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Palaszczuk government wrote to Border Force to request Tom Hanks to be allowed to enter Queensland

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palaszczuk government wrote to border force to request tom hanks to be allowed to enter queensland

The Queensland government wrote to the Border Force boss asking permission to allow Tom Hanks to enter the state, while families are being banned from crossing the border to visit sick and dying relatives.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young personally penned a letter to allow the Hollywood star to be allowed to enter the country from the United States.

The A-lister landed from the US on Tuesday night after he was granted an exemption from Queensland’s strict border legislation.

Hanks was then allowed to undergo his mandatory quarantine at a resort of his choice in Broadbeach rather than an official state facility. 

Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (with wife Rita Wilson) has found himself at the centre of

Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (with wife Rita Wilson) has found himself at the centre of

Hollywood actor Tom Hanks (with wife Rita Wilson) found himself at the centre of a row over Queensland’s border closures after being allowed into the state without going into hotel quarantine

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young personally penned a letter to allow the Hollywood star to be allowed to enter the country from the United States

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young personally penned a letter to allow the Hollywood star to be allowed to enter the country from the United States

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young personally penned a letter to allow the Hollywood star to be allowed to enter the country from the United States

Hanks touched down in the Gold Coast alongside cast, crew and 11 family members to continue filming an Elvis Presley biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann. 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her government have been criticised for denying entry to devastated families wanting to visit sick and dying relatives. 

But Dr Young has defended Hanks’ exemption, saying he was bringing ‘a lot of money into this state’.

A letter, signed by Dr Young on June 30, was sent to the Australian Border Force Commissioner Mike Outram seeking permission for Hanks to enter to film the movie, The Courier Mail reported.

‘I understand that in order for you to consider an exemption to allow these persons to enter Australia you require confirmation that Queensland supports their entry into our state to resume production,’ Dr Young wrote. 

‘I confirm that Queensland both supports and is willing to accommodate the cast and crew in Queensland.’ 

Cast and crew have since arrived from the US, United Kingdom and Italy, which at the time were recording between 200 to 50,000 cases per day between them. 

The Queensland government wrote to the Border Force boss for permission to allow Tom Hanks (pictured arriving in the Gold Coast in January) to enter the state, while families are being banned from crossing the border to visit sick and dying relatives

The Queensland government wrote to the Border Force boss for permission to allow Tom Hanks (pictured arriving in the Gold Coast in January) to enter the state, while families are being banned from crossing the border to visit sick and dying relatives

The Queensland government wrote to the Border Force boss for permission to allow Tom Hanks (pictured arriving in the Gold Coast in January) to enter the state, while families are being banned from crossing the border to visit sick and dying relatives

Police and Defence Force present as they checked passengers at Brisbane airport flying in from an Adelaide flight on Sunday

Police and Defence Force present as they checked passengers at Brisbane airport flying in from an Adelaide flight on Sunday

Police and Defence Force present as they checked passengers at Brisbane airport flying in from an Adelaide flight on Sunday

Meanwhile, heartbroken families are being told they cannot cross the border into Queensland to visit loved ones on their death bed.

Barbara Zammit is hoping she will be granted access into Queensland to say goodbye to her dying mother, Angela.

Angela is currently receiving palliative care on the Gold Coast, with Ms Zammit saying she was ‘running out of time’.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has become the subject of debate for denying entry into the state for devastated families

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has become the subject of debate for denying entry into the state for devastated families

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has become the subject of debate for denying entry into the state for devastated families

‘There’s nothing anymore. She’s on morphine,’ she told 7News.

After weeks of asking the state, Ms Zammit on Sunday was told she may be allowed to enter the state.

‘We deserve a chance to say goodbye,’ the emotional daughter said.

It comes after Sarah Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane.

It took 20 days to get approved and he died of liver cancer two days before her flight.

The young nurse was banned from attending her father’s funeral on Thursday because officials believed she is a Covid-19 risk even though the ACT has had no cases for 60 days.

Ms Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards and forbidden from seeing her shattered mother and 11-year-old sister.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who lost his own father in January, called Ms Palaszczuk and begged her to let Ms Caisip attend the funeral. 

The Queensland premier refused and then sensationally accused Mr Morrison of bullying and intimidating her. 

