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Peter Rhodes on marrying your dog, closing down food banks and the horror of bargains in Waitrose

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Do you take this dog . . ?

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

I REFERRED a couple of days ago to the RSC's latest production at Stratford, King John. A reader tells me he reckons Shakespeare missed a couple of tricks. How on earth could the Bard write a play about King John without a single mention of Magna Carta or Robin Hood? Fair point, forsooth.

A FEW days ago, Labour politicians were shaking their heads in horror at the Supreme Court's suggestion that Boris Johnson may have misled the Queen, implying they felt deep respect and sympathy for Her Majesty. However, a survey of Labour Party members reveals that only 29 per cent support the monarchy and 62 per cent are republicans. You seriously think they give a flying tumbril about the Queen? By their surveys shall ye know them.

A WEEK on, you may be puzzled about the Supreme Court ruling on the prorogation of Parliament. If Boris Johnson did something unlawful, why hasn't he been arrested? Indeed, what is the name of the law he supposedly broke? The best explanation I've seen comes in a letter to the Daily Telegraph from a reader who clearly knows the law. He points out that unlawful acts are not necessarily illegal. He gives the example of getting married to your own dog. The ceremony may not be illegal but it is unsustainable in law and of no effect and is therefore unlawful. There are two lessons arising from this. Firstly, don't expect the cops to knock on Boris's door in the near future. Secondly, feel free to pop the question to Fido.

I MUSED some time ago on the difficulty, however well-meant, of closing down food banks. Labour has now set out its stall, promising to halve the use of food banks within a year of taking office and "ending the need for food banks" completely within three years. The small print? These targets are not legally binding and food banks will not be shut down to meet them. Sort the bones out of that.

WAITROSE, the happy hunting ground of what is supposed to be the genteel middle class, is slashing the number of "reduction bays" where cut-price offers are said to have led to arguments between customers. A Waitrose employee tells me: "It's true. I have seen customers jostling and arguing over a ready meal or sandwich that has been reduced to 10p in the final ten minutes before we close. They are like a load of vultures circling overhead waiting to pounce, or a pack of jackals in the Serengeti ravenously trying to gorge on recently deceased carrion."

FRANKLY, I'm not surprised. One Christmas Eve I had some last-minute shopping in the Co-Op and Waitrose. The Co-Op was bustling with happy shoppers and helpful staff. Waitrose was all sharp elbows, baying customers and besieged, frazzled shelf-stackers. It was like comparing It's a Wonderful Life with Zulu.

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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