Peter Rhodes on sipping beer, sex in quarantine and humans being beastly to beavers

Someone on the radio was banging on about how much we Brits are looking forward to “sipping beer” in pubs when lockdown ends. My memory may be letting me down but in the happy, golden, pre-pandemic days, did anyone ever sip beer?

Not so popular
Not so popular

I admit I have missed good beer in good company in good pubs. Yet when I see before me the misty, hoppy vision of the unlocked summer of 2021, nobody is sipping. They are slinging beer down their necks like there's no tomorrow. Sipping be damned.

Twice in the space of three paragraphs, the Guardian described beavers as “the industrious mammal” and “the popular rodent.” It welcomed plans to release record numbers of them in Dorset, Derbyshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Nottinghamshire and Montgomeryshire. Let us hope they prove more popular in their new homes than their cousins in Scotland. Landowners in Tayside, fed up with beaver dam-building and flooding, have killed an estimated 100-plus beavers in recent months, proving that one man's “popular rodent” is another man's unpopular pest.

I'm not a betting man but if I had a few spare quid I might put it on a Covid-19 outbreak at a British quarantine hotel in the next couple of weeks. Australia created a far more rigorous isolation system which was easily penetrated, so to speak, when some of the security staff became a tad too friendly with guests. One thing led to another. You can make all the fail-safe plans you like but the trouble with people is that they're only human.

A Labour policy document suggests Keir Starmer's party should put more focus on patriotism, military veterans and smart dress. Remember Boris's lesson of the vaccines, Keir. Start buying up union jacks.

Two things puzzle me about Donald Trump's acquittal. Firstly, he may have escaped conviction for what he did as president under the impeachment process, as judged by politicians. But surely it is against the law for any American citizen to incite a riot? The senators may not have convicted him but what about judges, juries and the due process of criminal law?

Secondly, what is the secret of Trump's success? Look no further than the Trump-supporting woman interviewed on the steps of the Capitol a few days ago. She explained in all seriousness that it would be wrong to impeach Trump because he was sent by God, whereas Joe Biden was not. It is no surprise to meet people who don't share your own politics. What America has in abundance are people who aren't even living in the same century as the rest of us.

Crystal-ball department. From this column, January 12, on that impossible target of 15 million anti-Covid jabs: “Mass medication . . . is what the NHS does best. So don't be surprised if Boris and Co have deliberately chosen a target which looks wildly optimistic but which they know is perfectly achievable.”

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