AMANDA PLATELL: I do admire BoJo – but I can’t bear his no-show

The PM’s silence has done nothing but twist the knife in thousands of voters’ heart

The PM’s silence has done nothing but twist the knife in thousands of voters’ heart

Boris Johnson’s secluded holiday cottage on an isolated stretch of the Scottish coast could not be more idyllic.

Just the spot for a beleaguered PM, his fiancée Carrie and son Wilfred to get away from it all. Not bad for walks with Dilyn the dog either.

You cannot begrudge him a holiday, in 2020 of all years. As the former spin doctor to William Hague when he was the Leader of the Tories, I know this only too well — and it is commendable that Boris chose a staycation in Britain.

I recognise, too, that he has done this country an immense service. 

He is the man who saved us from socialism with his sensational election victory last December — imagine Corbyn, Abbott and McDonnell in charge today, and shudder. 

Yet in recent times he has been found deeply wanting. And nothing better demonstrates this than his invisibility during the unprecedented catastrophe over A-levels, BTecs and GCSEs.

Why on earth has he not come out and apologised to the kids who worked hard for years for their exam results only to be let down by a system run by his witless Education Secretary Gavin Williamson?

One day students were told they’d failed, the next that they’d excelled — although their places at their chosen universities or colleges had been taken by others amid the bedlam. 

A* grades have now been scattered like confetti, throwing everything into disarray and threatening untold consequences in the future.

Amid such chaos, such disappointment, lie the broken dreams not just of today’s teenagers, but of their parents and their grandparents. 

Three generations of furious potential voters who will have given up on Boris. 

One day students were told they’d failed, the next that they’d excelled — although their places at their chosen universities or colleges had been taken by others amid the bedlam

One day students were told they’d failed, the next that they’d excelled — although their places at their chosen universities or colleges had been taken by others amid the bedlam

Any adviser worth their salt should have warned him of the damage his continuing absence is doing to his reputation. 

Politically and strategically it is a disaster, as the Mail’s poll today shows so graphically.

What was Boris — the consummate communicator — thinking, hiding away in Scotland when the country yearned for leadership? A couple of tweets was all we got. Who does he think he is, Donald Trump?

So many of us are bitterly disappointed in him. He should have been on the airwaves telling us he understood the students’ pain and that of their families; assuring the nation that his heart went out to them; accepting his Government had let them down, that he would put it right.

I imagine he and his coterie think they are immune from the daily buffeting. I imagine they dismiss it as hysteria and froth.

I’ll tell them the truth. The PM’s silence has done nothing but twist the knife in thousands of voters’ hearts — and caused the Prime Minister and his Government immense, if not irreparable, damage.

PC zealots making real mugs of us all

Sainsbury’s has been forced to withdraw a £5.50 mug displaying a quote from Roald Dahl’s heroine Matilda after campaigners said it encouraged domestic violence.

Adapting the original quote from mischievous Matilda, keen on taking teenage revenge against her horrid headmistress Miss Trunchbull by putting a newt in her water jug, it read: ‘A brilliant idea hit her.’

Which clearly means she had an idea, all of her own, something to be encouraged in youngsters.

And then a brilliant idea hit me. We should stop this PC idiocy.

Too snooty as the Queen

Olivia Colman has never been able to recreate the Queen’s majesty or grace

Olivia Colman has never been able to recreate the Queen’s majesty or grace

A preview of Olivia Colman playing the Queen in The Crown has her riding out for Trooping The Colour. 

Meticulous attention has been paid to her uniform, medals, the beret, yet the one thing the Leftie actress has never been able to recreate is Elizabeth’s majesty or grace.

While chin-aloft Colman assumes an air of dismissive aloofness, the Queen’s head is always tilted down, a tacit acknowledgement of her duty to her subjects.

Barely two years since she married into and pledged allegiance to the Royal Family, Meghan throws all royal protocol aside to join her ‘dear friend Michelle Obama’ in a virtual ‘couch party’ supporting the Democratic Party.

