Cameron shocker for a sunny life ahead

For a while after the referendum, there were fears about London being hit by a slump.

The weather has been glorious the last few days with temperatures vacillating between the high 80s, low 90s (Fahrenheit). London is swarming with people — local and foreign — who are sitting out on pavement cafés or spilling out of pubs on to the pavements. For a while after the referendum, there were fears about London being hit by a slump. But the danger passed and with the sun shining, we are back to being swinging Londoners. The pound is cheap so tourists are flocking in and the locals can’t afford to go abroad! So spaces might be a bit crowded, but we are enjoying our lager by the Thames!

The big shock of the fortnight has been David Cameron’s resignation as MP just weeks after he gave up his premiership. Most ex-Prime Ministers linger on. Edward Heath sat on the Privy Council benches for many years and became known as “The Great Sulk” as he disapproved of all that his successor Margaret Thatcher did. Gordon Brown stayed on for five years but the Labour Party was in Opposition so he hardly ever attended. Mr Cameron might not want to be silent or to stay away. He knew he would be watched for any sign of rebellion. So at the young age of 49, he seeks pastures anew. We got to know him during our efforts to raise money for the Gandhi statue. He was friendly and gracious when Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley came to unveil the statue. He was also there when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came and laid petals at the feet of the statue. He was there later at Wembley where Mr Modi was cheered by thousands of Indians in the UK. Samantha Cameron even sportingly wore a sari for the occasion.

Resignations are rare in India. And so former Prime Ministers and ministers carry on in Parliament without making much of a contribution. But in the US and the UK, it is often felt that former Premiers earn many times more when they quit their congressional or parliamentary role. One does not know Mr Cameron’s future plans, but there might be a book, and then of course, the infamous lecture tours…

Meanwhile, top-secret preparations are afoot for the eventual coronation of Prince Charles. The code name for the event is Golden Orb. But before that happens the state funeral of the Queen needs to be planned. This is code named London Bridge. The Queen’s passing away is expected to take a heavy toll on the economy as many public institutions will shut down and there will be a huge public outpouring of grief. At Princess Diana’s death there were more than one million bouquets. For the present queen, there will be many more. Sad thoughts but preparations have to be in place.

Prince Harry is 32 and still unmarried. There are all sorts of speculation about an arranged marriage with a Greek princess. Meanwhile, some wag suggested that Prince Charles should stand aside as should William, and Harry should get the crown to give him a job. Little did they realise that by the rules of succession, if Charles and William stand aside, the crown goes to little George, Prince William’s son! But George has enough to do coping with going to nursery school to reign over the country as well.

There has been a lot of excitement and debate about a trial. It was in the ongoing radio soap opera Archers which has been broadcasting about the lives of rural folk in the fictional village of Ambridge for 60 years on BBC Radio 4. Millions follow the programme. Helen, one of the characters, was on trial for the attempted murder of her husband Rob. But her lawyer argued that she was a victim of physical bullying and domestic violence. The nation waited last week as an extended broadcast was to give the verdict. The jury at the “court” consisted of famous personalities who came for just one episode. Nigel Havers (Chariots of Fire), Dame Eileen Atkins, famous theatre star, and Doctor Who heroine Catherine Tate sat and declared Helen not guilty. Louisa Patikas, who has played Helen for 16 years, said she felt released as her daily life was affected by everyone asking her about her court case. She was not alone. Couples across the nation had been arguing the case. Now we can move on. Fiction is stranger than lif !

Jatinder Varma has been active in British theatre for more years that one can remember. He runs a multi-racial theatre company where he offers a fusion of Western and Indian theatre. Recently he got a British Arts Council grant to refurbish a theatre in Earlsfield are of London. Sadiq Khan inaugurated the new site early thus month. Jatinder can now display his creative work to a much larger audience from a modern spot.

Talking about donations, we are gearing up for the launch of the world’s first Partition Museum at Town Hall, Amritsar, by the end of October. Media houses from the UK and India are in touch for the historic event. If you are a British Asian with a Partition Story to share, do contact us at And also if you have anything to contribute to the museum — from your private archives to funding — let us know and all contributions will be gratefully acknowledged.

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