Peter Rhodes on a Covid conspiracy theory, a lord's folly and avoiding the fun of uni

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Lord Adonis – fast train to Brussels?
Lord Adonis – fast train to Brussels?

It had to happen. After millions of Covid-19 jabs had been injected around the world, a nurse in Tennessee with a history of fainting had the injection and, er, fainted. Nurse Tiffany Dover says it happens to her all the time. No big deal.

Minutes after fainting she was talking happily about it. But this incident was manna from heaven for the anti-vaccine lobby who promptly took to social media to claim that Tiffany was actually dead and the tragedy had been covered up by state security and the all-powerful pharmaceutical industry, Big Pharma.

As with so many conspiracy theories, this claim is riddled with problems. For instance, if a massive global conspiracy were organised and funded by a sinister elite of billionaires, wouldn't they make damn sure a nurse with a fainting problem was not filmed getting the jab?

The tiff over Tiffany is only a foretaste of headlines to come. All over the world, media organisations and freelance agencies have their eyes peeled for the first patient to die after receiving the jab. Given that the first batch of patients are in the 90-plus age group, some deaths are inevitable. But that doesn't matter. Nor does the tiny detail that they died of being hit by a bus or savaged by a tiger. All the Next Big Covid Story demands is the jab, followed by death. If it hasn't happened by the time this appears, expect it in days rather than weeks.

Tony Blair's old mate Lord Adonis says the campaign to rejoin the EU starts now. Only in his own fevered imagination, I fancy. Can any serious political party or movement contemplate putting the nation through a re-run of the four-year agony of Brexit, only this time in reverse? Mind you, when it comes to being utterly out of touch with public opinion, Adonis has form. He is one of the chief instigators of HS2. For most politicians, is is bad enough to be associated with one unwanted, money-squandering white elephant. Adonis has two.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon says the EU should “leave the lights on” because Scotland will be rejoining soon. Really? The problem for Scottish separatists is that most opinion polls showing support for joining the EU and quitting the UK were conducted before Boris Johnson signed the Brexit agreement. Let's see what the next few weeks bring. I bet the pendulum will swing the other way.

According to research, money-conscious school leavers are looking at universities near their home rather than far away. As one put it: “I see the purpose of university as getting a job. If you’re just going there to have fun, how is that beneficial for your future?” A great loss to freshers' week.

Meanwhile, still fascinated by the Covid-jab fainting, I find myself wondering whether Tiffany Dover is related to the author of that gripping whodunnit, Death at the Cliffs. Eileen Dover.

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