Peter Rhodes on an historic haircut, new light on Brexiteers and the return of the sales-prevention manager

I formally emerged from lockdown by spending my first £10 note since last March and uttering those long-unspoken words: “Number three all over. Tapered neck, please.”

Forgetting the flag?
Forgetting the flag?

Grey locks, like the aftermath of a badger rutting, tumbled to the floor and I emerged, bullet-headed with trimmed ears and eyebrows, to face the spring boldly if not quite baldly.

It goes without saying that in these first days of barber-shop normality, the stylist did not ask the traditional question: “Bin away yet?”

Instead, she and I chatted about the joy of grandchildren and places we planned to visit when the pandemic passed.

“It's all over now,” she sighed confidently. “Maybe,” I suggested.

“Definitely,” she insisted, “it won't come back in my lifetime.”

I used my old barber because, while the new salon over the road has invested in online booking, my old place spots potential customers in the street and bangs on the window to invite them in. Low-tech but very successful.

In any case, the online-booked haircut has an irritating aspect which makes me think that old character, the sales-prevention manager, has been at work.

After booking your slot (“buzz cut £10” - 30 minutes”), you either have to log in to your account or create a new account.

An account? Yet another password to remember? For a haircut? Dream on.

Good news. We're not all morons, after all.

Ever since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016 there's been an assumption among the pro-EU middle class that the Brexit vote was an act of national stupidity by hordes of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, some of whom drive those frightful white vans.

People who barely knew you would start conversations by slagging off “stupid Brexiteers,” as though nobody, especially a fellow member of the professional classes, could possibly disagree with them.

Well, my EU-enthusiast friends, wake up and smell the calamari.

New research, entitled Comfortable Leaver, tells us that the typical Brexit voter was not a “left behind” working-class voter from “a faded seaside town or the grim, post-industrial north.”

About half were well-off and believed “that leaving the EU was an opportunity to address a perceived loss of industry, community services and national pride”.

More than a million people in Scotland and 1.5 million in London voted for Brexit.

We did it for all sorts of reasons but we Leavers put just as much thought, wisdom and experience into our Leave vote as the Remainers put into theirs.

And, very nobly, we have only occasionally said “told you so” as the EU's vaccination shambles and its cynical campaign against AstraZeneca have shown Brussels at its bureaucratic and vindictive worst.

There was a time, after the referendum, when Remainers flew or even wore EU flags as a symbol of their continued and undying affection for Europe and their regret that their thicko countrymen had voted for Brexit.

I haven't seen many EU flags lately. Have you?

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