Peter Rhodes on NHS appointments, topsy-turvy health advice and can Jeremy Corbyn survive Wreathgate?

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

I ASKED whether Sidney or its variants could be a girl's name.

Vaping peril?

An eagle-eyed reader spotted the credits for a film starring Sidney Poitier's daughter, Sydney Tamiia Poitier.

THIS week's hot news from the world of medical research is that salt is not as harmful as the experts thought last week but vaping is more harmful than the experts thought last week. Anyone care to guess what next week will bring?

A READER turned up for a long-scheduled NHS appointment this week. The staff had his address, his phone numbers and e-mail address. But it wasn't until he arrived at the hospital that they told him the appointment had been cancelled and rescheduled for mid-September. No explanation, just a curt "we're very sorry." Now, you may choose to blame this on NHS underfunding. Or you may take the view that some organisations, even if they were awash with money, would still treat customers like this because, well, because they just do.

AND yes, I know the private sector can let us down, too. I waited in all one day this week for a delivery of plasterboards. At 3pm the builders' merchant rang to say the driver was stuck in traffic and was it okay to deliver the stuff tomorrow? I agreed, grumpily. However, an hour later they rang back to say they'd found another driver who could make a diversion and would be along in 20 minutes. They had, quite literally, gone the extra mile.

A TALE of two Jeremys. Another day, another embarrassing image of Jeremy Corbyn standing by the wrong grave, saying the wrong thing about Israel or giving the wrong terrorist salute. There comes a tipping point in any career and Corbyn's struggle with antisemitism is surely reaching that point. Does anyone seriously think he can now become prime minister? How do you fight a general election with all this baggage in your past and so much excusing and explaining to do? The Wreathgate saga reminds me of Jeremy Clarkson who, having a certain charisma and lots of fans, got away with cock-up after cock-up until one night he called his producer a "lazy Irish ****" and punched him. That was the tipping point, the end of Clarkson at the Beeb and I suspect we are nearing the end of Corbyn. This prospect may scare his supporters but it terrifies the Tories.

HISTORY may record that the tipping point for Jeremy Corbyn was not that he was accused of taking part in a memorial to terrorists but that he wasn't sure whether he was "actually involved."

A FEW days ago I lamented the passing of that old working-class skill, tucking a pencil behind the ear. A retired electrician blames it on health and safety. Everybody has to wear helmets on building sites and, as he puts it, "the pencil can now be inserted vertically between the helmet harness and the cranium."

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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