The return of Playboy’s Bunny Girls

To the dismay of feminists everywhere, Hugh Hefner is relaunching the Playboy Club in Mayfair.

Feminists have been noisily objecting to the relaunch of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club in Mayfair. Hardly surprising. "Women dressed as bunnies is not empowering," said one protester. "It's not sexual liberation to serve men when you're dressed in bunny ears and a fluffy tail. It's the sexual fantasy of an 85-year-old man." You can see her point. In an interview in 1967, Hefner described a rabbit as "a fresh animal, shy, vivacious, jumping sexy. First it smells you, then it escapes, then it comes back, and you feel like caressing it, playing with it. A girl resembles a bunny. Joyful, joking."

One of Hefner's original London bunnies, Heather Colne-Bird, 70, told the Evening Standard: "I think these protesters are being pathetic. Bunnies certainly aren't the same as table dancers or girls walking around in hooker shoes. Even now, people say wow' when I tell them I was a bunny." I'm sure they do. All the same, I doubt I'll be visiting the revamped club. The Bunny Girl idea seems, well, just a little dated. The feminist protesters may help Hefner a bit with free publicity, but I doubt he's on to a money-spinner.

Britain's £473m pothole problem

In Africa, goes the old joke, you can always spot drunk drivers: they're the ones who drive straight. Anyone sober keeps swerving to avoid potholes. We're rapidly reaching the point, however, where this could be said about Britain too. Did you know that over the past year British motorists have spent £473m repairing cars damaged by potholes? Kwik Fit has done a survey and that's the total they've come up with.

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Indeed, "pothole spotting", says Ross Clark in the Daily Mail, has become "a national sport", with local papers running competitions to find Britain's worst: there's one in Wellington, Shropshire, for example (2ft 6in wide and 3in deep), which has only just been repaired after seven years. The real problem, though, isn't that potholes are never repaired. It's that British highways authorities don't look after roads before they're potholed. According to the Asphalt Industries Alliance, which admittedly has a vested interest, main roads need resurfacing every ten years, secondary roads every 20. The actual figures are 55 years and 142 years.

Boris was right to badger Obama

Amidst all the fawning rhetoric accompanying Obama's visit last week, it was good to find Boris Johnson taking a practical line. America's concept of the law, said Peter Oborne in The Daily Telegraph, seems to be less clear-cut than ours, "a point trivially symbolised" by £5.2m of outstanding congestion charge fines racked up by US diplomats in central London.

To his credit, Johnson raised this at the Buckingham Palace dinner last Tuesday night and continued to discuss it with the President, despite attempts by US ambassador Louis Susman to close him down. I doubt the bill will be paid, but Johnson is right to make a fuss about it.

Tabloid money Britain's broke so why are we doubling aid?

George Osborne is often asked why he's giving away so much in overseas aid, says Fraser Nelson in the News of the World. "Britain is broke So why the hell is he doubling foreign handouts?" Years ago, "Cam signed a pledge he'd double foreign aid to £12bn by 2013. That was back in the days when banks loaned money to people, not vice versa. It was part of the mission to detoxify' the Tory brand, to show they're not the nasty party'." Now, while most officials are having to make cuts, civil servants in the Department for International Development have no idea how to spend the money to meet the deadline. Cameron "should factor in private [aid] giving" and say Britain has met its target. "And get back to his day job. Saving his country. Not the world."

"The family of a South Wales miner with lung disease was given a cheque (a cheque, mind you) for 22p in compensation for his death," says Paul Routledge in the Daily Mirror. Businesswoman Penny Johnson, of Godstone, Surrey, who suffered serious physical and mental consequences' after a botched facelift operation, was awarded £6,190,884.92 damages against her plastic surgeon. "Nothing better illustrates the disparities between the treatment of working people and the better-off."


Tamara Ecclestone (pictured above), 26, the daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, has signed a "six-figure deal" to model Ultimo lingerie, says the News of the World. "Like her father's Formula 1 drivers, Tamara enjoys life in the fast lane. She can join us on our laps any time."