Peter Rhodes on Greta the editor, a program for finding suckers and 'free' things that cost a packet

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Greta or Great?
Greta or Great?

A Daily Telegraph reader deplores the popularity of the duvet (“a bag of feathers”) and sings the praises of cotton sheets with a woollen blanket. Her name is Jane Moth.

Family doctors have voted to end home visits to patients. We would miss these visits. In much the way that we miss Hansom cabs, Zeppelins and our daily dose of Virol.

The Prince Andrew affair proves one of the oldest facts about media coverage. If you get turned over by a newspaper, never assume you've heard the last of it. Having set the agenda and grabbed the nation's attendance on one day, the wicked Press will always hold on to some material for the following days. And it's often much nastier than the original story.

I couldn't be bothered to watch last week's Boris-Jezza television debate and I'm not planning total immersion in this week's coverage either. What's the point? Politicians always promise the earth this year and let you down the next. Hand on heart, which slogan do you remotely believe - “Free stuff for everybody” from Corbyn or “Get Brexit done” from Johnson? The latest version of Brexit looks rather unBrexity while Corbyn's “free” broadband has unearthed great depths of public cynicism. “Free” things from the State tend to cost a lot.

Mind you, the private sector can cost you a packet, too. HSBC writes to say I have been “selected” to apply for a Rewards Credit Card. I must assume the selection was done by a computer program developed to seek out suckers, twerps and dimwits. At a time when the Bank of England base rate is 0.75 per cent, the new credit card charges 21.9 per cent. Incidentally, at what point in time, way back in the dark recesses of banking history, did they start using the word “credit” to describe what is actually debt?

Did you catch the pious tones of Auntie Beeb announcing that Greta Thunberg is to be a guest editor of Today (Radio 4) over the festive period? We are assured that this will be a remote editorship with no flights or unnecessary travel. You have to admire the BBC's brass neck in posing as part of the climate-emergency solution when it is actually part of the problem. The Beeb is just another big international media-industrial complex. Kept afloat with an annual bung of £4,000 million from us taxpayers, it employs about 22,000 people and sends its star performers all around the world regardless of expense or carbon emissions. It is a past master in unnecessary travel, whether it's Brian Cox meeting baboons in Ethiopia or some hapless hack taking a taxi across London to file a report from outside the Treasury at midnight.

Incidentally, on the day the Beeb announced Greta Thunberg's editorship, the BBC Travel Programme was cheerfully encouraging us to jet off to Peru, Thailand, the Middle East and Africa.

My new computer suggests “Greta” should be “Great.” That's for history to decide.

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