Peter Rhodes on sudden deaths in thrillers, turning people into soil and a world with no secrets

WASHINGTON State looks like becoming the first state in the US to allow humans to be converted into compost (after death, naturally). One process of natural decomposition is claimed to turn a corpse into a cubic yard of topsoil in a month. The founder of the company behind this system, promising "healthy soil to heal the planet," is one Katrina Spade.

Where's the President?
Where's the President?

NATURALLY, a new type of funeral will require some new funeral hymns. You'll Never Walk A Loam?

THEY seek him here, they seek him there. The state visit of Donald Trump to Britain in June, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, looks like being the usual cat-and-mouse game between demonstrators and security officials. If you want to know how much the world has changed, consider this: Back in 1944 it was possible to conceal the movement of 5,000 Normandy-bound ships and 100,000 soldiers from the enemy for weeks before D-Day. Today, in a world of total surveillance and social networking, we can't even hide one president for a few minutes.

MAKES you wonder how D-Day might have fared if mobiles had been invented back then. The authorities might have reminded folk that "Careless Talk Costs Lives" and begged them to keep mum but some idiot with an iPhone would have Snapchatted a selfie with the D-Day invasion fleet and the helpful caption: "Look what's coming your way, Adolf." The age of secrets is over.

OVERTAKEN by events. In a half-page feature on Line of Duty (BBC1) actor Stephen Graham, the Daily Mail declared on Monday: "Graham is currently starring as DS John Corbett, an undercover officer posing as a drugland kingpin." (Spoiler alert) Or rather, was. Corbett's throat was cut the night before the article appeared, much to our surprise. Unless Corbett can survive an eight-pint haemorrhage, I fear the series will have to cope without him. If there is one ploy that separates modern drama from the traditional sort, it is the eagerness of scripwriters, as in Line of Duty, to establish a character right at the heart of the action and then, without a qualm, bump 'em off.

IF we believe the unattributed rumours, Tory policy planners reckon that scrapping the deeply unpopular HS2 rail project could be an election winner. They may be right. The Brits can spot a pan-European vanity project every time, and ditching this £100 billion-plus white elephant would free up loadsamoney for something worthwhile.

THERE is, however, one tiny snag. In order to use HS2 as an election bribe, the Tories - or any other party - would have to convince the voters that their promise to scrap it could be trusted. And after three years of dither, delay and deception over leaving the EU, does anybody believe anything in anybody's election manifesto?

MEANWHILE, it's good to see the bluebells appearing. Despite Brexit.

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