Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

A Stranger's London

Charles gives up bloodsports

Prince Charles has given away his guns and has said he would never shoot again. The Prince has also become a vegetarian, has given his pair of Purdey 12 bore shotguns to his brother, Andrew. Friends believe that Princess Diana has influenced his decision. Observed the League Against Cruel Sports last week: "He's seen the light at last! Perhaps hunting will be next on his hit list.' His father, Prince Phillip, however, is still a great supporter of the sport.

Christine Flynn will do it again

Mrs Christine Flynn who has twice delivered her own babies - alone without help and defiance of medical advice, has vowed to do it again. "It's my child and I'll do it my way", said 38-year-old Mrs Flynn. "I'll not be intimidated". Her defiance has sparked furious rows with a health authority once threatening to prosecute her and her doctors warning that there are grave risks of going it alone.

Mrs Flynn who has no medical qualifications, began her fight after the birth of her sixth child against medical advice. The law says "A person other than a registered midwife or registered practitioner shall not attend a woman in birth".

"It doesn't say anything about giving birth on your own," says Mrs Flynn.

What about a bit of news?

The Sun and the Daily Mirror newspapers have been locked up in a fight to the death on circulation drive over the new £1 million bingo prizes. One aspect of this ridiculous battle which their readers must be worried about is the incredible amount of space devoted to their hysterical self-congratulatory messages which at its peak at times spread over five pages in the Sun and on the front pages of both papers.

According to one very irate observer "much of this was undisguised bitching between the rivals, so shall we set the records straight? The Mirror was the first to offer this wildly over- generous sum of money, and the Sun was the first to award it. O.K. boys? Now, how about a bit of news?"

Homeless go squatting

Squatting, particularly in London, is increasing as measures to help the homeless are failing according to a report in the latest issue of Roof published by Shelter, the national campaign for the homeless. The report, according to The Times, says that although squatting has not been in the headlines for sometime, more people are turning to it in desperation. It is nowadays less a vocation for people seeing it as a desirable form of tenure and more a solution for people who see no other way of getting somewhere to live.

The report discloses that an advisory service for squatters is getting 20 calls a day, most of them from London.

Culture shock

Sir Anthony Parsons, who as Britain's United Nations ambassador won many hearts by asking the Prime Minister not to interrupt him, is about to turn on those who still wring their hands in guilt over the British Empire.

According to The Times Diary, in the Sir Anthony's lecture to the British Council later this month entitled 'Vultures and Philistines', he says "if you go to former colonies and look around, breathe the air and ask your- self who had been there, nine times out of ten, you wouldn't answer England." Sir Anthony compares Britain's philistine ways with, for example, France's continuing hegemony in Senegal. "In 100 years we did not set up a single university in Beirut. Our education system was used to produce junior clerks, Nehru had to go to Cambridge."

Sir Anthony expects his talk to cause howls of outrage, but he won't say from whom.

talking drums 1984-09-17 Challenge for Samuel Doe Cameroon which way out Ernest Obeng