Peter Rhodes on a doggy tail, memories of the Sixties and a very talked-about tiger

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

No mystery

NEWS reaches me of a social event hosted by the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. It is called the Foot Ball.

AFTER his triumph in the EU elections, Nigel Farage says his Brexit Party will contest the next General Election if the Tories fail to deliver Brexit. So all he has to do is find 650 candidates who actually understand Brexit. Good luck with that. One of the big, and still unanswered, questions of the past year is how many MPs who steadfastly voted for or against Theresa May's EU withdrawal deal had even read it. We'll probably never know.

MEMO to Tory MPs and party members everywhere. It's a very simple choice. Gove good, Boris bad.

MEMO to Jeremy Corbyn. It may be time to make the tiniest, weeniest, almost imperceptible change to Labour's Brexit strategy. Take the sentence "We will respect the result of the referendum." Now, between "will" and "respect," simply insert the word "not." See how easy that was?

THERE are many theories about The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the iconic children's book by Judith Kerr who has died aged 95. Was it a warning against appeasing Hitler? Or a plea to understand strangers better? I love the tale of the eager hack who asked Kerr whether: "The tiger symbolised the 1960s sexual revolution where normal mores and suburban life became upended by this wild and exotic creature?" Kerr replied: "No. It was about a tiger coming to tea."

WE are assured that no expense has been spared in recreating authentic 1950s England for the latest Stephen Poliakoff drama, Summer of Rockets (BBC1). I bet some dog lovers disagree. Guy, the spooks' watchdog, is a doberman pinscher with a waggy, full-length tail. Back in the 1950s most dobermans, like most boxers, spaniels and other working dogs, had stumpy little docked tails. Non-docking became the norm only a few years ago.

MOVING on a decade, one of the joys of the Talking Pictures TV channel is the "Glimpses" feature of short documentary films of yore. The latest is of a street market in London in the 1960s. The caption tells us: "Wait till you see the price!" presumably because everything was so much cheaper. Not exactly. We saw a woman perusing a cardigan priced at £2. Back then, a secretary or receptionist would be lucky to earn £5 a week. So buying a market-stall cardigan would take 40 per cent of your week's pay. For most of us, whatever you may have heard, the Sixties were not so much Swinging as skint.

THE phone rings. It is somebody pretending to be from BT telling me, in a recorded voice, my broadband is about to be terminated "as some people is accessing your identity." Is they, indeed? If the crooks ever master the English as wot she is spoke proper, we'll be in real trouble.

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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