SARAH VINE: If Hilary Mantel thinks Dover is not welcoming to refugees, she should see Sicily

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As someone who considers herself more than a little Italian girl, I couldn’t help raising an eyebrow when I read that, in an interview with the Roman newspaper La Repubblica, Dame Hilary Mantel had denounced the “ugly face of contemporary Great Britain ”.

She denounced the “people on the beaches who mistreat exhausted refugees even as they rush to shore.”

I think most people would agree that humans shouldn’t abuse other humans. But if she thinks Dover is unwelcoming to refugees, she should spend time in Sicily or Calabria, or in the suburbs of Paris or Marseille.

After a few honest conversations, she might just feel warm to the good people in East Kent.

As someone who considers herself more than a petite Italian, I raised an eyebrow when I read that Dame Hilary Mantel (above) denounced the “ugly face of contemporary Britain”

The truth is, every nation has its ugly side.

Ireland, to which Dame Hilary wishes to escape Britain’s cultural hell, recently mourned the deaths of over 9,000 children in the country’s mother-baby homes between 1922 and 1998, a tragedy that the Taoiseach , Micheál Martin, called it “a dark, difficult and shameful chapter in very recent Irish history”.

Maybe that sort of thing doesn’t bother Dame Hilary. Either way, she seems determined to signal her disapproval of some type of Britishness.

The monarchy as an institution baffles her; Brexiteers are “insensitive, insincere and sneaky opportunists”; and Boris Johnson “shouldn’t be in public life”.

Everything here is so horrible that she sees only one possible solution: to pack her bags and “become European again”. But what exactly does she mean by that?

Interestingly, Mantel – who like so many who voted to stay and who seem to have been unable to reconcile the reality of the 2016 referendum result with their own overriding sense of entitlement and superiority – makes the same mistake. fundamental than many other outstanding intellectuals remaining. .

The monarchy as an institution baffles Dame Mantel;  Brexiteers are

The monarchy as an institution baffles Dame Mantel; Brexiteers are “insensitive, insincere and sneaky opportunists”; and Boris Johnson (photo) “shouldn’t be in public life”

It confuses the EU – a relatively recent concept – with Europe itself: that is, the many disparate nations, traditions and languages ​​that stretch from Portugal to Finland and beyond, and to which , the last time I checked the map the UK was still very much owned.

It cannot “become European again” for the simple reason that it has never ceased to be so. She can, of course, adopt the nationality of an EU member state like Ireland.

The truth is every nation has its ugly side, says Sarah Vine (pictured)

The truth is every nation has its ugly side, says Sarah Vine (pictured)

But even that won’t solve her fundamental problem, which is that her post-referendum frustrations seem to have caused her to develop a deep hatred of everything she herself stands for.

Mantel is a lady in the British Empire who says that “the popularity of the monarchy as an institution is something that baffles me” and a writer who has made a career chronicling the history of these islands, that she considers “an artificial work and precarious construction”.

Maybe it is; but it is arguably much less artificial and precarious than a tenuous political and economic alliance that was formed less than 30 years ago.

Perhaps the solution is not for Dame Hilary to move to Ireland, but to the United States, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex seem to see no contradiction in exchanging their British royal relations while doing their best to bring down the institution. Dame Hilary should be at home.

THIS IS MOTHER’S RUIN

A real estate agent who took her employer to court after refusing to let her work four days a week and leave the office early to pick up her child from the nursery has received £ 180,000 – more than her annual salary – in damages and interest.

She claims to have filed a complaint to ensure that her daughter will not have “the same experience” when she is older. In fact, she claimed the exact opposite: it’s thanks to people like her that small businesses are so reluctant to employ women of childbearing age, in case they find themselves embroiled in equally ruinous proceedings.

The truth is, some jobs just can’t be done part-time or with reduced hours.

In this particular case, the woman was making £ 120,000 a year – more than enough, you would have thought, to employ help. Not so much to have everything as to seize everything.

