She's mean -- take the Booker off her
Few people would have begrudged Anne Enright this week's Booker Prize. But to a Britain still obsessed with the McCann family, her comments in a recent piece for the London Review Of Books about Madeleine has enraged people. And it's all middle England.
Enright wrote that: "In August, the sudden conviction that the McCanns 'did it' swept over our own family holiday in a peculiar hallelujah. Of course they had. It made a lot more sense to me than their leaving the children to sleep alone."
Enright was only saying what many people were thinking but that wasn't enough to quench the ire of the most perennially outraged group of people in the world -- Daily Mail readers.
According to their website: "I hope the McCanns sue her. What awful things to say. What an awful woman. Take the prize off her!" while another poster complained that: "Enright is not just plain but as ugly as the words in her article."
One popular theory was that she was just seeking publicity, with one reader saying: "It is absolutely disgraceful that she is using her new-found fame in this way. Does she think controversy will make it sell more? When I read the reviews of her book, I thought about buying it --I shan't now."
Of course, the fact that the piece actually appeared two weeks before she won the Booker seems to have been conveniently forgotten.
Still, never let inconvenient facts get in the way of righteous indignation, eh?
NO BONFIRES FOR YOU, ME BUCKO
This is a great time of the year -- the air is crisp and tangy with the smell of the first burning tyres at the local bonfire, the streets resonate like Baghdad with the echo and aftershocks of bangers that now seem to resemble RPGs and who can honestly say that they don't love the appearance of gangs of marauding teenagers at your door every Halloween evening, extorting sweets with the promise of egging your house if you don't cave in. Ah, bliss.
But Slough Borough Council seem to have taken a rather stuffy approach to their forthcoming Guy Fawkes night -- they have banned the traditional town bonfire.
They claim that it is part of their drive to "promote a clean air society" but some residents claim it's because the Council doesn't want to offend Hindus during their festival of Diwali.
Either way, however, the Council has come up with a cracking replacement -- a trapeze artist. Ah yes, nothing says Guy Fawkes night quite like some French ponce in a full body condom swinging around on a rope.
MARTIN'S AIM IS TRUE
When it comes to annoying Muslims, Martin Amis has form.
Now he's back in the firing line for claiming that: "I feel morally superior to Islamists, by some distance. I feel an intellectual distance to Islam. There are great problems with Islam. The Koran recommends the beating of women. The anti-Semites, the psychotic misogynists and the homophobes are the Islamists."
Of course, the Muslim Council of Britain are outraged, and a spokesman spat back: "Amis clearly seems to believe many Muslim communities are primitive. But just because some extremists have committed terrorist acts does not give him licence to denigrate an entire faith community. He should be ashamed of himself."
Indeed he should. After all, who can claim that Saudi Arabia, where women aren't allowed to drive and gay people are executed is not more evolved than we?
Or Iran, where women can be stoned to death on suspicion of "crimes against chastity"? Or what about Turkey, which last year had a debate in its Parliament about whether adultery should be a legal offence?
So you see Martin -- we have so much to learn from these people.
NO HALLOWEEN PLEASE, WE'RE CHRISTIAN
This column likes to while away the hours randomly poking about in the undergrowth of the interweb, and yesterday saw us look at some Christian websites which are opposed to Halloween.
According to one of them: "October 31st holiday that we today know as Halloween has strong roots in paganism and is closely connected with worship of the Enemy of this world, Satan.
"It is a holiday that generally glorifies the dark things of this world, rather than the light of Jesus Christ, The Truth.
"Have you noticed how costumes and masks are getting generally more bloody, gory, and depraved each year. My family does not celebrate it or participate in it."
God, you'd just love to go trick or treating to their house.
SCORN NOT HIS SIMPLICITY
There’s been a lot of criticism directed towards our beloved national team coach, Steve Staunton.
But it’s all terribly unfair and really shows a mean spiritedness that doesn’t become us as a nation.
Sure, he has managed the impossible and makes Brian Kerr look like a motivational genius.
Yeah, he has dropped us even further in the seedings and seems incapable of understanding the absolute catastrophe that he has visited upon the team both collectively and individually.
But as anyone can see from the ways his eyes dart shiftily all over the place and he adopts that rictus grin, the poor boy is beginning to comprehend that he may be in too deep.
But there is another job out there, Steven. The Irish Special Olympics football team are looking for a player/ manager – if they’ll have you.