Jenni Frazer

Here we go again: same old 'thrills'

By Jenni Frazer, May 6, 2010

I have said before in these pages that some thriller writers who start out well, all too soon find themselves in a trap, hidebound by the parameters that they have drawn for themselves.

This is most apparent with writers who have a regular cast of characters, whose foibles and general mishegassen have to be explained from book to book.

If you start out with a 35-year-old glamorous redhead, for example, with a bad cigarette habit and a Malcolm Tucker-esque vocabulary, as one of your principals, then you are more or less obliged to reintroduce her in every book.

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Lest we forget

By Jenni Frazer, May 4, 2010

On Wednesday, I asked how long it would be before Gillian Duffy sold the inside story of her encounter with the Prime Minister to The Sun.
A couple of days went by and there was nothing in the papers and many commentators heaped praise on Mrs Duffy's head for being strong-minded enough to refuse blandishments.
So let us not dismiss lightly then the fact that Mrs Duffy was all over the Mail on Sunday at the weekend. And let us not confine the word "hypocrisy" to politicians. The fact is that the so-called "ordinary members of the public" are just as venal when the price is right.

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Oh, no. It can't be

By Jenni Frazer, April 29, 2010

1321: Gordon Brown does not seem to have learned enough from the unplanned broadcast of his comments about Gillian Duffy, the BBC's Carole Walker says. He failed to take his radio microphone off again after a brief walkabout in Manchester at the end of a day dominated by his unguarded comments. This time the camera crew stopped him to remove it before he said much more.

Make it stop. Please, please, make it stop.

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Place your bets

By Jenni Frazer, April 28, 2010

On how long it will be before Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy sells the inside story of her unfortunate encounter with the Prime Minister to The Sun...
According to the Sky News website, Mrs Duffy said she was "very upset" to have been described by Gordon Brown as a "bigoted woman," and appeared to accuse the Prime Minister of over-education "in using words like that." Perhaps he should have put an adjective in front.

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One happy little comedian

By Jenni Frazer, April 27, 2010

So pleased to see that the towering talent that is Mel Brooks has been awarded his very own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Now he's 83, it's not a moment too soon.

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Curiouser and curiouser

By Jenni Frazer, April 21, 2010

So, someone threw an egg at David Cameron - in Cornwall.
And that leader of the LibDems, what's his name, Nick Cl-egg, is also in Cornwall.
Just saying.

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By the way

By Jenni Frazer, April 19, 2010

This morning's Guardian front page pic of the People In Charge at Downing Street (ie not Gordo, sadly), showed a fabulous array of tie-wear - co-ordinated, I do so hope, by the wonderfully louche Peter Mandelson, resplendent in an unstructured summer linen jacket. From left, an unhappy looking Tessa Jowell (relieved of the necessity to wear a tie), then Miliband, in red tie, Mandy in purple, a wheezing and sweaty Lord Adonis in a green job, and, almost most splendid of all, Lord West (who he?

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If he had any sense...

By Jenni Frazer, April 19, 2010

The Prime Minister, in assembling the Cobra team to discuss the volcano crisis, would invite the Tories and the LibDems to offer their solutions. Would thus undercut Opposition moaning at a stroke, and show him as Gleaming Statesperson. If he had any sense. Sarah Brown, are you listening?

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Heart, bleeds, etc

By Jenni Frazer, April 12, 2010

Three Muslim extremists charged after attack on Galloway
Saturday 10th April 2010

George Galloway was set upon by a group of Muslim extremists while campaigning in East London this afternoon. Three men, believed to belong to the extreme sect Islam4UK, the latest name for Al-Muhajiroun, were arrested and subsequently charged with public order offences.
Galloway, who is standing in the Poplar and Limehouse constituency, was with a party of supporters in Watney Market around 3pm when he and his colleagues were first abused and then attacked by the group.

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Protesters disrupt Jerusalem Quartet broadcast

By Jenni Frazer, March 29, 2010

A lunchtime performance by the Jerusalem Quartet at London’s Wigmore Hall, being broadcast live on BBC Radio Three, was taken off air partway through the concert on Monday afternoon after protesters disrupted the event. But the musicians played on and completed the Mozart and Ravel concert programme.

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Er, you eat it?

