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  Opinion   Columnists  30 Jan 2022  Kishwar Desai | Partygate to be watered down; dating fraud the newest menace

Kishwar Desai | Partygate to be watered down; dating fraud the newest menace

Kishwar Desai, is the chair of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust, which is setting up the Partition Museum at Town Hall, Amritsar.
Published : Jan 31, 2022, 2:15 am IST
Updated : Jan 31, 2022, 2:15 am IST

Johnson has always managed to survive crisis upon crisis through machinations no one can predict

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (AP)
 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (AP)

As sunshine finally creeps across the London skies, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to get lucky again! While the Opposition has been fuming over Partygate, it seems that he may get away with a rap on the knuckles and a 100 pound fine for attending parties at number 10 Downing Street while the rest of country were forbidden from doing so!

A lot of time in Parliament and on air has been spent in discussing how many parties there were actually at number 10 and who attended. There was even an impromptu birthday party for the Prime Minister who turned 50 during this period.

But Johnson has always managed to survive crisis upon crisis through machinations no one can predict. It is difficult to outwit him — and though he may have become the first Prime Minister to face a vote of no-confidence over parties he had either allegedly known about or attended — the possibility looks increasingly remote. The Metropolitan police has been hauled in to investigate if there were any parties — or indeed who organised them. Their “investigation”, however, comes after a report by a senior civil servant — which is to be announced shortly on the same matter.

This means that much of the information in the Sue Gray Report will be edited out if it hampers the police investigation! And so the Opposition can keep trying to get him out but Boris isn’t budging. It is an old trick to get commissions and inquiries to look into controversial matters and it is the best way to kick everything into the long grass.

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Obsession can come in many forms — and now Emma Raducanu, the champion tennis player is facing it from an overfriendly fan who has become a stalker. Unemployed Amrit Magar expressed his affection not only from himself but also his wife Bina and dog Logan towards Raducanu — and while he decorated her porch with a Christmas tree, none of it was welcomed by either the tennis player or her family. He even walked off with a shoe he thought was hers as a souvenir.

He now has a restraining order on him, and the young player is keen to move into a new house to avoid any further visits by him. Well, not only does the stalker appear to be of Indian origin, the judge, Sushil Kumar, who found him guilty certainly was... yes, we know hundreds of Indian movies have been made where the hero is a stalker, but no one thinks of it as a sign of affection anymore. Magar has confessed he was ashamed of his own behaviour — but let’s hope he no longer behaves like Hindi film heroes of days gone by...

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Having shifted our home closer to the city centre, I am always surprised at the number of Indians who live and work here. And Asians of all varieties. The other day the friendly green grocer asked me which country I was from — and then immediately said ‘Aap Hindi bol sakte hain?” Turns out he is from Afghanistan and loves India — a country he said had always supported Afghanistan. He immediately offered to deliver the groceries whenever I wanted to our home. I was impressed at how far reaching Indian diplomacy can be! But good economic sense must have prevailed on him, because as I left he mumbled that home delivery was only possible if the basic cost was more than 20 pounds.

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London is now done with social distancing. And masks are increasingly becoming a rarity. This weekend the city is back to its days of having fun in the sun, and staycations with themes or short specially curated experiential events are becoming increasingly popular. These intense moments include a few which I finding very tempting! Wouldn’t you love to attend a Regency ball, a la Bridgerton? The serial by the way returns soon with an Indian heroine at the centre of it... and then of course we have yoga being taught everywhere — especially out in the wilderness.

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But while having fun in London a word of caution — everyday the media is full of women being duped by men they “met” on a dating app — and even so-called smart women are being ripped off — of their money and their reputations. So swiping right might not be the easiest thing in the world anymore. The pandemic probably made things worse because many relationships remained online for a long time — and allowed gullible women to fall victim to swindlers, who rarely revealed their identity. This seems to be among the most common scams to hit the Internet. So watch out!

Otherwise, head for London, which is back in business!

Tags: partygate