Peter Rhodes on cervixes, Armageddon and some sheep who were not at all sheepish

Read the latest column from Peter Rhodes.

Rosie Duffield – howled down
Rosie Duffield – howled down

I know. October already. How did that happen?

It is reported that if farm animals cannot be slaughtered, they might be culled. How will they know the difference?

Talking of farm animals, I was going to write a piece in defence of sheep in the sheepdog trials on Countryfile (BBC1). They must surely suffer some stress from being harried by a pair of wild-eyed slavering collies. But on this occasion, they needed no defending. These sheep stood their ground. One brave ewe even charged at the dogs. You got the impression, from the dark muttering among the humans, that the sheep were cheating.

The Labour Conference had its significant moments but, sadly, failed to find an answer to the Great Cervix Question. This is the one that kicked off when a Labour MP, Rosie Duffield, speaking for many feminists, declared that “only women have a cervix.” She was promptly howled down by transgender activists and was so worried about her safety that she stayed away from the conference.

Keir Starmer leaped on to the nearest fence, refusing to be drawn but suggesting it was in poor taste to raise such a question which prompted the Tory health secretary Sajid Javid to denounce Starmer's view as “a total denial of scientific fact.”

Confused? I find it easy to remember the state of play by using this little maxim: Most women have cervixes but not all cervixes have women.

Meanwhile, history may record that in 2021 the West was foolishly ignoring “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” sometimes known as the Chinese Dream. To learn more, listen to the BBC World Service programme entitled How powerful is China's Navy? What's it going to do with it? To which the answers are a) it's absolutely enormous and b) maybe it will fight World War III.

In the great tradition of reaching the masses with important news, Auntie Beeb broadcast this apocalyptic warning three hours before breakfast at 4.06am.

If the worst happens and Armageddon begins with China invading Taiwan, as some pundits suggest, our grandchildren may well ask us what we were doing back in the 2020s when Beijing's invasion fleet was taking shape and there was still time for diplomacy. And we will tell them that we slept through the warning (4.06am, and all that) and, anyway, we were fully occupied with the burning issue of who can have a cervix.

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