Peter Rhodes on the pot-hole conspiracy, Labour's anti-semitism and why Mary Beard may be right to smell a rat
AH, the long, hot summer of 2018. Been flooded yet?
I SUGGESTED a few days ago that not repairing pot holes might be deliberate government policy to wreck old bangers, thus generating sales of new cars. Within hours came a report by the RAC that pot-hole related breakdowns have doubled in just three months. Listen, just because it's only a theory doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy.
THE most sinister sound of hot summer evenings is the full-throttle roaring of motorbikes in the distance, their riders flicking through half-a-dozen gears in as many seconds. Are bikers the only group of road users who set out with the deliberate intention of breaking speed limits?
THE 1976 movie Logan's Run was set in an overcrowded future world where no-one was allowed to live after 30. When your time was up, a "life clock" crystal started flashing in your palm. Back in real life and real time, scientists have developed a tell-tale implant. When it detects the first signs of cancer, a small dark mole appears on your skin. This is good news for early detection and cure. The bad news is you don't get to run off with Jenny Agutter.
THAT national treasure Mary Beard has been virtually edited out of the US version of the BBC series Civilisations. She suggests that a "creaky" grey-haired lady doesn't fit the American bill but adds: "I am probably smelling a rat where there isn't one." I bet there is.
UNEMPLOYMENT is at a long-time low. Inflation is falling. The pound is stronger against the dollar than at any time in the past two years. Remember, folks, this is all "despite Brexit."
MY thanks to the reader (anonymous, natch) who defines the row over anti-semitism in the Labour Party as "moral posturing." If it's posturing to confront those who spew bile and venom against Jews, then most decent people would be happy to be known as posturers. Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn misses the point entirely when he says "none of it is done in my name." The problem is that all of it is done in his name. It is certainly not done with his approval or on his authority but there is something about the prospect of a Corbyn-led government that seems to have brought all sorts of nasties out of the woodwork.
WAITROSE is using staff, variously described as "health-food police" or "nutrition nannies," to help shoppers choose healthier food. A reader who works in a rival supermarket detects the sweet smell of humbug. He writes: "Of course, this initiative has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that healthier fad foods such as quinoa, have a much higher profit margin than a bag of good old fashioned chips. If supermarkets were really bothered about the nation's health, they'd stop selling cigarettes."
I REFERRED recently to my old Latin master who despaired of my attempts to decline and conjugate things. It was he who coined: "All Rhodes lead to detention."