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Peter Rhodes on a new word for Brexit, a fall in the final furlong and taking life to the moon

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

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THE most dramatic conspiracy theory about the death in prison of Jeffrey Epstein, and the one retweeted by Donald Trump, is that the Clintons were responsible. At least it takes the heat off the Duke of Edinburgh.

OUR changing language. I offer you this new word for this pre-Brexit time: Cacadarmac. It is an amalgam of the words most frequently used in Project Fear to warn us of the appalling consequences of leaving the EU: catastrophe, cataclysm, disaster, Armageddon and cliff-edge all add up to Cacadarmac.

WHY do we need a new word? Because the old ones are flabby, overused and under-defined but rarely challenged. Politician A may describe the Brexit outlook as cataclysmic and Politician B may opt for disastrous. But they are never asked to explain what they understand by a cataclysm or a disaster. It may well be, for example, that one man's catastrophe is nothing more than a 5p rise in the price of avocados, while one woman's cliff-edge is a 0.1 per cent drop in the value of the pound. After three years of debate, the words have become meaningless. Is a Soubry Armageddon better or worse than a Hammond Armageddon? Is a Corbyn disaster more or less disastrous than a Rees-Mogg disaster? Nobody knows.

SO from now on, let us only allow one word to be used to describe the horrors of Brexit: Cacadarmac. And let the doom-mongers agree on a firm definition, in terms of jobs, money and sovereignty, what Cacadarmac really means. I can't see it happening because I don't believe they know. Project Fear prospers when fudge is on the menu.

BETWEEN you and me, even in what looks like the final furlong, I'm still not convinced Brexit will happen. We have not seen the last of John Bercow and Gina Miller.

I WONDER who, in the great sweep of human history, will be remembered as the more reckless bunch of scientists. Is it the Israelis who, a few days ago, accidentally crash-landed thousands of indestructible little bugs call Tardigrades on the moon, or those scientists who simply can't wait to bring unknown microbes to Earth from Mars? Buy a gas mask. Find a cave.

WHEN the newspapers do those end-of-year supplements on the great events of 2019, I wonder what will get more coverage, the dam at Whaley Bridge or the punk hairstyle of Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Swann as she faced the cameras to describe the danger of the dam collapsing. In some ways, the barnet was more significant than the dam for it went to the roots (sorry) of the debate about the citizen and the State. Should uniformed public servants follow rigid rules on appearance or is some personal tweaking permissible?

I'M sure DCC Swann does her job very well but there is no escaping the fact that in the nano-second she stepped in front of the cameras at Whaley Bridge, the story changed from "Dam, dam, dam!" to "Hair, hair, hair!"

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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