Every week, The Friday Speed Read bucks the trend by being delivered on time, rather than being discussed and voted on by 650 elected bodies who couldn’t organise a satirical summary of the week’s news if their lives depended on it.
So where else could we start other than Brexit – the story with so many twists and turns you’d think it was directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It wasn’t of course, he would’ve at least cast someone believable as leader of the opposition…
Yes I know, it’s all anyone has been talking about for at least two years now but today is finally the day Brexit happens right? Right? Wrong. After much deliberation, late night talks and grandstanding by Donald Tusk, Brexit has officially been delayed until October 31st. To the surprise of nobody, the tabloids went all in on the Halloween puns, with May of the Dead (The Sun) and Hexit (Daily Star) being particular highlights. Obviously, TM the PM was depicted as everything from a zombie to Freddy Krueger – somehow nobody turned Jacob Rees-Mogg into Dracula, despite being a natural for the role.
In other Brexit news, Tory hard-line Brexiteer Steve Baker likened Brexit to the ‘scary’ feeling before you jump out of a plane. The difference here of course that instead of the UK being excited by the prospect of this metaphorical skydive, we’ve been lied to, the jet is running out of fuel and there aren’t any parachutes.
From one phenomenon sucking the life out of everything to another, this week saw the first ever image of a black hole. Measuring in at three million earths wide, it’s located at the centre of a galaxy 55 million light years away called Messier 87, which funnily enough is Julian Assange’s nickname at the Ecuadorian embassy (more on that shortly). Unsurprisingly, the main point of discussion was what the image resembled, with many likening it to a spaghetti hoop, a ringed doughnut and even the Eye of Sauron. My personal favourite was the Twitter-user who photoshopped the viral image of the media reflected in Donald Trump’s eyes over the black hole, a match made in hell I’m sure you’ll agree.
It was an eventful week for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who after spending seven years claiming refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy was arrested and now faces extradition to the US and a possible five years imprisonment. He decided to mark his final moments by hosting a dirty protest, smearing his own faeces on the walls of the embassy before being dragged out into a police car. How’s that for gratitude? Given that Assange attempted to sue the Ecuadorian’s last year for “violating his fundamental rights” when they imposed outrageous house rules, such as keeping the bathroom clean, we shouldn’t be surprised.
As we reach the mid-way point in today’s Friday Speed Read we’re honoured to announce the winner of the first ever ‘Ironic Story of the Week’. In response to the arrest, WikiLeaks attempted to buy back a vast amount of embarrassing information about Assange’s life, stating its release would be a breach of his privacy. Given he was directly responsible for one of the largest governmental leaks in US history, I don’t see that argument holding up.
DeLoreans at the ready, it seems we’re about to head back to 2009 as the Daily Mirror ran with a front page expenses scandal on Thursday – literally the last thing the parliament needs right now. The paper revealed 16 MPs, including Liam Fox, are guilty of letting out properties they own in London while claiming on expenses to pay for the houses they actually live in. Foxy has claimed £150,000 in taxpayers’ cash for his property since 2012, while Labour MP David Crausby has claimed more than £168,500 in the past nine years. It seems the one thing both parties can agree on is that our money is fair game.
Now hands up if you’re one of the millions of people that use virtual assistants either at home or in the workplace. It’s been revealed this week that the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the OK Google app are flaunting data privacy regulations, with staff secretly listening in to private conversations and recording them to improve voice recognition. Amazon has claimed it has strict systems in place to keep user data secure but the thought of people listening in around the clock has rightly caused outrage. The story also sees The Sun pick up the prestigious ‘Headline of the Week’ award for It’s Echo and the bugging men – bravo!
The word count is running away with me but there’s still so much more to cover – here’s the best of the rest that simply couldn’t be left out…
Kim Kardashian, the A-lister who is always seemingly on our TV screens in one way or another, has announced she plans on qualifying as a lawyer. Either she has watched a few too many episodes of The Good Wife, or E! is trying to trick people into thinking Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a high-brow programme.
High street giant Debenhams fell into administration on Tuesday. Although Mike Ashley’s lawyers are fighting to have the insolvency reversed, it seems we’re moving ever closer to British high streets becoming one big Primark.
The Daily Star continues asking the hard-hitting questions, with End of the Greasy Spoon? splashed across its front page after Food Minister Liz Truss admitted selling British pigs to China. Oh, the humanity!
Last but by no means least, Tiger Roll made history by becoming only the second ever horse to win the Grand National two years running. Me winning the Speed sweepstake definitely had nothing to do with this making the cut.
So that’s your lot for the week, but before I leave you, enjoy the only song that seems fitting after finding out Brexit will now (potentially) be happening on Halloween…