MAHATMA Gandhi once said the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.
If so, three news stories in the past week might suggest Britain is standing just one millimetre away from the cliff face of irretrievable, mass inhumanity.
Morons created a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower — complete with cut-outs of adults and children in the windows — and set fire to it on Bonfire Night[/caption]
Firstly, let’s turn to the pond life who constructed a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower — complete with cut-outs of adults and children in the windows — and set fire to it. One female onlooker (shame on her) shrieks, “Help me! Help me!” as the others laugh, while someone else boasts: “I made the burning people.”
It’s not just that it’s shockingly distasteful, it’s the sheer callousness of it that renders one almost speechless with disbelief.
What’s wrong with these people?
Then there’s the group of lads in their late teens who thought it funny to spit at Janice Morris as she sat alone on a park bench, before later pelting her with flour and eggs.
When police — who class her as vulnerable and with mental health issues — visited her Suffolk home later that day, they found her still covered in flour and with “smudged mascara down her face”.
More than 70 people died as Grenfell Tower in West London went up in flames in June 2017[/caption]
One of the gang — 18-year-old Cohan Semple — saw fit to take a photo of the attack and posted it on Snapchat.
One recipient reposted it to Facebook, it went viral and, quite rightly, prompted widespread revulsion and a police investigation.
All five have pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour which caused harassment, alarm or distress and await sentencing.
Yobs pose for a Snapchat picture after pelting a homeless woman with flour and eggs[/caption]
Meanwhile, it seems “dozens” of the Remembrance Day “Silent Silhouette” statues placed all over the country have been defaced or smashed up by mindless vandals. In Devon alone, one statue was snapped in half, another five vandalised and one stolen.
Oh how we wish that, if caught in the act, their punishment could be a few weeks on the frontline of a war zone. But don’t hold your breath.
Instead, let’s focus on the good in society that, thankfully, still forms the majority. The thousands who expressed their abject disgust at the breathtakingly inhumane bonfire stunt, the horrified locals in Bury St Edmunds who helped police locate Miss Morris and bring her tormentors to justice, and the noble volunteers who, seeing the damage to the Silent Silhouette statues, stepped in to repair them in time for this weekend’s Remembrance Sunday.
Cohan Semple, 18, admitted humiliating the homeless woman in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk[/caption]
Volunteers such as a group of teenagers in Axminster, Devon, who took a vandalised “Tommy” in to their school workshop and repaired him.
Placing him back at the scene afterwards, they laid a wreath and declared: “We are here today to show you that we, as young people, do care.
“We care about the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who fought for our country.”
So let’s take comfort that the true measure of British society lies in their actions and not those of a few morons.
Gwyn's online wedding
EVERY last product detail of Gwyneth Paltrow’s wedding has been posted on her lifestyle website.
“Dry Martini service trolley”, anyone? Nope, me neither.
As for the hand-stitched couture Valentino gown, the site describes it as “a dress that defies adjectives”.
Oh, I don’t know. “Bloody expensive” comes to mind.
Emily’s fresh spin
MODEL and self-publicist extraordinaire Emily Ratajkowski has published this photo with the caption: “Laundry day.”
Cripes. Let’s hope she hits the delicates setting for that T-shirt, as there ain’t too much scope for further shrinkage.
Strictly Katya's 'make-up' baby after kiss
HOT on the diamante heels of her snog-gate scandal with comedian Seann Walsh, Strictly dancer Katya Jones is reportedly considering a “make-up baby” with husband Neil Jones.
Oh dear. Will you tell her or shall I?
Schoolkid sleuths expose ‘child refugee’ as man, 30
A “CHILD” refugee is under investigation by the Home Office after his fellow pupils at an Ipswich school posted a pic online with the caption: “How’s there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?”
Their suspicions were aroused after finding a Facebook profile in the same name with photos of a man swigging beer while sporting a thick moustache and chest hair. A simple check that took just a few seconds and should have been made by the authorities before they placed him at the school.
It seems wily teenagers aren’t anything like as daft as their supposed superiors.
Ironing out our differences
IRONING is the nation’s top simple pleasure, followed by folding towels and pairing socks.
The nation clearly needs to get out more.
In the dog house
WHILE his estranged wife Lisa Armstrong was in court for the initial hearing of their divorce, Ant McPartlin was strolling in a park with new love Anne-Marie Corbett and Labrador Hurley.
In photos, the canoodling couple appear to be on their own, but in yesterday’s Sun it was reported that, at one stage, “an aide handed Ant a poo bag”. In the interests of clarity, one should perhaps point out the bag was for the dog, not Ant himself. But I digress.
The aide’s role reminds me of the old joke about the circus worker whose job it was to clean up prolific amounts of elephant dung.
When asked whether he’d ever considered another line of work, he replied: “What – and give up showbiz?”
THIS photo of Tom Cruise reprising his role as Maverick for the Top Gun sequel suggests he hasn’t aged at all in the intervening 30-plus years.
Or perhaps it’s simply the wonderfully flattering gravitational pull of a high-speed motorbike.
We all wanna be Spices
YOU know you’re famous when your No1 fan is Adele.
When she appeared on James Corden’s Carpool karaoke, she was word-perfect on the Spice Girls single Wannabe and said she dreamed of being Ginger Spice.
And yesterday, when four of the ladies (minus Victoria) announced a reunion tour, the delightfully down-to-earth Ms Adkins posted a photo of herself, pictured, aged about seven, in front of her bedroom wall papered in their posters and with the caption: “I am ready.”
For Adele’s now thirty-something generation, you can’t overestimate the effect of the Spice Girls when they burst on to the pop scene in 1996 with Wannabe.
Yes, the “girl power” mantra was a bit cheesy but the point is that for a while they defined the zeitgeist of social change for girls who saw these feisty, opinionated young women having fun primarily on their own terms – and aspired to do the same.
They’ve all had their trials and tribulations in the ensuing years . . . but haven’t we all?
Most of all, the Spice Girls are a mirror of the enduring power of female friendship, with all its twists, turns, complexities, bickering, sniping (mostly Mel B and Victoria – who, by the way, are currently speaking) and, ultimately, longevity.
Welcome back ladies. We’ve missed you.
No one likes a Jed end
BARONESS Warsi has criticised hit TV series Bodyguard for its “stereotypical” portrayal of Muslim women.
“Either she’s downtrodden and needs to be saved or she’s a terrorist and we need to be saved from her,” she says.
“In Bodyguard, we think she’s one and she turns out to be the other.”
It seems writer Jed Mercurio – criticised by others for being too politically correct – just can’t win.
Perhaps he should go back to the drawing board and follow the stereotypes of just about every other crime drama, where the killer always turns out to be a white, middle-aged man.
Apprentice crop needs commerce for kids book
BUSINESS For Beginners is a new how-to book on commerce aimed at kids aged eight and over.
Perhaps they should send a copy to the current crop of largely incompetent candidates on The Apprentice.
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Jack to reality
LOVE Island winners Jack and Dani have moved in together and are reportedly arguing over the smallest things.
In other words, the honeymoon period is over and the pair have now moved into the more realistic phase of what is commonly referred to as the long-term relationship.