Peter Rhodes on the thicko Master Race, claptrap from those in authority and choosing a name for your memoirs

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Keeping it simple - Elton
Keeping it simple - Elton

FOUR Bulgarian football fans have been arrested for making Nazi salutes and hurling racist abuse during this week's Euro 2020 match. Well, what did they expect? The stadium was bristling with TV crews and long-lens cameras, loaded, cocked and ready for the first hint of disrespect to our black players. The yobs must have known they would be instantly identified, screened across the world and nicked. Or do they simply know nothing about anything?

THEY were allegedly giving the salute of Nazism, a creed based on racial purity and the vision of a world run by and for The Master Race. The weakest link in this creed is that whenever you meet the self-proclaimed Master Race they tend to be strikingly, stridently and irredeemably thick.

HERE'S a challenge. Sit down for a few minutes and try choosing a title for those memoirs you always intended to write. The chances are that the less important you are and the less you have achieved, the more boastful and overblown will be the title you choose, as Spike Milligan showed us, tongue firmly in cheek, when he named his first volume of war memoirs Adolf Hitler - My Part in his Downfall. Elton John has achieved so much that he opted for one simple word, the ultimate autobiography title: Me. Perfect.

A GRIM vision of the future came on Farming Today (Radio 4) which revealed that five towns in the Welsh county of Ceredigion have lost all their bank branches. It would be great public relations, suggested one local, if several banks agreed to share the same premises to fulfil their "social responsibility." Dream on. As I noted a few days ago, the banks are far too busy spending their advertising budget on black horses and suchlike gimmicks to waste much time on mere humans.

A READER calls me a numbskull for criticising the BBC's use of the term "knife-enabled" to describe stabbings. He says it's fine because that's the term the police use. It doesn't work like that. One of the jobs of journalists is to turn the ungrammatical gibberish used by those in authority into words that normal people can understand.

MY favourite piece of authority-claptrap came from a US Navy press release some years ago which referred to a "C3 capital at the land-sea interface." This took some decoding. Obviously, a capital is a big ship and C3 stands for command, control and communications. The land-sea interface is presumably where water meets dry land. It turned out that a "C3 capital at the land-sea interface" was an aircraft carrier moored in a harbour. So that's what we called it.

ONE piece of motor-trade gibberish has slipped through the net of reason and remains stubbornly with us. A car seat designed to stop you sliding under your seat belt is described, with a chillingly reckless disregard of language, as an anti-submarine seat. Harrumph.

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