Peter Rhodes on hypocrisy in fashion, hijabs for all and calling a spade a spade

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

I SUGGESTED a few days ago that, if we ever decide to scrap God Save the Queen, the Suffragette song, March of the Women, suitably re-worded, would make a fine new National Anthem. On closer inspection, maybe not.

In good voice?

THE snag is that any anthem must pass the basic test of being able to be sung by the average football supporter. And while the first half of the March of the Women melody is simple enough, the second half has some tricky semitone changes. I am straying into territory I know little about but I suspect today's football crowds, possibly as a result of the decline in Sunday Schools, are not as musically gifted as they used to be. Discuss.

THERE are many versions of March of the Women online. I liked a version performed in quick-march time to a snare drum by five feisty American ladies of a certain age. It's all here.

GEORGE Soros is the Hungarian / American investor and multi-billionaire who famously made £1 billion by betting against the pound during the Black Wednesday crisis of 1992 and became known as "the man who broke the Bank of England." It has been revealed that he donated £400,000 to the anti-Brexit group, Best For Britain. This must be the most impressive endorsement of a political movement since Gerry Adams said Jeremy Corbyn would make a good prime minister.

OH, hypocrisy, thy name is fashion journalism. The Guardian website Lifestyle section offers brightly : "From secretly bare to comedy nude – a guide to the naked wedding dress trend." From the Guardian News section, just a few inches away, in censorious mood is: "Some of the girls are in fetish gear – Sexism rife at London gambling conference." So it's shock-horror disgust when one bunch of girls strut their stuff but genteel approval when another bunch do the same in haute couture. The liberal's dilemma.

IN A rare moment of fudge, the journalists' website Hold The Front Page tells us this about Sharon Griffiths, a long-serving columnist on the Northern Echo: "It is understood she has been let go as part of cutbacks." Understood? Let go? What mealy-mouthed, management-speak nonsense is this? Sharon herself says frankly: "It wasn't my decision . . . I was sacked." I hope she soon finds new work. This profession needs people who call a spade a spade. Too many have been let go.

FOREIGN Office staff were controversially invited to try on Islamic head scarfs to mark World Hijab Day. A spokesman for the FO said it was intended to introduce employees to other cultures. Hell, why stop there? In the post-Brexit world, Britons will be trading and travelling further than ever. So let's have a range of days to familiarise us all with the exotic headgear of foreign parts. We could have: Turban Tuesday, Wimple Wednesday, Tiara Thursday, Fez Friday, Skullcap Saturday and Sombrero Sunday.

PS: Owing to lack of interest, Genital Mutilation Monday has been cancelled.

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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