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Missing underwear, missing morals and missing a pint

PATRICIA Arquette took to the stage at the 2015 academy awards to accept her Oscar and took the opportunity to speak out on equal pay for women.
“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of the nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the Unites States of America”.
A rather odd speech, given that a large number of female actors (you can’t call them actresses anymore, apparently) turned up near-naked, many minus their underwear. These divas will stop at nothing to get noticed, even if it is for all the wrong reasons. When they start behaving in a professional and dignified manner, then they can demand equal pay.
On the subject of pay, poor old Sir Malcolm Rifkind hit the headlines this week. He claimed that is was “‘quite unrealistic” to expect backbench MPs with a professional background to “simply accept a salary of £67,000”. Rifkind told undercover reporters pretending to be from a Hong Kong-based firm that he could provide access to any foreign ambassador in London for his ‘usual rate’ of between £5,000 and £8,000 a day. Nice work if you can get it.
Now £67,000 a year won’t strike the vast majority of people as a subsistence wage. If you’re living on the average UK salary of £26,500 it must seem like Mr Rifkind has won the lottery.
The former Foreign Secretary and MP for Tory-stronghold Kensington and Chelsea has stood down as the chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee and won’t be defending his seat at the next general election in May. Funny that!
Former Labour Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who also fell for the same sting as Rifkind, is standing down from the Commons in a few weeks time, so it is reasonable to think he would be out there touting his CV around.
However, he has boasted that he has already used his influence “under the radar” to bring about changes in EU rules on behalf of a client. He also bragged of using his “charm and menace” to persuade the Ukranian Prime Minister to alter regulations in favour of a commodity firm which pays him £60,000 a year. Surely that’s not what the good folk of Blackburn elected him for? You couldn’t make it up.
STAYING IN in the crazy world of Government, David Cameron has called for a 35-year old booze ban to be lifted at Scottish football games. He said it was time to scrap this antiquated ruling and treat football fans as ‘responsible adults’. Mr Cameron questioned why football supporters were penalised when alcohol is sold at other sporting events north of the border, and admits he enjoys a few pints himself while watching the cricket.
Drink was banned at football games in 1980 after the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Rangers which saw a great deal of trouble between fans, and which was widely attributed to alcohol consumption. Watch this space. You might be able to down a couple of pints of Eighty Shillings before the match sometime soon.
The Health and Safety Police are out in force again with a heady cocktail of alcohol and trains. The rail safety watchdog wants to end a 180-year tradition of having a drink on the train. Their aim is to make every service in Britain alcohol-free, to put a stop to ‘mind the gap’ deaths. Eighteen people were killed and 250 injured in the last five years after falling from trains or platforms. Many incidents involved drunk travellers.
Ban alcohol being sold on trains, but how do you stop people boarding with booze in their luggage? Are you going to search everyone at Euston? Where there’s a will, there’s a way and given that you are likely to remain in a cramped, dirty space for several hours longer than advertised, you’ll need a drink – if you can afford one after paying for the ticket.
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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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