Of heroes and villains

Second World War veteran, Captain Tom Moore had already done more than his bit for his country. He was already a hero for his service 80 years ago in India and Burma – where, coincidentally, my own fraternal grandfather also served at the same time.

But at 99 years-old, Tom, who lives in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, decided to try and raise £1,000 for the NHS by walking around his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30.

What began as a small, noble gesture from the noblest of gentlemen gained national and international coverage from a media desperate to find something positive to report on and because of that Tom’s target has been beaten – by more than £20million and counting!

He completed his 100th lap on his walking frame last Thursday, two weeks shy of his centenary, with a well deserved guard of honour from the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.

And that’s not the end of the story. Capt Tom has said that as long as people continue to donate to the NHS he will carry on walking.

Now there are, of course, twisted saddos out there trying to turn his efforts into something political, arguing that if the Tories hadn’t staved the NHS of funds, then an old man wouldn’t have to stagger around his garden on a frame – which is a disgraceful insult to a proud man who chose to do this.

Anyone who tries to distort this magnificent feat into something else is a sad opportunist with no shame.

The guy is an absolute legend. He represents humanity at its very best – a true hero amongst a generation of them.

Capt Sir Tom Moore has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Let’s hope that comes to pass very soon.

Higher ground

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is once again setting the standard for how to lead by example, taking a 20 per cent cut in her salary along with her government.

Meanwhile, in all too predictable stark contrast, Donald Trump is talking about having ultimate authority to lift the US’s lockdown prematurely – thus making the whole exercise utterly pointless and putting countless more lives in danger – then arbitrarily stopping US financial support to the World Health Organisation.

Meanwhile any journalist that dares to question him is called a disgrace or a fake.

It’s ironic, and potentially catastrophic, that the leader of New Zealand possesses more humanity and common sense than the leader of the western world, whose behaviour is closer to dictatorial than presidential.

And the worst part of it is, the rest of the world is not likely to be rid of him this side of 2025.

You had one job…

ITV continuity announcer: “Now the drama Quiz, starring Martin Sheen and James MacFadyen.”

It was Michael Sheen and Matthew MacFadyen.

Martin is the American/Spanish actor who starred in Apocalypse Now and The West Wing, while James was a Scottish doctor and botanist who died in 1850 (thanks Wikipedia).

Home Secretary Priti Patel: “I can report through the Governmen’t ongoing monitoring and testing programme that as of 9am today there have been three hundred thousand and thirty four nine hundred and seventy four thousand tests carried out across the UK.”

Her next announcement will be on Aprilness the twelvety fourteenth at 50 o’ clock.

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Edward Case

Columnist