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Peter Rhodes on the demise of the Tooth Fairy, sexism in court and the shaming of London

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

A DAILY Telegraph reader asks, if we move toward a cashless society, what will become of the Tooth Fairy? Simple question, simple answer. Handing over cash has become one of the last surviving moments of contact between parents and children. In the ultimate Brave New World of connectivity, the child will send a tooth-text and photo by smartphone to the parent who will respond by crediting £1 on the swipe machine fixed to the child's bedroom door. No eye-contact, no embarrassing conversation. Progress, eh?

PROGRESS of a sort, too, in the Italian justice system where a court is re-examining a 2017 ruling in a rape case. Back then, three judges cleared two men of rape charges, partly on the grounds that the alleged victim looked "too masculine" to be a target of attraction. The judges heard the men's story, studied photographs of the woman and were told that one of the men had registered the woman in his mobile phone under the name "Viking." They concluded that she "resembled a man and was therefore unappealing." Case dismissed. The intriguing part is that all three justices involved in this decision were women. What greater blow can there be for equality than women in authority being every bit as sexist and misogynistic as men?

THE most shaming news item of the week is surely the report that hundreds of children from London's Somali community are being sent back to Somalia to escape the violence and drug dealing of London. A local politician says: "Sending them away has become the only way they can become safer." Maybe it's time to adapt that famous welcome on the Statue of Liberty to suit our capital: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free - but don't let the kids grow up in London."

FOR no particular reason other than reaching his 55th birthday, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, has been created Earl of Forfar, a title to be used only when he visits Scotland. Sadly, there is not much whimsy in the dry old business of awarding titles, otherwise this one might have been extended to commemorate the classic tongue-twisting football score. Arise, the Earl of East Fife Four and Forfar Five.

HERE'S an angry-making tale on the theme of older people being needlessly insulted by the young. A reader of a certain age visited his bank to change some card details. During the verification process, he was asked if he had a smartphone. He explained he had one but used it only to make and receive calls, never connecting to the internet. He tells me: "Her reply to this was 'you need to grow up' which I thought was thoughtless and unnecessary."

AND yet what goes around, comes around. Even as this bank worker was indulging in internet one-upmanship, the internet is steadily wiping out tens of thousands of banking jobs all over the world. Today you issue bank cards. Tomorrow you pick up your own cards.

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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