SARAH VINE: How toxic of Gary Lineker using Emma Raducanu for own ends

SARAH VINE: How toxic of Gary Lineker to use tennis ace Emma Raducanu’s mixed heritage as a political football to curry favour with his Lefty Twitter mates

As the mother of an 18-year-old who has just finished her A-levels, I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of maternal concern as I watched Emma Raducanu lift that trophy at Flushing Meadows.

Like my daughter, she’s that odd mixture of woman and child — in some ways so self-assured, in others still just a baby.

That cut on her knee, bless her, didn’t help: it made her look as though she had just tumbled off a swing or fallen out of a tree.

And as the Mail reports today, there’s an added innocence in that she’s in New York supported by one of her best childhood friends.

The flawless creature we see gracing the pages of Vogue and dazzling onlookers alongside the likes of seasoned stars such as J.Lo and Rihanna at the Met Gala was, until very recently, just a schoolgirl from Bromley

Despite her whirlwind journey to the top, Raducanu has an almost uncanny air of composure about her, a breezy self-confidence and a refreshing, charming openness. But let’s not forget she is human, and a very young human at that.

The flawless creature we see gracing the pages of Vogue and dazzling onlookers alongside the likes of seasoned stars such as J.Lo and Rihanna at the Met Gala was, until very recently, just a schoolgirl from Bromley.

Now she is, deservedly, a global superstar — and everyone, it seems, wants a piece of her.

From fashion designers to politicians, the armies of the unscrupulous are vying to claim her for their own, desperate to piggyback on her slender shoulders in pursuit of their own self-advancement.

Take Gary Lineker. The over-remunerated BBC presenter decided the best way to celebrate her success was by turning her mixed heritage into a political football to curry favour with his Lefty Twitter mates.

Less than two hours after her victory, he juxtaposed a headline about illegal migrants being turned back to France with a picture of Raducanu, and the accompanying words: ‘Oh the irony.’

Take Gary Lineker. The over-remunerated BBC presenter decided the best way to celebrate her success was by turning her mixed heritage into a political football to curry favour with his Lefty Twitter mates

Similar tweets from London Mayor Sadiq Khan and former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell homed in on Raducanu’s background, using her — quite shamelessly (and, in Khan’s case, without even the courtesy of spelling her surname correctly) — to stoke the flames of identity politics.

In a nutshell, the fact that Raducanu is half-Chinese, half-Romanian and was born in Canada means Home Secretary Priti Patel is wrong to try to impose limits on the number of people arriving illegally across the English Channel.

This is idiotic. If anything, her parents’ situation shows that it is possible to move to the UK and obtain British citizenship legally, regardless of where you come from — and that this country provides ample opportunity for success to all-comers with the determination to succeed.

What’s really shocking is how these powerful men felt they were entitled to exploit her success.

Less than two hours after her victory, he juxtaposed a headline about illegal migrants being turned back to France with a picture of Raducanu, and the accompanying words: ‘Oh the irony’

By praising her in their own very narrow political terms, by dragging her into their petty tribal squabbles, they’ve made their position clear: Raducanu’s success is not really hers to celebrate, but theirs to hijack for their own purposes.

They are nothing but revolting vampires, feeding off this young woman’s vitality and talent. And they are by no means alone.

In the weeks and months to come, the queue of bloodsuckers attracted by her success will grow only longer. No doubt she will experience some wonderful moments — after all, a trip down the red carpet at the Met Gala is every young woman’s dream. But let’s not forget there’s a darker side to all this.

Emma Raducanu is a beautiful, fresh talent. The likes of Lineker can keep their toxic nonsense to themselves.

Scientists planning to bring back the woolly mammoth are hoping to have their first calves within six years. Eek! Have none of these people seen Jurassic Park?

Too testing to travel 

New holiday bookings have completely collapsed, down 83 per cent from 2019. Hardly surprising, really.

It’s not as though we aren’t all desperate to get away, but, as far as I can tell, unless you are rich enough to be able to travel abroad by private jet, the labyrinthine Covid regulations mean the process has become a Kafkaesque nightmare.

