John Gilding sifts through celebrities, politics and the rest of the news to bring you the best highlights of the past week.

  1. BLACK LIVES MATTER painted outside Trump Tower

Fifth Avenue in New York got a new paintjob this week, as a big yellow ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’ was printed on the street next to Trump Tower, the headquarters of the President’s business empire. The mayor, Bill de Blasio lent a hand, having planned it last month, although last week Trump tweeted that it would be “a symbol of hate”. Obviously, this is a brilliant gesture from the mayor, and should help to get the message across to some people, even if Trump isn’t one of them.
I’m surprised this sort of thing isn’t more common though, especially in the UK, where people are a bit more hesitant to talk about a problem directly. If it was allowed, I think this could solve all our socially awkward problems. You could tell your neighbours what you actually think of their dog barking for 23 hours a day, or that they really should close the curtains in the morning after having a shower. Nobody needs to wake up to that. I can already picture children kicking their football over the fence and picking up their paintbrush instead of having to do that dreaded walk up the garden path. 

  1. Brooklyn Beckham gets engaged

Brooklyn Beckham proposed to his girlfriend this week with a ring apparently worth around £200,000, which shocked me when I read it, firstly because I periodically forget the Beckhams exist, but also because I thought Brooklyn Beckham was about 14. And I can’t be the only one. 
In fact, I looked around and a lot of celebrities are older than I thought they were. Pharrell Williams (of Happy fame) is 47. I thought he was 28, max. Ellen DeGeneres is somehow 62, Keanu Reeves has made it to 55 while looking the same as he did 20 years ago, and Samuel L. Jackson is in his seventies. Oh, the things you can learn on the Internet.

  1. Michel Barnier’s letter to Mark François

Mark François is a Conservative MP, head of the eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG) in Parliament, who launched a campaign earlier this year to get Big Ben to bong when the UK leaves the EU. That’s the kind of guy he is. About a month ago, he sent a letter to Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, insisting that he drop his “unreasonable demands” from the Brexit negotiations. 
This week, Barnier wrote back, and politely reminded Mr François that these ‘demands’ were agreed by Boris Johnson as part of his withdrawal agreement. Then passed by the House of Commons. With the full support of Mr François and the rest of the ERG. It was a very satisfying put-down.
This must be what drunk texting is like for politicians; they finish a hard day of meetings, decisions and general Important Stuff, crack open a bottle of whiskey, and think: “Right, I know what I can do, I’ll write that passive-aggressive letter to that angry little man from England that I’ve been wanting to write for weeks.”
And the world is all the better for it.
Image Credit: ALDE Group


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