When we need to be shocked

As headlines go, it’s pretty stark. ONE BRIT DIES EVERY 13 MINUTES. The Sun, of course, has form when it comes to arresting headlines. You may remember how its headline GOTCHA on 4 May 1982, came to define the entire Falklands conflict. Headlines, of course, are designed to grab our attention (and our cash), condensing a major news story into a few pithy words. Above all, they set a tone. And today, the Sun seeks to alarm us. Certainly it stands out on the newsstands. In contrast, its great rival, the Daily Mirror, seeks to reassure as it encourages “the virus heroes of the NHS” with its headline (in lower case) Your country LOVES you. So what is the Sun upto? It tells us that

To hope when bashed by the storm

Today – 20 iii 20 – could be the last Friday for some time, at least the Friday we have become accustomed to, as the schools close and the regular routines of life disappear, at least for now. It’s not just the schools which are closing for the ‘foreseeable future’ but the familiar habits which structure our week. No ParkRun tomorrow and certainly no church on Sunday. Or more precisely, no public worship in any of our church buildings on the Sabbath. The problem is "What is the ‘foreseeable future’?" Our Prime Minister is suggesting 12 weeks in order to give us an end-point but I’m not sure the epidemiologists would agree. However, as two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough

Timing is everything.

Timing is everything. Ernie loved his stay in rural Shropshire, so very different from his home in Everton. In fact, the Shropshire Magazine was later to publish two of his articles reminiscing his experience of being a wartime evacuee. I’m not sure how long he stayed at Craven Arms but certainly after a year or so of being away from home - without, it would seem, good reason - it was decided for Ernie to return home, to his parents and back to Gwladys Street school. Just in time for the Blitz. My own mother found her Christian faith sorely tested when nearly all of her Sunday School class from Marsh Lane Wesleyan church in Bootle were killed in the Co‐operative shelter bombing

Everyone filming everyone else for everyone to see.

The ice-cream consumers of Port Arthur, Texas, can sleep easy in their beds tonight, knowing that D'Adrien Anderson, 24, is behind bars. You may have seen in this morning’s news that Anderson who filmed himself licking ice cream and putting it back in the freezer of a Walmart supermarket has been jailed for 30 days. The whole point of this stunt, it would seem, is that it is performed for a watching world. Mea culpa. When I read yesterday that Spurs midfielder, Eric Dier, following his team’s defeat at the hands of lowly Norwich, had vaulted into the crowd to confront an abusive spectator, I just had to visit Twitter to see for myself what actually happened. And I was spoilt for cho


West Lancashire, UK


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