Hadley a dry eye in the house

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News -

Kanga-fluu is head­ing to Bri­tain from Aus­tralia. Down Un­der, they’ve ex­pe­ri­enced one of the worst flu out­breaks in liv­ing mem­ory and, like a Syd­ney stu­dent on a gap year, the virus is bound to land here. The strain, known as h3n2, has hit old folk and chil­dren hard­est and left hos­pi­tals over­whelmed. It could be the least wel­come Aussie im­port since Neigh­bours. Here, the an­nual flu vac­cine pro­gramme is just get­ting un­der way. Strewth, bring it on. As Lon­don Fashion Week gets go­ing, proof the fashion world is ab­so­lutely head-over-dodgy-heels bonkers. The lat­est train­ers from top designer la­bel Ba­len­ci­aga, priced at a cool £600, have been styled to look “pre-worn” or, in the lan­guage of us nor­mal folk, scuffed up and dirt­ied to look ready for the bin. The mul­ti­coloured Triple S sneak­ers have sold out online ahead of re­lease later this month. I sus­pect Triple S stands for “scan­dalously stupid shoes”. Po­lice Scot­land were for­mally es­tab­lished on April 1, 2013. April Fool’s Day. How prophetic. Four years on from the merger of our eight re­gional forces, it’s become a bad joke. Chief Con­sta­ble Phil Gorm­ley is on “spe­cial leave” pend­ing a bul­ly­ing probe. Dis­grun­tled rank and file of­fi­cers are now “too scun­nered” to com­plain about their work con­di­tions. Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Math­e­son in­sists it’s busi­ness as s usual. Who’s fool­ing who, Mr Math­e­son? News to break New Ro­man­tic hearts…the re­main­ing mem­bers of Span­dau Bal­let are au­di­tion­ing to re­place Tony Hadley.

Say it isn’t “True” (see what I did there?). How can they re­place the ir­re­place­able? Such tal­ent, such frilly shirts, such ego.

Well, prob­a­bly quite eas­ily, ac­cord­ing to Gary Kemp.

“Span­dau Bal­let are big­ger than one per­son,” he said last week.

When Hadley posted a petu­lant tweet dur­ing the sum­mer declar­ing that he had left the band, fans sus­pected he had thrown a hissy fit and would soon come round. Ap­par­ently not. And cer­tainly not in time for the re­lease of a new an­niver­sary CD/DVD of Through The Bar­ri­cades on Fri­day.

Fear not, Tony devo­tees, he’s vowed to con­tinue as a solo artist.

Which means you’ll prob­a­bly catch him host­ing 80s night at your lo­cal pub be­fore long.

Ap­ple re­leased have X. the new iPhone kids want Al­ready the The £1000 one each. Face ID se­cu­rity, de­vice has to the owner which al­lows just by look­ing start the phone the kids know at it. Ironic… be get­ting they won’t look­ing at one just by my face.

Well, a few of my clos­est friends live there and, if they’re any in­di­ca­tion of the lo­cal fe­male pop­u­la­tion, then it’s home to friendly, smart sorts who en­joy a night out and have been known to break an­kles in the pur­suit of the best dance move (that was one friend in par­tic­u­lar – and it was my hen night).

Then there’s Mug­dock Coun­try Park, the start of the West High­land Way and scat­tered pieces of the Ro­man An­to­nine Wall pro­trud­ing un­ex­pect­edly through gar­den lawns. What’s not to like about that kind of place? Last week, East Dun­bar­ton­shire was named the best place in Bri­tain to be a woman, the re­sults of a sur­vey by the re­spected NatCen re­search in­sti­tute for Ra­dio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

Which is great news for Scot­land, and even bet­ter news for the res­i­dents of leafy com­muter towns and vil­lages such as Bears­den, Mil­ngavie and Mil­ton of Camp­sie.

But it’s not in the least sur­pris­ing. And, if you dig a bit deeper, a rather more de­press­ing story un­folds. Par­tic­u­larly if, like some of my equally en­ter­tain­ing friends, you hap­pen to live in neigh­bour­ing West Dun­bar­ton­shire, in old in­dus­trial towns such as Cly­de­bank, Dum­bar­ton or Alexan­dria.

In the very same sur­vey, West Dun­bar­ton­shire, just a quick Fit­Bit-guided power walk across the bor­der from its coun­ter­part to the east, was named the worst place in Scot­land for women. It came stone last of the 32 Scot­tish lo­cal coun­cils and only man­aged a low bounce off the bot­tom for the whole of the UK, com­ing 356th out of 380.

Two ar­eas side by side on the map, di­vided only by the black line of coun­cil bound­aries, but thou­sands of miles apart in so many ways that we’re forced to con­front the ter­ri­ble in­equal­ity that con­tin­ues to blight this na­tion.

They share sim­i­lar phys­i­cal ge­og­ra­phy, each ex­tend­ing into beau­ti­ful coun­try­side, the west tak­ing in part of Loch Lomond, the east in­clud­ing stretches of the Camp­sie Hills. Clean fresh air in plen­ti­ful sup­ply. And their main towns or vil­lages are within easy reach of Glas­gow, with all the job op­por­tu­ni­ties and leisure ser­vices it of­fers.

But pros­per­ous East Dun­bar­ton­shire eas­ily out­per­formed its neigh­bour­ing lo­cal author­ity, rank­ing far above on cri­te­ria such as ed­u­ca­tion, qual­ity of the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment, per­sonal well­be­ing and in­come. Yes, in­come.

Well, in East Dun­bar­ton­shire, the av­er­age house price of £ 225,570 is more than dou­ble West Dun­bar­ton­shire’s av­er­age of £109,735. That tells its own story.

The Scot­tish In­dex of Mul­ti­ple Depri­va­tion last year showed pock­ets of West Dun­bar­ton­shire are among the poor­est in the coun­try. About one in four chil­dren are be­lieved to live in poverty.

West Dun­bar­ton­shire has the se­cond-high­est rate of do­mes­tic abuse in Scot­land ( be­hind Dundee), so it’s small won­der it fared poorly in NatCen’s assess­ment of women’s safety.

And ar­guably most shock­ing of all, West Dun­bar­ton­shire recorded the low­est l ife ex­pectancy in the whole of the UK. Baby girls can ex­pect an av­er­age of 78.7 years, while the daugh­ters of East Dun­bar­ton­shire, raised a few miles away, are look­ing at 83.5 years, nearly five years more to en­joy be­ing a woman liv­ing there.

Sadly, the gap in ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween the bet­ter- off and the poor is repli­cated all over the coun­try but it’s nowhere more ob­vi­ous as be­tween two coun­cil ar­eas sit­ting shoul­der to shoul­der, now cat­e­gorised for women as the best be­side the worst.

So we can be pleased for the won­der­ful women of East Dun­bar­ton­shire and proud they have put Scot­land on the top peg for all to see.

But when the won­der­ful women of West Dun­bar­ton­shire feel the same way as their near neigh­bours, that’s the time to cel­e­brate.

TRUE TAL­ENT Tony Hadley in France in 1981 CLASH Baby names

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