False Flags?

Are Russia and Syria really to blame for recent chemical and biological attacks, or could they be being framed? Senior figures from the military and intelligence community warn us to beware “false flags”.

VIDEO SCRIPT:

Justified military action or was there dirty tricks?
Should we believe what they tell us?
Or beware false flags?

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. Did Assad use chemical weapons on his own people? Did Russia deploy nerve agent in Britain? Or are these examples of false flags?

A false flag operation is an attempt to frame a country for a crime… used in the world of espionage and covert operations, normally when one side seeks to damage the reputation of another for its own political ends.

Last week’s US-led missile strike on Syria followed the west blaming Bashar al Assad for gassing his own people. But Russia says: either there was no gas attack; or it was carried out by western agents as a ruse to justify military intervention.

Even a Republican senator told CNN the US, UK and French explanation doesn’t add up:

US Senator Rand Paul. ‘The Situation Room with Wold Blitzer’ – CNN. April 17th 2018
“Assad must be either the dumbest dictator on the planet or maybe he didn’t do it. I have yet to see evidence that he did do it. The intelligence agencies claim they have that evidence, but think about it: does it make any sense? He’s been winning the war.”

It’s true. It doesn’t make any sense. The only way Assad can lose the war is if the west gets involved. So, why do something like this?

Now, I am loathe to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but people in the military and intelligence worlds know false flags happen all the time.

Admiral Lord West. Former First Sea Lord – BBC News. April 16th 2018.
“We know that in the past some of the Islamist groups have used chemicals and, of course, there would be huge benefits in them labelling an attack as coming from Assad.”

And that’s the question to ask: who benefits? Local rebels? Israel? Saudi Arabia? These parties all win if relations with Russia or Syria worsen.

When a Russian traitor was attacked with nerve agent on the streets of Salisbury, all fingers pointed to Moscow… obviously.

That’s my point. It’s so obvious.

Could they not have given him a drug that induces a heart attack? Why use a biological agent, tantamount to leaving their fingerprints on the murder weapon?

Another example… US intelligence agencies blame Russia for hacking into the email server of the Democratic Party during the presidential campaign. But the man who is now US National Security Adviser told Fox News he disagreed:

John Bolton. US National Security Advisor – Fox News. Dec 11th 2016
“It’s not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and RNC computers was not a false flag operation. Let’s remember what FBI Director, James Comey said dealing with Hillary’s home-brew server. He said: we found no direct evidence of foreign intelligence service penetration, but given the nature of this, we didn’t expect to, meaning a really sophisticated foreign intelligence service wouldn’t leave any cyber fingerprints.”

Bolton went on to imply the Obama Administration itself could have ordered a hack to make it look like the Russians did it.

I know this sounds paranoid and fanciful, but he knows how these people think because they work for him.

Now, I acknowledge both Assad and Putin are perfectly capable of committing these crimes. They’ve done it before.

And it could all be a cunning double bluff, where the actions are so clumsy, precisely because they want it to look like they’re being framed… so they get away with it.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Trump: Best and Worst

Sex scandals, political corruption and policy confusion – the hallmarks of the Trump White House. But the odds are even whether this presidency will bring about world peace, or end in impeachment.

VIDEO SCRIPT:

The president and the porn star.
The dotard and Little Rocket Man.
Trump – at his best and worst.

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. It’s never boring when there’s a boorish president in the White House.

The US Administration is in a constant state of chaos, as it has been, every day since Donald Trump came to office. He says he likes conflict in the work place… to put rivals in the same room, to fight it out, before deciding which side to favour.

But recent events show the president at his best and worst.

First, Stormy Daniels. A porn star is suing the President of the United States over a now public Non Disclosure Agreement, drawn up to prevent her talking about their adulterous sexual relationship.

Stormy’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti blitzed the airwaves, revealing the contents of the once-secret document.

It refers to “text messages… audio or image recordings” that Trump sent to Stormy; and significantly it seeks to buy her silence on “paternity information”. Does that imply the relationship might have led to a pregnancy?

The president’s spokeswoman stood at the podium of the White House and clumsily confirmed the president is the ‘David Dennison’, the fake name used in the contract.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders. White House Press Secretary
“I can share that arbitration was won in the president’s favour and I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.”

