JAN MOIR: Spineless Sadiq Khan makes me long for Boris Johnson and his water cannon mentality

What kind of world do we live in where an 87 year old man is stabbed to death on his scooter in broad daylight on a West London street?

Thomas O’Halloran was a well-known and much-loved character in his neighborhood of Greenford.

For several years his life was limited by old age and infirmity, but he still used his time productively and selflessly – playing his accordion to raise money for the victims of the war in Ukraine and encouraging everyone to donate to his ever-present box for collection.

Mr O’Halloran was trapped in what amounts to a motorized wheelchair. He wouldn’t have the ability to fight back, run away, or chase him. He was defenseless as a newborn, menacing as a buttercup.

However, he was attacked with a knife by at least one person and died of his wounds after pleading for help from passers-by. It makes one despair for the future of humanity.

Sadiq Khan is apparently “devastated” by the killing of Thomas O’Halloran – but he has blamed the cost of living crisis for the rise in shootings and stabbings in the capital. As if that makes it OK

A man was caught on CCTV walking away from the crime scene; he wore white gloves stained with blood and carried a knife. A suspect was detained early yesterday morning.

Not so long ago the whole country would have been shocked and convulsed with disgust at such a death. Now? Only one major newspaper – this one – made the fate of Thomas O’Halloran its main front-page story.

It is the sixth murder in four days in the capital and many are wondering what London Mayor Sadiq Khan will do about it.

Khan is clearly “devastated”, but earlier this week he warned of a rise in shootings and stabbings in the city this summer – and he said the cost of living crisis was to blame.

Mayor Sadiq and Prime Minister Boris were pictured riding an Elizabeth Line train from Paddington in May

As if that makes it OK. The money is too little to mention for a large number of people, but that doesn’t make crime acceptable.

Videos on social media this week showed gangs of young people going around central London shops and stealing trainers. Elsewhere, others carried out knife-wielding Rolex robberies to supplement their depleted pay packets.

But if the left-wing mayor can blame the government for the increase in violence on his watch – rather than examine his own role in this horrific escalation – then he will not miss the opportunity.

Perhaps he will use his mayoral powers to posthumously charge Mr O’Halloran with obstructing a felony; I wouldn’t put it past him.

The incident is so tragic and so horrific that it almost makes me long for the return of Mayor Boris and his water cannon mentality.

For surely those with a lust for violent crimes must, if convicted, be swept off the streets, charged, and imprisoned. No excuse and no pampering because interest rates have gone up and they can’t afford a cheeky Nando’s. Note that even before he was elected to the City Council in 2016, Khan promised to reduce the Metropolitan Police’s use of stop and frisk in the war on knife crime. He was opposed to it because of racial tension and what he saw as a violation of human rights.

Then Mayor Johnson (centre) and Deputy Mayor for Youth Ray Lewis (left) are pictured visiting students from the London Fire Brigade’s LIFE course in Dagenham soon at the Prime Minister’s Town Hall

Khan pursued this goal throughout his reign; in one fell swoop it hampers police efforts and raises the crime rate while adhering to fashionable liberal causes.

If black lives really mattered to him, he wouldn’t be presiding over a massive increase in knife crime while congratulating himself on embracing fashionable left-wing ideology rather than the violent reality of the capital’s streets.

I’m not saying that stop and frisk is the answer to London’s woes, but it and the subsequent four-year prison sentence for carrying a knife is certainly the best and most practical deterrent to discouraging gun-carrying.

It might at least make criminals think twice about leaving their homes piled high with blades and axes.

Khan’s responsible vacation almost makes me miss Mayor Johnson (pictured stuck on a zipline in Stratford during the Olympics) and his water cannon mentality

In some ways the fact that Mr O’Halloran was on a motor scooter makes this crime that much worse. Whizzing along the pavements, these machines are a common sight on Britain’s high streets.

And yet, we can only guess what effort and courage it takes for every single person who, captivated by the weakness of their own body, climbs aboard one of these scooters to go about their daily business. Just walking out the front door in the morning trying to claim that last bit of independence can be an act of extreme bravery in itself.

This is another reason why Mr O’Halloran’s death on a sunny afternoon in the suburbs is so shocking. But is it also a symptom of a deeper societal malaise – or just another dark day on London’s violence-ridden streets?

