By the canal in Nottingham
10 minutes ago
The story of Shannon Matthews' disappearance - and dramatic reappearance, apparently alive and well, today - has confirmed the degree to which class is still the cultural register in our purportedly classless society.
Karen Matthews has acted appropriately throughout: she was waiting for Shannon at home; she contacted the police as soon as she had exhausted all the obvious locations. And yet, our eye is drawn to her poverty, numbers of partners, cans of lager going into her household. Everything about Ms Matthews' life has been up for scrutiny.
What does it say about modern Britain when the pre-meditated massacre of six children is described as "an accident waiting to happen" on national television? In the early hours of last Friday, someone poured petrol through the letterbox of the Philpott household, unleashing a blaze that ended in one of the most appalling mass murders in our country's recent history. Whoever was responsible must have known the almost inevitable consequences of their actions. No rationalisations exist for this sort of atrocity.
But we rarely see this reality: it is intentionally hidden from us. The Government and much of the media divert anger from those who caused the crisis, to your "scrounging" neighbour down the street. And so we end with Carole Malone arguing that a family whose children died in a fire brought it on themselves. It is beyond shameful. And it must be challenged.Hey, it's almost as if refusing to draw value judgments about people who live self indulgent and parasitic existences is a flawed way of observing human life and that maybe feckless behaviour is indicative of not being nice people.
God only knows what the long-term effects of regularly viewing online pornography will be on our children and teenagers, because this generation is the first to be exposed to it.
But most of us have a pretty good idea: a distorted view of sex and human relations is probably the least of it.
Surely what all the providers should be doing is requiring anyone wanting access to online porn actively to opt in to these deeply degrading services.
Plainly, there’s no substitute for parents keeping a vigilant eye on their children, especially their internet use.
But if the industry won’t regulate itself to deal with this deeply corrosive social menace, it must be forced to do so.Daily Mail, 14th of May:
An 'absolutely stunning' photograph of Madonna posing naked on a bed while smoking a cigarette has sold for nearly £15,000.
The sum is three times the estimate placed on the image that was taken in 1990 during the period when the singer had bleach-blonde hair and dark eye make-up.
It is a black and white photo and Madonna has her breasts exposed and just a white sheet covering her pudenda while she lies on a bed.
London mayoral elections: who are you voting for? Eddie Izzard, Julia Stephenson, Duwayne Brooks and Karen Hampton reveal their choices for mayor in Thursday's electionThe Guardian's coverage four years ago was hilarious though.
I have spent many days out on the campaign trail with Ken. I have witnessed first-hand the response he evokes from ordinary Londoners – that "come on Ken, we need you back".