Peter Rhodes on high jinks, low jinks, and a 'gleeful' presenter in trouble at the BBC

Our changing language. A TV supplement recommends The Inbetweeners Movie for “plenty of hijinks.” This is an alternative spelling of “high jinks,” an old drinking game in which the loser had to choose between drinking more booze or performing “an undignified task.”

Martine Croxall – gleeful
Martine Croxall – gleeful

I can find only a few dictionary references to “low jinks” but they seem much the same as high jinks, only lower. Let us move on . . .

I didn't see the original screening of BBC presenter Martine Croxall saying she felt “gleeful” as newspapers arrived with news of the Tory leadership contest. She is now accused of political bias. But Croxall's joy looked to me like a journalist's natural exuberance as a big story unfolds. If you don't feel gleeful at such moments, you're probably in the wrong job. And if that's a breach of the Beeb's impartiality rules, I'm Gary Lineker.

Tucked away in the business section of the Daily Telegraph was a column that deserves wider coverage. Kate Andrews, Economics Editor at the Spectator, explained how the demise of Liz Truss's “unsustainable” mini-budget, based on tax cuts and borrowing, could spell trouble for Labour. The same fiscal forces that brought Truss crashing down would also give Keir Starmer's spending plans a “brutal blow.” Andrews says: “Labour may claim that all its spending is costed (but) markets will know better.” You read it here second.

Incidentally, among all the enemies that rubbished Truss's mini-budget, one bunch of historical villains were missing. Whatever happened to the Gnomes of Zurich?

Few pubs deserve the title of “legendary” but Ma Pardoes in Netherton, Dudley, is one. Yet even legendary status is no protection from market forces. The pub, like so many others, faces rising costs and a shortage of “consistent customers.” Regulars are not as regular, or as free-spending as they used to be. Guilty as charged. A few days ago I enjoyed lunch at a pub which I regard as my local. So far this year I have been there three times.

Much rejoicing in Leicester where Asian folk celebrating Diwali were over the moon to have an Asian prime minister. One of those interviewed by Sky News pointed out that that Britain once ruled India and an Indian is now ruling Britain. Wonder if he can provide us with trains.

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