Not-news is good news

Yesterday, upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t there again today

I wish, I wish he’d go away…

With acknowledgement to William Hughes Mearns’ poem, Antigonish, it’s been something of a week for not-news. Lots of things didn’t happen and several people didn’t appear to be there.

Top of the not-news must be the revelation that HRH Prince Andrew, didn’t fancy his chances of clearing his name in open court and has, instead, opted to hand over a large sum of money, allegedly £12million, to a woman he hasn’t met. 

Yorkists are now calling for him to be stripped of his title, saying they don’t like their city being associated with him, once again proving that there are a lot of people with too much time on their hands and not enough to think about.

If those who feel strongly about this sort of thing bothered to take a brief look at Burke’s Peerage, they’d know that because Andrew only has female children, the title will die with him. Along with the earldom of Inverness and baronetcy of Killyleagh. Bide your time, fine people of York! 

In more Royal not-news, while Andrew was handing out dosh he hasn’t got to a woman he has never met, it seems his father, Charles, unknowingly received money from a chap he didn’t know in exchange for an honour about which he was not aware. Subsequently, we may conclude the Queen is not having the annus mirabilis for which she might have hoped in her platinum jubilee.

In other not-news, Russia has not (yet) crossed the border and invaded Ukraine. While this is good not-news for the people of Ukraine, it also serves the beleaguered administrations of Messrs Johnson and Biden very conveniently. Talking up the sabre rattling in someone else’s country gives the former the opportunity to jump in a plane and, in stentorian tones, deliver dire warnings and condemnation of someone else’s appalling, corrupt regime – and thus move the news agenda away from Plod’s impending investigation into parties that didn’t happen, photos that don’t exist and fines that probably won’t be levied. A foreign diversion has also helped take attention away from Biden’s shambolic domestic policies, most notably his Build Back Better plan. Thing is, you probably wouldn’t want to bet Joe could point with any certainty to where Ukraine is on the map.

The final bit of not-news is Great Britain’s failure to win any medals at the Winter Olympics. Not a single one at the time of writing, although the nation is on the edge of its seat at the prospect of a gong in the curling or the half-pipe, whatever that is. 

Whether or not you share Insight’s view that the Winter Olympics began and ended with Torvill and Dean’s ice dance in 1984, you might concede the Beijing games are a manifestly dull affair. With the possible exception of ice hockey and the spectacular accident involving a skier bashing into a cameraman. 

Every attempt to induce a scintilla of excitement about this year’s event have been stifled by interminable coverage of curling (what other sport bar quidditch requires brooms?), dismal, real snow-free scenery, the appallingly tinny music from the ice rink, and the whiff of corruption about the whole affair. 

Yes, once again a Russian competitor accidentally mixed up her grandad’s performance-enhancing Sanatogen with her own indigestion meds (easy mistake) – tested positive for a banned substance and didn’t get disqualified! 

Here’s hoping you don’t get blown away by Eunice – a brewing storm that does actually look like happening.

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