Peter Rhodes on the Global Dimwittery, ancient boots and the best way to feed a conspiracy theory

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Boots, boots, boots, going on for ever.
Boots, boots, boots, going on for ever.

The Prince of Wales has been holding forth on recycling one's clothes. Apparently he has many aged suits and a much-repaired pair of Lobb shoes which he acquired in 1969. He has set up what he calls "a kind of thrift market"at Dumfries House in Scotland where expert repairers show folk how to mend old kit rather than buy new.

I can't claim to own shoes quite as ancient as HRH's venerable Lobbs. But I do have a pair of 1977 Chelsea boots which were considered essential for young Yeomanry officers back in the day. These 43-year-old boots have lasted so long because a) they are very uncomfortable and b) who wears Chelsea boots any more? However, given the prince's example, I shall henceforth brandish them as evidence of my commitment to thrift.

Not that “thrift” means quite the same thing to princes as to us plebs. Charles's Lobb Oxford shoes, custom-made for royalty and superstars, cost about £2,600 a pair. I seem to recall my Chelseas were £16.

Meanwhile, the Prince has been recycling goodwill, taking part in Germany's national day of mourning. Strange to think that, but for the First World War and the Royal Family deciding to change its name to Windsor, our heir apparent would be HRH Prince Charles of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

More on venison following yesterday's item on the drive to get us eating more wild deer. Ironically, while deer is by no means rare, it is best eaten rare. And that may be another problem for the venison lobby. How many Brits are prepared to eat their meat bloody and pink? By the time a good piece of venison has been cooked in the traditional semi-incinerated British fashion, it's as tough as a a pair of old Lobbs.

Social media comments by the anti-vaccine lobby are “poison and garbage” and, according to Labour, should be stamped out by emergency laws. Which would be fine and dandy, except that there is no better way to convince the Global Dimwittery that a conspiracy theory is genuine than to pass emergency laws banning any mention of it.

The Global Dimwittery? I am delighted to report that Google has: “No results found for 'the global dimwittery'.” In other words, I have just invented it. And yet we all know it exists. You probably know a few members.

The port of Felixtowe is blocked up with 11,000 shipping containers full of PPE (personal protective equipment) for the NHS. The economic scale of this pandemic is beyond belief and money is clearly no object. Suddenly you begin to understand the cynical old description of the British state as a health service with nuclear weapons.

Thanks for your suggestions of unlikely duos to replace Omar Sharif and Julie Christie in a re-made Doctor Zhivago. I don't think we'll see any improvement on one reader's suggestion: Arthur Mullard & Hylda Baker. Perfect.

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