The whole point of a holiday is to relax and unwind. If, as the actress Maureen Lipman pointed out this week, it ends up being one long, panic attack-inducing obstacle course, it’s just not worth it.

Party PM’s Chequers history 

Rather a shame, from Boris Johnson’s point of view, that David Cameron has joined predecessors John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in pulling out of a party this weekend at Chequers, to celebrate 100 years since the house became the Prime Minister’s official country retreat.

During DC’s years as an incumbent, the place was positively rocking most weekends, with Cameron presiding over cocktails — frothy White Ladies were his speciality — before tucking into another of the chef Graham’s delicious feasts. Chef Graham, incidentally, was the source of much rivalry between George Osborne and Cameron, since the former was always trying to poach him for his own weekend residence, Dorneywood.

Rather a shame, from Boris Johnson’s point of view, that David Cameron has joined predecessors John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in pulling out of a party this weekend at Chequers

On one occasion, the Great Hall — with its wood panelling and austere oil paintings — was turned into a nightclub to celebrate Samantha’s 40th; and I clearly remember the first New Year there after the 2010 general election, when DC returned triumphant from the local branch of Dixons with an X Factor karaoke machine that made the ancestors reverberate to the rafters.

There was also the famous football game on the lawn one Sunday after lunch, in which Cameron and Johnson (then Mayor of London, I think) squared off like a pair of rutting stags while the women rolled their eyes and ignored them.

If anyone knows how to party at Chequers, it’s Cameron. Something tells me Theresa May may not have quite the same spirit of adventure.

The Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez arriving at the Met Ball — where tickets cost more than £21,000 — in a white gown emblazoned with the words ‘Tax the Rich’ is proof that irony is truly dead. That, and any credibility the Democratic Party might have had. 

Having spent the best part of two decades exposing as much flesh as she possibly can, Kim Kardashian decided to try a new attention-seeking tactic by covering up entirely. She arrived at Monday’s Met Ball shrink-wrapped head-to-toe in bin liners. All, no doubt, very fashion-forward — but if you ask me, she looked like one of the Dementors from Harry Potter. Which, when you think about it, sums up her and her soul-sapping celebrity clan. 

Having spent the best part of two decades exposing as much flesh as she possibly can, Kim Kardashian decided to try a new attention-seeking tactic by covering up entirely

Insulated from the law 

I have nothing but contempt for the ‘Insulate Britain’ protesters who blockaded the M25 this week. They’re just climate-change attention-seekers, people who use this very serious and complex issue as a platform for their own giant egos.

But what infuriates me even more is the fact that the police took four hours to remove them.

Britain is bristling with speed cameras and traffic wardens poised to penalise any law-abiding citizen who makes even the slightest slip-up on the road. Yet this lot choke off the whole of London and they get treated with kid gloves. It’s an insult.

I can’t wait to have my Covid booster. Because despite being double-jabbed, for two weeks I’ve been suffering from something that is technically not Covid (endless negative tests) but has all the symptoms (including total loss of taste and smell, which is weird) — and try as I might, I can’t shake it. It’s as though something is rampaging through my body, inflicting maladies at random (today it’s a splitting headache; yesterday it was screaming tinnitus; the day before that an upset stomach). Whatever the truth, I’m not taking any risks.

Amanda Holden reveals that she ‘can’t feel her face’ on account of having had her wisdom teeth removed. Really, Amanda, are you sure that’s the reason?

Amanda Holden reveals that she ‘can’t feel her face’ on account of having had her wisdom teeth removed

Boris Johnson has got himself embroiled in a rap feud after he condemned remarks made by Nicki Minaj, who had tweeted that her cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine ‘cuz his friend got it & became impotent’. Minaj hit back on Twitter, and tradition dictates the PM must now compose a so-called ‘diss track’. Luckily, he has one Michael Gove in his Cabinet. It was MG who composed a rap in praise of the PM at Carrie’s 30th birthday party. I’m sure he’d be happy to take on Minaj. 

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