Peter Rhodes on sex, sleep and driving in Wales
AT London's Hyde Park Corner, a punch-up broke out between Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs, and transgender campaigners including a group called SistersUncut. One of those hurt was a "gender critical feminist" who is a trans-woman and a humanist-funeral celebrant. Doesn't life seem awfully quiet out here in the provinces?
BOB Stewart, the MP and Bosnia war hero, says a teacher at his son's school told classmates not to talk to the boy "because his father's a Tory." It seems bizarre that any grown-up would encourage children to send one of their pals to Coventry. And yet teaching, a profession that attracts some clever and inspirational people, has a track record of also attracting a certain number of immature inadequates who fit the old definition "men among boys and boys among men."
DENNIS Skinner votes against his Labour party on Europe and is applauded for sticking to his principles. Jacob Rees Mogg speaks out against abortion and is applauded for sticking to his principles. Have you noticed how much easier it is to applaud someone's principles when they are exactly the same as your own?
A READER complains glumly about being nicked for speeding in Wales. For the first time in more than 40 years of driving, covering more than a million miles, he has penalty points on his licence. He is philosophical about it but I sympathise. Wales is a happy hunting ground for speed traps hidden in known "hot spots." Some of these are found on the approaches to remote villages where the 30mph limit may extend far into open country. Locals are aware of them but it's easy for outsiders leaving the village to believe the limit no longer applies. A few 30mph repeater signs in these areas would prevent a lot of speeding offences. But that's not the idea is it, boyos? They call it enforcing the law. I call it a tax on visitors.
HINDSIGHT is easy. But some of us were warning about the destiny of the EU long before the latest speech by Jean-Claude Juncker describing his hellish vision of a single-state EU with one president, centralised control of economies, the euro for all member nations and a fully-fledged EU defence union. There is nothing new in this. The choice in last year's referendum was never between Brexit and the EU status quo, because the EU is not standing still. It is moving toward something we want no part of. As I wrote a few days before the referendum: "What keeps me awake at night is the superstate it will become. Brussels has been careful not to use the F-word lately but the old dream of a federal EU, with existing nations reduced to canton-sized units such as Mercia and Catalonia, is still alive and well in the corridors of power. And so, as some British generals and security experts have pointed out, is the EU's old dream of its own armed forces." True then, truer now.
A NEW "happiness index"claims the two things which really influence our health and well-being - far in excess of mere money - are sex and sleep. Although not, presumably, at the same time.