Peter Rhodes on buckets of opportunities, vanishing emails and a new presenter for Mastermind

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Clive Myrie – ferociously intelligent
Clive Myrie – ferociously intelligent

Spot the missing phrase from Alexi Robichaux, boss of the mental-health business BetterUp, on appointing Prince Harry as “chief impact officer.”

In fluent California-ese, Robichaux declares that he weighed up “four buckets of opportunities” before taking on the prince.

He tells us of "a natural chemistry and synergy around the insights and the contributions he can make creatively to BetterUp in ensuring that we achieve our mission".

The missing words? I see no mention of "going forward". Maybe they're still plugging it in the chandelier to see what lights up.

The scrapping of British Army tanks and the threat to some fine old cavalry regiments that use them cannot be allowed to pass without recalling a famous Punch magazine cartoon of 1892.

A crusty old general asks a laid-back cavalry officer: “What is the general use of cavalry in modern warfare?”

The cavalry man replies: “Well, I suppose to give tone to what would otherwise be a mere vulgar brawl."

Drones and cyber-weapons may win the battles of the 21st century but even their biggest fans aren't promising much in the way of tone.

Zap! And another of my brilliantly composed emails vanishes into the ether. If you use BT emails, you'll be aware that on the right of the screen is a large blue button marked "Send".

The snag is that it's right next to another large blue button marked “Discard.” You see the problem?

It makes me wonder how BT would lay out the control buttons in a Trident submarine. “Fire!” next to “Coffee,” perhaps?

Meanwhile, over at user-friendly Gmail, there's just one big blue button marked “Send.” On the other side of the screen, well out of harm's way, is a small black dustbin. Simples.

As a fellow low-born, North Country grammar-school boy, I'm delighted that Clive Myrie has been chosen to present the Beeb's quiz show Mastermind.

Bolton-born Myrie is ferociously intelligent and probably has that essential quizmaster quality, seen in Magnus Magnusson, Bamber Gascoigne and John Humphrys, of appearing to know all the answers without looking at the cards.

Last week I mentioned Akram Khan's revival of Rudyard Kipling's classic, The Jungle Book.

Khan said in passing: “We can't ignore the fact that he (Kipling) was a racist and an imperialist.” That's the usual, acceptable view.

Which is why so many people are surprised when they actually read Kipling and discover a superb wordsmith of great humanity, humour and empathy who punctured pomposity, loved his fellow man, adored his nation, knew his Koran and admired both Islam and Buddhism.

And while Rudyard Kipling certainly believed in the Empire, he despised those British politicians who mismanaged it and admired those enemies who bravely took up arms against it.

He certainly used language that we consider inappropriate or offensive but then who didn’t, all those years ago? He was a complex product of his age. Just as we all are.

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