Peter Rhodes on naming a bridge, deepfake news and vaccinating town by town

This tin of ham in my fridge. Is it part of the Xmas stockpile, part of the Pandemic hoard or part of the No-Deal Brexit emergency reserve? Best not open it, just yet.

Wanted – a name
Wanted – a name

There is debate all over the world on whether the Covid-19 vaccine should be first offered to the old and frail, to front-line medical staff or to El Presidente, his immediate family and the palace guard. Here's a fourth option. Why not do it geographically? Select a UK town or city by ballot and send in the NHS/Army jabbing squads mob-handed. After two or three days every single soul whether rich, poor, old, young, front-line hero or village idiot, is vaccinated and, a few days later, immune.

The current system calls people one by one in various age or professional groups. So far, about 800,000 have been jabbed. I only know of one or two and there's not much proof of rising immunity. I can't imagine a more positive and dramatic way of spreading immunity or encouraging people to join the queue than the town-by-town approach. Suddenly, Oxford, Luton, Dunfermline or Aberystwyth announce they have no new cases of the disease. Within weeks, swathes of the UK are clear and healthy. And once we've seen that the various vaccines actually work, we'd be demanding a hole in the arm ASAP.

I didn't watch Channel 4's “deepfake” version of the Queen's Christmas message because a) I am over 14, and b) I was asleep. Apparently, Her Digitally Altered Majesty announced: “I was so saddened by the departures of Harry and Meghan. There are few things more hurtful than someone telling you they prefer the company of Canadians.” I dare say it brought some cheer to the usual moaners whose Christmas was thoroughly spoiled by Boris securing his EU trade deal. If you can't snarl at Boris, snarl at the monarchy.

For my money, C4 performed a valuable public service is showing how, thanks to deepfake, we can no longer believe anything we see on the telly. Including Channel 4 News. I have suspected for a long time that someone has been deepfaking that programme. In the real world, could Jon Snow possibly be quite so angry about so many things?

There's a border row brewing over a name for the old Severn Bridge. Some say it should be named after The Queen who opened it in 1966 and whose Platinum Jubilee falls in 2022. Others protest that it would be “a huge injustice” not to name it after a Welsh hero, such as Aneurin Bevan.

Bridge trivia. Some brave politicians have pointed out that although the bridge may be seen as a gateway to Wales or a link between England and Wales, it actually connects two bits of Gloucestershire (technically correct, but consult an atlas).

Curiously in this bridge-name row, the Welsh have not suggested Bontiog Mac Bont Wyneb or, as we say in English, Bridgey McBridgeface.

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