Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on top-notch telly, principled lawyers and how, in politics, nothing is ever over

Part of me admires those lawyers who will not assist in the prosecution of eco-activists such as Just Stop Oil. The other part of me asks: Are they mad?

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Glorious – Claire Foy in Little Dorrit

For once you put your head over the parapet in today's febrile eco-struggle, you have to be absolutely squeaky-clean, or risk being denounced as a hypocrite. I bet the hounds are already sniffing out evidence that Barrister A drives a gas-guzzler. Or that Barrister B is a frequent flyer. Or that Barrister C's ex-wife's, brother's lover (any connection will do) has shares in Shell. Dirty old game, isn't it?

You thought Partygate would be over by now? Me too. I assumed Boris would give his evidence to the Commons Privileges Committee, there would be a brief adjournment and the former PM would then re-enter the room, court-martial style, to hear the verdict. No chance.

In true parliamentary style, the MPs will now cogitate for a few weeks. It could be summer before any decision is reached. And whichever way it goes, Partygate will be mulled over by historians, pundits and politicians for decades to come.

Some people say it's time to move on but in politics, moving on can be a slow old business and nothing is ever entirely over. Only a few days ago C5 screened the documentary Jeffrey Archer & the Call Girl. Nineteen eighty-seven, and all that.

Why are the French rioters burning e-scooters by the dozen? Firstly, France is basically an ungovernable nation with a long history of burning everything from crepes to chateaux. Secondly, e-scooters are lethal and have accounted for dozens of pedestrian deaths. And in any case, as a general rule, anything beginning with e- (e-mail, e-learning, e-banking, e-booking etc) won't be greatly missed.

If the Beeb's latest version of Great Expectations doesn't grab you, in this catch-up age of iPlayer there are plenty of Dickensian alternatives. I'm busy binge-watching all 14 episodes of the Beeb's glorious 2008 adaptation of Little Dorrit starring Claire Foy and Tom Courteney.

Like so many of the best TV dramas, Little Dorrit passes the Lesser Test which says that if Anton Lesser is anywhere in the cast (Game of Thrones, Endeavour, Dickensian, Wolf Hall etc), it's worth watching.