Barbara Zammit (back left) is hoping she will be granted access into Queensland to say goodbye to her dying mother, Angela (centre)

Barbara Zammit (back left) is hoping she will be granted access into Queensland to say goodbye to her dying mother, Angela (centre)

Barbara Zammit (back left) is hoping she will be granted access into Queensland to say goodbye to her dying mother, Angela (centre)

Sarah Caisip (in yellow) was allowed to have a private viewing of her father's body, dressed in PPE and with security guards minding her. She was not allowed to greet her family

Sarah Caisip (in yellow) was allowed to have a private viewing of her father's body, dressed in PPE and with security guards minding her. She was not allowed to greet her family

Sarah Caisip (in yellow) was allowed to have a private viewing of her father’s body, dressed in PPE and with security guards minding her. She was not allowed to greet her family

Ms Caisip said Ms Palaszczuk was ‘destroying my life’ and that she would never forgive her. 

Both Ms Palaszczuk and Dr Young have come under fire about the perceived double standards in quarantine restrictions.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton attacked the Queensland government on Friday over Hank’s exemption.  

‘If you are Tom Hanks from California, you are okay. If you are Tom Hanks from Chermside or Castle Hill, sorry, you are not coming in,’ he said.  

Deputy Premier Steven Miles hit back at Mr Dutton and claimed the Australian Border Force actually needed to have granted him permission to enter the country.

‘And what that means is that when Peter Dutton launched that extraordinary attack during the week, he was lying.

‘He was saying that it was us that let Tom Hanks in, when in fact it was him and his own department that let Tom Hanks in,’ Mr Miles claimed.

Mr Hanks (pictured left with wife Rita) is filming an Elvis Presley biopic on the Gold Coast

Mr Hanks (pictured left with wife Rita) is filming an Elvis Presley biopic on the Gold Coast

Mr Hanks (pictured left with wife Rita) is filming an Elvis Presley biopic on the Gold Coast 

Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (pictured) lashed out at the Queensland government for allowing celebrities to enter the state but keeping ordinary families apart

Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (pictured) lashed out at the Queensland government for allowing celebrities to enter the state but keeping ordinary families apart

Federal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (pictured) lashed out at the Queensland government for allowing celebrities to enter the state but keeping ordinary families apart 

Mr Dutton defended the comment saying the movie star would not have been let into the country without Dr Young’s letter of support.

‘If he was coming here as a tourist, he wouldn’t be approved by Border Force,’ Mr Dutton told the ABC.

‘The point is that Mr Hanks should be treated no differently than somebody else coming back, and that’s the basis on which we argue here.

‘Somebody coming from the ACT where there have been no cases, having to go into a hotel in Brisbane for two weeks before they can see a loved one, who has a life expectancy of only one week, is an outrage and there’s no comparison to make there.’

Australian Medical Association of Queensland president Dr Chris Perry fronted media on Sunday telling ‘online trolls to back off’.

Dr Perry said he believed in the science of Dr Young and said Queensland should follow her advice.

‘If she says the border should stay closed, we think they should stay closed,’ he said.

‘I know she is under stress. Queensland Health has given her more support in staff to take the pressure off.’ 

Queensland’s border madness: The heartbroken families

Mark Keans 

Mark Keans, from Brisbane, was diagnosed with inoperable brain and lung cancer in late July and the doctors believe he won’t make it past Christmas.

Health authorities had initially said only one of Mr Keans’ four Sydney-based children – all of whom are under the age of 13 – could cross the border to see him one last time.

Queensland Health did not at first respond to multiple requests for an exemption from the truck driver’s family, but later told them they can drive into the state and pay for two weeks quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.

A fundraising page to pay for their quarantine has raised more than $200,000, including a $1,000 donation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7

Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7

Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7

Kimberley Brown 

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, were told on August 12 that their unborn twins had developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome.

Mrs Brown needed urgent surgery but despite living just two hours away from Queensland’s Mater Hospital doctors told her she would need to apply for a border exemption, which took too long.

She was flown 750km to Sydney but lost one of her twins. 

It came ten days after Premier Palaszczuk declared that Queensland hospitals are ‘for our people’. 