‘It’s an exciting day . . . the countdown to change . . . change for better for our country.’ 

The one thing Megs hasn’t ditched, though, is her saintly Mother Meghan pose, hands crossed in prayer over her breasts as she seeks a better world. 

Although I’m loving her plain black sackcloth and ashes top — a far cry from her £57,000 Ralph & Russo engagement frock — and simple scraped-back side ponytail. 

Talk about new-found piety!

Tooled up for life

Captain Tom Moore’s advice on raising daughters is: ‘When my two girls were small, I didn’t buy them dolls.

‘They both had very fine tool- kits and have been practical ever since.’

Just like my dad. For my 12th birthday he gave me a set of spanners and showed me how to re-assemble parts of a car engine.

No dolls, just a father’s instinct to make a girl believe, from an early age, that anything a boy could do, she could do, too.

Although our dads of that generation would blanch at the description, these days we’d call them feminists.

Heaven can’t wait

No surprises that the brother and co-conspirator of the Manchester Arena bomber, Hashem Abedi, refused to appear in court to hear the witness statements of the 22 victims’ families as he was sentenced to 55 years in prison. 

In his twisted view of Islam, he regards himself and his jihadist brother Salman as martyrs who will be rewarded in Paradise by the attentions of 72 virgins.

Where’s the fun in that? By the time Hashem Abedi gets up there, those gals will be drawing their pensions.

It didn’t work for me, Adele

The teachings of celebrity self-help guru Glennon Doyle, to whom Adele attributes her amazing 7st weight loss and her new self, are a revelation.

‘This book [Untamed: Stop Pleasing, Start Living] will make your soul scream,’ the singer told her 38.5 million Instagram devotees. ‘Do it. Read it. Live it. Practise it.’ And so I did, over breakfast as it happens, as the boyfriend was giving me directions on how to drive to Liverpool.

‘This life is mine alone!’ I cried, seizing a pithy quote from the book. ‘I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been!’

To which he replied: ‘Honey, I used to live there.’

The exotically named Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, former mistress of the now exiled king of Spain, Juan Carlos, ludicrously claims his £54.8 million transfer into her bank account was not money laundering but a generous gift of love. 

Perhaps Corinna should have taken heed of the words of her namesake Ludwig Wittgenstein, the subject of my university dissertation: ‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.’

George Michael donated vast sums to needy

George Michael donated vast sums to needy

George’s lesson

Taylor Swift, worth £250 million, has let it be known she donated £23,000 to enable the Portuguese student Vitoria Mario to fulfil her dream of studying maths at Warwick University after her dad died.

Jolly good, Taylor, but perhaps you could take a leaf out of George Michael’s book.  

He donated vast sums to the needy, never once seeking publicity or virtue-signalling his deeds on social media.

Taylor Swift donated £23,000 to enable the Portuguese student Vitoria Mario to fulfil her dream of studying maths at Warwick University after her dad died

Taylor Swift donated £23,000 to enable the Portuguese student Vitoria Mario to fulfil her dream of studying maths at Warwick University after her dad died

Samantha Cameron is my favourite former PM’s wife and she’s now auctioning for charity the dress she wore on the steps of Downing Street after hubby won his second election in 2015. 

Well done her, but as I recall it is that horrid, frumpy electric blue patterned number. Starting bids . . . 5p?

Far from being put off by the sight of the once svelte Leonardo DiCaprio flaunting his roly-poly tummy on the Malibu beach, his paunch gives hope to mid-life couples everywhere. 

Most of us women would prefer to be with a man who has a bit of a Buddha belly — it makes us feel more comfortable about our own.

We’re all looking forward to going to football games again, yet how shabby that my team Tottenham’s manager Jose Mourinho continues to do ads on sports channels for the betting company Paddy Power. 

I suppose his £15 million-a-year salary isn’t enough to support his ego.

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