In Summary
  • More than eight million Brits tuned in to watch the national humiliation on television.

  • When Michael, aged 21, returned home to his native town of Hartlepool on the northeast coast, he received a hero’s welcome.
  • Happily, he burbled that it had been a great experience and he enjoyed every bit of it.

  • Maybe we should qualify that reference to Brits loving losers. They love good losers and that Michael undoubtedly is.

The British seem to have a special place in their hearts for losers, which is just as well because we have had plenty of practice at it.

Think taking penalties against German football teams, making friends with our European neighbours, winning stars for our restaurant cooking. Above all, check our record in the Eurovision Song Contest.

CONFETTI

Last week, Michael Rice singing Bigger Than Us came plumb last out of 26 competing nations in the 2019 contest in Tel Aviv. He scored a paltry 15 points compared to the 492 racked up by the winner, Duncan Laurence, of the Netherlands.

In doing so, Michael followed a hallowed British tradition. We have not won Eurovision in 22 years or finished in the top 10 in the past decade. Nevertheless, more than eight million Brits tuned in to watch the national humiliation on television.

What’s more, when Michael, aged 21, returned home to his native town of Hartlepool on the northeast coast, he received a hero’s welcome, with Union flags, confetti and cheers. Happily, he burbled that it had been a great experience and he enjoyed every bit of it.

Maybe we should qualify that reference to Brits loving losers. They love good losers and that Michael undoubtedly is.

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Ken Macharia, a gay Kenyan rugby player who is fighting deportation to Kenya, called last week on the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, to end three years in legal “limbo” by deciding his asylum case.

Mr Macharia is seeking refuge in Britain, saying he fears violence in Kenya because of his sexual orientation. He was released from an immigration centre last November after more than 100,000 people signed a petition to stop him being deported.

“Before I started the process I was thinking the UK is a champion of human rights,” he said. “But I was surprised at the treatment I received. It has been extremely hostile.” He has been ineligible to work for nearly a year.

* * *

Between July 2013 and August 2016, a mother of two, Jayne Kitching, claimed £88,000 in various benefits from the British government. What she did not reveal was that she was living in Spain at the time.

Grimsby crown court heard that she received income support, disability living allowance and carer’s allowance, although her children had been taken into care in Spain.

Judge Abdul Iqbal questioned why the UK authorities had not realised Ms Kitching was in Spain. He gave her a 12-month suspended prison sentence and said, “I hope you are ashamed.”

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