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern NSW, learned that they had lost their unborn baby after being forced to travel 750kms because of Queensland's border restrictions

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern NSW, learned that they had lost their unborn baby after being forced to travel 750kms because of Queensland's border restrictions

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern NSW, learned that they had lost their unborn baby after being forced to travel 750kms because of Queensland’s border restrictions  

Jayne Brown

Jayne Brown, 60, spent two weeks confined to a tiny hotel room in Brisbane following her recent return from Sydney, where renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo removed two large tumours on her brain. 

The grandmother-of-seven requested an exemption from hotel quarantine to self-isolate at home on the Sunshine Coast, but was rejected twice.

She blasted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who allowed 400 AFL players and officials from coronavirus-riddled Victoria to enter the state and quarantine in a luxury hotel.

Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing

Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing

Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing

Sarah Caisip

Sarah Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane – but it took 20 days to get approved and he died of liver cancer two days before her flight. 

The young nurse was banned from attending her father’s funeral on Thursday because officials believed she is a Covid-19 risk even though the ACT has had no cases for 60 days. 

Ms Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards and forbidden from seeing her shattered mother and 11-year-old sister. 

Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father's body, surrounded by guards

Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father's body, surrounded by guards

Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards

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Monica Lewinsky reveals armed men tried to carjack her in 2011, sending her into ‘years of therapy’

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monica lewinsky reveals armed men tried to carjack her in 2011 sending her into years of therapy

Monica Lewinsky has revealed that a group of armed men tried to carjack her in 2011, sending her into an emotional crisis that required years of therapy.  

Lewinsky, who became a household name in the 90s after her affair with Bill Clinton almost cost him his presidency, opened up about the traumatic experience in a personal essay for Vanity Fair on Thursday.

Nine years later, the 47-year-old said she’s come to see The Gun Incident, as she calls it, as a metaphor for the coronavirus pandemic because Americans have spent months ‘threatened with death and disruption’. 

Lewinsky said that she never would have made it through that dark period in her life without counseling – and she doesn’t believe that people will make it through the current health crisis without access to help as well.  

She is now calling for the federal government to establish a ‘mental health czar’ on the same level as Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has led the US response to COVID-19, to help the country cope with the lasting effects of the pandemic in the years to come. 

Monica Lewinsky (pictured) revealed that she underwent years of therapy after a group of armed men tried to carjack her in 2011 in a personal essay for Vanity Fair on Thursday

Monica Lewinsky (pictured) revealed that she underwent years of therapy after a group of armed men tried to carjack her in 2011 in a personal essay for Vanity Fair on Thursday

Monica Lewinsky (pictured) revealed that she underwent years of therapy after a group of armed men tried to carjack her in 2011 in a personal essay for Vanity Fair on Thursday

Lewinsky is calling for the federal government to establish a 'mental health czar' on the same level as Dr Anthony Fauci (pictured), the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has led the US response to COVID-19

Lewinsky is calling for the federal government to establish a 'mental health czar' on the same level as Dr Anthony Fauci (pictured), the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has led the US response to COVID-19

Lewinsky is calling for the federal government to establish a ‘mental health czar’ on the same level as Dr Anthony Fauci (pictured), the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has led the US response to COVID-19

Lewinsky opened her essay by recounting the attempted carjacking, which she said took place at around 10.30pm on March 10, 2011, in Los Angeles. 

She was talking on the phone with a friend while driving home from a Meshell Ndegeocello concert when she decided to pull over onto a residential street a few blocks from her apartment ‘to focus on our conversation’. 

‘It must be safe here,’ she thought to herself, noting that the street was well-lit and there was a man walking by with his dogs. 

About five minutes later she heard voices but figured it was just people arriving home. A bright light reflected off of her side mirror for a moment before cutting off as a man appeared at her door.  

‘I assume he wants directions, but I am alone, and it is nighttime,’ she wrote. ‘As I am about to shoo him away, I look up into his face. It is then I see a menacing look about him, and as I glance away I notice something – he is gripping a gun, brandished at his waist. 

‘I am looking straight down the barrel of A Gun. I feel pure terror. Panic courses through my veins, and “what if I die” thoughts rumble through my head. I duck and brace to hear a gunshot, imagining next: I’ll be shot in the back. But for my own heartbeat, it’s silent, like the moment before an avalanche. 

‘And then, “Get out of the car, bitch!”‘

Suddenly a second person started yanking on Lewinsky’s locked passenger side door. 

‘There are voices—plural. I understand that this is a group—with a gun. This jolts me into survival mode,’ she wrote.

