HERE are a few tasty, and occasionally indigestible, items from the news menu. Today’s snacks are guaranteed Trump-free as too many mentions of that man are feared to cause PTSD (Post-Trump Stress Disorder).
There is a greasy little snack on the front page of the Daily Express under the headline “MIGRANT SCANDAL”. The newspaper says that 200 migrants a day were caught trying to enter Britain illegally in the run-up to the Brexit referendum.
These figures are said to have been obtained by the Express after a long battle with the Home Office. They reportedly show that 24,800 people were stopped in the first six months of last year.
Now here’s the odd thing. It’s a puzzle to see why this is a scandal in Express terms. Surely, it’s the opposite of a scandal as those immigrants didn’t make it into the country – and, moral considerations put aside for a moment, that should please the “keep-them-out” readers of that newspaper. A snack to have them smacking their cracked old lips.
The real scandal, of course, is the appalling speech given in the Commons by Home Secretary Amber Rudd as she rowed back on an earlier commitment to admit vulnerable lone child refugees to Britain, under a scheme named after Lord Dubs.
To date, 350 such unfortunate children have been admitted to Britain, where campaigners had hoped that around 3,000 would be brought here. Nothing about this is ideal and bringing lone refugee children here is an act of last resort in an imperfect world – but, importantly, it is the humane thing to do.
This next headline, from the BBC website, may be hard to swallow – “NHS problems unacceptable, says Hunt.” Jeremy Hunt has been Health Secretary for a while now and he only seems to have noticed that. Meanwhile his boss, Mrs Maybe, was overheard in the Commons given that odd robotic chant she does whenever she throws statistics at Jeremy Corbyn – claiming once again that the Conservatives at the true saviours of the NHS.
Over to the Daily Mirror caff, where the chalked-up menu claims that NHS funding is growing at its lowest rate since records began in 1955 – “With the NHS collapsing around her ears, brazen Theresa May yesterday insisted the Tories have lavished record sums of cash on the service.”
The difficulties with running such a service are deep and go back a long way. But here’s another one of those things. These difficulties always seem worse once the Tories are in charge. Oh, and here’s another: is anyone else worried that this mounting chaos will inevitably lead to calls from Hunt to privatise everything as the only solution to the problems?
In the last paragraph, I ground out a bit of anti-Tory pepper. That old condiment can be hard to shake off. Everything somehow tastes better with anti-Tory pepper.
So, in fairness, let’s consider Jeremy Corbyn’s “emergency Labour reshuffle” as reported on the front page of the i-newspaper.
It is traditional to mention the deckchairs on the Titanic at such moments. However, the Labour Party under Corbyn seems ill suited to such a grand metaphor of impending doom. These deckchairs belong to a leaky old tourist boat sailing past the Palace of Westminster. And never mind how much they are shuffled about, that little old boat is still sinking.
Another image of Corbyn is offered by the Daily Telegraph, where a cartoon likens his plight to that of an Australian man who was trapped in a muddy ditch for six hours and survived by keeping his nose above the murky water.
Now Corbyn did nudge his nose above the water this week after fate – in the shape of a misdirected email – bowled him a gift at PMQT with his question about whether Surrey council had been given a special deal over its council tax rise.
Mostly, though, he seems sadly inept, especially over Brexit. Which is a shame as we could do with him climbing out of that muddy ditch.
Instead, Corbyn claims that reports of him stepping down are “fake news”. Oh, really, couldn’t he think of anything smarter to say?
I fear that the novelty value of having a bumbling Labour leader is beginning to wear thin.