In the papers today: 18.02.08. The Minister for Make-Up
The Independent has run a Q&A with the government’s new culture secretary Andy Burnham.
Tim Hale from Chester asks the burning question: ‘You seemed to be wearing a lot of make-up on Question Time the other day. Are you a closet New Romantic?’ Burnham’s answer is suitably vague: ‘I’ve never been a New Romantic, nor worn mascara, but can you ever live down being called the Minister for Make-Up by the Daily Mail? I’m sure my kindly parliamentary colleagues will be lying in wait for me today.’ A lesson in how to say absolutely nothing in 40 words.
The backlash against the Beijing Olympics continues to grow, reports the Guardian , after Stephen Spielberg withdrew from his role as ‘artistic adviser’ last week, citing China’s role in the Darfur crisis. Now Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist who worked alongside Herzog & de Meuron on the ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium, is refusing to attend the opening ceremony because of 'disgusting' political conditions, and Prince Charles has told his pals the Dalai Lama and the Free Tibet movement that he will also be absent. Who next?
The media continues to twitter on about green energy and zero-carbon homes. Today’s reasons for Britain being unable to meet its targets include ‘government apathy’ (the Guardian ) and ‘build failings’ (the Telegraph ). Self-fulfilling prophecy anyone? It seems that only the public is capable of being positive, with Saturday's Guardian reporting that eight Green Streets around the country have gone into battle to see which can save the most energy in the next year.
Donald Trump is in deep in Scotland, says the Independent. The property tycoon used an unregistered coat of arms, replacing the original Latin script with his own name (classy), to promote his nightmare plans for a £1 billion golf resort near Aberdeen, breaking ‘Scotland’s ancient heraldic laws’ apparently. Unfortunately the fine is only £100 – not likely to bother billionaire Trump.
The wrecking ball looms over the family home of '70s pop duo the Carpenters in Downey, California, again in the Independent . The owners of the house have had enough of the Carpenters pilgrims who show up on their doorstep and complain about the upkeep of the garden, and are building a new house, with plans to raze the original. But fans are not letting it go without a fight ‘This house is our version of Graceland,’ said Jon Konjoyan, who made his first visit in 1974 and is campaigning to raise funds to buy it from the owners.
In the Evening Standard , Simon Jenkins rails against architects and their grand designs in a piece about Camden Lock market, which was engulfed in flames last weekend. ‘Don’t imagine architects can change their spots and design an urban stage as compelling as the Victorians did. They can’t,’ writes Jenkins. ‘Just rebuild it. Don’t argue.’ And so begins the predictable row over what to do about Camden.