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Peter Rhodes on a job for Rory, a funny Jane Austen yarn and climate catastrophe, according to Dipsy

By Peter Rhodes | Peter Rhodes | Published:

Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.

Take us seriously

AFTER this week's legal ruling on Brexit, a reader asks a question which may be puzzling many of us: what's it got to do with Scottish judges? Why stop there? What's it got to do with voters in Gibraltar? What's it got to do with John Bercow? What's it got to do with Gina Miller? And so on.

WE have only 12 years to save the world. Really? What sort of person genuinely believes that apocalyptic message, as spread by Extinction Rebellion? Well, there are the ladies who dress in red with geisha-white faces. There are the ones who spray themselves with fake blood and lie down "dead." There are the face-painted ones like escapees from a circus. There are the ones clad in druidic smocks with XR symbols on their heads, like latter-day Teletubbies. And there are the serial soothsayers and frequent fretters left over from the heyday of ban-the-bomb. The XR demos in London are supposed to win hearts and change opinions. I bet most of us, confronted by anybody who looks so freakish, will treat their message with all the seriousness they merit. When it comes to the apocalypse, I pay attention to David Attenborough, not to Dipsy, Po, Laa-Laa or Coco the Clown.

ONE of the ironies of this internet age is that the only website that regularly causes me real communications issues is the one providing the communications. I speak fresh from yet another hair-tearing struggle to log on to My BT. I cannot prove it. of course, but I would swear that BT refused to let me log in for using the "wrong" password and, half an hour later, admitted me using exactly the same password.

STILL in cyberspace, updating my Premium Bond details yesterday, I was surprised to learn that National Savings and Investments (state administered) knows all about which bank accounts and credit cards (privately administered) I have. I don't remember telling them. Vaguely troubling.

RORY Stewart is that rarest of things, a Tory that people instinctively warm to. He's a funny-looking bloke with an amazing past. He is honest, resourceful, determined, gracious and physically brave. He would be a great loss to public life but I'm not convinced that Mayor of London (he announced his candidacy last week) is the right job for him. There's a whole world outside the capital. What our disunited kingdom desperately needs is not another stuffed shirt in London but a champion of the provinces.

IF Sanditon (ITV), created from Jane Austen's unfinished (in fact, barely-started) novel is not working the Austen magic for you, try Lost in Austen. The four-part comedy screened on ITV 11 years ago, stars Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price who slips through time to encounter the Bennet Family in Pride & Prejudice. It's funny, clever and inventive and, though I can't recall it ever being repeated on TV, it is available on DVD. The winter evenings will fly past.

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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