I ALWAYS think that nothing says “Broken Britain” quite like a security tag on a £3.99 block of mild English cheddar.
What does the shoplifting pandemic tell us about the state of the nation?
Britain is in the midst of a shoplifting epidemicCredit: Getty
That large swathes of our post-pandemic population no longer want to work for a living.
That the police are overweight, uncaring and have been accused of not investigating shoplifting crimes of less than £200.
Two hundred quid? My trolley runneth over!
And even if you get nicked — unlikely, as our doughnut-munching Keystone Cops don’t attend two-thirds of serious retail crime — many will get a £70 penalty notice fine.
You probably don’t even have to see a magistrate.
Can you believe it?
A Conservative government has actually effectively decriminalised shoplifting.
For many, getting caught stealing is now as meaningless as receiving a parking fine.
Being under Tory rule for 13 years has transformed us into a nation of shoplifters.
And nobody gives a damn about the convenience store owner who is open 18 hours a day, or the supermarket worker on minimum wage — daily punchbags for the violence of the entitled shoplifter who is rudely interrupted.
Oh Rishi Sunak — if the Tories are not the party of law and order, then you are nothing.
The shoplifting hordes steal from corner stores that serve working-class communities.
They rob from local supermarkets.
They thieve from our most iconic department stores.
They leave hard-working men and women on low wages forever at the risk of assault.
They are destroying the high street.
But this vogue for shoplifting comes in an age when the affluent get their weekly shop delivered to their front door.
Are Rishi and Suella even vaguely aware of what is happening on our anarchic streets?
Have they seen the body cameras being worn by terrified Primark staff?
The security tags on steak, coffee and cheese?
The way security in Greggs bakery has been stepped up to a level you might expect in Tiffany & Co or Cartier?
I doubt it.
But at the next General Election, the Tories will have to answer for the total collapse of anything resembling the rule of law.
Brink of bankruptcy
Socialists present shoplifters as the desperate poor, forced to steal baby formula to feed their starving offspring.
And in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, the theory is not total baloney.
But the bitter truth is that the desperate poor are vastly outnumbered by scumbags who want something for nothing.
When a mob of youths stormed JD Sports in Oxford Street in August, they were not attempting to avoid a pauper’s grave.
They wanted a dozen free pairs of trainers.
There is nothing heroic about shoplifters.
There is nothing cool or smart about them.
They are not worth defending.
They turn every decent neighbourhood into a crime-ravaged slum.
They are driving every corner store owner to the brink of bankruptcy.
And if this Government can’t do anything about the normalisation of theft — then what exactly are the Tories for?
AT the age of 17, Jude Bellingham moved from Birmingham City FC to Borussia Dortmund because the Bundesliga club did something that English Premier League clubs are reluctant to do.
They gave young players a run in the first team.
Jude Bellingham is the future of English footballCredit: Getty
Jude could have warmed a subs bench in England.
And now, at just turned 20, Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid and England is the most exciting player on the planet – because he did not stay in England and join some star-studded squad that was forever spoilt for choice.
So when Manchester City’s Rodri says football’s “drain of talent” to Saudi Arabia must be controlled, I disagree.
If Premier League footballers want the big Saudi bucks then I don’t see how you stop them.
Or why we would want to.
Let them fill their boots.
The beneficiaries of the Saudi talent drain will be those lavishly talented English youngsters looking for a chance to break into the big time.
For every big-name player who takes the flight to Riyadh, there is some anonymous kid in a Premier League academy whose chances of actually playing first team football on a regular basis just got better.
He might even be the next Jude Bellingham.
BIG sporting events in France are invariably tainted by incompetence.
The French truly couldn’t organise un pisser dans une brasserie.
They should be banned from hosting major sporting events.
Last year violent Parisian police fired tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool fans queueing peacefully for the Champions League final.
Last week thousands of English rugby fans in Marseille were jammed together outside the stadium as England kicked off against
Argentina and officious stewards confiscated their water bottles.
The 2024 Olympics are in France.
They are a disaster waiting to happen.
MY reservation about the Tory plan to ship illegal immigrants to Rwanda is that it is a dumb idea that will never work.
Even if the plan squeezes past the Supreme Court, the bill for sending hundreds of thousands of people to Africa is going to be prohibitive.
Now Labour has a dumb idea that will never work – agreeing to take an unspecified number of the EU’s illegal immigrants in return for Europe kindly accepting back some of our small boats arrivals.
Keir Starmer thinks our country needs a better relationship with Europe.
I agree with him.
Everyone should get on with their neighbours.
But that DOESN’T mean becoming the EU’s dumping ground for illegal immigrants.
The EU would, I strongly suspect, abuse whatever deal Starmer agrees to.
Here’s the problem with your plan, Keir.
The EU simply does not wish our country well.
LABOUR’S new Culture, Media and Sport Shadow Secretary, Thangam Debbonaire, makes the startling confession that she has never actually been to a football or rugby match.
But Thangam is a perfect fit in a House of Commons that contains Tory Defence Secretary Grant Shapps who has – unlike predecessor Ben Wallace – absolutely zero Armed Forces connection.
Labour’s new Culture, Media and Sport Shadow Secretary, Thangam Debbonaire, has confessed to never watching a football or rugby matchCredit: Alamy
Let’s hope the Shadow Sports Secretary who doesn’t like sport doesn’t bump into the Defence Secretary who has never heard a shot fired in anger.
What will they possibly find to talk about?
MARGOT Robbie joined a picket line to support the actors taking industrial action in Hollywood.
And the Barbie girl certainly looked striking.
Margot Robbie marches from Netflix Studios to Paramount Studios during a SAG/AFTRA rally in West HollywoodCredit: Splash
ROD Stewart looked adorably dishevelled after a night on the tiles with his wife Penny.
Rod may be 78, but his hair is still 21.
Rod Stewart is still looking top of the pops at 78Credit: Splash
THE reaction to the Rolling Stones’ new single Angry was as reverential as you might expect.
These days ancient rock stars are treated with a deference once reserved for senior members of the Royal Family.
The Rolling Stones’ new single Angry has been a hit with fansCredit: Getty
Sydney Sweeney stars in the music video for the singleCredit: The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger is the new Queen Mum, a beloved national treasure beyond all criticism and reproach.
The only tut-tutting came because the video accompanying the single features Sydney Sweeney, 26, writhing in multi-orgasmic ecstasy all over a red Mercedes while Mick, Keith and Ronnie gaze down on her with what we hope is grandfatherly affection.
The argument for having Sydney in the video is that after The White Lotus and Euphoria, she is currently the hottest young actress in Hollywood.
The case against casting Sydney is that she is 54 years younger than Jagger.
Couldn’t these grizzled old geezers have chosen a more age-appropriate sex symbol?
The actresses and models who come from the same generation as the Stones have mostly expired from old age.
SIR HAROLD KITTERMASTER, governor of British Somaliland from 1926 to 1931, enjoyed a close friendship with Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie.
The men were so close that Emperor Selassie gave a golden robe to Sir Harold.
When, 100 years later, his granddaughters appeared on the Antiques Roadshow to have the robe valued, they were asked by expert Ronnie Archer-Morgan if they would be willing to give it back.
But the robe, valued at £4,000 to £5,000, was not stolen by wicked British colonialists – it was a gift from a friend.
No Ethiopian government has ever asked for the robe to be returned.
Sorry, Ron, why should they?