Peter Rhodes on backsliding Boris, a £20,000 Audi and blazing buttocks in Beer

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Les Dawson - ribald remedies

I WAS going to use this little quote as a thought for the day, but I dare say it will apply for the entire month of July: “Almost the only people who think Johnson a nice guy are those who do not know him.” Boris Johnson’s former boss, Max Hastings, writing in the Guardian.

SO how many days will elapse between a shiny new prime minister gliding into Downing Street on the promise of leaving the EU by October 31, and that same prime minister mournfully telling us that, cripes and golly gosh, it might actually take a bit longer? I give it about a fortnight.

THIS week's Victim of a Cruel and Uncaring World, discovered by BBC Money Box programme, is a 23-year old university student who was looking for a little car to take her to and from lectures. She was "persuaded" by a dealer to buy a second-hand Audi, paying a £300 deposit and £329 a month for the next five years. Or to put it another way, £20,040. She is now unable to meet the repayments and, of course, it must be somebody else's fault. Her family says the car dealer should have demanded proof that the student was able to repay the loan. Or maybe the family should have warned their daughter about car dealers. Or perhaps our schools could teach kids how "personal finance" works. But the truth is that blaming everyone else is no answer and that some lessons will always be learned the hard way. You may blow 20 grand on a limo you don't need - but you'll probably only do it once.

IN our youth, our annual Devon holiday in Beer was sun, sea and surf. The latest, last week, was sun, sea and sciatica.

SCIATICA, which banjaxed me in a matter of minutes after a long walk, is one of those rather old-fashioned conditions that used to be a mainstay of North Country comedians like Les Dawson and Victoria Wood. I don’t know why, but there is something inherently funny about Aunt Ada’s lumbago, Cousin Frank’s chilblains or Our Susan’s sciatica.

IN real life, sciatica is about as funny as ethnic cleansing. It’s hard to describe the pain but if you imagine all the flesh being removed from your buttock and upper leg, and someone applying a blow lamp to the bone, you’re almost there. A local doctor in Devon fitted me into his list in a matter of hours. He explained that if sciatica leads to the involuntary evacuation of bladder, bowels or both, it is regarded as a medical emergency. Sounds like a bit of a social gaffe, too.

ANYWAY, there are worse holidays than sciatica-ridden ones. In the Sunday Times, Liz Jones tells how a friend invited her to “come and see” her at her New Forest home. When Jones accepted, the friend sent a list of local holiday cottages, for rent. Makes you wonder what her enemies are like.

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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