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4 July

In the headlines

Three people were killed and four seriously injured in a shooting at a Copenhagen shopping centre yesterday. The 22-year-old suspect – an “ethnic Dane”, according to police – has a history of mental health issues. Since Chris Pincher resigned as Tory deputy chief whip on Thursday, 13 new claims about his alleged sexual misconduct have emerged, says Politico. “Questions have been raised” about how much Boris Johnson knew about Pincher’s behaviour before his appointment, says The Times. Tory rebels believe the scandal has “bolstered” their efforts to oust the PM. A four-week “fry” is set to bring sweltering weather that could hit 30C by this weekend and 36C by the end of the month, says the Daily Star. “Happy scorch of July.”

New New Labour

You’re not the answer to our woes, Tony

Tony Blair was “back centre stage” last week, says Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times, with a new political conference modestly dubbed Future of Britain. All it amounted to was “a reprise of 1990s Blairism with the word ‘technology’ dropped in every few sentences”. But it was precisely this brand of “messianic neoliberal evangelism” which spurred Blair to make his most disastrous mistakes when he was PM. One was deciding, “after a brief word with God, who naturally concurred”, to illegally invade Iraq. Blair was convinced that everyone in the world wanted liberal democracy. “Overthrow Saddam and the Iraqis will become friendly Jeffersonian democrats.” Instead, the country descended into sectarian chaos and murder.


Poets like Heaney speak to us all

One of England’s main exam boards, OCR, has said it will remove the poetry of Seamus Heaney and Philip Larkin from its curriculum this September, says Tomiwa Owolade in UnHerd. The justification is simple: “the syllabus needs to be more inclusive and exciting”, while Heaney and Larkin are “male and stale”. The poets, apparently, reflect a bygone era that doesn’t speak to increasingly diverse classrooms. In their place, OCR will now have a string of British-Somali, British-Guyanese and Ukrainian writers.

Gone viral

To the Irish, London is where “good Guinness goes to die”, says GQ. Pubs in the capital are so poor at pouring pints of the black stuff – too much head, too little head, too watery, the wrong glass – that one Irishman, Ian Ryan, set up the Instagram account @shitlondonguinness to document the issue. It now has more than 200,000 followers. As for boozers that pour it right, Ryan’s recommendations include The Faltering Fullback in Finsbury Park and The Guinea Grill in Mayfair. See his full top 10 here.

The great escape

Rich New Yorkers are having bladder surgery to make the three-plus-hour drive to the Hamptons more bearable, says Insider. According to Manhattan urologist David Shusterman, whose “Hamptons bladder” procedures reduce the urge to pee so often, “a lot of people have problems with this issue” because the route from the city to the exclusive Long Island enclave has few loos along the way. His tagline? “Race to the Hamptons, not to the bathroom.”


Members of the SAS have been told to stop using nicknames that might cause offence. Banned terms include “Doris” (for female soldiers), “Ruperts” (officers), “crabs” (the RAF, supposedly because their uniform is the same colour as a pubic lice ointment), and “green slime” (Intelligence Corp, because of their distinctly coloured berets). “The SAS thrives on banter,” an insider told the Daily Mirror. “They have to do a lot of nasty stuff, and it’s their way of dealing with it.”


“There are lots of beautiful buildings in the world,” says Architectural Digest, and just as many ugly ones. But somewhere in between is the small, under-appreciated category of the “downright weird”. They represent the “whimsical side” of architecture and prove “there is no idea too out there” when it comes to constructing a building. See more here.

On the way back

Six months after Honest Burgers opened a vegan-only restaurant in central London, it’s putting meat back on the menu. Founder Tom Barton tells The Sunday Times that social media hype around plant-based food failed to translate into actual sales. Every day, he says, “dozens” of people walked into the vegan branch demanding a chicken or beef burger.


It’s a “crystal clear confection” made to look like a cloudy sky by a Japanese food artist, says My Modern Met. Tomei, whose name means “transparent”, makes her see-through jelly cakes by popping colourful ingredients into translucent gelatine.


quoted 4.7.22

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

Gore Vidal