Mark Andrews on Saturday: Time's up for Lewis, Right Said Fred, and why Boris is getting aggro from 'Er Indoors

Read the latest musings from Mark Andrews.

Lewis Hamilton – name game
Lewis Hamilton – name game

Lewis Hamilton has lost his legal battle to prevent luxury watchmaker Hamilton from registering its name as a trademark.

A judge ruled that since the company had been going since 1892, a good few years before Lewis was born, the Formula One ace could not seriously demand exclusive rights to the name.

Which blows my money-making wheeze out of the water. I was hoping to net a fortune in royalties by changing my name to Rolex Oysterdate.

We've heard from Matt Hancock, Prof Chris Whitty, Sir Patrick Vallance, and of course the bonking professor Neil Ferguson, who told us half a million were going to die from coronavirus. So obviously, it's now the turn of Right Said Fred.

"I'm sick of hearing epidemiologists and virologists state scientific facts, I wonder what 90s pop stars have to say about the pandemic?" observed one wag.

Fair enough. But Right Said Fred's take on the situation is that while they might not agree with anti-mask campaigners, people should respect their right to express their views. And that freedom of speech should not be conditional on holding the 'correct' opinions. Fred Fairbrass added that while the coronavirus was a serious problem, it was not the only issue affecting the nation at the moment, and that focusing exclusively on that to the detriment of all other illnesses was counter-productive.

"We either live like hermits and we kill the country we love, or we face up to the fact that some of us are going to die," he added.

Which doesn't sound that mad to me.

Perhaps the real question should be why a pair of has-been pop stars seem able to make a more coherent and persuasive argument than our politicians and so-called experts.

Online shopping is something that has so far passed me by. Yes, I've bought the odd thing off eBay, but I generally prefer to see what I'm getting before I hand over the cash. And I would rather spend money in my home town than some logistics centre outside Milton Keynes.

Judging by a report this week, it doesn't look like I've missed out on much. Apparently, if an online shop doesn't have what you order in stock, it uses artificial intelligence to choose a substitute. And for 'artificial intelligence', read 'no intelligence'.

For example, people who ordered sunflower oil or Cadbury's Roses were sent flowers instead. Somebody who asked for a kettle got Kettle Chips crisps. A customer who ordered red peppers got a bottle of hair dye, and someone who ordered a pair of latex gloves got a packet of condoms. Which could, potentially, have required a bit of explaining.

The scary thing is, it is artificial intelligence and algorithms such as these which are shaping the future of our nation. Perhaps that's why today's 'experts' seem so clueless.

A couple of weeks ago, it struck me that what was happening across the pond was like an episode of The Sweeney, with dithering, by-the-book Frank Haskins, played by Joe Biden, ordering the mercurial, rules-are-made-to-be-broken Jack Regan off the case. Only Regan, played by Donald Trump, ignores the instructions and does as he sees fit, with explosive results.

Logically, that means recent events in Downing Street must be an episode of Minder, where Arthur Daley has been forced to dump his trusty sidekick.

"Sorry Terrence/Dom, you've been a diamond, but yer can't go around calling 'Er Indoors 'Princess Nut Nuts', I've been getting earache all week. Wot's more, she's making me sleep in the spare room after some bird called Track 'em Trace rang up an' told 'er I 'ad been in contact with someone who 'ad this infection. I tell you, anuvver night on that camp bed an' I'm gonna 'ave an 'ernia."

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