you're better than this.
● Package theft has skyrocketed, up 57 percent according to one report. I'm not surprised.
I've lost count of the number of times Evri or DHL have sent me a cheerful message saying, “Congratulations, your package has been successfully delivered,” only to find it on my doorstep in full view of passersby ( not to mention the local meth addicts).
It seems like delivery companies just dump stuff and run – or take it back to a depot so far away that it might as well be in Ulan Bator.
Schools must be safe
One way extremist ideologues infiltrate society is by indoctrinating young people. Recent evidence is that children are skipping school to attend pro-Palestinian marches.
Today this newspaper reports that some Muslim pupils at a high-performing English public school are being bullied by older pupils for not fasting during Ramadan or wearing the hijab.
Today this newspaper reports that some Muslim pupils at a high-performing English state school are being bullied by older pupils for not fasting during Ramadan or wearing the hijab.
Of course, everyone has the right to practice his or her religion, but schools should be a safe environment where young people can broaden, not narrow, their horizons, and form their own opinions about life, without fear of intimidation or indoctrination.
● Tunnock's Teacakes' profits have fallen by more than 80 percent. This is a national emergency. It is the duty of every citizen to eat at least one tea cake a day – a task I will take very seriously.