Mark Andrews on Saturday: Superpowers, pension pots and why I'm starting to feel sympathy for Keir Starmer

Mark Andrews on the week's news.

Ex Big Brother contestant Carole Vincent heckles Sir Keir Starmer during his keynote speech
Ex Big Brother contestant Carole Vincent heckles Sir Keir Starmer during his keynote speech

Film luvvie Richard Curtis reckons the £2.6 trillion invested in the nation's pension pots could be the 'hidden superpower' in the fight against global warming.

I guess that is how you would expect a multi-millionaire movie producer to see things.

But to millions of lesser mortals, they are the money we have put away in the hope it will fund a comfortable retirement. Not something to be played with at the behest of rich celebs who have no such worries.

Richard Curtis has his eye on your pension pot

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Indeed, everybody seems to be talking about superpowers at the moment. Launching the iPhone 13 last weekend, tech giant Apple claimed the new telephone would give its owners superhuman attributes.

Maybe that's why hundreds of people were queuing outside a mobile-phone shop in London to get their new devices, although spending up to £1,079 on something which does essentially the same job as my old Nokia does not seem that superhuman to me.

Still, the first customers got a round of applause from the shop staff. It doesn't take much to get people clapping these days, does it? Perhaps it should become a weekly event. Clap for iPhone buyers!

Superhuman? People queuing to get the iPhone 13

Of course, the only reason people keep buying all this junk is that the tech industry keeps making the earlier versions obsolete, by needlessly changing operating systems and refusing to allow the update of older devices. It's less than 15 years since Apple introduced the iPhone, and already we're on the Mk13.

If there is one environmental campaign I would happily get behind, it would be discouraging people from buying this tat. It wastes so many precious resources and does so little to improve our quality of life. Just don't block any motorways.

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It is rare that I feel sympathy for politicians, but I actually felt quite sorry for Sir Keir Starmer this week.

In his first real opportunity to project his party as a government-in-waiting, the opening day of his conference was overshadowed by his gob-on-a-stick deputy giving a juvenile speech in which she labelled her opponents as 'scum'. On day two, Sir Keir had to deal with a showboating front-bencher nobody had heard of deciding to resign because Starmer didn't think raising the minimum wage to £30,000 a year was realistic. And, finally, his final set-piece address to the nation was interrupted by a bunch of mouthy hecklers, one of whom had been on Big Brother in 2007.

Sympathy – Starmer

One of the hecklers, speaking after the event, proudly told LBC listeners he would be off to the Tory Party conference next week to do a bit more of the same. Don't these people have jobs to go to?

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