Forget about the sexual titillation of this story and look at what it reveals.

Trump’s modus operandi is to deny, lie, get other people to lie, threaten, cover-up, payoff and lie some more. The $130,000 paid to the porn star is potentially classed as an undisclosed campaign contribution, which means either Trump or his lawyer may have committed a federal crime.

Next, Trump’s decision to attend a summit with the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un. I happen to think this is a good decision. The US should talk to its enemies and rivals around the world… not just North Korea, but also Iran, Syria and others.

My problem is the way Trump makes decisions in this erratic, spur-of-the-moment manner. Agreeing with the last person he spoke with. And failing to inform his allies or anyone in the administration before blurting it out, often on Twitter.

It’s clear the Secretary of State and the Defense Secretary knew nothing of the summit with Kim until they heard it on TV.

Trump is like a senile old grandpa, who should be lying down, but instead he’s walking around the neighbourhood in his pyjamas.

At best, Trump is the outsider, cutting through the inertia of government bureaucracy and shooting from the hip. Because he’s seen as a madman on the loose, America’s enemies might just rush to make a deal for peace.

At worst, Trump’s character is sleazy, corrupt and amoral… and his past is the best predictor of his future behaviour.

Next week, this mercurial leader could bring world peace, world war or invite strippers to a Cabinet meeting.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Non-Disclosure

Should we make non-disclosure agreements illegal? NDAs are used by powerful corporations and people to buy off complaints and keep their dirty secrets. Isn’t this an abuse of power that’s contrary to the public interest?

VIDEO SCRIPT:

Non-disclosure agreements.
Protecting your confidentiality?
Or hush money to cover up dirty secrets?

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. We all want to protect our private information, but when does this amount to an abuse of power, contrary to the public interest?

A non-disclosure agreement – or NDA – is a legally enforceable contract that prevents one or all parties talking about key facts, often including the existence of the NDA, itself.

NDAs do have a legitimate purpose in business, such as protecting trade secrets.

However, they have fallen into disrepute because powerful companies and individuals use them effectively to bribe people.

‘We’ll give you a wad of money, but you have to keep your mouth shut about whatever is the issue in dispute.’

JIMMY KIMMEL:
“Please welcome Stormy Daniels.”

Watch this. Porn star Stormy Daniels is said to have been paid $130,000 to keep schtum about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.

JIMMY KIMMEL:
“I know you either do or don’t have a non-disclosure agreement, which if you didn’t have a non-disclosure agreement… do you have a non-disclosure agreement?”

STORMY DANIELS:
“Do I?”

JIMMY KIMMEL:
“You can’t say whether you have a non-disclosure agreement, but if you didn’t have a non-disclosure agreement, you most certainly could say: ‘I don’t have a non-disclosure agreement’. Yes’?”

STORMY DANIELS:
“You’re so smart, Jimmy.”

JIMMY KIMMEL:
“Thank you very much.”

Sex and sexual harassment are big areas for NDAs. Movie producer, Harvey Weinstein used NDAs with some of the women, now accusing him of abuse.

But NDAs are also used by employers in discrimination claims and by companies to cover up dodgy products that injure customers… anything, where it’s cheaper to buy off one or two complainants, as long as they promise to keep their silence.

Now, you could argue: if you accuse me of, say, sexual harassment. Then without admitting guilt, I pay you x thousand pounds, just to make the whole thing go away, what’s wrong with that?

If I ask you to sign an NDA in exchange for the settlement, you don’t have to sign it. You can choose to go public and take the issue to court. But, of course, you might lose the law suit.

Clearly, this issue isn’t straightforward.

However, the law does limit what we can put in private contracts. For example, betting contracts are not enforceable and you cannot make a contract to buy or sell your body parts.

So, I propose we legislate how and when NDAs can be used.

I would exclude all circumstances which relate to alleged criminal behaviour; also personal injury in civil matters; sexual harassment; and a blanket ban on NDAs to protect public bodies and charities, other than legitimate trade secrets and data protection.

Those are the controversial areas, where the danger to society at large outweighs the potential financial benefit to a complainant, who might even prefer to do a secret deal.

