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Why don’t the young learn how to drive anymore?

🫢 Papal potty-mouth | Farage 🎁 Starmer | 😵‍💫 Pink Floyd


Setting a good example: Jeremy Clarkson in a Ferrari

Why don’t the young learn how to drive anymore?

I regularly receive missives from teenagers asking for a job on my farm, says Jeremy Clarkson in The Sunday Times. God knows why – for 50 weeks of the year it’s mostly “mud, pain and sadness”, with a pay packet that would “disappoint a Congolese miner”. Nevertheless, these kids look at my farming show and think “Mmm, that’s what I want to do for a living”. And they all have one thing in common: they haven’t learnt how to drive. So how are they going to get here when it’s three in the morning and a pig’s dying? There are buses, sure. “I saw one in November,” and I’m told there was one in February, but I can’t confirm it. Some might argue they could come by bicycle. “But we don’t employ that sort of person here.”

It’s the same in TV. You employ a runner, and they arrive “willing as hell” and fun to have around, with “a first in astrophysics and an ability to converse fluently in German, Polish and Chinese”. But they can’t drive. What’s happened? Some no doubt fear that, under the new morality, driving will mark them out as “far-right” climate deniers who possibly haven’t burnt their Harry Potter books yet. And some, I understand, view a car as an unnecessary expense, and in London that’s probably true. “But London’s doomed.” In a few years it’ll just be a “seething mass of people in high-visibility jackets waiting their turn to make chanting noises about whatever issue is affecting their mental health that day”. Soon the only fun jobs will be in the sticks. “Where you need a car.”


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Heroes and villains

Officials in the Chinese province of Henan, after it emerged that the country’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall is in fact fed by a pipe hidden in the rock face. Yuntai Geo Park said the “small enhancement” had been made to ensure that tourists always see the 314-metre falls “in the most beautiful way”.

US Congressman Donald Payne Jr, for not letting his own death get in the way of his political career. The New Jersey lawmaker won the Democratic primary in his district on Tuesday, a month after suffering a fatal heart attack. He had been running for re-election unopposed, and the filing deadline for other candidates had passed by the time he died.

The internet, for ruining a remote Brazilian tribe. The indigenous Marubo people requested access to the technology to keep in touch with distant relatives and summon help in emergencies. But now that they’re online, tribe members have apparently become lazy – sitting in hammocks all day glued to their screens – and begun engaging in aggressive sexual behaviour because they’re watching too much porn. “When it arrived, everyone was happy,” one of the Marubo elders told The New York Times. “But now, things have gotten worse.”

Gareth Copley/Getty

Stephen Fry, the former president of Marylebone Cricket Club, for accusing the institution of “stinking of privilege and classism”, and saying the public sees its members as “beetroot-coloured gentlemen” who look like they’ve “come out of an Edwardian cartoon”. First the Garrick, now the MCC, says Kara Kennedy in The New Statesman. There’s clearly nothing Fry loves more than “denouncing the centuries-old, expensive institutions that he frequents”.

Pope Francis, again, for apparently telling a group of young priests that “gossip is a women’s thing” and that men have to do the talking because “we wear the trousers”. The comments came only a week after the 87-year-old pontiff apologised for using the Italian homophobic slur frociaggine, which roughly translates as “faggotness”.

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Podcast – Electoral Dysfunction
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Art – Brainstorms: A Great Gig in the Sky
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Inside politics

Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty

Farage’s gift to Starmer

Those tempted to grant their vote to Nigel Farage should be careful what they wish for, says Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph. It’s all very well saying the Tories must be “destroyed” before you can create a new, better party. But that rebuilding could take 10 or 15 years. In the meantime, with Labour commanding a huge majority and – in a scenario that hasn’t had enough attention – Ed Davey’s Lib Dems in opposition, Keir Starmer would have “unprecedented political control”. The opposition leader might be on “best behaviour” now, but this would be a “once-in-a-lifetime chance to enact radical political reform”.

What might that look like? He could ban private schools – “an idea floated in the 2019 Labour manifesto” – not just tax them. He could abolish the “Tory-laden” House of Lords, meaning no moderating parliamentary force. “A wealth tax could finally be imposed or ISA allowances radically scaled back.” Free schools could be forced back under state control “as quickly as the 1,200 grant-maintained schools were under Tony Blair”. He would have a free hand to regulate the press, remake the BBC or change the meaning of “hate speech” at will, to constrain debate. And all this with a Lib Dem opposition that shares Labour’s interest in keeping the Conservatives out of the conversation. This is why a vote for Farage’s “Tory-free utopia” is, in effect, a vote for a decade or more of Labour dominance. The Tories have made too many mistakes to warrant a vote with any enthusiasm. But in this “ugly baby contest” of an election, “they can still claim to be the least bad option”.



“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”
George Best

That’s it. You’re done.