‘I jam my Prius into drive, gun the accelerator, and move forward with my head down. Tires squealing. Praying there are no cars parked in front of me. I speed away in horror.’ 

Lewinsky is pictured in 2013 when she was still reeling from the attempted carjacking

Lewinsky is pictured in 2013 when she was still reeling from the attempted carjacking

Lewinsky is pictured in 2013 when she was still reeling from the attempted carjacking 

While Lewinsky successfully fled from her attackers, the nightmare didn’t end there. 

In the following weeks she said she found herself completely off-kilter, unable to make rational decisions and constantly paranoid about the smallest sounds around her.  

‘What I used to tell myself was “Oh, just the upstairs neighbor,” becomes, “Maybe someone is in the apartment?”‘ she wrote. ‘In situations like these, the heuristics we use to discern danger become obsolete. How can I learn to trust the world again?’

Lewinsky said she’s been in therapy for years, but that she had to increase her counseling substantially after that night.  

‘The trauma required someone to walk me through both the shock and terror of a potentially deadly experience: an expert who could help me begin to navigate a new normal,’ she wrote.

33865404 8794819 image a 47 1601566657641

33865404 8794819 image a 47 1601566657641

‘In an instant, I had entered a world that would never be the same for me again, and yet, yet, I also wanted to be able to move into this new world—and function. There was anxiety, depression, and fear.’

Lewinsky then explained why she chose to speak out about that experience now nearly a decade later, writing: ‘What if I told you that for me, The Gun Incident (as it lives in my brain) has become a metaphor for what’s transpired for all of us this past year—since we’ve been threatened with death and disruption brought on by the coronavirus? 

‘Lately, I have asked myself this question: Could I have moved forward from that moment without any assistance with my mental health and state of well-being? Probably. 

‘But having had that help—that guidance—made a world of difference in metabolizing the trauma of the experience and navigating a new terrain.’

Lewinsky said that she never would have made it through the trauma of the attempted carjacking without counseling - and she doesn't believe that people will make it through the current health crisis without access to help as well

Lewinsky said that she never would have made it through the trauma of the attempted carjacking without counseling - and she doesn't believe that people will make it through the current health crisis without access to help as well

Lewinsky said that she never would have made it through the trauma of the attempted carjacking without counseling – and she doesn’t believe that people will make it through the current health crisis without access to help as well 

She then broke down a number of ways in which the pandemic has upended American life – forcing people indoors and isolating them from friends and relatives for months before everyone started easing back into a new normal.  

‘How do we step out into this new world—emotionally? What about the mental health costs of the underlying anxiety of the times?’ she asked.  

‘There’s an authority figure and voice that has been missing from the COVID-19 conversation since day one: a mental health commissioner or czar. In other words, a mental health version of Anthony Fauci.’ 

Lewinsky outlined her proposal for an authoritative expert who could brief the American people on ‘what is normal to feel in a global pandemic?’

She questioned how different the crisis would have been if such a position had been made at the start of the pandemic so that mental health was given as much attention as physical health.  

‘I’m not suggesting that since the beginning of the crisis no one has mentioned a blip about our emotional states,’ she wrote. ‘What I’m suggesting, instead, is that the administration has overlooked a dire need—and that decision is a reflection of our values and priorities in this country.’

But Lewinsky insisted that its not to late to rectify the situation, as the pandemic’s effects on mental health will likely last for years, so there’s still time to bring someone in to address them. 

Read Lewinsky’s full essay here. 

33865382 8794819 image a 44 1601566591717

33865382 8794819 image a 44 1601566591717

33865386 8794819 image a 45 1601566595451

33865386 8794819 image a 45 1601566595451

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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McDonald’s DITCHES Angus Australia’s certification for its beef

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mcdonalds ditches angus australias certification for its beef

McDonald’s has ditched Angus Australia’s certification program, causing concerns burger lovers may not be getting bang for their buck.

The fast food giant celebrated 11 years since the launch of the McDonald’s Angus burger range on August 25 this year. 

The beef used for the burger range sold across Australia and New Zealand was certified by Angus Australia or through its former subsidiary company Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd. 

Angus Australia said their verification set ‘an important benchmark’ in the fast food sector, which ensured customers buying a McDonald’s Angus burger ‘were getting what they paid for and were consuming genuine Angus beef’.