Mayor Han should worry not about the cost of life, but the terrible cost of death.

Scary Catherine is just a scream

Catherine Zeta-Jones as Morticia Adams? What a joy. Who better than the raven-haired beauty to star in Netflix‘s reboot of the TV series The Addams Family? Catherine is creepy (not really) and deceitful and mysterious and ghostly and downright unpleasant—which makes her perfect casting for the role of the matriarch of this family of freaks.

“Hearts are wild creatures; that’s why our ribs are cages,’ says Morticha, only this time in a nice Welsh accent.

I can’t wait.

Catherine Zeta-Jones (pictured at the Emmys last fall) would be the perfect Morticia Adams

“Abbatars” are Super Troupers

Abba Voyage should be the hit show of the summer. Since it opened in May, it’s been playing to packed and rapturous houses for six shows a week – and it was packed, sweaty and delirious when I went on Saturday. Much of the audience comes in Abba costumes, which only adds to the insane joy of the occasion.

The “Abatars” (pictured Agneta) are so believable that the whole experience was emotional

After seeing Whitney Houston’s hologram tour, I was skeptical – but trust these clever Swedes to take it to another level. The sound is amazing, the ten piece live band adds an air of urgency and the Abbatars themselves are so believable that the whole experience was emotional.

Maybe because they are still young and we are old, although this is only a fairy tale illusion? Who knows, but I was in tears when the Abba wraiths played Knowing Me, Knowing You and hugged at the end.

Knowing that they knew the best they could do wasn’t enough and eventually they would all get divorced. It’s more awesome than you could ever imagine.

Spare us Sean’s out-of-town sex scene

Boring or exciting? Everyone’s Arguing About Marriage (BBC1), the four-part drama starring Sean Bean and Nicola Walker as Ian and Emma, ​​a pair of crushed introverts who seemed unable to say what they really thought.

The miniseries was a lo-fi, slo-mo look at long-married couples who wore anoraks, had ants in the kitchen bin and fought over everything from baked potatoes to slippers. They were overwhelmed by life, broken by loss and, in the case of the recently unemployed Ian, in need of a revitalizing shower gel.

“One with herbs or extracts that give you a little tonic in the morning,” he told the saleswoman. “Anything to get through the day without crying,” was the reply. Many viewers found it impossible to get through the four-hour groaner without crying from boredom, while critics showered the drama with five-star praise.

Emma’s support and love for her broken husband Ian won me over. Any fool can get a divorce, but to commit to your spouse, to endure and overcome, has its own beauty and divinity

I? Given Mr. Bean’s recent remarks about working with intimacy coaches on set — the old crook finds them to spoil the moment — I watched in holy horror as a sex scene unfolded between the pair of lumpens. Ian and Emma bumping into polycotton sheets just to add another layer of stained realism to the everyday would be too much.

Amidst this fiesta of working-class fetishization there were highlights, and in the end Emma’s support and love for her broken husband Ian won me over. Any fool can get divorced, but connecting with your significant other, persevering and overcoming with them has its own beauty and divinity.

Viewers who stayed the course were rewarded with the thought that love can conquer anything, even in Hemel Hempstead. And also with the hilariously unfashionable notion that keeping a stiff upper lip might not be such a bad thing after all.

It’s been quite a week for dishwashers. The dishwasher appears so often in The Marriage that it should have won an award for Best Supporting Appliance. Dee Swasher, as she’s known in show business circles, has been in so many scenes that I quite liked her square and amiable presence; a bit like Mrs. Patmore in Downton Abbey, but without the mob hat.

No doubt Ryan Giggs would approve. Giving evidence at the domestic assault trial this week, the former Manchester United player said he was “hurt” when the dishwasher was incorrectly loaded during the lockdown. He called family “team meetings” and showed everyone how to properly load spoons and glasses.

I’m with him all the way on this one, if nothing else.

SNP protesters made their presence felt outside the Perth Concert Hall where a large crowd had gathered to protest the Tory infighting. There were offensive banners, including one that read ‘Tory Scum Out’, and attendees were booed and spat on.

Nicola Sturgeon condemned the actions of the activists, who – we are always informed – are a “minority”. Still, anyone who has dared to upset the touchy-feely Nats — myself included — will tell you that the intensity of the vitriol you get for your trouble is so thoughtless it’s pretty funny. Or it would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

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