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The royal baby meets The Handmaid's Tale and J W Anderson's seagull

"I left my soul there, down by the sea..." Thanks Morcheeba but forget the soul - half a cod and chips more like, after being hounded off the beach by scavenging seagulls.

But despite their - more than justified - bad press, seagulls have become an unlikely style emblem thanks to the latest collaboration between top drawer designer J W Anderson and Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo.

The new clothing range is inspired by all things Brighton and features togs heavily referencing the seaside - stripy tops, bucket hats, brightly coloured waterproof jackets, alongside jumpers, t-shirts and tote bags all emblazoned with one of the nation's most pesky birds.

If the seagull has gone from shriek to chic, whatever will it be next - tank tops decorated with vultures? Talking of which, the 'vultures' were well and truly gathering outside St Mary's Hospital in London yesterday (Monday) in anticipation of the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton's third baby.

It was announced as soon as the world woke, that William and Kate had made an early morning dash to the exclusive, and eye-wateringly pricey, Lindo Wing at the royal family's official hospital in Paddington. "She's in the early stages of labour" we were all informed at 6.10am by the press, who were braced to report all the news as it happened - a pant-by-pant account.

News outlet social media feeds became overrun by photos of past royal babies to pass the time. But fortunately we were spared those of Prince Charles in the bath by the new royal baby making a somewhat speedy appearance at 11.01am.

"It's a boy" the headlines on Twitter ran, as bets were taken on what the royal baby would be called. Cue a trillion jokes about how the baby could have been called George - seeing as it was St George's Day - if only the name hadn't been used before... We can expect that tit bit of news later.

But this reporter's thoughts are, are we really still doing this in 2018? It's all a little bit The Handmaid's Tale isn't it? Kate Middleton's body reduced to nothing more than a vessel to bring into the world the fifth in line to an archaic throne.

We are shamelessly informed of her stages of labour with little thought to the excruciating pain she is under, before expecting her to winch herself into her obligatory flesh coloured tights, have her hair blow dried and her make-up perfectly applied, over her sweat stained face, to smile for the world's press.

Admittedly we have come far since the days when the great and the good would gather around the royal bedside to witness a new heir being born but then we don't support hanging in this country nowadays either.

Perhaps we should adopt comedian Katherine Ryan's way of thinking, that rather than bemoan the constant scrutiny of Kate Middleton's births we should actually report all births as they happen, to ensure an equal playing field.

But equality has very little to do with it. As that baby takes its first gulp of air and screams out its lungs, it has no idea of its inherited privilege.

We are fighting for equality on all fronts. Equality for all genders, all races, all socio-economic backgrounds and yet, whilst babies are still not being born on an equal footing with the ability to achieve anything they want from life - through a combination of hard work, talent and ambition rather than through assumed superiority - then the pursuit of equality is as pointless as trying to eat fish and chips on a seagull-infested beach.

There is a silver lining. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has raised his head from the scandal-infested swamp and declared that should he become Prime Minister - words which tends to run alongside the whispered refrain "chance will be a fine thing" these days - all four of the UK's saint's days, George, David, Patrick and Andrew, will become public holidays. Corbyn figures that following years of austerity under the Tories we could all do with some much-needed time off.

On that basis we are going to have to do something about these seagulls.

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