Peter Rhodes on Victoria's secret barbs, the bill for teachers' biscuits and a trans nightmare for the NHS

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

"MERE observers. Or party-goers." Author Douglas Murray, describing the police response to previous Extinction Rebellion demonstrations.

TV PRESENTER Victoria Coren Mitchell comes to the defence of Jo Brand whose joke about throwing battery acid at politicians "went beyond what was appropriate," according to the BBC complaints unit. Coren Mitchell begins her column by describing herself as "an uncontroversial broadcaster. I don't want to upset anybody." Really? Then what is the purpose of her cryptic and curiously-barbed comments about Michael Portillo at the end of Only Connect (BBC2)?

THE snag these days is that people get upset at the slightest thing. You have only to suggest that any adult in possession of a bicycle should be hung, drawn and quartered in public than, oh dammit, I've done it again.

STILL on BBC balance, during the Naga Munchetty row, the BBC thundered that its presenters must "hold power to account with consistency and due impartiality." Due impartiality? Oh, do us a favour. On Sunday, the Beeb's flagship current-affairs programme The World This Weekend (Radio 4) began by posing this question about Boris Johnson's proposals for Northern Ireland: "Consent, consensus or con?" In what parallel universe is it considered impartial for a newsreader to suggest the Prime Minister is a con merchant?

ACCORDING to a weekend report, hundreds of young transgender people are seeking help to return to their original sex. Charlie Evans, 28, who transitioned from female to male, has set up a charity for people who have transitioned but are having second thoughts, including teenagers who have had full gender reassignment surgery. This confirms the worst fears of some professionals - regularly denounced as "transphobic" by trans activitists - who fear too many kids are starting reassignment too soon or without proper advice. And while these cases are individual tragedies, the financial outlook for the NHS is terrifying. Five or ten years from now, how many sad transitioned young people will be suing the Department of Health for wrongly advising and treating them? And how many millions will each blighted life cost the NHS in compensation?

A PRIMARY school head teacher in Surrey is under fire for announcing that some of the money from fundraising events will provide "treats and biscuits in the staff room." Bad move. For a start, it's unfair. How do you explain to a parent who is an £18,000-a-year council worker that he's buying the Kit-Kats for £30,000-a-year teachers? Next, in the war on obesity, why is anybody eating biscuits in school anyway? Finally, has no-one from the real world explained to teachers that one of the basic responsibilities of being grown-up, employed and professional is to pay for your own food, not rattle a begging bowl at others.

NO such issues blighted my dear old school where a teacher feeling peckish would simply grab a small boy by the ankles, turn him upside down and shake until a Mars bar fell out of a pocket. Ah, such character-forming days.

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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