Belfast Telegraph

Just who will get what job in this crazy summer of celebrity stepping-down, political meltdown, exit and Brexit?

By Lindy McDowell

The Tory succession battle is finally sorted and a new party leader and Prime Minister is in place. Chris Evans, isn't it? Or Tom Hiddleston? Or maybe Angela Eagle? Roy Hodgson? I'm finding it hard to keep up. There's been so much chopping and changing in important roles in public life this last while, I'm beginning to review my firm conviction that astrology is a load of oul' guff.

Some celestial alignment has to be responsible for all this - the fact that 2016 has become what you could call The Year of Departures.

A year that began with the much-commented-upon sad passing of a number of global stars of the entertainment world has segued into a summer of celebrity stepping-down, political meltdown, all-round resignation, exit and Brexit.

There's something going on up there. There has to be. Maybe something to do with Mercury retrograde? Whatever that is.

For even if you can't tell your Aries from Uranus, you do get the feeling it's all a bit too much of a coincidence.

And what a pickle it's left so many politicians in.

So many careers have crashed and burned in a matter of a month or so. And not just in Westminster.

Theresa may have bagged the big one this week, but there are still lots of VIP situations suddenly vacant.

Maybe the answer might be a top level jobs reshuffle ...

Apparently there's an upcoming vacancy in celluloid espionage. We need a new James Bond. Tom Hiddleston's name is being mentioned but as he appears to have a full-time role being photographed with the lovely Taylor Swift there could be an opportunity here for other takers.

Jeremy Corbyn as 007? Naw. We'd never get him to wear the bow tie. And, at the time of writing anyway (these things change so quickly) he's still hanging in as Leader of the Opposition. Despite ... well ... the opposition.

Angela Eagle wants his job. She's been in Labour for years. Not that that will impress the Andrea Leadsoms of this world who are more interested in whether she's ever been in the Labour ward.

Another possibility for Jeremy - Top Gear. This based on the claim by some that he's put the Labour Party in reverse.

The name currently being touted for the Top Gear driving seat is James Martin. The celebrity chef that is. Out of the frying pan and into the dire.

If Mr Martin takes over the Top Gear hand bake, this may provide an opening for Andrea Leadsom with those invaluable home-making skills of hers to replace him in the kitchen.

Would Michael Gove make a good manager for the England team? Unlike Roy he'd be happy to see them out of Europe.

David Cameron is also at a bit of a loose end these days - he'd be a front runner for the Bond job. In posh accent if nothing else. And falling on his resignation sword was quite Bondishly noble.

But saving the world from Spectre?

Would Dave be equipped for the job? First we'd have to have the referendum on whether we wanted to Sprexit ...

As I say, you do get a sense there's something in the stars right now overseeing this weird period of volatility in public life.

And interestingly a quick trawl on the internet reveals some online psychics claiming to have predicted both Brexit and the global rise of women in politics. Apparently the smart astrological money is now on Hillary Clinton for US President.

Donald Trump then, for Top Gear? Or James Bond, even? I doubt the hairdo would be up to the acceleration required by the first or the abseiling expected of an 007.

Maybe the football managerial vacancy would suit? Donald could make England great again ...

Euros' feelgood factor hits back of the net

Port-u-gal. Port-u-gal. How heartwarming were those scenes of local Portuguese fans celebrating their team's Euros win in Dungannon? It was just one of the major feelgood moments of a tournament which, sporadic rioting aside, was a winner all-round. Not least in the great camaraderie displayed by Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans. If nothing else it's surely given those Belfast city councillors who were opposed to a joint reception for the two teams something to ponder.

We need shining light on bonfire regulation

Every year around late May, early June we start to agonise about bonfires. What's to be done? Every year the debate fizzles out about mid-July. But actually now is the time to get cracking on a strategy for next year. As this paper has rightly pointed out, nobody is suggesting banning the bonfires. But in terms of the tyres, the building of monstrous fires beside people's home, and the pathetic, thuggish "adornments" placed on some, enough is enough. This has to change.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph