Peter Rhodes on a slogan for happy Remainers, an ugly critter and a jumping national treasure

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column by Peter Rhodes.

National treasure - Guy Martin

MORE gibberish from the grammatically-challenged crooks of the online underworld: "Dear BT Customer, We dictate an attempt to log-in to you BT Account." And they presumably "dictate" this attempt by using what - a dictator . . ?

TALKING of dictators, my blood was slightly chilled by a reader who responded to my piece on whether Brexit-type movements might be banned across the EU, with states effectively locked in. He writes: "There's no need for a lock when nobody wants to leave." That's the sort of chirpy little slogan you expect to hear North Koreans chanting, a million strong in Pyongyang, or to see on the armbands of young and tanned blond lads in 1930s Germany. All together now: "We're so happy we'll never want to leave."

IT reminded me of an encounter with a loyal citizen who told me why there was only one political party in her local council and why she was quite happy with that arrangement: "There is no need for other parties," she smiled sweetly, "because the Communist Party is the voice of the people." Leningrad, 1976.

A READER takes me to task for not singing the praises of Guy Martin for his excellent programme Guy Martin's D-Day Landing (C4) which climaxed with him parachuting into the 1944 battle zone. Martin is a national treasure and can always be relied on to shine some new and unexpected light into whatever he does. But I have never been a fan of middle-aged men dressing up as soldiers of the First or Second World Wars. Times have changed beyond all comparison. Men were different then and the real D-Day warriors, some not even 20, knew there was a high chance of being killed. There is the problem, too, of focusing on the parachute drop as though it were the climax of the battle. As any para will tell you, parachuting is simply one way of getting to work.

OR in my case, getting signed off work. When I was young and foolish I did one jump, broke a leg and spent six weeks in plaster. I never talk about it.

THIS week's nomination for the least informative report of the year goes to a radio dispatch from Nottinghamshire on the escape of a raccoon dog. We heard from householders terrified by the beast and from experts determined to catch it. But at no stage were we told whether a raccoon dog is a dog, a raccoon or neither. Turns out to be neither.

A RACCOON dog is a particularly bad-tempered creature from east Asia, closely related to foxes. It looks hideous and unlikely to get much sympathy from the sort of people who get all sentimental and misty-eyed about real foxes. In fact, if foxhunting had traditionally killed pug-ugly raccoon dogs, would anyone have campaigned to ban it?

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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