Peter Rhodes on denying Apollo, educating cops and tyranny dressed up as compassion
Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.
IF it's wrong to promote the views of climate-change deniers, on the grounds that the evidence for global warming is overwhelming, how can it be right to give moon-landing naysayers a platform, especially during this 50th anniversary week of the Apollo 11 mission (Moon Landings: World's Greatest Hoax, Yesterday TV)?
THE trouble with conspiracy theorists is that nothing will ever change their mind. If you flew the Apollo deniers to the moon and showed them the flag and the bootprints left by Neil Armstrong, they would give you that smug smile and tell you it's just a cover-up. And the give-away? It's those images showing the Earth to be a sphere when, as we all know, it's flat. And Elvis lives.
LINCOLNSHIRE police is challenging the College of Policing's plan for all officers to be educated to "degree level." The force fears that too much academia could seriously reduce the number of cops on the front line. Meanwhile, in this age of Mickey Mouse courses at some colleges, what exactly is a "degree level" qualification? Is it comparable with a double-first from Cambridge or is it on a par with a BA in Cheeseology from the University of Rodenthood? We should be told.
I SUGGESTED a few days ago that "peaceful" or "non-violent" protest can be just as ugly and aggressive as a punch in the face. Richard Walton, a former Met Police head of counter-terrorism makes the same point this week in a report urging the authorities to treat Extinction Rebellion (XR) as an extremist anarchist group. He may be right. He may exaggerate. But when a few hundred people close down a city centre or block a motorway they are, in effect, taking over the lives of thousands of other people, without their consent.
BEHIND those cosy images of little old ladies being gently arrested by kindly cops, is a darker message from Extinction Rebellion. It is this: "We are in control. We are setting this day's agenda. You, on this side of the barricade, will be allowed to go to work but you, on the other side, will not. Mrs A will be able to get home to feed the kids, but Mr B will not. And if our "peaceful" protest separates you from your medication and you perish, well, that's an unfortunate but unavoidable death in the struggle for the Greater Good. As one XR leader famously put it: "Yes, some may die in the process." Saving the planet is a noble ambition. Exercising power of life and death over others without any democratic mandate is tyranny, plain and simple.
TOMORROW is our sapphire wedding anniversary. Isn't it strange how, the older you get, the more expensive the anniversary gifts become?
FORTY-five years, since you ask and, no, I don't know where the years go either. But it don't seem a day too much.