Peter Rhodes on the Frugal Four, the Grown Ups and the band dropping Dixie

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

The Chicks – really?

Have you noticed how, since face masks became compulsory, debates involving the word burka or niqab have entirely dried up?

A number of stars you may never have heard of are changing their names in light of the Black Lives Matter campaign. You can see why the DJ Joey Negro might change (was that name ever appropriate?). But I am puzzled by the American country pop band The Dixie Chicks who have let it be known they are dropping “Dixie” with its dodgy Confederacy overtones, and are now simply The Chicks.

Since when has Chicks been acceptable? What's the point in appeasing the BLM lobby if you end up offending the feminists? Let the band do the renaming thing properly. From now on The Dixie Chicks, briefly known as The Chicks, are simply The.

The media informed us that the nations of Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands are known in the corridors of Brussels as “the Frugal Four.” Dig a little deeper and you find that some of the other nations in the east and south of the EU also have a nickname – Club Med. And nothing rankles with the careful, thrifty nations of northern Europe more than subsidising countries that not only stand accused of squandering EU money but also have better weather. The EU's agonising over its coronavirus rescue package raises an obvious question: if the UK were still in the EU how many billions would we be handing over to Club Med?

Britain, too, once had a nickname in the EU. According to a report I heard on the subject years back, they referred to the UK delegation as the Grown Ups. Mind you, it was a long time ago.

Let us call a dirk a dirk. The Scots are never going to warm to Boris Johnson. They may tell pollsters they are more impressed with Nicola Sturgeon's coronavirus policies than Johnson's but what they really mean is they prefer the wee Scots lassie to the blustering, floppy-haired Sassenach gallumpher who uses words like “crikey!” If we really want to hold the Union together, the next prime minister will be a better bet than the current one. Rishi Sunak, perhaps?

In the meantime, watch out for Scots Nats using the term rUK to describe the Remainder of the United Kingdom, after Scotland leaves. Don't put money on it. If Scotland quit, we would still call ourselves the UK because it's our name and we like it. And the same goes for the Union Jack. It's not up for discussion.

You know the silly season is here when we get that old chestnut about Nasa discovering a new constellation which totally alters the dates of our star signs. As far as I can divine, not a word of it is true, which is precisely what I expected. We Taureans are very sceptical.

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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