The Association of Girls’ Schools is calling for an overhaul of the university admissions system so that students apply after receiving their results at A level.

Yes, yes and three times yes. As an elder being trapped in the UCAS U-bend, I have no doubts that it would make life easier for students, teachers and parents. What is stopping them?

A delay that cost SARAH’s life

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding’s cancer death at the age of 39 seems all the more tragic because, when she spotted a lump on her chest, she initially dismissed it as a harmless cyst caused by abrasion of his guitar strap.

The death of Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding (pictured in 2008) from cancer at the age of 39 seems all the more tragic because, while she spotted a growth on her chest, she had it. initially rejected.

The death of Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding (pictured in 2008) from cancer at the age of 39 seems all the more tragic because, while she spotted a growth on her chest, she had it. initially rejected.

A YouGov survey, commissioned by Breast Cancer Now last year, found that almost half (47 percent) of women in the UK don’t regularly check their breasts for symptoms, and 21 percent admit that ‘they are “not sure” what to look for when they check them out.

The idea that this dynamic and talented young woman might still be with us if she recognized the telltale signs and asked for help, rather than wait for the pain to become overwhelming and her skin to start breaking down. bruises, fills me with sorrow.

A MARK OF IGNORANCE

Botox and fillers should be banned for those under the age of 18, following increased demand from vulgar reality shows such as Love Island.

But the truth is, the entire industry is in urgent need of proper regulation – and the vast majority of responsible practitioners would welcome it with open arms.

In fact, for almost two decades, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has been calling for tighter restrictions, especially on dermal fillers which, as they are, are not classified as drugs and do not contain no minimum training standards.

All they need is a CE mark, the same as a teddy bear or a toaster. Incredible, when you think about it.

Dame Jenni Murray is right to be furious that her replacement at the time of Radio 4’s wife, Emma Barnett, is being paid more than she was earning.

It’s a stark reminder of how big the gender pay gap was in Dame Jenni’s day, and how – thanks in large part to her pioneering efforts – women now command commensurate wages. men.

Emma, ​​I think you owe Jenni a few cocktails!

Adorable photos of David Walliams taking a walk with his mother, Kathleen, on his 50th birthday.

I couldn’t help but wonder if we were looking for inspiration for Walliams’ brilliant children’s book, Gangsta Granny, which my seven year old daughter loved when it was released in 2011.

Hopefully none of Amanda Holden’s bling items are gone!

Adorable photos of David Walliams taking a walk with his mother, Kathleen, on his 50th birthday.  I couldn't help but wonder if we were looking for inspiration for Gangsta Granny

Adorable photos of David Walliams taking a walk with his mother, Kathleen, on his 50th birthday. I couldn’t help but wonder if we were looking for inspiration for Gangsta Granny

News that the Yorkshire Regiment has been hit by a drug scandal – with 19 soldiers testing positive for cannabis and cocaine – certainly gives new meaning to the term ‘Colombian marching powder’.

Apparently their excuse is that they don’t have enough to do.

I would suggest replacing them with absent staff at border control at Heathrow and Manchester, where endless queues have made life for families returning from vacation a miserable task.

But maybe giving them customs would be too tempting …

VAPE SMOKE SCREEN

Sales of super potent vapes have exploded over the past year. One brand, Geek Bar Pro, which contains twice the legal level of nicotine, has seen its sales drop from around 2,000 per week to 53,000.

And the worst part is that they are deliberately aimed at young people.

They’re heavily promoted on social media platforms like TikTok, flavored with fruit, chewing gum and ice cream, and cheap: between £ 5 and £ 7 a pop, which is about half the price. price of a bunch of regular queers.

Moreover, they are much easier to obtain as they can be purchased online.

Vapers have of course been heavily promoted as a safer alternative to tobacco.

But, quite frankly, I’d rather my teens just smoke pills the old-fashioned way, instead of inhaling hot, unregulated liquid that medical experts say can be the equivalent of 125 cigarettes.


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