Peter Rhodes on eavesdropping phones, curious quotes and the political lure of Vogue

Our changing language. The Daily Mail, that great guardian of British standards no less, carries a report on a car that destroyed a house by “plowing into it at 90mph.” Or “ploughing,” as we say in Britain. “Plowing” is the US version. I'd like to think we will defend our distinctive UK spelling for many years to come but frankly I dowt it.

Nicola Sturgeon – in Vogue
Nicola Sturgeon – in Vogue

*

Here we go again. The insurance company which last year charged me £450 for home insurance wants £522 for next year – even though the same company is offering cover online for £356.

At one price-comparison website (plump Welsh tenor), quotes for my home cover started as low as £135. I settled for one with a long- established company at £232. The Financial Conduct Authority has already carried out one investigation into dodgy policy pricing by insurance companies. Might another long, hard look be in order?

*

The columnist Rod Liddle had a private chat with his daughter about buying his wife a new camera. The next day his phone and laptop bombarded him with adverts for cameras. The implication is that his phone had somehow eavesdropped on the conversation, which sounds ludicrous. And yet the technology is watching us. A few days before Liddle's yarn appeared, a reader told me of a tiring drive when he was recovering from a tummy bug. Twice his car's dash display flashed on and told him to stop driving and take a break. Safe, but spooky.

*

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon says Liz Truss approached her last year and asked her advice on how to get featured in the upmarket Vogue magazine – something Sturgeon has achieved twice. Politics is a dirty old game and Sturgeon's version of the encounter may not be entirely fair. Even so, it raises concerns about Truss's character. Firstly, it suggests arrogance. Secondly, the misplaced trust is alarming. Sturgeon hates Tories. Did Truss seriously believe that any conversation with the SNP firebrand would remain secret? If so, she sounds dangerously naïve.

Meanwhile, a new survey suggests that most Conservative Party members are still loyal to Boris Johnson. Sixty-three percent of party members voted for Johnson compared with just 22 per cent for Truss. This is not going to end well. At least, not for the Tories.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News