Peter Rhodes on counting nurses, winning £105 million and a little light in the loo
Read today's column by Peter Rhodes.
Remind me again. Are Boris Johnson's 50,000 extra nurses more or fewer than Diane Abbott's 25,000 extra police officers?
Mystery of the day. Why should we believe Jeremy Corbyn can see his way to building the new Jerusalem when he can't even find a pair of specs that fit?
Whitehall has called a halt on bringing more adults and children back from the former Islamic State. You may consider this heartless. Or you may give thanks. For if there is one thing our authorities do really badly, it is judging whether someone is safe to be released into society.
Time after time, violent criminals are set free on licence only to kill, rape or maim all over again - sometimes on the very day they leave prison. These assessments are based on long interviews by experts in the field of psychology and criminality with access to years of records and observations. And still they get it horribly wrong. So, please, don't tell us that the adults and children of the Islamic State being considered for return to Britain pose no threat. Unless, of course, you or the experts have a crystal ball.
One of the mysteries of our age is how the lottery companies persuade winners to go public about their massive jackpots. This week, Steve Thomson and his wife Lenka became the latest Euro-Millions winners to spray the champagne as they revealed they had won £105 million. They have three young children and everybody now knows who they are and where they live. The risks do not bear thinking about and I wonder if many people truly envy them.
Steve and Lenka say the win is too much for them and they plan to give much of it away to family and friends. I bet they will suddenly discover friends they haven't seen for years and relatives they didn't know existed.
If a Labour government could find £58 billion (that's about half an HS2) to repay money to women who lost out in the great pension reform, what about us blokes? For many decades it was simply accepted that women paid less into the state pension pot than men and, because they usually lived longer than men, took more money out. The system was sexist and unfair and I can only assume that old-fashioned chivalry prevented men from making much fuss. Today, however, we are encouraged to be victims and, in that enlightened spirit, if the State bungs me £20,000 I'll say no more about it.
And now, from the Whatever Will They Think Of Next department, comes the Individual Toilet Seat Light. It clips to the side of the WC and, according to the online blurb by Wilko, will “guide you to the toilet in the middle of the night.” As the Bible very nearly puts it, a light to lighten the genitals.