PLATELL’S PEOPLE: This selfish rugby star Henry Slade is all brawn but no brain
To millions of us rugby fans, England’s Henry Slade is the kind of sporting hero we most admire — in his red-rose shirt, he’s a dashing combination of power, precision and elegance with 38 caps to his name.
Slade is a role model whose experience makes him one of the game’s ‘custodians’, one whose defensive skill means he often takes on the role of protecting others.
And yet this week, perhaps in a churlish response to not being picked for the Lions tour of South Africa, the 28-year-old kicked up saying he will not take the Covid vaccine.
In a world where those reluctant to get jabbed look to their leaders — cultural, spiritual and, yes, sporting — Slade said: ‘I just think there isn’t enough testing to deem it safe. There’s no way of knowing what will happen with the vaccine in the future. I don’t fancy it.’
England’s Henry Slade, 28, considered to be a role model, kicked up saying he will not take the Covid vaccine
And so, just as the Indian variant is raging, he plays into the paranoia of others reluctant to get a jab that could free not just young, privileged, well-paid men such as him from the tyranny of lockdown but the elderly, vulnerable, infirm and the poor.
What selfishness from this supreme athlete who won our admiration because he plays at the highest level despite having type 1 diabetes. There we are, all desperately hoping that in a few weeks, on June 21, we’ll be freed, and along comes Henry Slade, the first high-profile sports personality to voice such groundless fears, dropping a bomb on the country’s recovery.
AMANDA PLATELL: He plays into the paranoia of others reluctant to get a jab that could free not just young, privileged, well-paid men such as him from the tyranny of lockdown but the elderly, vulnerable, infirm and the poor
Slade, the first high-profile sports personality to voice such groundless fears, is ‘dropping a bomb on the country’s recovery’
How stupid can you get? Diabetes puts him in the ‘vulnerable’ category for Covid risk, and Diabetes UK ‘strongly encourages’ anyone with the condition to get vaccinated.
And if he ever wants the game he loves to get back to normal — with a full Twickenham stadium roaring England on — then the only way is for people to be vaccinated. Why should he be the exception?
The risk of serious side-effects from the jab such as blood clots is vanishingly small, while the benefits are incalculable. With the privilege of playing for your country comes immense responsibility. And he has shamelessly shirked it.
All admiration I had for him is gone. He may have a rugby player’s brawn — but there’s no brain there at all.
In his latest outpourings of wisdom and pain, Prince Harry declares climate change is inextricably linked to the worldwide epidemic of mental health issues. Jolly good. How long before he’s campaigning for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to become a right for polar bears?
Betrayal of those 96 fans
Thirty-two years after the Hillsborough disaster and a trial against two former senior policemen accused of tampering with evidence after the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans collapses over a legal technicality.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke for us all when he said: ‘It was the greatest scandal of British policing of our lifetimes, the pain is still with those families and, when no one is held to account, something has gone wrong in our criminal justice system.’
I just wonder how swiftly justice would have been served had it been police officers who died that day.
West’s natural woman
Much excitement as Kanye West is rumoured to be secretly dating the Russian model Irina Shayk after his wife Kim Kardashian filed for divorce. And surely some confusion for Kanye, too, now that he’s getting close to a woman with a lovely natural body, and not one who makes millions digitally enhancing her form to con impressionable young girls into trying to achieve the impossible.
Much excitement as Kanye West is rumoured to be secretly dating the Russian model Irina Shayk (pictured) after his wife Kim Kardashian filed for divorce
After Embarrassing Bodies TV doctor Christian Jessen posted a tweet falsely claiming Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster was having an extra-marital affair, she politely asked him to remove it.
When he refused, she took him to court and won £125,000 damages in what her lawyer believes is ‘a record award for a tweet’. What a salutary lesson for all those abused on social media, people such as Man United star Marcus Rashford, regularly abused by racist trolls. Don’t just shame them, Marcus. Sue ’em!
We’ll be there for you, Jen
Revealing moments from the Friends Reunion. Their friendship is as frozen in time and Botox as their collective foreheads.
Jennifer Aniston (Rachel) and David Schwimmer (Ross) said they weren’t just acting but were ‘crushing on each other’ in real life throughout the entire series yet, because both were in other relationships, nothing happened.
Now they’re both single, how wonderful it would be for their bank balances and all us fans if they were renunited as more than just Friends, on and off screen.
Jennifer Aniston (Rachel) and David Schwimmer (Ross) said they weren’t just acting but were ‘crushing on each other’ in real life throughout the entire series yet, because both were in other relationships, nothing happened
A poll of the movie soundbites most remembered by children and likely to empower them has Let It Go, from Frozen, as No 1. Yet for any child troubled by a world pandemic and their future role in saving the planet, top award should have gone to the fourth favourite Bob The Builder’s message of hope: ‘Can we fix it? Yes we can.’
Jeremy Clarkson’s former long-term girlfriend Phillipa Sage says ‘he was the love of my life’ and that after the break-up of her relationship with the former Top Gear star, which began around 2011 and ended in 2017, she suffered a terrible breakdown.
‘I thought it would last forever,’ she says. Yes, just as his wife Frances probably thought when she married Clarkson in 1993 and who was still married to him when Phillipa came along.
Jeremy Clarkson’s former long-term girlfriend Phillipa Sage says ‘he was the love of my life’ and that after the break-up of her relationship with the former Top Gear star, which began around 2011 and ended in 2017, she suffered a terrible breakdown
Having raised £39 million for the NHS, Captain Tom Moore left a modest £73,000 in his will, to be divided between his daughters who had lovingly cared for him in his latter years. He also donated his body to medical research. What treasures they could learn from a 100-year-old’s heart that captured the world, beating so strongly until the very end.
- A scintilla of sympathy for Matt Hancock after Dominic Cummings accused him of lying over claims he’d placed a ‘protective ring’ around care homes. One hopes he now understands how those care home folk and their families felt, being sent defenceless into the lion’s den.
- When the inquiry into Covid finally begins and the PM has to justify the decisions he made during this pandemic, his best blustering option might be the maxim of General Patton: ‘A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.’
- Perhaps unwise of Cummings to attack Carrie Symonds for going ‘completely crackers’ over claims she and Bojo wanted to get rid of their rehomed dog Dilyn. Doesn’t she have expertise rescuing an old mutt with mangy hair who despoils furniture and has been repeatedly rehomed —mostly after his former wife threw him out?
Reports suggest, after five years apart, Angelina Jolie is still fighting in the courts with her ex Brad Pitt over access to their children, some adopted, some biological. A judge has given him joint access and she’s not happy. It seems that Ange cannot bear the thought that their kids might actually love their dad.
I’ll look after Ted
Amid the Mail’s shocking revelations about the private-equity vultures, scandalously taking over companies and stripping them of assets, I was struck by the fact more than half of vets in the UK are owned by just six companies and three are private equity owned.
And this explains the soaring vets’ bills, according to critics.
So I made a vow to my moggie Ted, now eight and middle-aged in cat years, that we will no longer have any truck with them. I will not pay for exorbitant regular scans on his heart arrhythmia, which they claim he suffers from, nor for his teeth extractions.
If yellowing old teeth were good enough for the Queen Mum who died aged 101, they’re good enough for Ted.
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