It started under a Leicester car park, and almost inevitably involves a boycott of Walkers’ crisps
• Abusive comments, offensive cartoons: it sounds like the Wars of the Roses are breaking out again, at least on the Facebook page of the Richard III Society, and it’s all over whether the old boy’s skeleton, discovered under a car park in Leicester, should be reburied in the cathedral there or at York Minster.
• Abusive comments, offensive cartoons: it sounds like the Wars of the Roses are breaking out again, at least on the Facebook page of the Richard III Society, and it’s all over whether the old boy’s skeleton, discovered under a car park in Leicester, should be reburied in the cathedral there or at York Minster. Tempers are getting quite heated – no mean feat, considering he’s been dead for nearly 530 years – and the society’s told its members to cool it. Future posts that denigrate either York or Leicester will be deleted and persistent offenders blocked, it warns: there’s no place for mud-slinging or fatuous comments. That does not seem to have deterred one Kathryn Anderson, a protagonist for York. She says that opening her heart to reburying the bones in Leicester will never happen: “I will never come within 10 miles of the place unless I am on a motorway … an anointed king deserves better than a slab on the floor of a converted parish church. I will never put 1p into Leicester’s economy.” Furthermore, she’s going to boycott products made in Leicester, including – the ultimate sacrifice – Walkers crisps. She does, however, retain a sense of perspective: “I know I am taking this far too seriously. My husband has forbidden me to talk about it.” I wonder why?
• Incidentally, bad news for the 15 extant descendants of Richard III who claim their human rights have been abused because they have not been consulted about his reburial. The statistical whizzes of BBC Radio 4’s More or Less series have done a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and reckon there’s now between one and 15 million people descended from his line. There’s a little bit of the divinity that doth hedge a king in quite a few of us, it seems. Not sure that Richard was too concerned about human rights in his day. Or elf’n’safety, for that matter.
• Speaking of royals, good to see the Duke of Edinburgh is still up and at ’em as his 92nd birthday approaches. He scooted off to Toronto recently to present colours to the Royal Canadian Regiment, and was introduced to a soldier who had been mentioned in dispatches in Afghanistan. The man had been shot in the back but was saved by his body armour: “Yes, but did you get the guy?” was what the iron duke wanted to know.
• Turmoil between Labour and the Young European Socialists (YES) movement over British participation in this year’s summer camp in Turkey. At last year’s in Croatia, attended by 50 Brits, there was a nasty incident when one of them was subjected to homophobic abuse by a Slovenian, who was then expelled. This year, as reported in the Diary earlier this month, Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, has not only cut British attendance from 50 to 10, but written to other socialist parties telling them not to allow any Brits to sneak past in their delegations. A bit rum, when Labour is so keen on European engagement, to be shouting from the sidelines. Isn’t that what Tories do? It’s prompted a furious letter from Kaisa Penny, the movement’s Finnish president, telling McNicol that Labour can’t control who other delegations send, and to stop lecturing everyone else.
• Downing Street’s flogging off four 18th-century chairs at Christie’s and hopes to get £100,000 for them. Who cares if Lib Dem cabinet members have to stand in future?
• Another triumph for UK immigration services. The British consulate in Istanbul has told the Kazakh artist Karipbek Kuyukov, who was born without arms, that he can’t have a visa because he couldn’t supply any fingerprints. Cunning, eh? Kuyukov was one of many disabled children born near Soviet nuclear plants, and had wanted to attend an anti-nuclear conference in Edinburgh. It was all a miscommunication, says the Home Office …
• You probably need to know the plot of Shakespeare’s goriest play, Titus Andronicus, to appreciate the new menu at the RSC’s rooftop restaurant. Disappointingly, Titus Pie will be filled with steak and kidney under a puff pastry crust. No actors were harmed during the making of this production.