It’s clear that with his Napoleon witnessing Marie Antoinette’s execution and ordering the French forces to shell the pyramids, Ridley Scott is playing fast-and-loose with historical fact in his rollicking epic about the French emperor. Notwithstanding, two hundred years after the death of Napoleon Bonaparte, his legacy within France remains bitter and contested, an almost cultural battleground.
An infamous misquote from the days of the first winter of discontent, the then Labour Prime Minister Jim Callaghan’s words have never felt more relevant than they do today. “I’m not looking forward to next week” was one senior Conservative aide’s thought this weekend and their concern certainly proved warranted.
Allegedly, Ronald Reagan kept a plaque on his oval office desk on which was the famous Harry S Truman quote “A man may do an immense deal of good, if he does not care who gets the credit for it”.
It seems so long ago, a distant bad memory of a bygone age, but the ongoing Covid inquiry has suddenly brought everything back with a bang: partygate; Barnard Castle; herd immunity; rampant misogyny; karaoke machines and suitcases of booze; an oft-stated pandemic contingency plan that never existed; corrupt procurement policies: an AWOL holidaying-PM more interested in completing his, as yet unpublished, history of Shakespeare; Ministers’ turf wars; disappearing WhatsApp messages; lamentable, non-existent leadership and Carrie Symonds’ government from the lavishly decorated No 10 apartment.
Earlier this week I went to the dentists. Now, in and of itself this is neither interesting nor newsworthy but, with ‘DIY dentistry’ apparently on the rise, it’s something you hear less and less.
Personified by Boris Johnson’s promise to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all”, every government in recent history has stated to do exactly that but all have universally failed. Why?
That is the question to which we shall imminently have the answer. The long wait for High Speed 2, Europe’s largest infrastructure project, is almost at an end but will the project, oft referred to as a Whitehall white elephant, finally be put out of its misery?
I’ll never watch another Stanley Tucci film ever again. And as for his TV series, ‘Searching for Italy’, well, don’t get me started as I enjoyed it so much I even bought and read the book ‘Taste. My Life Through Food’. I was genuinely captivated by this second-generation Italian-American’s telling of tasty tales extolling the virtues of his ancestral homeland. And it now transpires it’s a load of bunkum.
Several of you have commented that I appear to have lost my political mojo of late and, with the tories all at sea, I think I have to agree with you. Recent years have witnessed such incompetence and ineptitude that criticism feels something akin to taking candy from the proverbial baby or kicking a man whilst he’s down. Surely, five different ministerial posts in less than a single year for the political pygmy, Grant Shapps, says it all?
At 2.45am on 6th August 1945, a B-29 bomber, named Enola Gay after the mother of the pilot, left the Mariana Islands. Once airborne it was confirmed that Hiroshima, home to 300,000 residents and a large naval base, would be the target for the codenamed ‘Little Boy’ bomb of 64kg uranium.