PLATELL’S PEOPLE: Don’t use the vile Epsom school killings as an excuse to brand all men as monsters
There was an outpouring of grief after the terrible murders of Epsom College head teacher Emma Pattison and her seven-year-old daughter Lettie.
Those who knew and loved them — teachers, students, parents — laid flowers and offered prayers.
Among them was Cheryl Giovannoni chief executive of a group of leading girls’ schools and a former colleague and friend of Emma’s who tweeted: ‘Emma, you led fearlessly with inspiration, creativity, style and energy.’
Then, in an interview with the BBC, Giovannoni added a warning to girls: ‘It doesn’t matter how successful or accomplished or brilliant you are, you are only as safe as your male partner allows you to be.’
She would have been reeling when she said this, still in deep shock after Emma’s husband killed his wife and daughter before turning his shotgun on himself.
There was an outpouring of grief after the terrible murders of Epsom College head teacher Emma Pattison (pictured) and her seven-year-old daughter Lettie
Even so, it was a misguided — and to my mind wholly unfair — denouncement of the male sex by the boss of The Girls’ Day School Trust.
Of course, her agony and upset are visceral. But as someone in charge of a group of 25 independent schools, she is in a position of considerable responsibility.
What a terrible message her bald statement sends to boys, suggesting that they are all potential predators, abusers or murderers. What an insult, too, to girls, given that it implies they have no agency or power over their relationships. That they are forever potential victims at the mercy of ruthless males.
It is hardly an empowering message, or one that credits girls with sufficient intelligence to choose partners wisely and take responsibility for their own safety.
For me it harked back to the terrible days of the 1970s feminists who regularly warned women that all men are rapists. And if they weren’t actual rapists, they all could be.
That this divisive anti-male nonsense might still be being taught in the 21st century, even in the very best schools, is awful. It perpetuates guilt and confusion in both sexes at an age when they are all too vulnerable.
What happened was an appalling act of violence by one monstrous individual with a shotgun.
It says nothing about men in general — and to try to suggest it does is offensive.
How ridiculous Rishi looked posing in front of a massive tank with state-of-the-art weaponry wearing jeans and commando boots alongside President Zelensky. The only combat he’s ever seen was when he stabbed Boris in the back.
How ridiculous Rishi looked posing in front of a massive tank with state-of-the-art weaponry wearing jeans and commando boots alongside President Zelensky
The Shamima Begum Story documentary where she pleads her innocence is shocking.
She blames her mother for not loving her enough, racist London for making her feel like an outsider, her friend for luring her into Jihad and insists she only went to Syria and married an Isis terrorist because she wanted to help the Syrian people.
So we’ve all got Begum wrong, then.
She’s clearly the victim and was only trying to make the world a better place.
News that rugby star Kenny Logan, 50, has the all-clear a year after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and undergoing an operation will cheer all men of a certain age. He says he’s still working on his sex life with gorgeous wife Gabby and is now getting ‘movement’ down there. Excellent news. Many middle-aged men have prostate problems but won’t talk about it. If his candour saves just one man’s life — as well as his own love life — it’s worth it.
Rugby star Kenny Logan, 50, has the all-clear a year after being diagnosed with prostate cancer
Adorable pictures of a beaming Princess of Wales embracing her old prep school teacher this week. So much for Harry and Meghan’s snipe at Kate that she’s Ms High And Mighty, a cold fish and not ‘a hugger’ like Meghan. Maybe Kate just doesn’t like cuddling up to scorpions.
After Gillian Anderson was chosen to play Emily Maitlis in a film about the infamous Prince Andrew interview, my friends were musing over who would play us. I was crestfallen when one suggested Dawn French would be perfect for me… funny, brunette and, er, religious like the Vicar Of Dibley.
Please let it be a joke that Tom Cruise has cancelled a weekend of filming to attend the King’s Coronation. The last time a royal packed a church with celebs they hardly knew was Harry and Megs’s wedding. Look how that’s ended up.
Tom Cruise has cancelled a weekend of filming to attend the King’s Coronation
Burt Bacharach’s death reminds us that all his hits tell the story of our lives.
With one divorce and five broken engagements behind me, my Number One of his is Make It Easy On Yourself, sung by The Walker Brothers — opening lyrics: ‘Oh, breaking up, is so very hard to do.’
Fans of the Sussexes hoped they’d cancelled Jeremy Clarkson for good after he had a pop at Meghan and ITV and Amazon Prime threatened to ditch him. Yet the new series of Clarkson’s Farm aired Thursday on Amazon to rave reviews and the same day he turned up at ITV to record Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The media giants aren’t going to lose a money-maker.
The Duchess of Sussex’s half-sister Samantha Markle, who is suing Megs for defamation over comments in her Oprah Winfrey interview, could get her day in court after all as a judge rules Meghan and perhaps even Harry must be questioned under oath over allegedly ‘false’ claims, including that Megs was raised as an only child. What a spectacle, Markle v Markle — we won’t have had such fun since Vardy v Rooney!
Samantha Markle could get her day in court after all as a judge rules Meghan and perhaps even Harry must be questioned under oath over allegedly ‘false’ claims
Pleas from Boris fans for him to grab back the crown may fall on deaf ears because, since leaving office, he’s earned almost £5 million. Although at least he’d now be able to pay for his own wallpaper.
Our nurses’ haloes are slipping after two strikes causing 100,000 cancelled ops and treatments. And enough of their cries that the NHS has been starved of money under the Tories. The budget is around £200 billion, double what it was under Labour.
Hardly surprising the row over Nicola Sturgeon’s gender bill, in which she can’t even say what a woman is as she chases the youth vote, has led to a 6 per cent drop in support for independence. The little Haggis is now truly stuffed.
We all love Britain’s Got Talent’s Amanda Holden, don’t we? A busy hard-working mum with a radio show as well, happily married, endlessly cheerful and ever so glamorous. Yet as this thigh-revealing red dress shows, however fit you are at 50, even beautiful women can’t escape the curse of wrinkly knees.
As this thigh-revealing red dress shows, however fit you are at 50, even beautiful women can’t escape the curse of wrinkly knees
Profligate of Love Island to fly presenter Maya Jama on a 12,000-mile round trip to Cape Town to record two five-minute slots. As viewing figures are nearly half last year’s, the show probably lost 12,000 viewers while she was swanning it in the air.
Meanwhile, Davina McCall and Ulrika Jonsson, both 55, have thrown their bikini tops in the ring to present the planned Love Island for the middle-aged. They’d both be great — but they are so skinny they’d show up all the muffin tops on what’s already dubbed Love-handles Island.
After his sensational performance as murdering rapist Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley, James Norton is again in the frame to become the next James Bond. Handsome chiselled looks, great abs, menacing, powerful . . . yet is he lacking 007’s sophistication? I’d say he’s a shoo-in as the next Bond baddie.
After his sensational performance as murdering rapist Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley, James Norton is again in the frame to become the next James Bond
Despite one in ten youngsters starting primary school obese and almost four in ten of them being obese when they leave, experts warn that weighing young children at school ‘fat shames’ them, causing distress, mental health problems and can lead to eating disorders.
How absurd — what is obesity if not an eating disorder?