McDonald's has ditched Angus Australia's certification program and will now use Chicago-based US-Australian food corporation Fulton Market Group for its certification process

McDonald's has ditched Angus Australia's certification program and will now use Chicago-based US-Australian food corporation Fulton Market Group for its certification process

McDonald’s has ditched Angus Australia’s certification program and will now use Chicago-based US-Australian food corporation Fulton Market Group for its certification process

But on September 30 – and more than a decade after a ‘mutual’ relationship – McDonald’s terminated the verification process.

Angus Australia said they were ‘disappointed’ to make the announcement. 

Angus Australia’s Commercial Supply Chain Manager, Liz Pearson said: ‘Whilst we understand that McDonald’s will continue to offer the Angus burger range, Angus Australia will unfortunately no longer be involved in the verification of the integrity of the breed claim for this range.’

‘To that end, Angus Australia can no longer provide assurances that the beef in these burgers is actually Angus.’

Ms Pearson thanked McDonald’s for their ‘confidence’ in the Angus breed and for taking the brand to ‘new heights’.   

‘It is rare for a corporation like McDonald’s to have a partnership with an industry organisation such as has been achieved with Angus Australia,’ she said. 

For the past 11 years, the beef used for the burger range sold across Australia and New Zealand was certified by Angus Australia or through its former subsidiary company Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd (stock image)

For the past 11 years, the beef used for the burger range sold across Australia and New Zealand was certified by Angus Australia or through its former subsidiary company Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd (stock image)

For the past 11 years, the beef used for the burger range sold across Australia and New Zealand was certified by Angus Australia or through its former subsidiary company Certified Angus Group Pty Ltd (stock image)

‘We look forward to new opportunities to collaborate with industry influencers for the benefit of consumers and Angus breeders alike.’

McDonald’s will now use Chicago-based US-Australian food corporation Fulton Market Group for its certification process. 

The fast food giant said it will still ‘support the ongoing promotion and development of Angus beef in Australia and New Zealand’, The Daily Telegraph reported. 

The move will allow McDonald’s to ‘continue to source large volumes of high-quality Angus beef for its Australian and New Zealand Restaurants.’

On September 30 - and more than a decade after a 'mutual' relationship - McDonald's terminated the verification process. Angus Australia said they were 'disappointed' to make the announcement (stock image)

On September 30 - and more than a decade after a 'mutual' relationship - McDonald's terminated the verification process. Angus Australia said they were 'disappointed' to make the announcement (stock image)

On September 30 – and more than a decade after a ‘mutual’ relationship – McDonald’s terminated the verification process. Angus Australia said they were ‘disappointed’ to make the announcement (stock image)

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SARAH VINE: Prince Harry is so busy polishing his halo all he can see is his reflection 

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sarah vine prince harry is so busy polishing his halo all he can see is his reflection

For someone such as myself who has never experienced racism, I think it’s almost impossible to truly comprehend the level of abuse that people of colour endure.

I’ve glimpsed it occasionally secondhand, but until it happens to you or someone you love, the depth of damage it causes can never be truly understood.

Prejudice in all forms is wicked, and racial prejudice is perhaps the most wicked and knuckle-dragging form of all.

There is no question that it exists, and that even in a progressive, multicultural society such as Britain it still rears its ugly head.

Far from making me want to take up my cudgel on behalf of the oppressed, his intervention just makes me want to stick pins in my eyes. If it had been Meghan alone, I would have felt differently

Far from making me want to take up my cudgel on behalf of the oppressed, his intervention just makes me want to stick pins in my eyes. If it had been Meghan alone, I would have felt differently

Far from making me want to take up my cudgel on behalf of the oppressed, his intervention just makes me want to stick pins in my eyes. If it had been Meghan alone, I would have felt differently

There is also no question that it must not be tolerated, either in institutions or in individuals. That, for me — as for most people — is simply non-negotiable.

People should be judged by their actions, not the colour of their skin. It’s not just what’s right, it’s what makes sense — after all, hate only breeds more hate.

So I have no problem whatsoever with the principle of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s latest foray into politics.

In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s a noble cause. What’s not to like about speaking out against prejudice, and lending support to Black History Month, which each year aims to provide a platform for positive discussion?

And what could possibly be wrong with championing Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) trailblazers, men and women who are leaders in their fields and an example to us all?

