Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on horrible horses, dodgy drinks and artificial injustice

Oh, brave new world. Artificial Intelligence (AI) cameras will soon be detecting and punishing litter bugs on our filthy motorways. They will spot littering incidents, snap the evidence and send a £100 ticket to the litterbug. Well, not exactly.

The perfect procession creature?

The ticket will actually go to the registered owner of the vehicle. I'm guessing this is because the AI is not yet clever enough to identify the individual who chucked the Twix wrapper. As the registered owner, you may have no idea that any litter was dropped, far less by whom. The alleged offender could have been your front-seat passenger or your child in the rear kiddy seat. This is one of the first mass interfaces between AI technology and millions of Brits. Worrying, isn't it, that this AI debut involves penalising people who may have done nothing wrong? AI: Artificial Injustice.

Overheard at a Coronation street party: “I'll have a slice of Quirinition Kosh, please.”

Own up. How many loyal subjects roared with laughter at Private Eye magazine's front-page Coronation headline: “Man in Hat Sits on Chair.” How odd that the editor Ian Hislop has never been knighted.

It emerges that one of the military horses in the Coronation parade almost crashed into the crowd. Hardly surprising, given that horses are big, brainless and unpredictable. Army horses were bred to smash open enemy defences and trample Frenchmen; they are not the ideal creature for a parade. There is probably time before the next Coronation to train something smaller, gentle and altogether more user-friendly. Alpacas?

I was astonished to see Prince William drinking something offered to him on a walkabout in Windsor, without having a clue what it was. Thankfully, it was presented by a loyal subject and not a rabid poisoner. But how do you tell the difference? I was advised some years ago by an old hack never to consume any food or drink offered by a member of the public. Many years earlier he had been presented with a bottle of whisky. It was not whisky. Enough said.

There is much talk about the future of those bits of the Commonwealth known as realms. I wonder, if a realm is run by a female politician, is it a woman's realm?