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Mark Andrews on Saturday: Morose musicians and some Priti weird language

By Mark Andrews | Opinions | Published:

Read today's column from Mark Andrews

Give us a smile, love – Billie Eilish

Dave and Mabel were the star attractions of the Brit Awards, then.

Like most people, I didn't actually watch the Brits. As with all these other entertainment awards, I can't really see the point.

Just as a hatful of Oscars is not going to make me sit through a dreary Korean film with subtitles, I don't need my musical tastes validated by the British Phonographic Industry.

Dave with his Mastercard Album of the Year award on stage at the Brit Awards 2020

Anyhow, when the highlights were shown on the news, I was slightly surprised. I imagined Dave and Mabel would be a pair of cuddly pensioners in grey cardigans and beige slacks, but Mabel is a tattooed 23-year-old in a dress which looks like it has been fed through the paper shredder. But to be fair, she managed a smile, and does actually sing songs.

Dave, by contrast, just stood in front of a piano and mumbled a few random grievances about politics, Kate Middleton and the tabloid press. And he was up for two awards. Now I'm pretty down with the kids and in touch with youth culture, but is that really what passes for music these days?

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Mabel arriving at the Brit Awards 2020

Then we come to Billie Eilish. She's 18 years old. She's just recorded the theme to the new James Bond film, and has probably already earned more money than most of us will see in our lifetimes. So when she was presented with her gong for best international female artist, you would think she would be as pleased as punch? No, she burst into tears and said she felt everybody hated her. Really? Because until a few weeks ago, I had never even heard of her, and I certainly don't know anybody who hates her.

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Say what you like about Brotherhood of Man, but at least they seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

Home Secretary Priti Patel says potential migrants to the UK must be fluent in English before they settle in the UK.

Fair enough, but she might also take a look at the language skills of some of the people who have been working in the UK for several years.

Priti Patel

For example, I have just read a report which talks about 'policing stakeholders' being 'disincentivised' by recent changes, a 'bespoke analysis of the 2017/18 dataset' and a 'framework for RUI and VA cases'.

And the name on the top of this report? Erm, Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Talking of which, some people would do well to remember the old adage of 'when in a hole, stop digging'.

Training 'facilitator' Jonathan Bannister has stepped in to defend a recent session where Walsall councillors were told to play with Lego.

That's what a workshop looks like

Demonstrating the benefits of such sessions, he explains: “The example of a shark eating a person was used by someone in a recent workshop to explain how they were feeling about a project they were leading."

Sorry, but you lost me with 'workshop'. Nobody who talks about workshops should ever be taken seriously unless there are hammers and chisels involved.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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