Peter Rhodes on the Beeb under fire, Boris in the last lap and the golden age of motor racing

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Not worried enough?
Not worried enough?

OUR changing language. A BBC reporter, at the scene of yet another killing in London, told us that many murders in the capital are "knife-enabled."

IN journalism, the "lead-in" between writing or photographing something and seeing it in print can be a few hours in news reporting or a few weeks for features. Today I have set a personal record. I have a double-page photo spread in the latest edition of that most revered of car-racing magazines, Motor Sport. I took the pictures 52 years ago.

IT was at the British Racing Drivers' Club championship in April 1967, on a trip to Silverstone with my car-mad father. Using his Kodak Retinette camera, I took dozens of snaps in the paddock and the pits, in the days when the public could wander pretty much where they wanted. I photographed Jack Brabham and Piers Courage, Bruce McLaren and Mike Parkes as they drove out to the start line. In the foreground, the stars in their Ferraris and Lotuses. In the background, a jumble of tuned-up classic cars for later races: Anglias, Imps, Crestas and so on. At the time these were just a schoolboy's snaps but half a century on they are priceless little reminders of an era when motor racing was far less formal or sophisticated than today. A golden rule of journalism: never throw anything away.

FOOTNOTE: Of the drivers competing on that day in 1967 six, including Courage, McLaren and Parkes, would later die in road or track accidents. Motor racing may have been slower back then but it was far deadlier.

THE BBC which must be the greenest and most eco-aware broadcasting organisation in the world, must have been miffed at being picketed by Extinction Rebellion for "not telling the truth." But that's how it is with revolutionary movements. Before they turn their fire on the peasants, they usually have a little bloodletting among their comrades. How long before the XR army turn up outside Greta Thunberg's house and denounce her for not looking sufficiently worried?

CAN we assume, that if Boris Johnson secures a deal with the EU which is acceptable to Brussels and to Ireland North and South, that there will be no more nonsense about holding a second "confirmatory" referendum? If Boris gets the deal, Boris has won. End of. In any case, supposing a second referendum produced another majority for Brexit. In your wildest dreams, can you honestly see Jo Swinson or Keir Starmer meekly accepting the result? It's time to finish this and move on. And we're not there yet. Not by a long way.

AFTER years of faults on our BT landline, I thought I'd heard every possible explanation. Tree fallen on cable. Cable nibbled by squirrels. Cable snapped by shotgun pellets. Access box flooded. And so on. The weekend brought another outage and a new cause. Beetle nest in junction box.

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