Secrecy rarely leads to good governance or to good behaviour. It’s time for legislators to crack down on the abuse of power that NDAs represent.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thank for watching.

Wanted in the USA

Just EIGHT American citizens have been extradited to the UK in the past 10 years, according to a Freedom of Information disclosure. Meantime, the US continues to demand the UK sends criminal suspects over there. Why does the UK accept such a biassed extradition treaty?

VIDEO SCRIPT:

Wanted in the USA.

New figures reveal a five to one bias in the number of people extradited between Britain and America.

Fewer than one US citizen is extradited here, every year.

Hi. I’m Leon Hawthorne. President Trump puts America first. When it comes to extradition, the British government also puts the US before its own citizens.

A few months ago, I did a show on the 2003 Extradition Treaty between the US and UK. I argued the British government is failing to protect its citizens, by extraditing them to America, on evidence that would not be sufficient to bring criminal charges in a British court.

At the time, both the UK and US governments refused to give me any figures on how many people had been, or are being, extradited.

So, I submitted Freedom of Information requests, separately to both governments. The British Home Office responded:

In the past ten and a half years, since the Extradition Treaty came into force (April 2007 and December 2017), eight US citizens – yes, count them on your fingers, just 8 – have been extradited from the US to the UK. That’s fewer than one every year.

In the same period, five times as many, 40 British citizens were extradited to the US.

Now, what’s staggering about this is just how small the numbers are. Is it really worth having such a politically divisive and one-sided treaty when the potential benefits in fighting crime are so minimal?

Whereas the dis-benefits to the principles of justice and our government defending its citizens are so obvious.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice – led by Attorney General, Jeff Sessions – has failed to give me any numbers. It says my data request presents “unusual circumstances”… whatever that means… so it’s delaying a response.

A minor point, perhaps, but why are both governments so reluctant to let the public see this data?

There have been two big extradition cases in the news recently.

The case of Lauri Love, the 33-year old autistic Brit, accused of hacking into US government computers.

The Court of Appeal ruled he could not be extradited, as this would represent a breach of his human rights. Lauri told Channel 4 News: he was driven to near suicide.

LAURI LOVE, SPEAKING ON CHANNEL 4 NEWS.
“It’s a feeling of constant continuous despair that stays at the back of your mind, knowing at some point you may be plucked away, thousands of miles, to possibly never see your friends and loved ones again.”

The second case is that of Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange. A British court ruled he should be arrested for breaching his bail conditions if he steps outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange fears he would be extradited to the United States on charges of espionage.

Look. If either Assange or Mr Love have committed crimes, they should face justice… British justice. We should not kowtow to any foreign government, friend or foe, and outsource our jurisdiction to them.

The truth is when the Crown Prosecution Service fails to bring charges, it’s because the case is flimsy.

In which case, we should not be extraditing these people to face American courts, which we all know would indict a ham sandwich.

It’s time British political leaders got some backbone and scrapped this ridiculous treaty.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Brexit: End Goal

More Brexit ‘Mayhem’ for the Government. The Tories are in disarray over our exit strategy, while EU leaders walk all over us. When will our politicians get on with it and do what we told them to do in the referendum?

VIDEO SCRIPT:

Brexit chaos and confusion.
Theresa May under attack.
What is her exit strategy?

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. Another Tory civil war over Europe while the EU prepares to take us to the cleaners in the next phase of negotiations.

Brexit means Brexit, she said. So, why’s it so difficult for Theresa May’s Government to say what is its end goal? What relationship does it want with Europe after we quit?

Remainers are quick to say: nobody voted to make themselves poorer. So, they are mobilising to reverse the result of the referendum or, at least, keep us in the Single Market and Customs Union.

But everyone agrees immigration was the number one reason people voted for Brexit. If we stay in the Single Market, we have no control over EU immigration.

Paying money to the EU budget and subjugation to the European Court were also big reasons for the vote. Again, these continue if we accept any of the soft Brexit options.

Let me deal with the transition period. That’s the time after we leave the EU on March 29th 2019 until a final arrangement comes into force in December 2020.

The EU says during this time, effectively we get the same deal as Norway. Everything stays the same, except we don’t have any voting rights.

