Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on booze at breakfast, dodgy architects and taking Musk's name in vain

A cartoon in Punch magazine many years ago showed a Morris Dance team (or side, to be technically correct) slumped bleary-eyed across a table in a beer garden, surrounded by empty pint glasses. “Right, lads,” says their leader (technically squire, foreman or captain). “What shall we spend the rest of the Arts Council grant on?”

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Boozing at breakfast - the road to perdition?

I felt as one with those ancient Morris Dancers this week as I met up with a pair of old friends for our monthly meal. Sometimes we have lunch or dinner but this time it was a 10am breakfast at a pretty, old half-timbered, real-ale pub. And this time, as we chewed the fat and put the world to rights, we were basking in the joy of the Government's £250 bung (officially, the enhanced Winter Fuel Allowance) which works out, if you shop around carefully, at about 50 pints of bitter.

There is a long-standing belief that not all Government money is targeted as well as it might be. I'll drink to that.

And before my regular coterie of killjoys chimes in to remind us that 10am boozing is the road to perdition, I consumed precisely one pint of zero-alcohol Guinness which is exactly like real Guinness but with all the fun scientifically removed.

Elon Musk takes a dim view of people who open Twitter accounts in his name and pose as him for a joke. After a comedian adopted the Musk handle a few days ago, the world's richest man tweeted thus: “Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying 'parody' will be permanently suspended.” Priceless.

Going forward, you may be reminded of the 1970 Monty Python classic, the Architects Sketch. As the scale-model block of flats spontaneously caught fire, the flashing caption: “SATIRE” appeared. Of course, we knew it was satire because no-one would build a block of flats that burst into flames, would they?

Iran stands accused of threatening the lives of British-Iranian journalists living and working in the UK. This is intolerable. It is clearly time to square up to Iran and remind the mad mullahs in Tehran of what happened when Russia dared to smear nerve-gas in Salisbury, killing a British citizen. Absolutely nothing.