EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Hong Kong's last governor is set to open up

EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Chris Patten is set to open up on his time as the last governor of Hong Kong at a literature festival as he saves his ‘most withering comments’ for Sinophile diplomats in London

The programme for the Wells Festival of Literature in October says guest speaker Chris Patten will discuss forcefully his term as our last governor of Hong Kong. 

We’re told: ‘As well as ensuring the 1997 handover went smoothly, Patten was also tasked with entrenching the rule of law and trying to extend democracy. 

‘He was partially successful, but there were serious ructions with China along the way, some within Hong Kong itself. 

‘Patten’s most withering comments are reserved for Sinophile diplomats in London and for visiting former politicians.’ 

Patten has his critics but I suspect we won’t hear about them from his Wells interlocutor, fellow Tory life peer William Waldegrave. 

Chris Patten (left), the last British governor of Hong Kong, raises a toast with King Charles prior to the colony’s handover to China

The ex-governor is criticised by young Hong Kongers for opposing their fight for independence.

The Lionesses share the same badge as England’s male soccer team – three lions rampant as the centrepiece. 

And they are all with manes, indicating that they are males. 

Since lionesses are swifter, stealthier and better at teamwork than males, shouldn’t manes be taken off the lions on the female team badge?

According to Jon Askew’s Rock and Stroll, his new book about London and the pop music scene, Sir Paul McCartney was accorded the rare privilege of being allowed to whistle in Piccadilly’s Burlington Arcade. 

After being told not to whistle during a 1980s visit to the famous shopping area by the beadle, this official, on recognising the Beatle, ‘allowed him to continue, granting him a lifetime exception’. 

Askew says: ‘Paul McCartney occasionally still pops in with friends, just to ask beadles to confirm that he is indeed allowed the freedom to whistle.’ Not sing though…

Asked about transgender showbiz star Eddie Izzard (pictured) becoming Labour’s next parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavillion, Sir Keir Starmer responded meaninglessly

Asked about transgender showbiz star Eddie Izzard, pictured, becoming Labour’s next parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion, Sir Keir Starmer responds meaninglessly: ‘Whether it’s Brighton or anywhere across the country, I want the highest quality of Labour candidates going into the election.’ 

What is it about Eddie that spooks the Nasal Knight?

Legendary record producer Tony Visconti, 79 – renowned for his work with David Bowie and Marc Bolan, and a previous husband of Mary Hopkin – dismisses modern music producers, complaining: ‘I think old-school production with a band is the only way to make great records. Sure, I can make a record on my laptop. No problem. Any 12-year-old with a laptop and GarageBand or Ableton [music production apps] can.’

Prince Charles (centre) with his father, Prince Philip (left), the Duke of Edinburgh, at Gordonstoun on the young prince’s first day at school

A new book – The Psychological Impact of Boarding School: The Trunk In The Hall – suggests that it isn’t boarding school but parents and parenting styles that scar former pupils. 

I doubt if the King would agree. He wrote from Gordonstoun, the Moray academy described as ‘Colditz in kilts’: ‘I hardly get any sleep in the House because I snore and I get hit on the head all the time. 

It’s absolute hell… The people in my dormitory are foul. They throw slippers all night long or hit me with pillows… I wish I could come home.’

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