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A battle of the bulge for Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet is back on screens as a careworn middle-aged detective in the TV show Mare of Easttown, and critics are in awe, says Deborah Ross in The Times. Over and over I read that Winslet is so brave. Really? All she’s done is forego make-up, not be a size 6 and slob around in tracksuit bottoms. Oh, and she refused to let the director edit out a “bulgy bit of belly” from a sex scene.

It’s madness. “A 45-year-old woman looks like a 45-year-old woman on screen and everyone says: ‘Wow, that took courage. Wow, that’s so fearless.’” What does that tell the rest of us? Frankly, I’d like a bit of Winslet’s praise for myself. “I went to the corner shop just now and neither on the way there nor on the way back did anyone point me out and say: ‘I’d like that woman to be commended for her bravery. Middle-aged, average weight, no make-up. Well done, love, for leaving your house today.’”

Cereal offenders

Kellogg’s has a new cereal out, says Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times. It encourages children “to choose their own pronouns and better understand LGBTQ+ issues. Yes, it’s the first breakfast cereal to make you throw up before you’ve even eaten it.” It caught my attention due to a “flawed and shallow” study from King’s College, London, which claimed that no one cares about the “culture war” apart from “a few seething journos”. Sure, stuff like “woker-than-thou Kellogg’s” affects people’s lives less than a tax hike, or being told to scrap your gas boiler “and replace it with a £10,000 system powered by unicorn tears”. But most people believe in freedom of speech and Britain’s traditions, and are turned off by Labour’s wokism. That’s why the Tories have a huge majority in Parliament.

The most serious part of the culture war is the “De-Enlightenment”: a determined minority want to destroy almost every aspect of western civilisation. And I am firmly against those who think that maths – and ivory harpsichords – are racist. Who thinks authors should be studied on account of their skin colour rather than their literary worth? “That’s the culture war, and it’s serious. Choose your side.”