By Jenni Frazer, March 29, 2010

So yesterday I was mooching around the fruit and veg stands at my local Tesco, thinking what to buy without kitniot, and suddenly being inspired by the idea of rhubarb.
And three separate assistants did not know what rhubarb was. One stood aimlessly, peering vacantly at the lettuce, before admitting he didn't know what I was asking for. Another kept grinning foolishly and saying, "It's my first day," although my strong feeling was that he could have been there all year and still wouldn't have known.

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Work, work, work

By Jenni Frazer, March 26, 2010

Some of us were remembering our lives before the JC, and reminiscing, as you do, about some of the truly terrible jobs we once had.
One of us worked on the check-out at Safeways, sporting a badge with "My name is xxxx. Happy to help." Another worked as a waitress serving Jonathan Ross, Emma Bunton, Dennis Bergkamp (apparently a big tipper.) Another colleague got fired from a fish and chippie for accidentally defrauding the till (mainly because she couldn't add up).

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Interview: Nir Barkat

By Jenni Frazer, March 25, 2010

This time next year, if the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, is to be believed, the first railway line connecting the north and south of the city will open. Next year, too, a Jerusalem marathon will be in place, reflecting the mayor's own love of running. Thousands more tourists will flood in, there will be more cultural events ("last year we broke all records") and more job opportunities.

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My hat

By Jenni Frazer, March 19, 2010

There was the Knesset, all set to pass the most stringent anti-fur legislation in the world, complete with an exemption clause so that Charedim could continue to buy and wear shtreimels, and applauded by Sir Paul McCartney for its humane approach and far-sightedness.
And now what? It's all off.

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And another thing

By Jenni Frazer, March 16, 2010

"In many ways," muses the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, "he's very human." Now, who could we possibly be talking about? A gorilla at London Zoo? A goat? Certainly, some member of the animal kingdom for whom she has a soft spot.
No.
Ms Duffy, of whom I thought better, was referring to footballer David Beckham, to whose ankle, and its torn Achilles tendon, she HAS WRITTEN A POEM.
Give me strength.

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David Kimche

By Jenni Frazer, March 10, 2010

I am getting increasingly fed up at the rise in personal abuse against those who give or gave service in public life. Today, on the Jerusalem Post website, there is a rather nice tribute to the late David Kimche, one-time Mossad leader, diplomat and journalist. Since making aliyah in 1948 from London, David Kimche did everything he possibly could to serve the Jewish nation-state, sometimes in the most secret of ways.

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At last, a solution to the Middle East conflict

By Jenni Frazer, March 10, 2010

Today's political conundrum is brought to you by US Congressman Eric Massa, who asks, plaintively, "Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?"
The congressman, allegedly, was confronted in a White House men's changing room by a furious Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, who was berating Massa for not voting for President Obama's budget. Mr Massa insists that he was intimidated by Mr Emanuel, not because he was furious, but because he was naked — a claim that the White House has dismissed as rubbish.

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Moddershall Oaks

By Jenni Frazer, March 4, 2010

My dentist thinks this spa is no good for my teeth. He is right: an over-abundance of brown in the interior decoration, and an insistence on dreadful Muzak - sometimes played at earbleed volume - certainly led to an unhealthy level of molar-gnashing on my part.

On the other hand, Moddershall Oaks - just off the M6 between Stafford and Stoke - could just be the fun place for you to get an enjoyable couple of days' worth of rest and relaxation.

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A life well lived

By Jenni Frazer, March 4, 2010

In one of those rare moments of serendipity this morning, I was actually stuck in traffic at the corner of the Vale of Health, in Hampstead, where Michael Foot used to live, while Radio 4 was broadcasting another tribute to the late great Labour leader.
Michael Foot died yesterday, aged 96. Among the many memories of him, revived today and yesterday, was, of course, the fact that while kind, courteous and exquisitely polite, he was also a militant atheist. Michael Foot despised organised religion, his or anyone else's. His religion was socialism.

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How fascinating

By Jenni Frazer, March 2, 2010

According to reports today, the bounding abilities of the Dubai police chief get ever wider and more far-reaching. In a press conference, apparently, "the police chief also said that travellers suspected of being Israeli will not be allowed into the United Arab Emirates even if they arrive with alternative passports.
"He did not explain what procedures would be used to identify the Israeli visitors, except that the police would 'develop skills' to recognise Israelis by 'physical features and the way they speak.'"

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