In my opinion, it’s not worth wasting time challenging this. The reason we need a transition period is because our government wasted so much time. So, let’s just focus on the end goal.

This is what I think. It’s not just about the economy. There’s more to life than money. There’s national dignity, sovereignty and independence.

There might be a short-term economic blip. All change is difficult, but then we will find new markets and new opportunities, unhindered by the lead weight of EU bureaucracy.

A realistic goal is something like CETA, Canada’s agreement with the EU. We can cut and paste that trade deal and spend the next few months negotiating adding services on top.

The EU has long wanted a levy on financial service transactions. I think that is unavoidable. Let the banks pay a fee in order to do business freely in the EU. But the British taxpayer should not pay to trade.

After our divorce bill and the end of the transition period, Britain should not pay any further money to the EU. The USA doesn’t, Canada doesn’t, so we will not.

We can agree visa-free travel for the peoples of Europe, the same deal we have with the US, allowing stays of up to 90 days.

But for immigration and work, we would set our own criteria and numbers on an annual basis, as required by our economy.

We would not be subject to the European Court of Justice. There should be a neutral arbitration body for any treaty disputes.

This is not rocket science. This is simple, fair and achievable within a few months. Time for our government to get on with it.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Extraordinary Rendition

MI5, MI6 and the whole British Government’s on trial for kidnap and torture. Abdel-Hakim Belhaj was delivered to Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi as a favour by the Blair administration. Now, Whitehall wants the trial to happen in a secret court in London, behind closed doors.

VIDEO SCRIPT:

Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary (2001-06): “Justice is the starting point of everything we stand for.”

Kidnap, torture and dirty deals with a dictator.
The British Government’s in the dock for extraordinary rendition.

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. We all know about America’s water boarding and prisoner abuse in the War on Terror, but does Britain also have blood on its hands?

Abdel-Hakim Belhaj is a rebel Libyan politician, who in 2004 was kidnapped in Bangkok by the CIA and MI6 and delivered, gift-wrapped to Colonel Gaddafi. At the time, Gaddafi was the West’s new best friend, after he had got rid of his weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Belhaj’s pregnant wife, Fatima Boudchar was also abducted. Both were imprisoned and repeatedly tortured.

Evidence of British involvement came to light when Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. Incriminating documents were found in the ruins of the office of Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa.

The British Foreign Secretary was Labour’s Jack Straw. The Head of MI6 was Sir Mark Allen. Both men personally as well as MI6, MI5, the Home Office, Foreign Office and the Attorney General are now being sued in London by Mr Belhaj.

Despite his terrible abuse, he’s not asking for money. He has offered to settle the case for £3 and a public apology.

But the British Government has closed ranks, using the full weight of the state to try to crush the court action. So far, spending an estimated half a million pounds in legal fees.

The Government doesn’t appear to challenge the basic facts. It seems to be saying: yes, we kidnapped him and sat in the back of the room when he was being tortured, but none of that is illegal. We have sovereign immunity from prosecution and all this should be heard in secret.

Separate to the civil law suit, the Metropolitan Police conducted an investigation
into whether anybody broke UK criminal law.

Alison Saunders, the beleaguered Director of Public Prosecution decided not to bring charges. Mr Belhaj has challenged her decision, asking for a judicial review. The Government wants any review to be held in secret, without Mr Belhaj’s lawyers having access to crucial evidence… on the basis this could damage national security.

There’s a famous saying that justice must be done and be seen to be done. How can we have justice when the Government insists on secret courts? And does this secrecy really protect national security or merely avoid political embarrassment?

In any case, the Government could use a Public Interest Immunity certificate, an alternative method to stop national secrets getting into the public domain. But that means it couldn’t use the evidence as part of its defence.

What’s clear is: the Blair Government undoubtedly participated in extraordinary rendition and lied about this to parliament and the people.

They might argue: kidnap and torture are a price worth paying to cosy up to a dictator who’s on “our side”. Well, let them stand up in open court, or in parliament and make that case instead of wasting taxpayers’ money trying to frustrate natural justice.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Plastic Waste

China’s New Year message to Britain: keep your rubbish! The Beijing government introduces a ban on importing foreign plastic waste for recycling, leaving local councils in the UK with a sticky problem.

