Rhodes on an appearance by the Queen and the role of baseball bats in the planning process

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Time for some me-time?
Time for some me-time?

My thanks to the reader who recommended the uber-violent, hillbilly-v-Mob epic Ozark (Netflix). After binge-viewing the first season I now feel reasonably competent to operate a crematorium.

Vladimir Putin has warned that Finland joining Nato would be “a mistake”. And there speaks a man who knows all about mistakes.

Under proposed changes to planning law unveiled a few days ago, residents could vote on whether their neighbours should get planning permission for developments in their area. This is an exciting and democratic step forward in England's great tradition of co-operation and reasoned debate. So why do I keep thinking, baseball bats?

The Queen misses the opening of Parliament but turns up for Windsor Horse Show. What's going on? I suspect HM, having served the nation dutifully for 70 years, is thoroughly fed up with the annual pantomime of reading someone else's speech and pretending it's your own, and is at last enjoying a little me-time. Or should that be one-time?

Meanwhile, I share a reader's view that if you're underwhelmed by Boris Johnson's Covid crimes, the revelations about his alleged behaviour in an earlier job should infuriate us all. Writing a motoring column for GQ magazine, Johnson ran up “about £4,000” in parking tickets which his employer paid. His former boss also alleged that some cars supposedly reviewed by Johnson had the same mileage reading on delivery as on collection, suggesting that, despite his reviews, he had not even driven them. It's the entitlement that rankles, isn't it?

Purely by chance, the news about Johnson's motoring days came in the same week as the BBC political correspondent Nick Robinson wrote in the Radio Times on the subject of MPs: “Any group of 650 men and women egotistical enough to put themselves in the spotlight is bound to contain its fair share of liars, chancers and crooks.” Naming no names.

After Partygate and Beergate a reader may be stretching things. He asks if a scandal develops around the purchase of Twitter by the world's richest man, will it be Elongate?

My new pair of holiday shorts boasts eight pockets. Magical, isn't it, how you have to search seven of the eight before finding anything you want?

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