Peter Rhodes on blacked-out pages, climate-change bunkum and a bangless Bonfire Night

Read today's column by Peter Rhodes.

An expensive business
An expensive business

NEWSPAPERS in Australia produced blacked-out front pages to complain about government secrecy laws. I was reminded of an editor I worked for many years ago who counted every penny. I know what he'd say. "Lovely gesture but who's going to pay for all that flaming ink?"

A FEW days ago we discussed the importance of choosing good, catchy titles for books and suchlike. Today, I note that Sineenat Wongvajirapakdi, 34, the disgraced and demoted official consort (don't ask) of the King of Thailand, was recently appointed to a prison-reform initiative. The project is entitled "Sharing Happiness And Doing Good With Heart With the Department of Corrections" Snappy, eh?

SAINSBURY'S has been applauded by animal charities for its decision not to sell fireworks at any of its 2,300 stores - the first supermarket chain to do so. Yet Sainsbury's didn't make a fuss about the decision, nor did it mention animal welfare. Which makes me suspect this decision is more about about hard business sense than distressed moggies. Selling fireworks, with all those locked display cases, is an expensive, bothersome and labour-intensive business. And I wonder what happens to a shop's fire-insurance premium when its store room becomes, in effect, a large bomb.

I REFERRED a few weeks ago to the "endless hounding" of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by the wicked Press. But heaven helps those who help themselves. And a good way to protect yourself from endless hounding is not to appear in documentaries on ITV.

IT also helps if your older brother can refrain from commenting on the issue, especially if he uses the word "fragile."

AS one of those hacks who was conned into believing, and reporting, the Greatest Love Story in the History of the Universe (aka the Charles and Di disaster), I've followed a useful maxim for the past 30-odd years. It is never to believe a word emanating from the Palace.

MEANWHILE, it's amazing how many mainstream politicians claim to support the aims of Extinction Rebellion. It's all bunkum. If they were genuinely in tune with the train-stoppers and the grim geishas, they would refuse to fly, give up personal transport and campaign for a limit on the size of families. They would joyously welcome any financial crisis which threw UK industrial growth into reverse. The poorer we are, the quicker our carbon emissions will fall. I will believe our politicians genuinely support XR when I see an MP celebrating the closure of a factory on his or her patch or campaigning for re-election on the slogan of: "Vote for me and be cold, jobless and living on lentils."

LAST week this column suggested the SNP's Ian Blackford did not look good in his trademark waistcoat. This week Blackford appeared waistcoatless in the Commons. Just sayin' . . .

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