Peter Rhodes: 'CCTV cameras on the wall will not save you and the judges will not give you justice'

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

FESTIVE food, terror on the Tube and a radical raid on councils

Is CCTV acting as a deterrent?

WE live in an age of entrepreneurs, chancers and wide boys. East of England Co-op has just started selling rice, crisps, pasta and other "dry goods" that have passed their best-before date for just 10p. Are they on eBay at 50p yet?

AND off to our first Xmas meal of the season, one of those events where you have to specify the menu in advance. Seriously, how many of us know, half way through November, whether, on a Sunday in early December, we might fancy chicken pate or prawns? One easy decision was to eliminate broccoli and Stilton soup from the equation. Broccoli and Stilton, for gawd's sake. Doesn't the very thought of it make you heave?

A FRIEND recalls another Stilton experiment that didn't quite work. On the menu in a country pub some years ago, mackerel with Stilton sauce looked strangely tempting. Turned out to be a curious blend of oily fish with that Stilton hint of damp, unwashed sports kit left in the locker all year. Bon appetit.

THE most chilling CCTV footage of the week shows two thugs on a Tube train in London. They attacked a young man, half-strangled him in a headlock, took his mobile phone and threatened to stab him until he "apologised" for being gay. What made this incident so shocking was not the level of violence, nor even the hatred behind the attack. It was that these thugs must have known their faces would be caught on CCTV, and simply didn't give a damn. Were they out of their skulls on drugs, or made mad by religious fervour? Perhaps it's more likely that they are part of that vast feral army of youths who, having been caught and cautioned repeatedly by the police,have come to believe the law cannot harm them. CCTV was supposed to be a deterrent. It is not. The courts are supposed to be a deterrent. They are not. And as you look into the dead-eyed faces of those two yobs on the Tube, you can only pray your paths do not cross with theirs, for the cameras on the wall will not save you and the judges will not give you justice.

MOMENTUM, the Opus Dei of Corbynism, stands accused of turfing out "moderate" Labour councillors, replacing them with hard-Lefters and demanding that all sign an oath of loyalty to Comrade Jez. To which there is only one sane and democratic response: bring it on. If ever an institution was ripe for a damn good rifting by radicals it is local government. I'm sure most councillors are fine folk doing a grand job. But the intellectual quality of others is deeply depressing. Some authorities are stalked by nepotism and croneyism and blighted by "banana republic" ballot-rigging. If the puritanical Corbynites can cleanse these Augean stables, good luck to them.

PS: By way of an experiment, before unleashing Corbynism on the whole nation, it would be good to see how a local council run with a John McDonnell approach to finance (borrow, spend, borrow more) might operate. You can't put a price on guinea pigs.

Peter Rhodes

By Peter Rhodes

Award-winning columnist and blogger. Keeping an eye on the tribulations and trivia of a fast-changing world


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