VIDEO SCRIPT:

China’s New Year message to Britain…
Stop dumping your plastic waste on us.

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. From today, the Chinese government is banning the importation of plastic waste for recycling.

You know those recycling bins that make you feel good about yourself. Well, when we put our shopping bags and plastic bottles in there, local councils had been shipping most of it to China. Half a million tonnes a year.

But China doesn’t want to be the world’s dumping ground anymore. It’s banned 24 categories of plastic waste, which previously it had recycled into low grade materials used in its manufacturing industries.

Chinese industry is moving up the value chain. So, Beijing is saying: from now on, you deal with your own plastic problem.

This has created a massive headache for local government in Britain. The bins are filling up and they don’t know what to do.

Some councils are exploring exporting the plastic waste to alternative countries like Indonesia and India.

To me, it’s immoral and offensive that we should be dumping our waste on poor countries, while we continue to gorge ourselves on excess consumerism.

In any case, those countries don’t have the capacity to deal with our waste.

In the short term, it looks as if councils will have to send more plastic to landfill; or alternatively incinerate it.

At least, incineration can produce energy that goes back into the National Grid, but burning obviously contributes carbon and other toxic fumes to the atmosphere.

The government in London has been caught napping. Environment Secretary Michael Gove admitted he hadn’t given the subject much thought.

Well, start thinking, Michael.

This is an opportunity to develop an efficient recycling industry; and of course to encourage the reduction in single use disposable plastics.

Some of this can be achieved by us, consumers – in the choices we make; and by businesses going beyond the law and acting in a socially responsible manner.

But government action is needed to encourage or force less packaging altogether and greater use of recyclable materials.

Other simple initiatives include more public water fountains, so we don’t have to buy water in plastic bottles.

A deposit return scheme for plastic bottles at supermarkets.

The true cost of using plastic – which includes the cost of disposal and recycling – must be reflected in the prices we pay.

So, the Chinese New Year message should be welcomed for the opportunity it gives us to put our own household rubbish in order.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Bitcoin Bubble

Bitcoin has jumped 1900% in value this year. So, is the digital currency really the future of money or is it just a crypto-pyramid scheme?

VIDEO SCRIPT:

One Bitcoin – $20,000.
How could a made-up digital currency have this value?
And when will the Bitcoin bubble burst?

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. Bitcoin has become respectable… shaking off its image as the preferred currency of drug dealers and computer hackers.

Bitcoin has experienced a massive rise in value, as ordinary people join the gold rush, trying to make a quick buck out of the cryptocurrency.

In January 2017, one Bitcoin was worth $1,000. Today, it’s touching $20,000.

This level of price volatility lead some critics to conclude: Bitcoin has all the hallmarks of a dangerous pyramid scheme, whose price will crash as rapidly as it has risen.

So, what exactly is Bitcoin?

Imagine a ledger stored on a computer that says I have ten units of value. This is just a made-up number in a computer file. But if other people are willing to exchange goods and services for these units, then they function like money.

Bitcoin is one of hundreds of these digital currencies. It’s the biggest, then there’s Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and others.

The key thing is: unlike regular currencies, like the dollar, which is controlled by the Federal Reserve, Bitcoin is not controlled by any government or central bank.

People exchange Bitcoins in encrypted transactions between themselves without the need for an intermediary clearing house, so transaction costs are negligible and your Bitcoins cannot easily be seized by police. One reason the authorities dislike it.

There is a method of validating Bitcoin transactions and controlling the volume of the currency floating around. This is done in what’s called the blockchain, complex mathematical calculations using the shared computing power of millions of users.

The fear is whether Bitcoin could be manipulated by hackers, who steal your money or simply create more for themselves. But this is exactly what happens with so called real money.

Banks are robbed. Credit cards cloned. Personal accounts hacked. Worse still, the banking system on which modern society depends is a house of cards, prone to periodic crises that can topple the whole economy.

The Bank of England’s response to the 2008 banking crisis was to create – from thin air – 435 billion digital pounds to buy up government debt in a process known as quantitative easing. What’s the difference between that and what Bitcoin does?