Why is it, then, that I find Harry and Meghan’s intervention so intensely irritating, shallow and self-serving? Could it perhaps be the sight, yet again, of the pair lecturing the world about poverty and disadvantaged lives from the tasteful greige hues of their £11 million mansion in California? Surely if anyone needs to ‘check their privilege’, it’s them. They are pictured above in Ireland in 2018

Why is it, then, that I find Harry and Meghan’s intervention so intensely irritating, shallow and self-serving? Could it perhaps be the sight, yet again, of the pair lecturing the world about poverty and disadvantaged lives from the tasteful greige hues of their £11 million mansion in California? Surely if anyone needs to ‘check their privilege’, it’s them. They are pictured above in Ireland in 2018

Why is it, then, that I find Harry and Meghan’s intervention so intensely irritating, shallow and self-serving? Could it perhaps be the sight, yet again, of the pair lecturing the world about poverty and disadvantaged lives from the tasteful greige hues of their £11 million mansion in California? Surely if anyone needs to ‘check their privilege’, it’s them. They are pictured above in Ireland in 2018

The answer is: nothing. Nothing at all. So why is it, then, that I find Harry and Meghan’s intervention so intensely irritating, shallow and self-serving?

Could it perhaps be the sight, yet again, of the pair lecturing the world about poverty and disadvantaged lives from the tasteful greige hues of their £11 million mansion in California? Surely if anyone needs to ‘check their privilege’, it’s them.

Or could it be the way they blithely dismiss Britain, one of the most tolerant liberal democracies on the planet, as suffering from ‘structural racism’?

Or maybe it’s just the fact that I have finally grown weary of being told what to do and think by a Prince who, far from demonstrating a desire to fight to make Britain a better place and stand up for the things he claims so passionately to believe in, has chosen to reject the nation that gave him every conceivable advantage in favour of one that offers him the opportunity to capitalise on his royal status to the tune of many millions.

A once honourable man who stood side by side with his fellow citizens but who, of late, seems to run as fast as he can from the slightest challenge; who cannot accept any divergence from his own point of view; who behaves like a petulant child when challenged; and who refuses to accept any compromise when it comes to his not inconsiderable demands.

Someone who wants to cast himself as the champion of the disadvantaged and forgotten, a man of the people, a brave warrior for the truth — but one who exiles himself in glorious splendour in one of the most exclusive gated communities in one of the most rarefied parts of America.

Far from making me want to take up my cudgel on behalf of the oppressed, his intervention just makes me want to stick pins in my eyes.

If it had been Meghan alone, I would have felt differently. After all, she is a woman of colour. She has actual experience of these things. So she has every right to speak out about them.

Harry, by contrast, is driven by the evangelical fervour of the repentant sinner. Because, let’s not forget, this is a person who not so long ago thought it was funny to dress up as a Nazi.

I am happy for his sake, of course, that he has experienced such a positive ‘awakening’. But does he have to shove it down all our throats all of the time?

Meghan and Harry urged Americans to vote in the US presidential election, with Meghan calling it 'the most important election of our lifetime', in a video that was widely seen as a swipe at President Trump

Meghan and Harry urged Americans to vote in the US presidential election, with Meghan calling it 'the most important election of our lifetime', in a video that was widely seen as a swipe at President Trump

Meghan and Harry urged Americans to vote in the US presidential election, with Meghan calling it ‘the most important election of our lifetime’, in a video that was widely seen as a swipe at President Trump

Yet what irritates me most about this latest intervention is that, in their eagerness to show support for this most fashionable of causes, they’ve failed to acknowledge the wider suffering happening across Britain today: coronavirus, which affects every one of us, regardless of colour.

There was not even a whisper of concern or empathy for those whose lives and livelihoods have been devastated by this awful pandemic (one which, of course, has not troubled either of them the slightest in their ivory tower).

I can understand it from Meghan. After all, she never really took to us. But for Harry to demonstrate such thoughtlessness with respect to his fellow countrymen and women is deeply sad.

So, yes, Black History Month is an important event in the cultural calendar. And, yes, we all of us recognise the importance of building a more equal and fair society.

But if we want help and inspiration as to how to overcome such hardships, I think we can do rather better than a Prince who has turned his back on his country, his Queen and his family — and who is so busy polishing his halo that all he can seem to see is his own reflection.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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