Express & Star

Peter Rhodes on delegates, Danish holidays and handing over power to the people – or not

There are almost as many delegates attending the COP28 conference (70,000) as there are soldiers in the British Army. Thought for the day.

The opening ceremony of the World Climate Action Summit at Cop28 in Dubai. Photo: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

Steve Reed, Labour's shadow environmental secretary, promises that if Labour wins the next general election there will be “the biggest ever transfer of power from Westminster to the British people in all parts of the country.” Because sharing power is what politicians do, isn't it? Except when they don't.

What sort of grim, dysfunctional, frigid and non-communicating family would not discuss the likely skin tone of a forthcoming dual-heritage baby in their clan? Discussing the question becomes racist only if it is spoken with malice. And so far we don't know what was said in the Royal Household, or even when (Meghan said the words were spoken when she was pregnant; Harry suggested it was much earlier). But I doubt if there was an ounce of malice in any conversation. In this multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society of ours, what could be a more fitting addition to the Windsor family than an ethnic-minority prince or princess? I bet the "racist" Windsors were over the moon at the prospect of a baby of colour in their ranks.

Here's a welcome present for the festive season. Seaside Hotel (Badehotellet) resumes its streaming run on Channel 4. It's a tale of the lives and loves of Danish families who meet up each summer at a smart hotel on the coast. In a generally charmless world, Seaside Hotel is a thing of pure charm. Be warned, it is also addictive.

Despite much criticism, the BBC has stuck to its guns by not referring to Hamas as terrorists or to their deeds as terrorism. However, over the past few days, I've heard two BBC reporters describing Hamas's massacre on October 7 as “murderous.” Which is a couple of steps in the right direction.

Teach yourself Beeb-speak. Deborah Turness, head of BBC News, says cutting Newsnight (BBC2) by 20 minutes and sacking 30 journalists is “an opportunity to actually adapt and evolve the Newsnight offer to match where the audience have now gone. . . It's high-fibre premium quality conversation and analysis, and that's what the audience want.” Yup, plenty of high fibre going on there. . .