Bitcoin was created the year quantitative easing began, 2009. The inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, released it as open source computer software. His motivation was to liberate citizens from corrupt banks and incompetent regulators. The jury is still out on whether Bitcoin really does help or whether it creates a new layer of problems.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Predators Online

British police arrest 200 suspected paedophiles in one week. They launch a campaign warning parents about abusers who lure children into streaming explicit images online.

VIDEO SCRIPT:

200 suspected paedophiles arrested in one week.

Trying to find young victims on the Internet.

How safe is the web for our children?

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. The latest weapon in the paedophile’s toolbox is live streaming abuse on the Internet.

The National Crime Agency says paedophiles pose as teenagers in chatrooms and persuade younger children to send indecent images. Then they blackmail the children, forcing them to live stream increasingly explicit images, or even participate in abusing other young children live online.

400 people are arrested every month for sharing indecent images of children on peer to peer websites. The police warn: this is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, how can we keep our children safe? Even toddlers use tablet computers these days; and parents cannot stand over their shoulders all the time.

‘Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command’ video:
“Hi, I’m Sam and I go online to try to abuse kids…”

The police have published this video attempting to educate parents about parental controls and Internet filters; and where we can go for more information…

‘Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command’ video:
“If parents knew they could get advice from CEOP, it would make what I do more difficult.”

In a sick way, there is an upside to the fact that many of these creeps share abuse images online. Often they film themselves committing these crimes and that, at least, is evidence the police can use to put them behind bars.

Last year, there were 2,843 prosecutions in England & Wales for physical sex attacks on children aged under 13.

Just 44% of defendants were convicted (1,260).

In the worst cases of child rape, offenders got an average prison sentence of just 12 years.

That means they’ll be out on parole after six… sometimes before the children they abuse have even reached adulthood.

There is no cure for paedophilia. Those who commit these vile crimes against defenceless children cannot stop themselves. It’s who they are and they’ll do it over and over again.

In my opinion, the sentence for the worst offenders should be life without the prospect of parole.

There have always been paedophiles. The Internet just makes it easier for them to reach into your child’s bedroom and harm them. But we should not be wracked with fear. The Internet creates as many solutions and it does dangers. And it means our kids will grow up even more street smart than their parents.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.

Another Royal Wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement. A good news story at last, but brace yourself for a wave of royal sycophancy and political opportunism.

VIDEO SCRIPT:

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
It’s official – a royal engagement.
Brace yourself for a frenzy.

Hi, I’m Leon Hawthorne. A royal wedding beckons and the media is going mental over Meghan.

A beautiful actress and a dashing prince. Harry and Meghan will marry in spring next year.

It comes after months of speculation in the tabloid press asking: would they or wouldn’t they, with some papers revealing the engagement before it was officially confirmed today.

It’s the stuff of many girls’ fairy tale dreams… marrying a Prince Charming and becoming a royal princess.

Meghan Markle is already a celebrity, starring in the hit TV show, ‘Suits’. She’s a 36-year old, American divorcee who’s father is white and her mother black. So, she’s poised to add some colour to the British royal family.

Her mixed race is perhaps the most significant fact of her life story, as far as the stuffy English aristocracy is concerned.

The pair seem like perfectly decent people. I wish them well.

My question is: why will there now be an inevitable wave of royal sycophancy?

They’ll be fanatics outside Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace wearing Union Flag clothing. People camping overnight for the wedding parade.

In a celebrity obsessed culture, royalty has become another branch of showbiz; and the Harry-Meghan story is a perfect fusion of those two worlds.

But I think it’s more than that. More than just fairy tales, love story and patriotism. The popular love for royalty springs from an irrational belief in royal blood… inherited talents… that children of great men can echo the achievements of their ancestors. This is the basis of hereditary monarchy. The reason we have a royal family.

We think the same of the sons of great politicians, authors, even footballers. We have a sentimental yearning for them to scale the great heights of their ancestors.

In Prince Harry’s case, the public took to heart a young boy who lost his mother and obviously wants him to achieve the happiness in marriage she never did.

And who would disagree with that?

So, brace yourself for endless stories about pretty dresses and celebrity friends attending a spring royal wedding. And the government is ecstatic the story will take people’s attention away from Brexit and create some goodwill for Britain in the coming months.

I’m Leon Hawthorne. Thanks for watching.