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Peter Rhodes on the rise and fall of Kevin Spacey, the joy of Wolverhampton and prisoners getting a taste of their own medicine

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

IN a poll of 55,000 dimwits, Wolverhampton has been voted Britain's second-worst city, after Bradford.

Kevin Spacey

All I can add to the debate is that I worked in Wolverhampton for 28 years and met some of the best people I have ever known.

I CAN'T provide the same ringing endorsement for Bradford. My father was born in the city. I recall him once saying: "I come from Bradford, and Bradford is a bloody good place to come from."

HOW are the mighty fallen. Kevin Spacey, accused last year of sexual harassment dating back many years, made a pitiful £99 this week on the opening night of his new movie. This is the same Kevin Spacey who delivered that mammoth dramatic masterclass as Frank Underwood - plotter, killer and president - in the Netflix version of House of Cards. I've just finished watching all 65 hour-long episodes, made between 2013 and 2017 and what an extraordinary tour de force it was. But we cannot turn the clocks back. Justice must be done, no matter how much shining talent it drags off into obscurity.

A COUPLE of days ago I suggested that few of us had much in common with wealthy anti-Brexit campaigners such as Blair, Mandelson, Adonis, Miller and so on. A reader points out that Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg are also wealthy. True. But the simple difference, my bad-loser friends, is that the Brexiters are trying to implement the will of the people, as expressed in the greatest democratic exercise ever undertaken in the UK, and the other lot are trying to frustrate it. It's not just about money, it's also about doing the right thing.

ANYWAY, things are looking up. Michel Barnier is coming under pressure from some EU nations on the need for a sensible Brexit settlement, and the negotiations, once sporadic, have become full-time. After all the sabre-rattling, an agreement is likely. Those Remoaners who claim to be terrified by the idea of no-deal ought to start telling the truth; what really scares them is not the prospect of no deal but of a deal.

YOU have to be pretty damn thuggish these days to get into prison. The courts are so soft that only the nastiest get banged up. They are the ones who use extreme violence, and the most grotesque weapons, to terrify, wound or kill their innocent victims. So how are we supposed to react to the news that some of these killers, maimers, extorters and serial burglars are so scared by the conditions in Birmingham Prison that they are afraid to leave their cells? Here is a liberal dilemma: do we have to feel really, really, genuinely sorry for them or is it okay just to pretend?

A READER sends me his take on the Birmingham Prison scandal: "Prison inspectors were horrified to see cockroaches, vomit, flies, human excrement, rat droppings and drug paraphernalia. It got even worse after they left New Street Station. "

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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