Belfast Telegraph

Jeremy and Harry are playing the Messiah, just like Jacko, but really they have just lost the run of themselves

By Lindy McDowell

Not since the 1996 Brits when Michael Jackson flung wide his arms and, with the wind blowing up his cassock, delivered a presumptuous portrayal of himself as the Messiah, have we seen an onstage performance of such singular conceit. Until...

Oh, Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury. Like Jacko whose memorable Brits performance involved surrounding himself by beseeching, raggedy people and distressed youth, as he belted out his mournful Earth Song (ahhh, ooh ooh), Jezza also invoked the vision of himself creating a kindlier, more melodious world.

Let's be honest, you are never going to fail to charm the masses with a message about peace and love.

Whether speaking to the Glastonbury throng (who are always up for a bit of T-shirt slogan sermonising) or just sounding off to your mates down the pub, it's something we can all agree on.

Peace and love and a judicious redistribution of wealth. Make poverty history as previous stars of Glastonbury might have put it.

The tricky bit is how this can actually be achieved.

But in between sets at a music festival, a few uplifting lines about creating a whole new world are always going to strike a happy chord with the masses.

And old Jeremy did get a rapturous reception.

Since the days, not so very long ago, when he was seen as electorally noxious, JC has had something of a Second Coming (whether or not he himself believes in the first one.)

He's become the self-styled Messiah of Momentum.

And right now, with the wind beneath his wings, he seems to believe that even an election defeat can be disregarded, such is his appeal and arrogance.

It's hard to think of this being tolerated from just about any other politician. There is about Jezza an element of the emperor's new clothes.

Or, in this case, the Corbynator's new clothes.

Old JC does appear to have become a bit full of himself. But who close to him is going to point this out?

When Jacko acted the saviour onstage there was, fortunately, another JC on hand to prick his pomposity.

In his zipped up cardi, Jarvis Cocker memorably bounded up beside the wailing Jacko backing singers, neatly side-stepping security's attempts to corral him with a nimbleness that the current Lions team might well envy.

He jogged around a wee bit and then finally, just waggled his bum at Jackson, mooning at his Earth Song.

Later Cocker explained: "Rock stars have big enough egos without pretending to be Jesus - that was what got my goat, that one particular thing."

It also gets my goat, rock stars and politicians who've lost the run of themselves.

And royalty...

Poor Prince Harry has also been sounding off of late, moaning that nobody in the royal family actually wants to be King or Queen and generally complaining that life is just hellish in his gilded cage.

Well, son, you know what? Nobody's keeping you in there. Break away. Get yourself a real job.

But apparently Harry has a job.

"We are involved in modernising the British monarchy," he says, adding sanctimoniously, "we are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people."

The Messiahs of the monarchy, then.

Was there no-one of an adviser nature in attendance when His Harryness was sounding off who could, at this point, have pulled him up and explained how pompous and petulant this would sound?

Especially to the vast majority of the population who would not necessarily regard Harry's pampered and privileged lifestyle as something to whinge about.

Or to put it another way, Harry, in the immortal words of Michael Jackson in that pontifical Earth Song of his...

"What about us?"

Let's hope this £1bn windfall is used wisely

It is entirely understandable that Welsh and Scottish and, indeed, English representatives think we've been handed a larger share of the pie than we deserve.

But the cash coming our way due to the deal struck by Arlene Foster and the DUP, truly is acutely needed - not least for health and education services.

Would it be too much to hope that public servants set aside differences and ensure this windfall is used wisely?

It has the potential to radically transform services and lives.

And who here would stand against that?

Oh brother, life's still a beach for Michaela

So. Michaela McCollum will not after all be appearing in Big Brother.

Ach, I think we can just about cope with the disappointment.

Presumably, though, it will be once more on to the beaches for the drugs mule as she continues to waddle in the Med in the hope of attracting further bikini-shot publicity.

Meanwhile, quietly, her fellow Peru Two, Melissa Reid, has started a job with charity Citizens' Advice.

Full credit to Ms Reid.

But, more than ever, her former partner in crime doesn't look so good.

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