Peter Rhodes on more family memories, a Brexit prediction and a bashing for Boris

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Nigel Farage launches his new party

SCIENTISTS at Boston University, using electrical stimulation to unravel muddled brains, believe it is possible to restore the memory of people in their 60s and 70s to the level of a 20-year-old's. What, so they'll never remember to tidy their room?

I'M not greatly surprised at the Boston breakthrough. Brains work on oxygenated blood and electrical impulses. When the boffins finally find a cure for dementia, I bet it will involve oxygen and electricity. You may wish to cut out this prediction and keep it.

ANOTHER prediction. Over the coming days, opinion polls will reveal substantial support for Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party, suggesting Brexiters might actually win a second referendum. So how many Remainers, now telling us that a second referendum is the best way forward, will soon think it's not such a good idea, after all?

THANKS for more of your ancient family memories. One reader's 92-year-old aunt recallsher grandmother saying nothing was as noisy as a New York fire engine being pulled over the cobbles. She left New York just before the beginning of the First World War in 1914.

ANOTHER reader's father told the story his grandmother told him. She arrived in London from rural Lincolnshire on April 30, 1861, to go into service, on the day Queen Victoria's daughter, Alice, announced her engagement. "London was en fete, and she - on her first journey away from her childhood home - told herself it was all for her, to try and cheer herself up." A Victorian country girl's sadness still echoes, 158 years on.

THERE is a great unfairness in these family memories. They survive only if families survive and stay together. When relatives die early or are lost through divorce, death, revolution or war, a link to the past is broken. Some families are enriched by being aware of their part in the the past 150 years or more of history. Others, who may have just as much to be proud of, are left in ignorance.

BORIS Johnson wrote in his Daily Telegraph column that leaving the EU with no deal was "by some margin preferred by the British public." The Telegraph has been forced to carry a correction after one reader, a statistician, complained to the press watchdog Ipso that this was simply inaccurate. The Telegraph argued that Boris's piece would not be regarded by readers as "a serious, empirical, in-depth analysis of hard factual matters". To no avail. It is a reminder to all us hacks in these febrile times, that every word, jot and comma may be seized upon and any deviation from the literal truth quickly punished.

SO I apologise for three reckless and quite unsubstantiated claims that have appeared in this column recently, namely that the Tooth Fairy makes payments by swipe card, black holes may morph into branches of Morrisons, and Charles Darwin invented the tortoise. I'm afraid I have these non-empirical moments.

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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