'Sadly we live in a society where sharing intimate personal details is a national pastime for a generation lacking in morals'

Paula Thelwell

By Paula Thelwell

HOW appalling that a woman, a mother of three young children coming to terms with a shocking medical diagnosis, should be bullied into making a public statement, moreover, broadcast across the world.

Regardless that the Princess of Wales as a member of the British royal family has to live her life in a goldfish bowl, such intimate details should be private and of concern only to her immediate family, friends and confidantes.

But time when a person’s privacy was respected are long gone.

The shallow lives of “celebrities” – who make a living from no obvious talent other than a burning desire to be famous – has created a society where every pointless action and puerile opinion has to be shared in minute detail on social media platforms.

And thanks to a vainglorious reality entertainment culture, the door to fame is open to any narcissist – even those who can’t spell the word.

Catherine’s withdrawal from public life set in motion a feeding frenzy by every deluded half-wit who thinks their opinions are worth sharing and chewing over with others of their ilk.

These “trolls” use social media to deliberately post offensive or provocative messages; they are online bullies who seek gratification by spreading fake news with no empathy for those they defame and hurt.

But it wasn’t just trolls who indulged in the bizarre conspiracy theories about the state of the Wales’s marriage or the princess’s health, media commentators also waded in.

Cue the red faces and grovelling public apologies that followed the Princess of Wales’s dignified admission of her cancer diagnosis in the hope that the frenzy would be brought to an end.

Far from it; it continues unabated – including among newspapers regarded as a cut above their Red Top downmarket cousins.

Now, dear reader, you may ask am I not joining in this media melée?

Far from it.

It makes me ashamed of my profession and sad that society has come to this; when a sick woman is hounded because, while acknowledging that her status and position in the nation’s public life warrants a degree of “sharing”, nevertheless she wants to keep personal matters private.

Sadly we live in a society where sharing navel fluff and intimate personal information is increasingly a national pastime for a generation lacking in morals that lives its life online.

To them, the Princess of Wales is an enigma wrapped up in a paradox – as are the concepts of privacy, respect, decorum and decency.

Quelle horreur!

French food purists are up in arms and curiosity over a soft factory-made cheese they would usually turn their refined noses up at.

The manufacturer of La Vache Qui Rit (Laughing Cow) has come up with a plant-based, dairy-free version – making it even more highly processed than it already was.

To whet your appetite, folks, it contains pulped almond, coconut oil, potato and starch, calcium phosphate, lactic acid and a colourant but with vitamin B12 thrown in the concoction for good measure.

I may not be the world’s biggest Francophile but I’m with them on this; to be known as cheese – or milk come to that – the most important ingredient is… err… milk as it comes naturally from a cow, goat, sheep or buffalo. Not nuts or oats.

As this “fauxmage” is made with almond, no doubt the brand’s iconic jolly smiling cow will be replaced on the packet by a grinning nut.

Sensibly, to avoid its factories being sprayed with manure or blockaded by angry dairy farmers, Laughing Cow makers Bel, decided to launch its fake cheese on the British, Irish, Canadian and American markets first.

To compound the effrontery to proper cheesemakers, it has also produced a plant-based version of another product, Babybel.

Two more items of highly processed, industrially produced so-called food items to be avoided at all costs.

What’s in a name

On 29 April 2011, before a worldwide audience, Miss Catherine Middleton married Prince William of Wales and the couple were henceforth known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

On his father’s accession to the throne in 2022, they became the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and the following day, William was made Prince of Wales. and his wife became, Catherine, Princess of Wales.

Nonetheless, almost 13 years after the marriage, the media persists in calling her Kate, Princess Kate or Kate Middleton.

None of which is correct, even when used in a kinder more affectionate way than in recent coverage.

I can’t recall any occasion when the Princess of Wales herself, her husband, family and friends – and those in the know – have used the name Kate, it is always Catherine.

It is high time the media started addressing her in the appropriate manner.

Stairway to heaven?

The protracted building saga of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona could be coming to an end some 140 years after work commenced.

However, it all depends on a planning application for a stairway, which if approved would result in the demolition of three apartment blocks and the relocation of 1,000 families and several businesses.

Understandably, neighbours of the basilica are not happy at losing their homes or livelihoods as the Sagrada Familia Foundation lobbies the city hall with the promise that the protracted project could be completed by 2034.

Jersey’s very own HS2, the very expensive taxpayers’ money-gobbling new hospital scheme is a mere infant in comparison.

What’s the bet that it will still be dragging on in 14 decades’ time?

Happy Easter.

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