Peter Rhodes on a dangerous blimp, avoiding political events and the days when blokes all looked the same
Divided over Trump
"WHEN we divide ourselves by xenophobia . . . when we divide ourselves by hatred, at the end of the day we all lose," declares Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party which, 70 years after the Holocaust, still cannot agree on a definition of antisemitism.
OH, what a hoot. After wobbling in the air over Westminster, the Trump blimp showing the president as a crying baby, is to be sent across the Atlantic, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, to be used in anti-Trump demos over there. The difference is that while Britain and America are both divided over Trump, the Yanks take it rather more seriously; this is, after all, an insult to their elected head of state. They also have access to about 300 million guns. If an American gets so infuriated by the blimp that he shoots somebody, it's suddenly not such a hoot.
DESPITE everything, I'm not convinced Donald Trump is the most despised American of all. For me, that distinction goes to the irritating Californian twerp in the Sunny.com TV adverts, trying to persuade folk to borrow money at 1,291 per cent APR. In the one with the grizzly bear attacking the caravan, don't you just want it to rip his head off?
THE BBC correspondent Justin Rowlatt attended the anti-Trump demo in London and was photographed grinning with a Trump impersonator holding the sign: "Go home." The Beeb says this is fine because "Justin Rowlatt was pictured at this rally in a private capacity." So it would have been equally fine if this had been a Tory rally, a Ukip march, an EDL demo or a "Free Tommy Robinson" gathering? Or is it only fine if it's the right sort of politics? You can be either a reporter with credibility or an activist with credibility, but not both.
I WROTE recently about finding a photograph of my grandfather's regiment taken 100 years ago which only recently appeared on the internet. A reader recalls her sadness at having few photographs of her soldier-grandfather. And then, behold, a family member was flicking though a newly published local-history book and found a photo of her grandad, taken during the General Strike of 1926. Proof again that you never know what's going to turn up online, so don't stop looking.
WHICH reminds me of a photograph used in the "good old days" section of a newspaper showing a bunch of regulars in a bar in the 1930s. A reader got in touch to order a copy because she thought she recognised her grandfather in the picture. Turned out he couldn't be Grandad because he never left Stourbridge and the pub was in Walsall. But she ordered the picture anyway "because it looks so much like him." And so, for that matter, did every other bloke in the bar: overcoat, flat cap, muffler, pint of mild, whippet. In those days, one did not dress to impress.